Palermo Buenos Aires is the largest and the greenest neighborhood, or “barrio” in the city. Within its borders are several boroughs carved out of what was the estancia (ranch) belonging to Juan Manuel de Rosas, who was the dictator of the Argentina Confederation from 1829 to 1853. The ranch was confiscated after his downfall in 1852. Today the Buenos Aires Zoological Gardens, Parque Tres de Febrero, Palermo Race Track, and Plaza Italia stand on the grounds of his former country mansion. The neighborhood was named for the Franciscan Abbey of Saint Benedict of Palermo, and it is located in the northeast part of the city along the shores of the Rio de la Plata. Palermo boasts almost 350 acres of parks with grassy and wooded areas and a number of large lakes designed by a French architect in 1874. Local residents and visitors alike flock here during pleasant weather for picnics, cycling, jogging, boating, and to watch polo matches and horseracing.
Alto Palermo Buenos Aires is the neighborhood’s downtown district and contains the main shopping centers and transportation hubs. It also contains an upscale residential area called “Villa Freud” because of the high concentration of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst offices.
This part of Palermo Buenos Aires was more of a working class neighborhood, as opposed to the wealthier and more exclusive parts of the neighborhood. Its narrow cobblestone streets, small houses, warehouses, and old factories buildings began drawing young artists and bohemian designers in the 1980s. They refurbished many buildings, and the area continues to become more gentrified. On weekends, an arts and crafts fair is held in Plaza Serrano.
Palermo Soho is known for its design and fashion boutiques, as well as new age cafes, restaurants, and bars. For this reason, it is quite popular with young well-to-do residents of the city as well as foreign visitors. This area is often used for location shots in television programs and films.
This Palermo Buenos Aires neighborhood was named because of the many radio and television producers who made this area their home in the mid-1990s. There is a large concentration of restaurants, cafes, music bars, and nightclubs. If you want to experience the swinging nightlife of Buenos Aires, this is the place to come.
Palermo Chico is one of the most elegant and beautiful of the Palermo Buenos Aires neighborhoods. It was once the residential area of choice for the wealthiest of the city, and they built many lovely French style mansions and palaces. The Museum of Decorative Art is housed in one such mansion. While not as old, the Sanmartiniano Institute is housed in a replica of the house where Don Jose de San Martin lived out his exile in Grand Bourg France. He is venerated throughout southern South America for the pivotal role he played in each country’s history of independence from Spain in the 19th century. Also located in Palermo Chico is the respected MALBA Museum of Latin American Art.
Head to Las Canitas for the very best restaurants in Buenos Aires. This Palermo Buenos Aires neighborhood has more restaurants than any other in the city. Along with fashionable restaurants comes upscale shopping, and this area is filled with exclusive boutiques and leather good shops, offering fine items made from the hides of the cattle roaming the vast Pampas. There are pricey health spas and hairdressers and elite antique shops. The most important polo games in the world are played here – the Argentina Open Polo Championship.
Bosques de Palermo
This isn’t really a “neighborhood” at all. This is the Parque Tres de Febrero, also known as “Palermo Woods.” The beautiful park was designed by Charles Thay, the French landscape architect who designed Hyde Park in London and the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Here you will find a large number of trees indigenous to the country, beautiful decorative gardens, and three serene artificial lakes. When you tire of the hustle and bustle of the other Palermo Buenos Aires neighborhoods, enjoy a respite here. Take a boat ride and enjoy the largest Japanese Garden outside of Japan.