Holiday Trip to Mendoza & Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Buenos Aires is a historic and elegant city and many are surprised to find it has a European feel with its 19th-century buildings and charming neighborhoods. Each of the neighborhoods or ‘barrios’ have different characters so it’s one of those cities where you’ll want to spend a lot of time simply meandering along the tree-lined streets to get a feel for each area. In contrast, Mendoza is a small city with many art deco buildings and small plazas at the foothills of the Andes mountains (in the heart of wine country!). A short, easy flight connects the two cities and makes for a perfect Christmas + New Year’s trip (plus, it’s warm!!)
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Where to stay in Buenos Aires & Mendoza Argentina
Hip hotel set in Buenos Aires' Palermo Hollywood neighborhood with sleek rooms, a peaceful garden and a restaurant.
Faena Hotel Buenos Aires
Elegant hotel with a bistro, a library bar and a cabaret venue in Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero neighborhood.
Guests staying up to 2 nights will receive a complimentary lunch or dinner for two people/room.
Extended check-in/check-out whenever possible.
Casasur Bellini Hotel
Chic contemporary hotel in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires with a pool and an industrial-chic restaurant.
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Things to do in Buenos Aires & Mendoza Argentina
Recoleta Cemetery - Located in the Recoleta neighborhood, this cemetery has over 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins and crypts including notable people such as Eva ‘Evita’ Peron. The cemetery is open daily and you can even take a free guided tour (in Spanish) on certain weekdays and weekends.
Puerto Madero Neighborhood - Puerto Madero is the area along the river that has been more recently refurbished. It has a modern feel compared to the rest of the city with skyscrapers and the iconic Puente de la Mujer bridge. The lights on the buildings and docks make it a fun place to visit at night and there is no shortage of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
San Telmo Sunday Fair - Taking place every Sunday from 10-4, the San Telmo Fair features antiques, trinkets, art and food from various vendors. Be prepared to walk through a maze of tourists and booths as this is a very popular activity.
Shop in Palermo Soho - This trendy tree-lined neighborhood is full of cafes and boutiques. The shopping ranges from clothing stores and leather goods to bookstores and wine shops all housed in former warehouses and old homes.
Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA) - This museum features modern art from across Latin America. The building itself is really neat as it looks like it’s made of interlocking cubes.
Wine tasting in the Uco Valley or Lujan de Cuyo - Lujan de Cuyo is a bit closer to Mendoza - some of my favorites are Achaval-Ferrer, Bressia and Dominio Del Plata. Note that you need a reservation at many wineries in this area and it's a good idea to get a driver if you plan to make multiple stops (I found the pours to be very generous).
Parque San Martin - This is a huge park dating back to the 1800’s. You’ll find 34 sculptures, a rose garden and a lake. This is a great place to grab some empanadas and have a picnic or take a stroll.
Cacheuta Thermal Baths - About 50 minutes out Mendoza is an area with saunas, mud baths, hot springs and thermal pools (there’s a bus that travels here). You can visit the public water park (Parque de Agua) for a small fee (note some areas are closed in the colder months) or the Cacheuta Thermal Baths Hotel & Spa. To gain access to the more private thermal springs at the hotel spa, book a half or full-day spa package.
It’s possible to take a one-hour ferry from Buenos Aires over to a little colonial town called Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. Colonia is a UNESCO world heritage site and the historic town is filled with cobblestone streets and picturesque buildings. Make sure you reserve the ferry in advance (especially during the holidays) and don’t forget your passport!
Places to eat & drink in Buenos Aires & Mendoza Argentina
Don Julio – Classic Argentina steak house in the trendy Palermo Soho neighborhood. Make sure to make a reservation because there is often a line out the door.
Tea at the Park Hyatt - Enjoy 5 o’clock tea (served 4-6:30pm) on the beautiful terrace complete with delicious pastries.
Las Pizarras Bistro - Cozy gem with a small chalkboard menu and delicious European/Argentinian bistro food.
Uco - Modern Argentine cuisine and charming patio at the Fierro Hotel. They often offer a five-course tasting menu which was lovely for a special Christmas Eve dinner.
Azafran - interesting menu with produce from Mendoza and flavors from all over the globe. There is also an extensive wine list and you can visit their wine cellar to choose a bottle to go with your meal.
1884 - This restaurant is in an old winery with a beautiful garden. The chef uses fire-based cooking and the menu includes many Argentinian meat dishes.
Osadía de Crear - This restaurant is at a winery called Dominio Del Plata which is 30 minutes outside of the city. They have a 4 or 6 course menu with wine pairings in a beautiful setting.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out my 5-Day Guide to Lisbon & the Algarve With Kids.
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