Neighborhood Watch: Little Venezuela in Palermo, Buenos Aires
Venezuelans bring a taste of home to Argentina’s capital city.
Buenos Aires, alongside Rio del Plata, is one of those sprawling cities where one breaths culture, art and history, all blended with thousands of stories in corners impregnated with memories and nostalgia. It’s a city of long, endless avenues that contrast sharply with narrow, cobbled streets dotted with trees.
The Argentine capital is seductive, full of theaters, great restaurants, and, of course, a tempting shopping selection.
FIRST STEP: Plan and get your bearings
To make the best use of your time and enjoy a full day of shopping, it’ s essential to map out your route. Buenos Aires is huge and traffic can be chaotic. If you want to get places fast, better to take the subway (or “subte” as it’s known among Argentines). Never take a cab during rush hour; you’ll get to your destination quicker on foot.
The city boasts an excellent subway route that takes you to every corner of the capital. Once you decide where you want to go, visit metrovias.com.ar for routes and schedules. Each station also has a detailed map.
Second step: Take the plunge
Whether or not you find something you love, Buenos Aires will more than reward you with it’s beautiful routes, walkways and ultra chic shopping centers. Palermo is one of those neighborhoods where you’ll fall in love with each one of its unique boutiques (many independent designers have storefronts here). Same with San Telmo, a neighborhood where new designs and antiques (including its famous antique markets) coexist with picturesque pubs.
If you’re looking for bigger designer names, go to Recoleta, one of the city’s most exclusive areas, or visit the cute malls throughout the city. If you’re a fan of outlet shopping, head toward Av. Córdoba 4000 (Bensimon, Nike, Tascani, among others), or Aguirre 700 (Daniel Hetcher, Puma y Cacharel, among others) both in Palermo. Or to Estación Central (Av. Libertador 3040, en Olivos; estacion-central.com.ar), whose brands include Akiabara and Brooksfield.
Every weekend, the most unusual objects, full of history and tradition, can be found here in San Telmo’s antique marts and fairs, making the neighborhood not only a place to shop, but also to wander about and enjoy. The huge San Telmo market (_Calle Defensa 961, San Telmo; welcomesantelmo.com), _is a covered space that sales fresh produce, but you can also find collectibles, décor pieces and even unque pieces of clothing you wouldn’t have imagined. In addition the San Telmo Fair (Feria de San Telmo) is the huge antique and crafts fair that takes place in Plaza Dorrego every Sunday.
Puerto de frutos in Tigre
It started like a little a market, and it has slowly become the place to see and be seen. With a varied offer of products, ranging from decoration to crafts, this market next to the Lujan River (puertodefrutos-arg.com.ar) also has cafes, restaurants and a beautiful view of the river. To get there, simply go to the Tigre train station, preferably on the weekend, when more stands are open.
Calle Murillo and Galería Pacífico
If you’re after good leather goods, including jackets, pants and shoes, visit calle Murillo 600, in Palermo, where you’ll find blocks and blocks of shops with items that come straight from the factory at great prices. At Galerías Pacifico (Florida and Av. Córdoba; galeriaspacifico.com.ar), a very popular mall in downtown Buenos Aires, you can also find good leather goods shops that offer quality product in a single area.
This premium outlet, set between Juan B. Justo and Santa Fe avenues in Palermo, is an open air shopping destination built inside an old train station. You’ll find top brands at fantastic discounts, aside from enjoying a new urban concept that’s different from any other mall.
This elegant commercial street has been for pedestrians only since 1913, beginning at the intersection of Peru Street and Avenida de Mayo. Florida boasts all types of commerce, from elegant boutiques to souvenir shops and restaurants. During the evenings, the atmosphere is more laid back, with strolling artists that include tango singers, dancers and living statues. The most-sold souvenir is the typical “mate,” an infusion of dry, ground mate leaves served with hot water in a recipient called mate and sipped with a tube, preferably silver.