After 17 hours of traveling on the red eye (with a connection via Atlanta on Delta with no mishaps… miracles do happen!), we arrived in Buenos Aires on an early Sunday morning and checked into Palermo Place. Located in the heart of trendy Palermo Hollywood (the epicenter of chic restaurants and bars) Palermo Place is a small boutique hotel with a big heart. Before I even flew over, the amazing front desk ladies, Florencia and Leticia, helped buy my ferry tickets to Uruguay because the Buquebus site wasn't recognizing my foreign credit card and booked us a really affordable and safe airport taxi. When we finally arrived, they greeted us with a huge welcome (the complimentary bottle of Patagonian wine and alfajores helped too). I'll take that over any 4-star chain any day.
Since it’s the only Sunday we’d be in town for, we hit up the incredible Feria de Mataderos with Madi Lang from BA Cultural Concierge. I enlisted the help of Madi for a historical day guide for the Monday around BA, but because she is such a sweetheart, she came and met us a day early at our hotel to take us to the massive weekly fair in Mataderos. About a half-hour (and 60 pesos) away from Hollywood, Mataderos which means slaughterhouse in Spanish, is a rural area known for its livestock and gauchos (cowboys). On Sundays, there are musical performances by locals and hundreds of food and craft stalls filled with one-of-a-kind jewelry, shoes, artwork, jams, cheeses… everything.
Be prepared to polish up on your Spanish before arriving. Most residents speak little English, so learn your essentials like "cuanto questa" (how much does this cost?), "donde esta el baño" (where is the bathroom?), "la cuenta, por favor" (the bill, please), "de nada" (thank you), and "perdon, hablas Ingles" (excuse me, do you speak English?), and if the menu doesn't offer an English side, you may have to sneak out your Spanish dictionary, or suck it up and be adventurous, you're on vacation! You just may end up ordering your new favorite dish.
Here's Day 1 in Buenos Aires in pictures: