Visit and enjoy Buenos Aires like a local: In this guest post, South America travel expert Susana Sandoval shares insider tips on how to make the best of your city trip to Buenos Aires, the Argentinean capital. Learn about when to visit, where to eat and how locals spend a nice Sunday. And just in case you feel like escaping this massive city for a day, we’ve also asked Susana for her favorite day trip. Enjoy!
Susana, what makes Buenos Aires such a popular city destination?
Buenos Aires is a very dynamic city, with great design, European architecture, and of course there is this strong passion for Tango and our infamous night life. Travelers visiting Buenos Aires will find a city whose people tend to be friendly, fun and proud about their city.
Which time of the year do you enjoy the city most?
Spring (September-November): mild weather, “jacaranda trees” bloom and the city turns into green and violet. Beautiful!
Which insider tips do you give your best friends while visiting Buenos Aires?
Visit Recoleta Cementary and spend an afternoon in Plaza Francia area. If you understand some Spanish, take the “Eduardo Lazzari tour”, one of the best in my opinion. Not only because all the history details Eduardo shares about the cemetery but also because he is fun and very “porteño”. Great debates and history gossips!
For contrast, also take the Graffitimundo tour.
Take a Teatro Colon guided tour. Famous for its acoustic, it was re-opened in 2010 after a three-year restoration process. Don’t miss it!
Take a bike ride or head to the sea: Ride a bike around Palermo Woods and/or Coastal Reserve. Or head to Puerto Madero for some sailing or canoeing.
Enjoy the Arts: Visit MALBA (Museo de Arte Latino Americano de Buenos Aires), and pass by “Pacífico Galleries” to enjoy the paintings in the ceiling.
Views! Choose one of the following viewpoints to take a panoramic picture: Edificio Barolo; Galería Guemes or Hotel Panorámico.
Learn some Tango: Take a tango class for beginners and stay after in a “milonga” (place where people dance tango). One possibility is “La Catedral” in the Almagro neighborhood, easy to get from anywhere, with vegetarian menu and in a bizarre but safe building.
Enjoy like the locals: Make a picnic or even “drink mate” (popular herbal drink) at any plaza in Recoleta or Palermo as residents do.
Your favorite restaurants in Buenos Aires?
Steaks by Luis: More than a restaurant it is a great experience of the “Argentine asado” (barbecue) organized by Luis that estimates has been the grillman of over 1.000 asados!
La Cabrera: typical “Argentine parrilla” with plenty of families and groups of friends.
El Cuartito: “Our way to make pizza”
1810 Cocina Regional: I like it because is possible to find old recipes coming from different regions of Argentina that became part of our meals like “locro” (pork and beef stew with beans and corn). My mother cooks one of the best locros I’ve tried but 1810’s is all right as well!
Las Pizarras: Bistro, French cuisine with Argentine influences. Nice and simple atmosphere.
Your favorite place in Buenos Aires?
Palermo Woods. Because it is within the city but allows me to get in touch daily with Nature.
How do locals spend a nice Sunday afternoon in Buenos Aires?
Staying hours in their plazas chatting and drinking mate or going to the north next to the river for canoeing, sailing, sunbathing and by sure making asados (barbecues) for lunches that last until 5 pm.
Your favorite day trip from Buenos Aires?
To: “Delta del Tigre” to spend the whole day
Why: It’s a fantastic place for water sports or to just relax. Tigre is a wetland with dense islands and plenty of activities to do within a great scenery: boat excursions (public and private), canoeing, sailing, walking along the river and visiting Puerto de Frutos (a must) – a daily market set along Luján River where travelers find vendors selling handicrafts and food. Locals go there to find furniture of good quality and low price.
How to get there: Catch one of the new trains of Mitre Line from Retiro Station. It takes about 50 minutes from there to get to Tigre.
What do travelers need to know about Buenos Aires before coming to visit the city?
- US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to obtain a Visa or Reciprocity Fee in order to enter the country. More information: https://www.argentinareciprocityfee.org/faqs/
- USD is much easier to change in the market for AR pesos than any other currency.
- Don’t wear flip-flop sandals at night. People in Buenos Aires are casual but shoes will be much more convenient to enter restaurants and clubs.
- Tap water is perfectly drinkable, so long as you don’t mind its horrid flavor.
- Sometimes men use to whistle at women when they pass by in the streets. Take it as a compliment.
- Steaks are great in Buenos Aires but if you are a Vegetarian, don’t worry! There is good food for everyone.
- Buenos Aires Public Bicycle Sharing System (Ecobici) allows you to take a bicycle for free for an hour, which you can return to any station in the city. More information
Do you speak Spanish? Visit Susana´s blog Viajero Responsable for more information on Buenos Aires and Argentina.
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