Day One

  • San Telmo

Stroll through this colonial neighborhood's cobbled streets and window-shop for antiques. Come on a Sunday, when the famous Feria de San Telmo street market takes over the neighborhood. Book a tour to the stunning El Zanjón de Granados for a peek into the city's origins.

The colorful corrugated houses along El Caminito are indeed photogenic, though this area is a bit of a tourist trap. It's still fun, however; check out the souvenir shops and artists' paintings and perhaps catch a street-tango show. Art lovers shouldn't miss Fundación Proa, a cutting-edge gallery, while soccer fans can head to La Bombonera stadium and visit the Boca team's Museo de la Pasión Boquense. But don't stray too far from the tourist hordes; La Boca is at times a sketchy neighborhood.

  • Dinner Reserve for Café San Juan, serving exceptional international cuisine.
  • San Telmo

If it's Wednesday, take a tango class then watch the dancing and the live tango orchestra at Maldita Milonga. Or go drinking at one of the many great watering holes in the area, such as Doppelgänger, an upscale cocktail bar.

Day Two

  • Palermo

Walk (or take a bike ride) along Palermo's Parque 3 de Febrero, where you can also visit a rose garden, botanical garden and Japanese garden. Bike paths are laced throughout.

  • Lunch Big Sur is great for a burger and a pint of craft beer.
  • Palermo

Visit MALBA, a beautiful art museum showcasing the collection of art patron Eduardo F Costantini. The Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo is another must-see; it's a beaux-arts mansion that once belonged to a Chilean aristocrat, and is full of his posh belongings. Finally, Evita fans can't miss Museo Evita, which chronicles the life of Argentina's most internationally famous woman.

  • Dinner For an excellent steak, get a table at Don Julio.
  • Palermo

Palermo is nightlife central. There are dozens of bars to check out, and people come from all over to dance at the famous clubs here. Begin with wine at Pain et Vin then head to Uptown for cocktails and dancing.

Day Three

  • The Center

From leafy Plaza San Martín, walk south on pedestrian Florida and experience masses of people shopping, busking, selling or just power-walking to their next destination. You'll eventually come within a block of Plaza de Mayo, the heart of Buenos Aires. This historic plaza is surrounded by Casa Rosada, Catedral Metropolitana and Cabildo.

  • Lunch For outside seating and fresh offerings, try i Central Market.
  • Puerto Madero

Lined with renovated old brick warehouses, Puerto Madero is replete with fancy lofts and apartment towers, plus some of the city's most expensive (and some say overpriced) restaurants. It's a very scenic and pleasantly vehicle-free place to stroll the cobbled paths along the dikes. Art lovers shouldn't miss Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, highlighting the collection of Argentina's wealthiest woman. For a shot of nature, visit Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur.

  • Dinner Casual but excellent Peruvian can be had at Chan Chan.
  • Congreso & Tribunales

Take in an opera, ballet or classical-music show at Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires' premier theater. The traditional entertainment district of Avenida Corrientes still hops these days, showcasing many films, art events and plays.

Day Four

  • Recoleta & Barrio Norte

Explore Recoleta's famous cemetery; you can wander for hours among the crumbling sacrophagi and marble angels. It's a veritable city of the dead, fascinating and mysterious; to seek out Evita's tomb, just follow everyone else.

  • Lunch Have empanadas at El Sanjuanino, one of the area's few cheap eateries.
  • Recoleta & Barrio Norte

Check out the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina's top classic-arts museum. Just north is Floralis Genérica, a giant metal flower whose petals open during the day and close at night (when the gears are working!). And if you've got the bucks, the city's most expensive boutiques are along Avenida Alvear, worth a stroll to eyeball some huge old mansions. Visit Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernández Blanco and Palacio Paz, in nearby Retiro, if you like gorgeous palaces filled with antiques.

  • Dinner Looking for the locals? Then head to classic Rodi Bar.
  • Retiro

Time to drink up: Florería Atlántico is a basement speakeasy located within a flower shop selling cocktails and house-brewed gin, while BASA Basement Bar is a fashionable restaurant-bar selling excellent (but pricey) Moscow mules.