Buenos Aires, Argentina trip 2016 – Recoleta Cemetery, Plaza de Mayo, Tango Argentina, Caminito
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BA is an amazing city, and I’m proud to call it my birthplace. It’s an astonishing metropolis that looks a bit like Europe, but with an edgy Latin American twist. Porteños (the city’s residents) are passionate, opinionated and – once you get past their hard-city facade – very friendly. I love walking among them along the busy avenues, taking in the street life and often the craziness that goes along with it. This is a very special place, beautiful in its own unique way, resilient and creative. It’s the kind of city travelers fall in love with, dream about and then move to!
Argentina’s famous dance is possibly the country’s greatest contribution to the outside world, a steamy strut that’s been described as ‘making love in the vertical position’. Folklore says it began in the bordellos of long-ago Buenos Aires, when men waiting for their ‘ladies’ passed time by dancing amongst themselves. Today, glamorized tango shows are supremely entertaining with their grand feats of athleticism. You’ll also find endless venues for perfecting your moves, from salons to milongas (dance events) to cafes. Just realize that some people become addicted – and can spend a lifetime perfecting this sensual dance.
Fancy some Indian, French, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Thai, Scandinavian, Mexican, Brazilian, Peruvian, Armenian or American during your stay in BA? No problem. But for many travelers, it’s the city’s carnivorous pleasures that shine. Satisfying that craving for juicy steaks isn’t hard to do in the land that has perfected grilling those wonderfully flavorful sides of beef. Parrillas (steakhouses) sit on practically every corner and will offer up myriad cuts, from bife de chorizo (sirloin) to vacio (flank steak) to ojo de bife (rib eye). Vegetarians, you’ve been warned!
It’s no joke: Buenos Aires is a shopper’s paradise. The city is laced with shopping streets lined with heaps of clothing and shoe stores, leather shops and nearly everything else you can think of. Large shopping malls are modern and family-friendly, offering designer goods, food courts and even children’s play areas. But perhaps the city’s best shopping is in Palermo Viejo, where countless upscale boutiques live; these offer avant-garde clothing, unique housewares and fun souvenirs. And let’s not forget San Telmo, where antiques aficionados flock; the Sunday fair here is famous and entertaining, and will easily fill up a long afternoon.
See in Buenos Aires, Argentina
La Boca has the Caminito pedestrian street with arts and crafts. There is also a river cruise you can take from there where you can see a huge picturesque metal structure across the river. You can try and catch a rowboat to Avellaneda on the other side of the water for 0.50 pesos, but you will have to try your luck as the rower may not allow you on citing that it’s dangerous. La Boca is famous for Tango and you can often catch glimpses of Tango dancers practicing in the streets. If you fancy having a picture taking with a tango dancer you can but expect to pay a small fee. In addition to tango, La Boca is famous for its football, and you can take a tour of the La Bombonera Stadium where the buildings are painted in bright colors.
There is no Subte to La Boca, but many buses go there.
The Cementerio de la Recoleta: This is where all the rich families in Buenos Aires have their final resting places. Expect to see big ornate tombs. Be sure to visit the tomb of Eva Perón, the daughter of an aristocrat and beloved First Lady who, despite having the most visited tomb in the cemetery, is considered by many to be too close toward the people for eternal interment in Recoleta.
The Palermo Viejo district: This is a trendy neighborhood with charming cobblestone streets, bookstores, bars, and boutiques; definitely better than the touristic San Telmo area for a nighttime excursion. The Palermo station, on D line, is the closest metro stop.
San Telmo: Best visited on Sundays when tourists and locals alike flood in to attend the weekly street fair and flea market. Be watchful for good deals, and bring in your own water, as it’s quite expensive here. On Sunday nights, there is a tango performance in the lovely plaza, which is specifically for tourists. (Visit an underground tango club for the most amateur experience. If there is advertising, or disco ball, then it’s not an amateur)