Buenos Aires seems like one of those cities that you could live in for years and still miss half of it. We were lucky enough to stay in two very different neighbourhoods, and I can see how every visitor could leave with a completely different impression of the city. Here are some of the highlights from our stay!
Recoleta Cemetery – This is a must-see on every to-do list for the city and it is definitely worth a stop. The pathways are laid out like city blocks with elaborate mausoleums lining both sides – and it is huge! A very interesting place to have a wander around. There is a stunning variety of architecture on display and some fantastic photo opportunities.
Puerto Madero – The modern restaurants and fancy new condo towers in this area make you feel like you could be in almost any large city. Walking paths line both sides of the river and host a ton of dining options. We wandered around a bit and stopped for a drink and snack at Central Market.
Las Cabras Parilla – After our tasty parilla experience in Mendoza, we were excited to see what the big city had to offer. We stayed in the Palermo Hollywood area for our first few days and there was a great parilla restaurant just a few blocks from our hotel. Las Cabras was already pretty busy when we arrived early on Sunday evening, but we were lucky enough to snag a seat on the outdoor gravel patio. By the time our wine was served a line was forming on the sidewalk, and I can see why! This place has a fun lively atmosphere and tasty food (huge portions of tasty food). We didn’t bother with a salad this time and had the mixed parilla for two…a ton of meats, fries and bread on the side. Come hungry!
Exploring on Foot – We spent much of our time in Buenos Aires wandering around and just taking in the sights – with frequent snack and beverage breaks, of course. It is easy to get around on foot and the subway system is great as well. There are many parks to check out and plenty of interesting architecture, but I couldn’t get over all of the jacaranda trees! Luckily I took hundreds of tree photos…
We stayed in a more touristy part of town for our last few days and were within walking distance of the Florida Street shopping district. Florida is a pedestrian street lined with shopping options and people yelling ‘cambio, cambio ‘ (cambio = change). If you happened to bring some $US with you, this is the place to exchange it for a really good deal, much better than the official rate. If you’re reluctant to deal with these random money changers, a lot of the touristy type shops will be happy to accept your $US for purchases at a decent rate.
San Telmo Sunday Market – If you’re in town on a Sunday, you must check out this market! We didn’t even end up buying anything, but were fully entertained by the spectacle. The market stretches for blocks and blocks, offering arts and crafts, antiques and pretty much anything else you can think of. At one point we were carried along with the crowd into a small plaza packed with stalls and all the vendors seemed to be dressed up in hilarious ill fitting Halloween costumes – very surreal. The crowds can be a little overwhelming, so make sure you stop for a snack or a beer. I’d suggest a dulce de leche filled, chocolate covered churro!
Dinner at Dada – We had a fantastic dinner at this little place on our very last night in Buenos Aires. The service was friendly, we had the perfect table right by the window, and the atmosphere was fun. Oh, and the food and wine were great too! It is a really small little bar/restaurant and by the time we left there were people enjoying their cocktails standing outside on the sidewalk waiting for a table.
Lunch at Moreneta – We enjoyed this little restaurant so much that we went back for a second meal. It was a random pick that we happened upon at an appropriately hungry moment. The menu looked good, the decor was inviting and I was likely getting a little grumpy (too much walking and not enough snacks!). Any grumpiness was soon averted with a delightful glass of wine and some homemade pasta. Yum! The service was friendly and they made sure to send over their best English speaker so that we could fully understand the menu.
We said our farewells to Buenos Aires with a final sunset beverage on the Moreno Hotel’s rooftop patio. I loved the art deco details and super spacious modern suites at this hotel, and the rooftop views were pretty spectacular too!
Stay tuned for the final stop on our South America adventure – Uruguay!