In a caotic city where it’s possible to find alternatives almost for everyone, it’s difficult to know where to start, or what to visit. Particularly if you come with a tight schedule and lots of expectations.
Let’s check some travel ideas and suggestions in order to make your visit to Buenos Aires a memorable experience:
- FAMILIARIZE WITH THE MAIN NEIGHBOURHOODS, AND LEARN TO COMBINE THEM:
First of all, is always a great idea to hire a private city tour on your first day of arrival: in half a day you can have an overview of almost all the neighborhoods. So then, you can decide which place you enjoy the most and go there by METRO or BUS (there is a local travel card called SUBE, which allows you to move around by public transportation – and you can easily get it in many kiosks).
If half a day is the minimum time to visit the highlights through a City Tour, let’s say that an average of 3 days is acceptable to visit the main neighborhoods in a more relaxed way. If you want to explore the city from inside, with the secrets of the “porteño’s life”, with its events, gastronomy, and culture, it will be better to spend a few more days, depending on your availabilities (with 1 week you will have a good taste of it).
Downtown – This is the immediations around May Square – host of the most important political events and celebrations of the country. May Avenue connects the Argentine Congress with the “Casa Rosada”, famous for its buildings that date back to 1880 – 1910. You can combine it with a visit to San Telmo or Puerto Madero neighbourhoods.
San Telmo – It is the oldest residential district, with a remarkable local market. The richest families of the city established there since 1600s. It’s next to May Square, to the South. Apart from Downtown, you can combine it with a visit to La Boca.
La Boca – It was the Heart of Argentina’s export- led economic boom (1850 – 1930). “Boca Juniors” football stadium is one of the two most famous stadiums in Argentina. “Caminito Street”, the most famous street, due to its vivid colors, and tango atmosphere.
Puerto Madero – This was a port with docks abandoned for decades, until in the 1990s, a major urban development Project transformed them into modern buildings, which are now a major attraction of the city (particularly for gastronomy). You can combine it with a visit to the Ecological Reserve, or with Retiro as well.
Retiro – It is a major transportation Terminal and connecting point, especially for trains and long-distance buses. It houses the tallest buildings of the financial and commercial centre of the city. This is actually a very very short visit, as it’s only a few sites to see.
Palermo – This residential neighborhood is known for its enormous parks. “Palermo Chico” is known for its stylish residential mansions. Palermo is like a city itself, with different sub-neighborhoods in it. It’s a little bit far from the rest of the neighborhoods, but you can combine it with a visit to Belgrano and Nuñez, 2 places on the outskirts of the city.
Recoleta – Its museums, cemetery and beautiful French style buildings make it the most distinguished neighborhood of the city. You can combine it with Retiro and Palermo.
EATING IN BUENOS AIRES
Buenos Aires has 11 of the best 50 restaurants of Latin America, and has been named as the Iberoamerican capital for Gastronomy in 2017. There is a vast list of alternatives for food in Buenos Aires –not only the classic pieces of meat or pasta, but also those hidden markets of local or international food including vegetarian alternatives.
The most popular treats of the zone includes the “Asado” (BBQ) with their different meat cuts, “Empanadas” (small pies) with different fillings, “Dulce de Leche” (local variation of caramel), “Alfajores” (a delicious combination of cookies and dulce de leche), Pizza and Pasta, among many other options.
The Red Wine – Malbec, originally from Mendoza- is the perfect option to accompany the Asado. It is also important to mention the importance of the ‘Mate’ as a National Icon because this local infusion is to symbolize the social union of the Argentine people.
In all the neighborhoods you will find a bunch of good places to eat, but we can also give you a few suggestions:
For asado: Gran Parrilla del Plata (San Telmo), Don Julio (Palermo), Cabaña Las Lilas (Puerto Madero). For Pizza: Las Cuartetas (Downtown). For Ice Cream: some of the chains such as “Chungo”, “Munchis” or “Persico”. For Pasta: La Parolaccia (Trattoria).
- ENTERTAINMENT IN BUENOS AIRES
The alternatives for having fun or getting inspired in Buenos Aires are unlimited, and you should consider to take advantage of some of the following ones:
Exploring the Tango world through lessons, visits to “milongas” as La Viruta, or Tango Show Dinners in places such as La Esquina de Carlos Gardel.
Visiting the Teatro Colon (particularly if there is an event on that day), is an inspiring experience for the classic traveller, whereas listening to some live music in places like “La Trastienda”, can give you an approach to the local bohemian culture.
Acrobatic events such as “La Bomba de Tiempo” or “Fuerza Bruta”, are good complements for the underground theater plays in places as Almagro. Drinking a Coffee in one of the “Cafés Notables”, getting cooking lessons, seeing the graffiti’s (really pieces of art) on the streets, or immersing in the popular local markets looking for bargains, are experiences that can leave you a particular taste of Buenos Aires.
If you are lucky, you will be able to witness some of the frequent manifestations (or celebrations) that take place regularly in Plaza de Mayo or the Obelisk. And last but not least: don’t miss out your chances to cheer up for one of the local football teams in a game!
- EXCURSIONS IN BUENOS AIRES & SURROUNDINGS
There are also many other places and things to do in the surroundings, for instance, visiting the Tigre Delta with its hundreds of Islands, or going on a full day excursion to Colonia (Uruguay), or following the Gauchos footprints in an Estancia in San Antonio de Areco.
All this and more, opens up every year to all those who visit us from different parts of the world. To improve your chances of optimizing your time by getting the best advice, is always recommended to get services through a local travel agency or a travel expert.
BONUS TRACK: SOME FUNNY LOCAL SLANG
“Che”: hey/buddy, this is super popular. Guess why “Che” Guevara was called “Che”…
“Bondi”: local bus.
“Birra”: beer, cerveza.
“la Posta”: the truth. Tell me “la posta”.
“Quilombo”: a mess, this is a total mess.
“Chamuyar”: to lie with style. If someone wants to cheat you, you can say: “no me chamuyes, che!”
“Ni idea”: I don’t have a clue/I don’t know.
“Pibe”: young man, in an informal way.