The Neighborhood: Buenos Aires’s Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero

Buenos Aires’s Faena Hotel + Universe hotel returns to Jetsetter today for a special summer sale. Check-in and experience the property’s quirky pool scene, live cabaret show and unicorn taxidermy–adorned restaurant, but save time to explore the surrounding Puerto Madero neighborhood.

Jetsetter correspondent and Buenos Aires resident, Matt Chesterton, shares his highlights of this polished and rapidly changing barrio.


THE LOWDOWN The city’s second newest barrio (it was officially designated as such in 1991), Puerto Madero more closely resembles Dubai than it does the rest of Buenos Aires. These once busy docks were left to rot for most of the 20th century before being given a new lease of life in the mid 1990s thanks to a multi-million dollar regeneration program. The west side of the docks, comprising a long row of uniform red-brick constructions housing offices and restaurants, is largely complete, while the east side, with its gleaming skyscrapers and fashionable accommodations, is a work in progress.

SEE & DO The esplanades on both sides of the dock are pedestrianized, making this one of the best neighborhoods in the city for an evening stroll. Cross over Santiago Calatrava’s graceful suspension footbridge, Puente de la Mujer (“Woman’s Bridge”) and walk towards the coastline of the River Plate, where you’ll find the entrance to the city’s Ecological Reserve.

EAT & DRINK Many restaurants line Puerto Madero’s western side, though some are overpriced tourist traps and best avoided. Happening (Alicia Moreau de Justo 310) is a very good steakhouse, while Chila is a pricey but classy fine-dining establishment.

AFTER DARK Rojo Tango at the Faena Hotel + Universe is one of the city’s sexiest dinner-shows.

INSIDER To the east of Puerto Madero is the Costanera Sur, an attractive promenade running north from here alongside the shore of the River Plate. Come here for the chance of glimpsing Uruguay on the other side of the river, or for the dozens of food carts that line the route, each selling some kind of world-class grilled meat sandwich.