We were over the moon when we flew off to Argentina’s capital. We had been dreaming of visiting Buenos Aires for more than 6 years! We came so close to going there many times before, but we had always changed our mind, for no particular reason.
This time, though, it was really happening! There we were, traveling the long distance from Vancouver to Huston, Texas then all the way down to Buenos Aires. We were dreading the long journey. With all the stops we had to make, it would take us more than 26 hours just to get there!!!
Given how far the destination is, I recommend that you plan to spend more than a week there. You know, so you don’t spend as much time flying as you do visiting!
That being said, our 20-day trip in South America started off with … Buenos Aires. HERE WE GO!
I will spare you the details of the long flight and the sleepless night! Actually, we ended up sleeping 4 nights in Buenos Aires (5 days), but since we arrived early afternoon the first day, I’ll let you guess what we did for the rest of the day! We slept, took time to relax, and then we went out for a drink at the “On Tap” pub, that I will tell you more about shortly in my food tour article on Buenos Aires.
That explains my “4-day itinerary” title, since the first day ruled itself out!
HOTEL CASASUR PALERMO
We stayed at the hotel CASASUR Palermo, which is really well located. It is in the Palermo District, only steps away from some of the best restaurants and pubs, on top of being only 800 meters from a subway station. We loved the hotel: the room was very clean, and we even had a little balcony, perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine! What we loved the most about the hotel was the pool. It came in handy to cool off in the afternoon … it was so hot! I suggest you book at a hotel that has a pool if you plan on visiting Buenos Aires during the summer.
PLAZA DE MAYO
It is definitely a must when visiting Buenos Aires. I would even say it is one of the most significant emblems of the city. Many important buildings surround the square, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral that houses the tomb of General José de San Martin, the “Palace of Government” (City Hall), the old national congress building and the Casa Rosada, that I will tell you more about later. You can visit the cathedral for free, and if you get the chance to witness the changing of the guards that protect the General’s tomb, it is really an interesting sight!
The famous pink house! Or should I say palace. It was from that balcony that Eva Perón addressed her supporters who gathered in the Plaza de Mayo. A historical moment in Buenos Aires. She was, for that matter, a real #GirlBoss for her time. Today, Casa Rosada is used as a presidential office, even if the president does not stay there. You can book online to visit the interior of the Casa Rosada for free, on weekends only.
NÉSTOR KIRCHNER CULTURAL CENTER
You will find the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Centre only steps away from Casa Rosada. It was reopened in 2015 after construction work was done to turn it into an art gallery. It is even said that there is a concert hall with 1800 seats inside that was originally built in 1928. Unfortunately, during our stay, the cultural center was in construction, so we weren’t able to visit it. If you have the chance to do so, the admission is free, and you get access to a few art exhibits as well.
An Argentinian emblem! They are everywhere: in bakeries, in restaurants, on the side of the highway, etc. You absolutely have to eat some empanadas during your trip, whether they’re filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. We ate our first empanadas at the bakery Don Blanco Pasteleria, located in the Palermo District. We also tasted very good ones, maybe even the best of the trip, at the restaurant Don Julio.
Where the high society of Buenos Aires lay to rest! A cemetery like no others! It is so well done, with charming and unique little houses. There’s nothing creepy to it. You can walk around for hours in the streets, looking for now-famous gravestones. Try spotting the ones of the couple who hated each other their whole life and who finally decided to build their gravestones facing different directions! We thought it was quite funny.
WANDERING THE STREETS OF SAN TELMO
The district of San Telmo is known for its bright-coloured walls and for its graffiti. Take time to go for a stroll in the streets and admire the culture!
VISITING THE SAN TELMO MARKET
We visited the San Telmo market on a Sunday morning. We had planned it that way because on Sunday mornings artisans fill the streets leading to the market. Therefore, you can enjoy a few kilometers of shopping before arriving at the market. What I liked about this particular market was that the artisans each had really unique products to offer. In other markets, you often find the same things, presented in different ways, but not here! Make the most of it to get unique souvenirs for your friends and family!
EATING A STEAK AT LA CARNICERIA
BOOK IN ADVANCE!! I’ll start with that! We showed up at the restaurant on day 2, waited in line for more than an hour, to end up leaving empty-handed because the restaurant was full … we did, however, make a booking for the next day! We figured it was the least that we could do. And let me tell you that it was definitely worth the wait. It was by far the best steak I had in South America. Even if La Carniceria only has a few dishes on its menu, limited seating and a short wine list, the quality of the place is highly reflected in the execution of the dishes. Order the “steak”, or should I say the huge steak that comes with a side of potatoes and you should have plenty for two people. Our steak was grilled over coals and it was absolutely delicious.
Buenos Aires is known for the quality of its coffee. The people of Buenos Aires are so proud of it that most coffee houses sell their beans, roasted on the premises. So order a good espresso, relax and enjoy the moment!
SHOPPING IN THE OUTLET
To make a long story short, my sunglasses broke, then I lost them!! So we made the most of it by shopping in the Arcos District Outlet. It’s an outdoor shopping center, located in an old train station.
PALERMO FOOD TOUR
It’s on day 4 that we did our food tour! Being a #foodie, I often travel just to eat. No kidding. I love discovering new flavours and trying new restaurants for inspiration. We devoted a whole day to trying different restaurants. The complete article on my food tour in Buenos Aires will come out soon!
WANDERING THE STREETS OF THE RECOLETA AND RETIRO DISTRICTS
The new parts of Buenos Aires are like a mix of Paris and Manhattan. That’s where the rich and famous of Buenos Aires live, for that matter. It’s the perfect place to stroll down the streets and admire the architecture. You can visit the Palacio Paz (former residence of José C. Paz), the Plaza San Martin, the Recoleta Cemetery, as previously mentioned, or have a good time admiring artwork at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
EATING AT THE FOUR SEASONS
When we were in Buenos Aires, it was Valentine’s Day, so we treated ourselves to a good meal at the restaurant Elena at the Four Seasons Hotel. If like us, you don’t have a booking on a busy day like Valentine’s Day, you can simply grab a table at the Pony Line Pub, located near the entrance of the hotel. What’s good to know is that they serve you the high-quality food of the restaurant Elena directly in the pub. You just have to ask. Let me tell you that my boyfriend thought it was the best Valentine’s Day ever! You know, being in a manly pub with top-notch food!
FLYING TO MENDOZA
We ended the day with a flight to our next destination: Mendoza! On top of offering cheap local flights, the airport (AEP) is right in the heart of Buenos Aires! We flew with Norwegian Air for almost nothing!
Overall, Buenos Aires was one of my favourite destinations of our South American trip. I loved the culture, the food, the fact that everything was very affordable… It really is a beautiful city worth visiting. What I loved most was that our Canadian dollar gave us a lot of leeway in the country; therefore, we were able to enjoy high-end meals—that we never could have afforded in Canada—and even a bottle of wine to go with them! I mean, who wouldn’t!
This post was translated from French to English by:
Isabelle, 24 years old. I’m an easy-going girl; quick-witted and a devoted fan of puns. As much as I enjoy staying home binge-watching series and reading novels, I also love traveling and discovering new things.