Buenos Aires: passionate, hot, sophisticated, delicious. When arriving in the Argentinian capital, expect to act like the “portenos”, the proud inhabitants of Buenos Aires. For me, that came like a second nature.
If you’re looking for culture, that is the best place to go in South America. As there you’ll find loads of all the goodies in terms of choreography, music, theater, dancing, not to mention the tango scene which is as real as always and for sure not only an invention for tourists. Buenos Aires is vivid, elegant, dramatic, sophisticated, putting together both European and South American vibes together.
Life is not easy in Argentina, but people know how to make their lives as enjoyable as possible. The food is amazing, the “dulce de leche” croissants are the most addictive sweet stuff I could find in South America and just sitting in a café with good book can make your day. Although there are so many temptations in Buenos Aires that you would feel guilty for not checking them all.
Still, it is essential to know where to stay in Buenos Aires, as it’s a huge capital with some areas considered not the safest. We were pretty inspired to stay for a whole week in the Palermo area, with cute chic restaurants, small but very fancy boutiques (not wonder Buenos Aires is one of the most wanted fashion capitals of the world), galleries and vivid squares, animated by street tango performances, jugglers and any kind of street artists you can imagine. If you’re a bit the bohemian type, you’ll instantly fall for the Buenos Aires life style. It’s so charming, so cultivated, so cultural that even the biggest snob will feel small. People like to dress up in here, spend Friday evenings at “milongas” (the most traditional type of tango performances where locals gather to spend some high quality time together, letting their emotions float with the vibe of a passionate story put in music).
If you have just a couple of days in Buenos Aires, don’t miss a walk through the La Boca, the old port district which feels like a jump back in the 19th century, with street tango in front of every restaurant, tempting art galleries and all the goodies of a bohemian quartier.
Still, what I felt the most was that in Buenos Aires I could have lived for a while. The European heritage is strong so that you can feel like in Paris or Madrid, in the heart of South America, in the sense that it very easy to bond with the locals, in all aspects. And this means something after a couple of months spent in Peru and Bolivia. And yes, you might feel a bit snobbish with all that night, cultural life, but consider it as a treat for you, the long term traveler.
Another thing that you should not miss in your dive is go to the Bomba del Tiempo concert, the trance of rhythm in a pure state, how they describe themselves.
Their percussion performance is spectacular, with all those drums and rhythms that make you jump for joy every Monday evening, together with other hundreds of young porteños, crazy about dancing on the rhythm of drums. The next day, if you’re still in the mood for moving, but in a peaceful and relaxed place, you should head to the Japanese Gardens and just chill. For a deep change and ila bocaf in the mood, you should not miss the Recoleta Cemetery an impressive reminder of our mortal state of being.
After that you could try a walk on Avenida Corrientes, one of the most populated areas, where the Obelisc guards the view. Still didn’t drop dead after so much walking and infusing your brain with information? Ok, last recommendation: a contemporary theater play on Avenida Santa Fe, not before indulging yourself with empanadas at one of the many empanaderias you can find on the streets.
So, see, Buenos Aires is not only for snobbish and sophisticated travelers. It is for alternative world wanderers as well, with low budget. Because of the economical ups and downs, porteños have learned about the instabilities of a wealthy life style so that they got to adapt to any conditions, still keeping the passion to live a good life. This is a taste of Buenos Aires where life is so beautiful. Go ahead and enjoy it!