Buenos Aires: The Paris of South America

Generally when you arrive to Buenos Aires from Europe or North America you are tired. Between 9 to 13 hs on a direct flight and the first thing you want after that long trip is a good shower.

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Then you start discovering the city and you fall in love with Buenos Aires and Argentine people in general. You see the architecture on Avenida de Mayo, Recoleta, Palermo o San Telmo neighborhood.

You do not feel like a tourist here. Due to inmigration during the first half of the 20th century people arrive mostly from Spain and Italy. But actually you have people from different parts of the world that decided that Buenos Aires is their place in the world (China, Russia, Armenia, Brazil, Colombia, US among others ). La Boca neighborhood was settled and built up by inmigrants. Part of La Boca’s color comes from the brightly painted houses of Caminito a two block pedestrian walk way that was once a rail terminus and takes its name from a popular tango song. Also you have The Bombonera ( Boca Juniors soccer stadium ) one of the most important stadiums in the world if you like soccer! A match is a lifetime experience! You will watch fans singing during most part of the match and the vibe is very interesting.

Buenos Aires is a gayfriendly city. It was the first city in Latin America to accept same sex marriage, you will see teenagers on the street holding hands. If you have the chance to meet some Portenos you will see that they are very friendly , warm and remarkably affectionate. Embrancing friendship is an important value for Argentine people and if they are gay or not they always will make you feel very confortable and help you during your stay here. Mostly they speak English and if they don’t they like to practice to improve it.

A must during your stay in Buenos Aires is Recoleta Cementery is best known for its breathtaking necropolis where deceased Argentine elite rest, this place is similar as Pere Lachaise in Paris.

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You can also walk on May Avenue from Plaza de Mayo Square ( you have the Pink House, the Cabildo and the Catheral where Pope Francis before coming a Pope celebrate mass ) to National Congress. You will see Spanish architecture and a must is Café Tortoni the oldest bar in Buenos Aires, once you enter you feel like you were in 1940s.

During Sundays you can enjoy the flea market. Defensa street becomes pedrestrian from Plaza de Mayo Square until San Juan avenue, you can buy antiques and souvenirs.

Comparing with US and Europe in Buenos Aires you go late for dinner, generally you go to dinner after 8.00 pm and you will be surprised watching restaurants with people at midnight (specially on Friday and Saturday ). An argentine barbecue is a must (sorry if you are reading this and you are vegetarian ). You can choose meat, pork and chicken and also for the most courage people you can choose sausages, small and large intestines, thymus gland or sweetbreads, kidneys , blood sausage . You can order a parrillada de achuras and you will have some pieces of each one. Do not miss chimichurri a tasty marinade often made of olive oil, garlic, parsley, red pepper to add it to your piece of food. Served with a good red wine (Malbec or Syrah grapes I usually order ) . If you have space ask for a dulce de leche pancake and you will be in heaven !!!! ( and a few more pounds on your body! ) You have a lot of parrillas, in town to have a good meal.

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Another experience at night is a tango show. You have several options with or without dinner , generally the show starts at 10 pm. If you booked it with dinner some tango houses has the option of a free tango lesson one hour before dinner so you can learn the basic steps and have a moment of fun!.

Puerto Madero is the newest area in the city, during 1990s they recycled the docks near the river and actually you have several restaurants on the area and you will see a modern architecture here. You can take a walk and also go to the Reserva ecologica ( ecologic reserve ) an oasis in the city where you have walking paths.

Palermo is the trendy area and actually you will hear that Palermo is divided in Palermo Viejo ( old ), Palermo Freud ( where mostly of the psychologist are ), Palermo Hollywood ( television producers and some channels are there ), Palermo Queens ( outlet clothes )…..

Also like dinner you go late to dance, generally you arrive at 1.30 to 2.00 am and dance until sunrise! The best option right now are Rheo by Crobar parties. If this is too late for you, you have some irish pubs in town where you can drink a beer and generally you have live bands ( specially during weekdays after office hours you see colleagues from work chatting and relaxing ).

If you want to escape you can go to Tigre city (around 45 minutes from town ) you can go on a tour or by yourself. There you can explore the Delta, you have around 500 islands that people live there year round and you have some restaurants, bed and breakfast or places to relax.

You can visit the city year round, but I do not recommend during summer, unless you love it, because here you can have days of more than 100 f ( or 38 celsius ).

 

Sebastian Strozza

sebastian@heimatours.com.ar

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