Week 2 of 10 in Buenos Aires
Classic European architecture, massive tree lines streets, new meets old, modern meets classic, Argenitna’s Capitol city is the birthplace of Tango and home of the current pope is a great place to start your South America adventures.
I meet up with my parents in Buenos Aires where we rented a two bed room apartment in Palermo Alto neighborhood, next to the charming hangout Parque las Heras for 10 nights ($600 USD total). We are here for 10 days and there is plenty to do and see, Buenos Aires (aka BA) is my new to my list of great big cities, I could totally live here.
Culturally akin to Spain with large late lunches around 2pm and late night dinners around 10pm Buenos Aires has a lot going on. It’s easy to get around on the bus lines. Purchase a Sube Card ($30 arg) and charge it in Lottery shops, tinny tucked away keosis and hidden in plain site. At around $0.50 USD per ride ($3.5 Arg) sort our your rough on Omnilineas.com the easiest way to see the city. We caught the bus at midnight after the tango show and felt completely safe.
The biggest challenge in Argentina is the currency, constantly in fluctuation and available at bank rates ($8.5usd to $1usd) and “Blue market” rates ($15Arg to $1usd) you need to bring Dollars in Cash to take advantage of the
black blue market. Our apartment doorman has been particularly helpful with this.
Recoletta is a posh neighborhood in downtown and the Recoleta Cemetery – and the grave of Eva Peron “Evita” – is the best site in all of BA. The cemetery was unlike anything I have every been to. Lunch at Recoletta neighborhood Rodi Bar, an outstanding traditional Argentinian Parilla Steak House, reasonably priced with an atmosphere of a French Brassere. Or try the famous El Sanjuanino excellent Tameles, Empinadas and low low prices.
Another walk to the Hotel Palacio where my dad’s grandparents stayed when they visited in 1952 – we still have the room card – and had fantastic drinks and snacks in the bar, which I am certain has not changed since my great great grandparents time (though I am sure they had a pack of cigarettes and several martinis to my one gin and pomelo juice). We made the mistake of walking all the way back to Palermo on shopping street Santa Fe, let me save you the time – the same shops repeat every 5 blocks – you are missing nothing.
The Evita Museum is lovely and the attached restaurant is even better. More of a great restaurant with a museum attached, it was packed with locals for a weekend lunch.
Weekend is shopping time in BA. The San Telmo market is not to be missed. The best outdoor street market I have ever been to. Sunday was so good I already blogged about it.
For high quality hand crafted goods check out the Recoletta Market next to the Recoletta Cemetery, weekends from around 11am until 6pm. It’s a great market if not a little tour bus filled.
Most days we just walked around town and ate amazing food. One of my favorites was Restaurant 1810 rated in Yelp for empenadas that did not disappoint – flavorful fluffy baked amazing. You have to go to a Tango show in Buenos Airea and we enjoyed the dinner and show at Cafe Los Angelitos. I thought that $100 USD per person for dinner and a show seemed expensive, however we were able to get 20% off on tangotix.com and for $80 three course dinner, 1 and a half hour show and UNLIMITED WINE, actually a very good value.
Day to trip to Colonia de Sacramento is tempting, but the fast boat ride will set you back $140 USD round trip and customs takes an hour so it’s better for an over night or combined with Uruguay.
Day trip to Tigre is easy, fun little outing. Tigre is only an hour train ride from Buenos aires and is the gateway to the Parana Delta. Take a boat trip of use the local boat taxies to get to river accessible island, for a Porteno holiday go to one of the many “day park” where you can swim, play tennis use the “beach” or just tan in exclusive access locations. In the Delta you’ll find a quiet mix of the Louisiana Bayou, and spanish islands. – See Tigre Blog
Next week Mendoza and Argentina’s Wine Country.