How to Get the Most Out of a Trip to Buenos Aires

April 23, 2017, 2:00 PM UTC

Come to the capital of South America’s second-largest economy for the strong U.S. dollar, a globally minded reformist President, and visa-free travel. Stay for the café society, boutique hotels, and sensational arts scene.

Related: These Are the Best Carry-On Suitcases

Getting around

Ministro Pistarini International Airport also known as Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires.

Flights from the U.S. land at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, 14 miles southwest of central Buenos Aires. Taxis are plentiful (more than three times New York City’s fleet), and pickups can be arranged inside the arrivals hall. Once in the city, you can get around on Latin America’s first subway system (established 1913) and via more than 180 numbered bus lines, called colectivos or bondis, that run 24/7.

Best business hotels

Faena Hotel's pool.

Philippe Starck’s Gothic-inspired interiors , nightly tango shows, and a see-and-be-seen pool have made Faena the city’s design standard setter since it opened in 2004. Need something more conservative? The historic Alvear Palace just renovated its luxurious suites, while Algodon Mansion provides a townhouse experience in Recoleta, with a wine cellar stacked with bottles from its sister winery in Mendoza.

Where to take clients

People dancing at La Catedral.

Do dinner in Palermo Hollywood at the city’s best new restaurant, ­Lusitano. The pulpo a feira (octopus with olive oil and paprika) is ­fantastic, and the art-filled space looks like the residence of some well-to-do fictional adventurer. Afterward, have cocktails at Florería Atlántico, a cozy speakeasy in the basement of a flower shop, or experience one of Argentina’s cultural institutions, the tango, at La Catedral, a trapped-in-time club in Almagro.

Local gifts

Buenos Aires wine bar.

Argentina is known for gutsy Malbecs, and the smart staff at Pain et Vin, a tasting room and sourdough bakery in Palermo Soho, can help you pick a knockout—or something more offbeat, like a high-altitude Uco Valley Sémillon—from its shelves. The other thing everyone brings home from Buenos Aires? Shoes. Calzados Correa in Almagro has been making men’s bespoke leather boots, Oxfords, and moccasins since 1955, while the famous Comme il Faut is the place for killer heels in tutti-frutti colors and animal prints.

Between meetings

Fundacion Proa exterior view showing main entrance in Buenos Aires.

Experience Buenos Aires’ vibrant arts scene, from outstanding contemporary installations at Fundación Proa to Pasaje Lanín, a street of houses decorated with colorful tile mosaics in the emerging arts district of Barracas. If you have the time, don’t miss the sculpture gardens at Isla El Descanso, a storybook landscape an hour north of the city on the delta of the Paraná River.

Extending your stay

Buenos Aires City Center.

Multiple daily flights make the 55-minute trip to Punta del Este in neighboring Uruguay. Jose Ignacio is a trendy town with wide, windswept beaches, horse ranches, and chic hotels. You can also go by car. From Buenos Aires, it’s a scenic half-day drive.

A version of this article appears in the May 1, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline "Doing Business in Buenos Aires." We’ve included affiliate links into this article. Click here to learn what those are.

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