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Moving northwest for a more relaxed third day, we visit Palermo, a sprawling neighborhood of upscale apartment buildings, expansive parks and gardens, and several of the city’s most interesting museums. Palermo Viejo, a formerly rundown area, has become the city’s hottest zone for restaurants, boutique shops, and chic little hotels—and its cobblestoned streets and chic venues are perfect for an afternoon of window shopping. 
 
1. Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo
Calling this the National Museum of Decorative Arts does it a bit of a disservice, as it’s better appreciated as an extraordinary private residence with a tremendous art collection, and the only early-20th-century French-styled mansion in Buenos Aires open to the public. The Palacio Errázuriz itself is as rich in architectural detail as the collection of 4,000 Eurocentric “decorative arts” objects it holds. The massive home was designed in 1911 by the French architect René Sergent (1865–1927), also responsible for the building that houses the current U.S. Embassy. The English Tudor two-story Grand Hall, with its massive fireplace, is extraordinary, as is the Louis XV–style dining room. The art collection includes works by El Greco (c. 1541–1614) and Manet (1832–1883), as well as 17th- and 18th-century Flemish tapestries. 
 
2. Croque Madame
Just inside the massive gate to the Museo de Arte Decorativo is this charming, and surprisingly elegant, cafe-restaurant, in a sweet little house with a sweeping staircase, chandeliers, and relaxing outdoor terrace. It’s the perfect spot for a late breakfast or full tea service, but the very complete menu—with pizzas, salads, namesake croque madames and croque monsieurs, risottos, and even fish dishes—makes it a great stop for lunch or dinner, too. 
 
3. MALBA
The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires is in fact the private contemporary art collection of Eduardo Costantini, a local businessman. Major Latin American artists are represented, including Diego Rivera (1886–1957), Frida Kahlo (1907–1954), Roberto Matta (1911–2002), and Wifredo Lam (1902–1982), as well as top Argentine painters such as Antonio Berni (1905–1981) and Xul Solar (1887–1963). In addition to the estimable collection, the building is distinguished by its abundant natural light, a two-story central atrium, and a terrific, sophisticated cafe-restaurant.
 
4. Parque Tres de Febrero
Buenos Aires’s answer to New York’s Central Park is the city’s most prized green space, often called the Woods of Palermo by locals. The sprawling park, designated by President Sarmiento in 1872, features over 405 hectares (1,000 acres) of gardens, three lakes, walking paths, and woods. It’s the city’s lungs, the place Porteños hit on weekends to run, bicycle, go inline skating, rent paddle boats, sunbathe, and stroll. Don’t miss El Rosedal, a lovely rose garden with more than 12,000 plantings, designed by the Frenchman Carlos Thays (1839–1934), responsible for the landscaping on Avenida 9 de Julio and other parks in the city; or the immense statue Monumento a los Españoles, a gift from the Spanish government in 1910. 
 
5. Museo Evita
Eva Perón became a surprisingly pivotal, and lasting, figure in Argentine life for someone who was the wife of the president and died at the young age of 33. This intimate museum dedicated to her life—in a lovely Renaissance-style residence on a quiet Palermo street, which Perón herself appropriated and transformed into a shelter for women and children—goes a good way toward explaining the enduring fascination with Evita. Adored by throngs of Argentine workers and women, her remains took a long and convoluted way to reach their current resting place in Recoleta Cemetery, a tale of intrigue and caper, retold in a short film on Evita’s life. Through it and other exhibits, including remarkably preserved dresses, jewelry, and personal belongings, the museum explains the reasons underlying Evita’s iconic status, reminding us of her work in health care, getting women the right to vote, facilitating access to education for marginalized millions, and increasing wages for union workers. More than a half-century after her death, she continues to divide Argentines, still largely along class lines. 
 
6. Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays
Also conceived by the landscape designer Carlos Thays in 1898, and named in his honor, the botanical garden is a delightful refuge from the city. At one time overrun by a population of feral cats, the spot has been slowly nursed back to health and is again a lovely place to stroll amid indigenous flora, massive trees, and cacti, as well as fountains, statuary, and a charming wrought-iron greenhouse. 
 
7. Palermo Viejo
A formerly forgotten area of rundown, squat buildings, this trendy district—now comprising two abutting districts, Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood—has gotten a makeover in recent years. It’s quickly become Buenos Aires’s hottest barrio, where the chicest boutique hotels, shops, restaurants, and hipster bars have taken root. While the concentration of places to spend your pesos is daunting and the residential towers have moved in with a vengeance, the area hasn’t lost its charm. On a late afternoon, it’s a joy to wander the cobblestoned streets and small alleyways, and take in the shops, many of which are so chic and visually creative that they practically dare you not to step in. Whether you’re shopping for one-of-a-kind handbags and shoes, sheepskin rugs, silver-and-horn trays, or über-trendy clothes, you’ll find it here. The epicenter of life in Palermo Viejo is Plaza Serrano (also called Plaza Cortázar), which on weekends is overrun with tourists and street fairs, giving it a shabbier aspect than the rest of the neighborhood. Look for the quiet pasajes (alleyways) Soria, Russel, and Santa Rosa. Cool cafes, restaurants, and hotels abound. 

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.