Highlights in Buenos Aires

31. January 2019

We stayed for twelve days in this gigantic town with its almost 15 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.

We explored the city, enjoyed the pool and the gym, worked and went out. We went out with an Argentinian couple we had met in the Tairona NP in Colombia, with a Swiss couple we had met on the free walking tour and on several nights with an awesome Kiwi travel couple we had met on Instagram (www.generationexplorer.com). Thank you again Faye and Jyles for those great evenings we spent together and we are already looking forward to see you again.

As already mentioned, this city is enormous and super-hot in summer and to save you some sweat we present you our top things to do in Buenos Aires (BA):

Get excited at a Tango Show:

Tango is Argentina and Argentina is Tango. There is no way you will ever understand the culture of this country without experiencing their famous dance. We went to the Show “Señor Tango” as it is rated the best Tango show in the city and it absolutely fascinated us.

The show started with horses as the farmers were the first to dance the tango and it ended with Evita the iconic former first lady of Argentina. In between some of the best tango singers and musicians mystified us with their voices and strains. And of course there was dancing. So much dancing of such an elegance and expression that we totally fell in love with Argentina.

 

Listen to the stories of the Recoleta Cemetery:

Recoleta is not only the oldest cemetery in BA it is also one of the biggest and most beautiful outdoor museums in the world. Many rich families are buried here. And because they wanted to make sure that their grave represents their social status, the cemetery is full of unique statues and stone carvings. But to really dive into its history it is best to book a tour. We did our tour with Guru Walking tours and learned more stories and legends as we could have ever found on the internet.

For example, there is the story of Evita. She was of great symbolic value. The dictator that took power after her husband smuggled her dead body to Italy and buried her under a false identity. Her supporters were so desperate to get her back that they kidnapped the dictator. But even when threatened with death he couldn’t give them the location and so they killed him. After his funeral at Recoleta they stole his body and finally managed to exchange his body for the body of Evita who was then buried on Recoleta as well.

 

Explore Boca:

Boca is beautiful and colorful and even used to be its own republic – for one day. It is also home to the Boca Juniors and their impressive stadium. But as we are not that much into soccer we preferred to explore Caminito. It is the most colorful of its neighborhoods! A local artist at one point thought that the suburb needed an upgrade. He started to paint all its walls and stetted up a stage where other artists could perform. One of them even composed a famous song by the name of Caminito.

 

Eat steak and go out in Palermo or San Telmo:

Argentinian steaks are said to be the best in the world. And where better to eat them than in Argentina. The difference to Switzerland is, that a regular filet weights about 400 grams and the price tag is way lower. I guess we will never be able to eat steak again in Switzerland. And of course, you have to combine it with an Argentinian wine – preferably a Malbec.

Our steak night in Palermo started in hell but ended in heaven. First, they only gave us a table when we agreed to leave in an hour, then the waiter was super unfriendly and then we couldn’t order grilled veggies because there was apparently no space on the grill. But then they served us one of the best wines and one of the tastiest filets we’ve ever had. The grilled veggies suddenly arrived, the waiter changed to quite friendly and the starter and champagne was on the house. It was the most welcoming change we could have hoped for.

Besides steak restaurants, Palermo also offers great bars and gelaterias which we explored with our Argentinian friends on another night but had to go back to several times.

 

Shop and eat at San Telmo Market on a Sunday:

On Sundays there is a huge fair around San Telmo. They sell all sorts of antiques and second-hand items and a lot of street artist present their skills. You can listen to local singers and musicians, watch a tango show or stare at the living statue of a busy pedestrian. There are hat stores and cafes and when the fair ends you best make your way into the San Telmo Market where you can eat through the food culture of BA.

 

Cross Avenida 9 Julio and Puente de la Mujer:

This street is as immense as the city and the people of BA believe it to be the widest avenue in the world. Even though they know that there is a wider avenue in their neighbor country Brazil. But they consider that street a highway. When crossing the street, you are able to see the monolith and the silhouette of Evita on one of the skyscrapers.

About what Avenida 9 Julio is in width, Puente de la Mujer is in length. It’s a beautiful bridge whose shape reminds of a tango dancing couple.

 

Go treasure hunting at the El Ateneo Bookshop and the Galerias Pacifico:

To the El Ateneo you can go because of your love for books or because of your love for architecture, both desires will be satisfied. This amazing bookshop is in an old theatre opening back in 1919. In 2019 it was named the “world’s most beautiful bookstore” by National Geographic. Galerias Pacifico shares this love for architecture and adds luxury to it. It gets compared to Paris’ La Fayette department store.

 

Cool down the Rose Garden or the Aquapark:

Even though this city is so big, there are a lot of green areas in it. And one of the most beautiful ones is the Rose Garden. You can walk around, cross little bridges and inhale the essence of those extraordinary flowers. But make sure that you enter before 7pm because somewhere in between 7 and 8pm they stop letting people in. And in case the shade of the rose garden isn’t enough, we can recommend the Tigre region with its aquapark. It’s a fun experience for kids and everyone who stayed young in his mind. But be sure to bring a lot of patience, because the lines at the water slides can be extremely long.

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