Photo Credit: Dario Alpern
Perched on the border of Capital Federal and Buenos Aires Province, Saavedra is a quieter city neighborhood and a largely residential one at that. Its main attractions are two large recreational parks – Parque Saavedra and Parque Sarmiento – and DOT Baires, the largest shopping center in Buenos Aires.
An introduction to Saavedra
Saavedra is situated at the northern tip of Buenos Aires Capital Federal. Within the city boundaries it shares a border with Belgrano, Coghlan, Nuñez and Villa Urquiza. Running along the barrios northern border is Avenida General Paz, after which begin the northern suburbs of Buenos Aires Province.
Alike Nuñez, Saavedra was originally intended to be a small town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and its inception can be traced back to 1873 when Don Florencio Nuñez acquired land from Don Luis Maria Saavedra who was the nephew of Cornelio Saavedra, a respected politician and military officer that played an important role during the May Revolution of 1810. The barrio truly came to prominence towards the end of 1889 with the commission of Estacion Saavedra. Inaugurated on February 1st 1891, the train station grew to provide an important link between the city and northern suburbs.
Today, covering almost 6-sq-km, Saavedra is one of the biggest of Buenos Aires’ barrios and serves predominately as a residential zone. Chances are that at some point you will pass through the barrio en route to the north and, if you have some spare time, it is worth pausing to witness a quieter side to porteño lifestyle.
Things to see, do or both
The main highlight of Saavedra is its two parks, which both offer a place to relax away from the busyness associated with the city. In the heart of the barrio is the oval shaped Parque Saavedra, a traditional neighborhood park with a children’s playground and bicycle path. Keep an eye out for events such as one-day concerts and festivals. In the southwest corner of Saavedra you will find Parque Sarmiento, a huge 70-hectare park. Inaugurated in 1981, with a multitude of football pitches, three swimming pools, a roller skating track, BMX ramps, tennis courts, and other sporting facilities, the park provides an important recreational venue to the area.
If you are in the mood to shop then don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the DOT Baires shopping center. Conveniently located at the junction of Avenida General Paz and Panamericana (a main transitory entrance to the city), the mall is home to high-end and independent clothing shops, sports outlets, bookstores, electronics stores, a food court and cinema. Open from 10am to 10pm, it’s a good spot for a rainy day.
For those that need a fill of culture and history, tucked away in the southernmost corner of the barrio, and at the edge of Parque Sarmiento, is the Museo Historico de Buenos Aires Cornelio de Saavedra. Often referred to as Museo de Saavedra, the museum hosts an interesting collection of exhibits depicting daily life in Buenos Aires during the 19th century and the major social and political events of the time.
Finally, a Buenos Aires barrio wouldn’t be the same without its own football club and Saavedra is the cradle of Club Atletico Platense that plays its games at Estadio Ciudad de Vicente Lopez and competes in the Primera B Metropolitana division, the third tier of Argentine football.
Nightlife and restaurants
Demetria (Ramallo 2626). Just two blocks from the busy thoroughfare Avenida Cabildo, Demetria, with its quaint, leafy interior garden and exquisite menu, would be at home in Palermo Soho. Instead, it attracts those in the know in Saavedra who come to dine on a salmon ceviche with guacamole, and macaroni wheat and spinach risotto with mushrooms. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant welcomes children.
Raices Restaurant (Crisologo Larralde 3995). Housed in an old almacen, Raices is an unassuming restaurant open from breakfast thru dinner. Plates are prepared as an art form with everything from freshly baked croissants to quesadillas and homemade pasta on offer. With 24-hour notice, they’ll even prepare a personalized menu to eat in or takeaway.
Kobashi (Moldes 3921). Sushi has taken Buenos Aires by storm and Kobashi presents a tasty delivery option for those living in Saavedra, or other parts of the city for that matter (check the website for the barrios included in the delivery zone).
Why it’s hot / Why it’s not
Being predominately a residential barrio, Saavedra offers a pleasant respite from Microcentro and the popular tourist barrios. Moreover, in Parque Sarmiento it has one of the largest recreational venues in the city.
One gripe could be a lack of nightlife and entertainment; however, with quick access to Palermo and the northern suburb of Vicente Lopez your options are increased.
Across Avenida General Paz from Parque Sarmiento is Tecnopolis. Opened in 2011 by President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, it is a government funded science, technology and art exhibition center geared mainly towards children but enjoyable for all ages.