Akin to SoHo in New York and the Marais in Paris, Palermo in Buenos Aires has won international renown for its artsy ambiance and independent designer boutiques. A trendy neighbourhood in the northeastern part of the city, the district has, over the course of the past few years, become the heart of Buenos Aires style.
Today, Palermo’s tree-lined streets are filled with brightly coloured houses, graffitied walls and idiosyncratic Argentine boutiques, with independent design shops to be found at every turn. Wandering around the shabby-chic neighbourhood’s sub-areas, Palermo Viejo, Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood, you’re bound to discover some of the city’s coolest enclaves. But for those who need a little guidance, we’ve put together a Palermo shopping guide to point you in the right direction…
Fashion & Shoes
Imagine: crowds of effortlessly well-dressed Porteños, filtering in and out of understated, trend-forward shops in Buenos Aires. It’s not an uncommon sight on Calle Gurruchaga; with its plenitude of specialty menswear shops, the street attracts some of the capital’s best-dressed gents. Felix – think of it as Paul Smith filtered through an Argentine lens – has a great line of hipster-pleasing duds, and parents should note the brand also runs a children’s boutique on nearby El Salvador Street.
Female shoppers also flock to Gurruchaga Street to hunt out stylish pieces (keep in mind that the coolest boutiques tend to lie between Costa Rica and El Salvador Streets). Juana de Arco is one such destination shop: with beautiful, handmade womenswear that boasts colourful prints and comfy materials, the shop will have visitors adopting that boho, distinctly Buenos Aires style in no time.
While Palermo is chock-a-block full of clothing boutiques, it also hosts an array of inimitable footwear shops (Argentina is known for its leather goods, after all). 28 Sport specialises in high-quality, vintage-inspired leather boots and shoes. For something a touch more mainstream, Traza also has quirky and inspired seasonal collections that are thoroughly on-trend.
Homeware & Antiques
Within two blocks of Palermo Viejo you’ll find three of the neighbourhood’s best homeware shops. Calma Chicha on Honduras Street stocks an eclectic mix of modern goods with traditional twists, like cowhide rugs, gaucho bags and other distinctly Argentine accessories.
Around the corner is La Pasionaria – a veteran boutique in Palermo – that was set up 20 years ago as a bric-a-brac vintage shop. Nowadays it is one of the district’s best-kept antique secrets.
Hang another left and you’ll be back on Gurruchaga Street, where you’ll find Pehache. Decorated like a traditional home, the shop is decked out in a wonderfully captivating mix of chic furniture, token fashion pieces, and effortlessly cool home accessories, meaning it can be tricky to stay focused.
Complete your homeware tour with a trip to the unmissable boutique Wathemala. Located slightly further afield, the shop is a destination for all things interior-décor, stocking a line of modern household objects with antique twists. Come here and dig through vases, candleholders, and teapots galore.
Whether you’re coming to Buenos Aires for the very first time or are making a return trip to bolster your wardrobe and redecorate your home, plan on devoting at least a day to a wander around Palermo.
Words by Sophie Cater
Feature image © George Doyle/iStock/Thinkstock
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