Shopping Centers

Porteños may love them, but if you’ve ever lived anywhere but Buenos Aires, you will not. I tried hard to make myself feel the same way as my friends, but nothing beats the boutiques in Palermo. But this list would be a little empty if I didn’t include them. Don’t go to shop, though—go to people-watch, instead.

Patio Bullrich

This mall is full of top European designers, from Cacharel to Custo Barcelona. You’ll find only the porteño elite here, but you’ll also be treated like gold for speaking English. Whether you look nice or not, people will expect you to have money. Do with that what you will. Av. Libertador 750/Posadas 1245. Official site in English.

Abasto Shopping Center

The clothing is cheaper here than at Patio Bullrich and Alto Palermo, so locals shop here frequently—making this perhaps the most intriguing place to people-watch. This neighborhood (Almagro) is mostly full of Argentines who moved to the big city from the countryside, or other smaller cities. If you’ve been spending too much time in Palermo and Recoleta, this will be a wake-up call. Av. Corrientes 3247. Official site (Spanish only).

Alto Palermo

It’s a shopping mall in Palermo, and it’s everything you’d expect. Not Patio Bullrich, of course, but the most expensive mall normal Argentines can afford. The most recent addition is a Starbucks, and it tastes awful compared to what’s in the U.S., but everyone trendy is going mad! Av. Santa Fe 3253. Official site.

Plaza Serrano

On Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., this plaza becomes a massive feria, or flea market, for local clothing designers. You’ll find really great prices here, but don’t buy too quickly. Look around a little; the vendors all peddle the same stuff and sell it at different prices. At night, it turns into a bustling center of nightlife. (If you’re looking for it on a map, it’s called Plazoleta Julio Cortazar, but you’ll never hear anyone call it that.) It’s at the intersection of Calle Serrano (which becomes Borges) and Honduras.

Plaza Serrano, Buenos Aires, courtesy of Google Maps

-Tara for TKGO City Guides

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