Buenos Aires. Jan 9 – Jan 13, 2012
On January 9, after a 25 hours (!) flight I arrived to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is a vibrant city with night life, a lot of traffic, bars and restaurants. The city looks very European. You could believe that you are in Madrid or Barcelona. I was wondering how well Argentina is going just ten years after the very deep economical crisis they underwent in 2001.
I have used in BA for sightseeing the tourist bus called “Buenos Aires Bus”. The bus is open roofed but if it rains they have a kind of soft top that they would use. It starts at Florida and Roque Saenz Pena and has 20 stations in
the whole city. You can get on and off whenever you want. The buses come every 20 – 30 minutes and have fixed stations. The stations are marked on a map that you get when you buy the ticket. An one day ticket costs 70 peso and a two days ticket 90 peso. I’ve bought a two days ticket. On the second day I’ve used the bus just to reach some places where the subte does not go (eg La recoleta and San Telmo).
Visited Places in Buenos Aires
Ranking of the visited places according to the degree I’ve liked the place. Best ranking is five stars.
La Recoleta cemetery is one of the top sightseeing points in Buenos Aires. It has ca 4500 graves and most of these graves are built like a mausoleum or a greek temple. It is unbelievable to walk within a cemetery through a street with 5 m high buildings and impressive statues. On some of them there is a plate with the architect’s name like on a normal building. Amazing. Most of the tourists search for Evita’s Peron grave. She is burried there, however in the grave of the family Mendez. That’s why it’s difficult to find her grave. However if you see a crowd of tourists in front of a grave, go there, it’s probably her grave.I have loved the Recolta district too. Very pleasant.
Boca Caminita (*** out of max 5 – not safe for tourists). Boca was founded by Italian immigrants. The most important building is obviously the soccer arena called “la bombonera” (the bonbon box). It is paint in the Swedish national colors because the first ship which arrived in the building year in the port was Swedish.
Some houses are very fancy paint apparently by using colors left after painting the ships. The sidewalks are very high (ca 50 cm) because of frequent water inundations in the past.
Unfortunately only two-three streets have been refurnished the rest seemed to me unsafe. Avoid leaving the touristic streets.
Complejo Pacifico (***** out of max 5) – wonderful mall with an excellent food court on Florida and Corrientes. I ate there several times.
San Telmo (**** out of max 5). Plaza Darego is nice with a daily market and lots of antique shops. On Plaza Darego in the evening, street musicians and nice bars/restaurants.
El Ateneo (***** star out of max 5) is a wonderful bookstore at Santa Fe and Callao. It used to be a theatre and is now a bookstore now the people seat in the former boxes and read books. The english newspaper “The Guardian” ranked it the second nicest bookstore in the world.
The botanical garden (***** star out of max 5) at Santa Fe and Samiento is a green oasis with a lot of wonderful large trees in the middle of the rush hour traffic. (no entrance fee!!).
Viejo Palermo(**** out of 5) nice and fancy district, similar to New York Soho.
Puerto Madera(**** out of 5) – newly built, trendy quarter by the sea with a lot of skyscrapers. The streets have names of women. Punte de La Mujer (Women’s Bridge) has been built by the spanish architect Calatrava and symbolizes a tango dancing couple. A lot of expensive restaurants by the water.
I attended a wonderful tango show at Complejo Tango (***** out of max five). The dancers move sometimes their legs so fast that you even don’t see the motion. At the end of the show the dancers asked the spectators to dance with them. I was very glad that they didn’t ask me to do so.
Another wonderful place is Cafe Tortoni on on Av de Mayo 829 an amazing art nouveau coffee house totally in wood.
Teatro Colon asks from foreigners 110 peso (20 euro, 25 USD) entrance fee just for the visit (not for the show) Which is incredibly expensive and I did not want to pay.
What I have liked in Buenos Aires
A lot of life, a lot of restaurants, bars, shops, a lot of traffic. A very vital city.
Wonderful old coaches in the subte (subway, see photo below).
- A lot of poor people camping in nearly each park. They do not bother you (during the day) but you do not feel comfortable if you pass along with a 1000 euro camera.
- The rubbish on the street is being crawled by poor people in the middle of the street.
- I’ve heard from three different tourists who got robbed on the streets/in the parks by people using the “spitting-trick” in BA.
My Hotel in BA: A&B Internacional
Location: **** (out of 5) located 200 m from the subte „Congresso“ and from the touristic bus station. A lot of food shops, resaturants and bars around.
Service: **** (out of 5) good breakfast with fressly pressed orange juice. Rooms are clean.
Room, Hotel overall, infrastructure (internet): *** (out of 5): Wlan available, but I could not use it. I have been using the free PC’s in the lobby.Tthere was a strange smell in the room perhaps because of the cleaning stuff they are using. The elevator got stuck several times, but could be easily repaired
Overall rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
My favorite restaurant in Buenos Aires: La Americana – La Reina de las Empanadas, Callao 83, close to Congreso de la Nacion. Speciality: Empanadas
On Jan 13 I flew to Trelew, the closest airport to Puerto Madryn.