Santa Fé is not a big city, but it is a nice stopping point to break up long bus rides between cities such as Buenos Aires and Córdoba. One day in Santa Fé can give you a great look at this developing city as long as you know where to go and what to do. Here’s a guide for a perfect day in Santa Fé.

Start out with coffee at Tosatadero de Café Iris. This cafe is a nice place to have a quality coffee or smoothie. They have a wide range of coffee choices, all displayed in bean form along the wall in a very artsy way. Many coffee fanatics are thoroughly disappointed by the low-quality coffee that is served in typical Argentine cafes, but Tostadero de Café Iris serves high quality blends made from freshly ground beans.

Santa Fé still holds onto some of the old-fashioned, small town traditions, such as shutting down businesses for several hours in the afternoon. To avoid going hungry or settling for grocery store snacks, head over to El Quincho de Chiquito (Obispo Principe 50) around 11:30 or 12 so you can get a great meal before they close up shop.

El Quincho de Chiquito will provide a refreshing break from all the red meat you have most likely been overloading on in Argentina. This all-you-can eat seafood and river fish buffet serves fresh catches from the nearby river. 

After lunch, walk over to the Ex Estación Ferrocarril Manuel Belgrano on Boulevard Galtrez and Avellaneda. This former train station has gorgeous high ceilings as well as some rusty tracks outside that make a great backdrop for photos. Once you’ve scoped out the area, head into the tourism office to rent a bicycle. The city has a free rental program, so all you will need is your passport and the address of where you are staying. Santa Fé is fairly flat so you can enjoy a leisurely, self-guided bike tour of the city.

Once you’ve returned your bike, go check out the local brewery, Cervecería Santa Fé. This brewery was established in 1912 and chose Santa Fé as their location due to the access to the river water, which is good quality and easier to filter for the beer-making process. Every afternoon they give free tours every hour or so that will allow you to see the processing plant, beer house and beer patio along with a bar where you can enjoy a quick beer tasting. The tours are given in both English and Spanish, so just let them know which language you prefer.

Next up is a boat tour with Costas Litoral; head towards the river to Dique 1, which is right across from the large shopping mall and casino. The boat tours include wi-fi, bar service, and a multi-media presentation. This tour is especially enjoyable at night, when the lights from nearby buildings are shining brightly and reflecting off the river.

Finish your day off with the local specialty: fresh river fish. Hidden away in the Ribera Shopping Mall at local 3-7 is Pacú Restó. Locals claim this is the best place for perfectly prepared fish. The portions are often as big as your plate, but the chefs are more than happy to serve you a half portion upon request.

Santa Fé might not be a bustling city, but it is a lovely place to spend a day. Make sure you stop by to sample some fresh river fish and local beer.