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The Parks of Palermo

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Parks in Books

The largest barrio of Buenos Aires is also its greenest. A number of parks stretch between the residential streets of Palermo and the Rio de Plata, greatly improving the quality of life for those lucky enough to live close by.

Love Bridge
Los Bosques de Palermo

The Parque 3 de Febrero is more popularly known as the Palermo Woods, and is one of the largest parks in the city. With a artificial lake as its centerpiece, a rose garden and an Andalusian courtyard, it’s one of the most popular spots in Buenos Aires to spend a lazy summer afternoon. On weekends, the park is packed with families picnicking, while joggers taking advantage of the plentiful tracks.

You can take a paddle boat out to explore the lake, or rent rollerblades for the recreational circuit that surrounds it, which is what I did. The rollerblades cost just $10 (US$2.50) for a half hour, and although they weren’t exactly top quality, or even matching, it was nice to get some exercise. For a more serene time, you can stroll around the rose garden which juts into the lake.

Japanese Garden
Jardín Japones

We chose a weekend to visit the Japanese Gardens, which was a poor decision. The gardens are supposed to be a tranquil oasis, but on weekends, hordes of people suffocate the place, making any sort of relaxation an impossibility. We headed toward the exit almost immediately after entering.

During a weekday, though, the garden is supposed to be great. The Japanese landscaping includes bridges, a bonzai section and ginko trees.

Planetario Buenos Aires
The Planetarium

Looking like a spaceship that crash landed in Buenos Aires, the gleaming, circular Planetarium sits next to a pond. It’s more an attraction for kids, who can learn about the cosmos, but the park surrounding it is as nice a place as any to lay down with your thermos and mate.

We passed through the parks of Palermo countless times, cutting through them on the way to some museum or event. But somehow the parks make us lazy, and we always ended up sitting on the grass for an hour, happily cancelling plans in order to spend a little more time in the sun.

Locations on our Buenos Aires Map of…
The Rose Garden
The Japanese Garden
The Planetarium

Buenos Aires
Parks Buenos Aires
Boats Buenos Aires
Fashion Buenos Aires
In Love
White Buenos aires
Spanish Tiles
Rose Boy
Rose Garden Buenos Aires
Red Bike
Grumpy Old
Geese
Super Blader
Palermo Flirt
Palms Horse Ride
Deutscher Platz
Plaza Alemania
Berlin Bike
Crazy Fish
Börd
Crazy Bird
Japan Waterfall
Japan Shrine
Plaza España
Deer Park
Do Not Aks
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May 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm Comments (3)

Puerto Madero

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The Architecture of Calatrava

Buenos Aires’ trendiest residential neighborhood is probably its most bizarre. Even though it’s physically close to the historic center, Puerto Madero almost feels like a completely different city.

Puerto Madero

The narrow port for which the neighborhood is named opened in 1882 to help serve Buenos Aires’ shipping businesses. But it was in use for only sixteen years. Before construction even completed, Puerto Madero had been rendered obsolete by the sheer size of the newer, larger barges. For most of the 20th century, the warehouses sat unused and the area around Puerto Madero was abandoned to urban rot.

But that’s changed. About ten years ago, a concentrated effort was made to modernize and clean up one of the city’s best-located and most-neglected neighborhoods. With its location along the Rio de Plata, and the ecological reserve of the Costanera Sur, it’s amazing that Buenos Aires took so long to make proper use of Puerto Madero. Wealthy porteños, both young professionals and retirees, have moved there en masse, and property values have shot through the roof. To accommodate the new residents, a number of restaurants have opened up along the old port, which itself has become a place of touristic interest.

We’re in Puerto Madero constantly, usually for jogging, but also taking advantage of the cheap and modern Cinemark theater. There’s still a lot of room for improvement in Puerto Madero — the newness of the buildings and shops is too apparent, and the large, expensive restaurants are almost always empty. A stroll through the neighborhood can be a surreal experience; where the nearby streets of Monserrat are noisy, dirty and gloriously alive, Puerto Madero is clean, quiet and desolate.

Still, walking along the old port as the sun behind the city, its rays reflecting off the water and giant glass buildings, is one of the more pleasant ways to spend an evening in Buenos Aires. We’ve gone to bars along the port for happy hour, and perhaps there are some treasures hidden in Puerto Madero that we haven’t discovered… does anyone have a suggestion?

Calatrava Buenos Aires Mujer
Shady Lovers
Rowing Buenos Aires
New Buenos Aires
El Mirage
Night Building
Boat Buenos Aires
Puente Mujer
Art Buenos Aires
Crane Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires at Night
Calatrava

Calatrava in Oviedo and Valencia

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April 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm Comment (1)
The Parks of Palermo
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