Argentina is famous for football, steak and Tango dancing. But there is so much more to see and do in Argentina´s capital Buenos Aires. Here are my top 10 activities:
What to see and do in Buenos Aires
1. Visit Buenos Aires' famous harbour area "La Boca"
The harbour area La Boca is one of the most famous areas in Buenos Aires. It is said that, a long long time ago the tango was born here. Moreover, in the 80s and 90s the world famous football player Diego Maradonna celebrated his biggest successes in La Boca with the football club Boca Juniors. Today it is famous for the colorful pedestrian zone „El Caminito“. Almost all houses in this neighbourhood are colorfully painted and there are many extraordinary statues, like the one of Diego Maradonna. Furthermore, there are a lot of restaurants, cafés and shops. The home stadium of the Boca Juniors „La Bombonera“ is only 3 blocks away from "El Caminito". But don´t leave the tourist paths because La Boca is still one of the most dangerous areas of Buenos Aires.
2. Stroll around the Cemetery in Recoleta
The cemetery in Recoleta is not a normal cemetery. There are 7000 impressive mausoleums and countless statues. Not the most spectacular tomb but maybe the most visited one of the first public cemetery of the city is the one from Eva Perón (Evita), the former first lady of Argentina.
3. Visit the Library El Ateno
El Ateno at Avenida Santa Fé is one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever seen. Most elements of the former theatre / cinema are still preserved, but the stage was transformed into a café and instead of seats there are countless bookshelves.
4. Enjoy delicious food
In the afternoon the perfect place to enjoy some delicious cake is the most famous coffeehouse of the city "Cafe Tortoni". Sometimes there is a queue in front of the cafe but it´s well worth waiting. In the historical ambiance one feels carried back to long past times. Famous people like Albert Einstein, Hillary Clinton or the Spanish King Juan Carlos also love this place.
At night don´t miss the chance to eat a real Argentine steak; for example in the cool and famous neighbourhood Palermo where you will find many restaurants and bars.
5. Learn how to dance Tango
The best way to learn how to dance Tango is to go to a Milonga which is a Tango dance night. At the beginning of the night a tango teacher will show you how to dance some basic stepts. Afterwards you can start dancing. It is not as hard as you may think! Here you can find some places and dates for Milongas.
6. Cross one of the widest streets worldwide
Avenida 9 de Julio has a width of 140 meters and 14 lanes. Therefore it is one of the widest streets in the world. Moreover many interesting spots are located here; e.g. the Obelisk (a 67 meters high monument), the Teatro Colón (the most famous theatre of the city) and a statue of Don Quijote.
7. Visit the famous square Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo is the heart of the Argentinean capital. The Cathedral of Buenos Aires, Casa Rosada (the Argentinean Presidential palace) and the town hall are located here. It gained worldwide recognition due to the "Madres de Plaza de Mayo". Every week they protested here against the mysterious disappearance of their children. Also today there are a lot of demonstrations. Another nice place is: Plaza del Congreso where the Argentinean Palace of Congress is located.
8. Go shopping on the flea market in San Telmo
Every Sunday at Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo there is a huge flea market. You can shop here or just enjoy the great atmosphere. There are many amazing street artists and tango dancers of all ages showing their skills.
9. Relax in the Japanese Garden
In the Japanese Garden – a beautiful public park – are many (as the name indicates) Japanese elements. For example, gaze at the koi carp in the big pond, the bonsai trees, the peace bell, Japanese sculptures, the Buddhist temples and a lot more. A real relaxing area in the middle of the hectic city.
10. Experience a Percussion Show
Every Monday night at Konex between 7 pm and 10 pm there is a unique percussion show. The 16 musicians from „La bomba de tiempo“ play their drums for 2 hours while the crowd goes crazy and dances the night away. Everything is improvised and thus every show a unique experience. You should NOT miss this!
Day Trip from Buenos Aires
One hour by train away from Buenos Aires is the beautiful town Tigre. It reminded me a little by of Venice. From the train station in Tigre you can walk to the boat berths in a few minutes. During the trip you will see numerous plants a many beautiful villas on wooden pillars like the summer residence of general Sarmiento, who was president of Argentina from 1868 to 1874. As a protective measure the whole house is covered with Plexiglas.
Hostel recommendation Buenos Aires
We stayed at the hostel Portal del Sur. Located in the city center it captivated us with a nice roof top terrace where delicious breakfast was served.
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