Monday, October 19, 2009

Downtown Buenos Aires

Downtown Buenos Aires or Microcentro has a small but very interesting hotel menu. We were very happy to see in recent years a couple of magnificent old buildings restored and relaunched as fancy places to stay. The centre of town attracts a lot of tourists, and staying in the area is not a bad choice. It is very quiet at night (sometimes too quiet) and you can walk everywhere.

There are a few good restaurants and bars, so you won't feel deprived of fun. But definitely don't expect a lot of activities in the area after dark, because this is the Financial District anyhow.

Our choices are:

Avenida Roque Saenz Peña 725 - phone (+54.11) 4131.8000
This used to be the famous Continental Hotel, built in 1927 by Alejandro Bustillo, the famous argentine architect---probably the best argentine architect ever--- and it was a very traditional spot for years. Things change though, and after years of neglect it was reborn under a different name and a major renovation---sort of major plastic surgery. The results? A funky and modern place, friendly staff and rooms with plenty of amenities (a bit on the small side...). It could be a bit quiet if you are looking for action...

Avenida Julio Argentino Roca 562
Owned by the same Company behind the 725 Continental, it is a good and more economical choice if you want to be near Plaza de Mayo and within walking distance of San Telmo and its wonderful attractions. Small rooms but good breakfast buffet.

San Martin 780 - phone (+54.11) 5217.5799
Located next to Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall and Florida Street, this hotel is closer to Retiro neighbourhood--- Plaza San Martin is a few blocks away, and it is a great park to relax under the sun for a few minutes--- and the area offers more activities at night, so noise could be an issue. Big rooms and good service make this place a good base to explore Puerto Madero and surrounding areas.

When it's time to eat there are a few restaurants in the area that are very good. We like Dadá (San Martin 947), the steaks there never disappoint and the artsy decor makes this funky bistro a must if you are in the area.

If you are just tired of the red meat thing, try the japanese-peruvian fusion at Sipan (Paraguay 624). It is really an excellent and consistent restaurant that delivers great creations. Try the tiraditos de maracuya and the awesome ceviche.

Another interesting place is Empire (Tres Sargentos 427), a thai restaurant on a small and quiet pedestrian street with a good menu and an intimate (although a bit dark) atmosphere. We like the curries and the breaded shrimps
Tancat (Paraguay 645) is a tapas restaurant with a good selection of typical spanish dishes. A small place, it can feel a bit cramped.

Our favourite place for a tasty snack is the Bar at the Marriott Plaza Hotel (Florida 1005). Don't let the name fool you: this was a very traditional and conservative hotel when it was built a hundred years ago. After being bought by the Marriott chain unfortunately lost most of its charm, but the Bar is still a great place to relax after a long walk Downtown. We love the tostado sandwiches and the secluded and cozy ambiance. A must.

There are also some good bars in the area, but that is material for another post...


  1. I think that you are trying to convince me travelling to Buenos Aires that soon!


  2. Dear Greet: Yes! This blog is becoming sort of the Tourism Office of Argentina! I guess my mission is to convince everybody to visit my country.

  3. Tancat, barely 30 footsteps away from my office. Tortilla a la española y pimientos del piquillo.
    Can´t go wrong.

  4. Dear Charlotte: A spanish meal is always good! Our BA office used to be two blocks away...


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