We were very excited to arrive in Buenos Aires. Our friends Jon and Stef have been living there for almost a year so we were excited to see them, and we were going to stay in one place for five whole days! We could feel the buzz of the city as soon as we arrived. Jon and Stef were amazing tour guides and we really enjoyed wandering around the city for a few days. Here are what we believe are the highlights of the city.
We met at Plaza del Congreso for a free daily walking tour (tips are requested at the end). The morning tour was focused over some of the governmental and political history of the country. Their government has a lot in common with the US (except with a few military dictatorships sprinkled in), and their independence from Spain came slightly after ours. We saw the Congress Building and Pink House (where the president works), along with the famous Obelisk and the Cathedral where the current Pope was the Bishop.
Palermo Parks and Gardens
There were HUGE green spaces between the city airport and our place in Palermo. We suffered through some intense summer heat to see as many of the parks in this area as we could. Walking through the Japanese Gardens and the Botanical Gardens was a great escape from the crowded city streets.
La Bomba de Tiempo
Monday nights at Konex Cultural Center there is a Percussion show called La Bomba de Tiempo. The Konex is an industrial warehouse with a big courtyard where the show takes place. There are no seats, just a stage. Each week they do a different assortment of music and they have guest musicians join them for a portion of the show. Its a unique experience that we recommend young people check out!
Recoleta Cemetery and Sunday Market
There are a few different Sunday Markets in Buenos Aires, but Jon and Stef recommended we check out the Recoleta Market. It did not disappoint. The market offers a lot of art and jewelry, as well as having tons of food vendors. Its also located right beside the Recoleta Cemetery. The cemetery is full of family mausoleums for oligarchs of the city. While pretty at first glance, it can be a little creepy since you can see coffins down in some of the mausoleums. The Recoleta area is kind of touristy, but it also offers a lot of activities. Although a bit of a walk from Recoleta, we visited El Ateneo Grand Splendid later in the afternoon. It was the most amazing theater turned book store!
This was at one point the tallest building in South America. It was completed in 1923 and has many references to Dante's Divine comedy. Certain floors represent hell, purgatory, and heaven, and its 100 meters tall for the 100 cantos of the poem. We took an old elevator to a lighthouse at the top of the building and got some great panoramic views of the city right as a summer thunderstorm was rolling in. With around a third of the entire population of Argentina living in the BA Metro, the city stretched as far as we could see.
Milonga Tango Show
There are two types of Tangos in the city. One is a normal tourist show, often with dinner service. A Milonga is often put on by a local club, where people go to dance and meet people. The entry to a Milonga is much cheaper so we decided against the tango show. After some research Jon and Stef brought us to Villa Malcolm, which is a sporting club open since 1928. It was incredible to watch some of the dancers; the rhythm for Tango is very hard to understand. The dancing started so late, even on a weekday, that we missed the main performance which starts around 1 am. Prepare for late nights in BA!
Jon and Stef directed us to a bunch of great restaurants in the Palermo district. If you ignore the first 1000 pizza and hamburger restaurants, there is some great food in this city!
Güimpi - Empanadas (the main dish of Argentina)
Tufic - Incredible Ice cream!
Casa Munay - healthy!
Tiendas Naturales - healthy!
La Hormiga - Good steaks in a social atmosphere for a great price
Carlitos - Peruvian Restuarant with chicken and ceviche
1810 - Empanadas and wine
NOLA - Yes, that New Orleans. Fried Chicken!
Chris & Taylor
Read our travel blog as we visit three continents in 2017.