Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic. The name means fair winds, or literally good air, in Spanish. The official name is Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires/Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, also called Capital Federal/Federal Capital. It is one of the largest cities in Latin America, with a lot of cultural offerings, and is the point of departure for travelling to the rest of the country. Inhabitants of Buenos Aires are called porteños, "people from the port", implying that many of the inhabitants are immigrants in some ways or another. Buenos Aires is a singular, open, and integrating destination that allows the visitor not only to view the city but also to have an exceptional urban adventure. (less...) (more...)

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  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
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Points of Interest in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a big city, so check the districts section for detailed listings.

If you are a fan of walking in green open spaces and parks in big cities like Buenos Aires, be sure not to miss a promenade in Palermo, a beautiful area in the northern part of the city. Here you will find not only open spaces to walk in but also a large lake where you can rent paddle boats and a huge flower garden that is free to enter! Although the Japanese and the botanical gardens and the surroundings are very nice, they are also very noisy as several major roads traverse the area. For a quiet, shady walk or jog head to the golf course north of the railway tracks.

Another great place to walk along and experience Argentine street life is El Puerto de Buenos Aires. Its personality however is quite contrasting during the day and during the night.

La Boca has the Caminito pedestrian street with arts and crafts. There is also a river cruise you can take from there where you can see a huge picturesque metal structure across the river. You can try and catch a rowboat to Avellaneda on the other side of the water for 0.50 pesos, but you will have to try your luck as the rower may not allow you on citing that its dangerous. La Boca is famous for Tango and you can often catch glimpses of Tango dancers practicing in the streets. If you fancy having a picture taking with a tango dancer you can but expect to pay a small fee. In addition to tango, La Boca is famous for its football, and you can take a tour of the La Bombonera Stadium where the buildings are painted in bright colors.

The prices for almost everything in La Boca tend to be 2 to 3 times higher compared to the rest of the city. It's very touristy since it is an enjoyable place with some authentic Argentine sights. La Boca is probably best to be enjoyed during the day when the streets are crowded and there are other tourists around, it is generally advised to be avoided at night.

There is no Subte to La Boca, but many buses go there.

The Cementerio de la Recoleta: This is where all the rich families in Buenos Aires have their final resting places. Expect to see big ornate tombs. Be sure to visit the tomb of Eva Perón, the daughter of an aristocrat and beloved First Lady who, despite having the most visited tomb in the cemetery, is considered by many to be too close toward the people for eternal interment in Recoleta.

The Palermo Viejo district: This is a trendy neighborhood with charming cobblestone streets, bookstores, bars, and boutiques; definitely better than the touristic San Telmo area for a nighttime excursion. The Palermo station, on D line, is the closest metro stop.

San Telmo: Best visited on Sundays when tourists and locals alike flood in to attend the weekly street fair and flea market. Be watchful for good deals, and bring in your own water, as it's quite expensive here. On Sunday nights, there is a tango performance in the lovely plaza, which is specifically for tourists. (Visit an underground tango club for the most amateur experience. If there is advertising, or disco ball, then it's not an amateur)

Women\'s Bridge

Plaza de Mayo

Cabildo

Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral

Casa Rosada

Banco de la Nacion Argentina

Obelisco

Teatro Colon

National Museum of Fine Arts

Recoleta Cemetery

Presidente Sarmiento Frigate Ship Museum

Plaza San Martin

Edificio Kavanagh

Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar

Recoleta Cultural Center

Luna Park

Torre de los Ingleses

Uruguay Ship Museum

San Martin Square

Fundacion Proa

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Popular events in Buenos Aires in the near future

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About Buenos Aires

Background

The city is geographically contained inside the province of Buenos Aires, but it is politically autonomous. Its coordinates are 34º 36' S, 58º 26' W.

The city extends on a plain covering 19.4 km (12 mi) from north to south and 17.9 km (11 mi) from east to west.

Approximately three million people live in the City of Buenos Aires (the Federal Capital of Argentina with 202 km² [78.3 mi²]). The City is divided into 48 districts or barrios (neighborhoods). Together with its metropolitan area or Great Buenos Aires (Gran Buenos Aires), this is one of the ten most populated urban centers in the world with over 15 million people. Most of the country's activity is highly concentrated in this single city and its surroundings.

Buenos Aires constantly receives tourists from all over the world and offers a large choice of cultural events, nightlife, restaurants, and pubs. So you can expect good services and a wide range of options.

Buenos Aires also has one of the largest homosexual communities in Latin America and there is a receptive attitude towards gay society in the federal law, same sex marriages are legally performed and recognized in Argentinian federal law. In recent years there has been an increase in gay oriented businesses such as real estate, apartment rental, travel agents, language classes, tango classes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses. Since 2007, the city has seen the arrival of more gay cruise ships, the opening of a gay five-star hotel and a general increase in gay tourism.

Activities

Football Games

Argentina has a renowned football reputation and the sport is big throughout the whole country including of course, Buenos Aires. The capital is the home town of two of the most appreciated football teams in the world, Boca Juniors (which resides in Boca) and River Plate (which formerly resides in Boca, but now resides in River Plate). A game between these two legendary teams is called the "Super Clasico." This is by far the hottest ticket in the city and one of the most intense rivalries in the world, and it is often necessary to buy tickets well in advance. Also, the Argentine National Team is very, very popular. Tickets to their World Cup Qualifying matches can difficult to come by, involve waiting in very long lines, and should be ordered in advance for more convenience.

Argentinian fans are known for their passion and the songs (which are practically love songs) which they sing to their teams. Even if you are not a huge football fan, going to a game is definitely worth it just to take in the atmosphere and to observe the fans singing and cheering. While this is an experience you don't want to miss while visiting Buenos Aires, it can also be dangerous for tourists to go on their own depending on the stadium.

Tourists are often advised to go with large, organized groups with bilingual guides, in particular to a Boca Juniors game. This ensures that you can watch the game in peace and still have a great time. If you want to see a match on your own, the best choice is to see River Plate, in the rich northern suburb of Belgrano. Best to purchase a (more expensive, approx $100 pesos) Plateas (grandstand) ticket rather than being in the Populars (terraces, approx $60 pesos).

In the Plateas you can safely take your camera and enjoy the show. Don't worry about purchasing tickets in advance, often tickets go on sale only on match day, and as the stadiums are huge matches rarely sell out (except the above-mentioned Superclassico).

Tango

A trip to Buenos Aires is not complete without some sort of experience of the Tango, the national dance of Argentina. A good place to go and watch some authentic Tango is at the Confiteria Idéal Suipacha 384 (just off of Corrientes, near Calle Florida). However Tango is best experienced not in La Boca and on Calle Florida, but in the Milongas. A milonga is both a place where a Tango dance will take place, as well as a specific type of tango dance.

Milongas take place either during the day or late at night. "Matinée Milongas" usually start in the early afternoon and go until 8-10PM. They are popular with tourists who may struggle staying up until 5AM every night. Inside a milongas, you will find many locals who will be more than willing to show you how to dance. The night Milongas officially start at around 11, but don't fill up until around 1:30. They may go on until 5 or 6 in the morning. Some Milongas to note are: Salon Canning, El Beso and Porteno y Bailarin.

There are many milongas held in different parts of the city every day. There's a free distribution guide called TangoMap Guide which contains all the information of the milongas day by day, including times and location. This guide also informs about tango teachers and tango shops, so it's the best reference for any tango lover. It is edited by Caserón Porteño, a Tango Guest House in Buenos Aires (http://www.caseronporteno.com) that also gives free tango lessons every day for its guests.

You can start learning tango through the group lessons offered at many studios. Some popular schools are at the Centro Cultural Borges, on the very top floor. It can be very hard to find the actual place as there are some stairs you have to go up, and then you have to go through a museum. Ask the security officer where the "Escuela de Tango" [19] is. Take note that in the summer time the rooms can get very hot. The Centro is within the Galerias Pacifico, the American-style mall near Calle Florida on San Martin. The best way to learn, and the quickest, even if you do not have a partner, is with private lessons. You can find instructors who charge as little as US$40 per hour, all the way up to ones that will charge US$100 per hour. If you want to try the authentic style that the Argentines dance socially in the milongas, look up some of the milongueros who teach tango, like Alejandro Gee, Juan Manuel Suarez, Jorge Garcia, Jorge Kero. They will not only teach you traditional tango or milonga, but you can also find out a lot about the culture by hanging out with them. You can google them up for videos or in order to find them. Many of the more 'famous' instructors command a premium price. Be warned if you start taking tango lessons it will seduce and consume your life and you will then be force to make many pilgrimages back to Buenos Aires to dance.

If you prefer to start taking lessons in reduced groups and have personal attention, there are two tango oriented hotels with professional tango teachers who offer group tango lessons every day (free for their guests). One option is Caserón Porteño (http://www.caseronporteno.com) and the other one

Tango Lodge (http://www.tangolodge.com). You can check the complete schedule for the tango lessons at their websites.

Gaucho party

Spend a night seeing what it is like to be a real gaucho. Live the life of an Argentine cowboy; ride horses, eat traditional gaucho foods, drink traditional gaucho wines, and dance like they used to do back in the day. A great way to get out of the city for a day and see another side of Argentine culture. Great for adults, kids, or anybody who ever wanted to be a cowboy when they were younger.

Skydiving

Buenos Aires hosts exhilarating skydiving activities within its clear blue skies. You can experience a 20 minute flight, followed by a 35 seconds freefall, and a slow descent of nearly 7 minutes to enjoy a breathtaking view. Discover a unique bird's-eye view of Buenos Aires and its expansive pampas as you dive through 3,000 meters (9,000 feet) of open air. There is no better place to feel the adrenaline of a Tandem Skydiving Jump.

Food Tours

Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires [20] leads walking tours around different neighborhoods several times a week. During the tour, participants stop and sample traditional foods at 4 restaurants, 3 parrillas (steakhouses) and an artisanal ice cream shop, as well as learn about the history and culture around Argentine cuisine. The stops chosen tend to be hole-in-the-wall, locals only, establishments not in guidebooks.

Wine events

Argentina is renowned for its excellent selection of wine. The most popular being Mendoza which is rated among the worlds most popular regions due to its high altitude, volcanic soils and proximity to the Andes Mountains. The terrain seems to complement the European grape varietals with interesting notes not present when produced in other climates, this allows the Argentine wine to be positioned in a league of its own.

The best way to experience and understand the selection of Argentine varietals is a wine tasting, which is offered by quite a few companies and bars around the city.

Anuva Wines [21] is one of the best wine tastings in Buenos Aires. They offer you 5 different wines to taste, 5 different food pairing to go with those wines, a general chat about wine culture in Argentina, and much more.

Check Wine Tour Urbano [22] for information on wine tasting events. Usually they are organized in Recoleta or Palermo, and consist of several design and fashion stores along a street that open their doors to wineries who want to offer their wines. Very nice atmosphere, sometimes with jazz and classic live musicians playing in the streets.

Polo

Argentina is well known for having one of the best polo teams and players in the world. The largest tournament of the year takes place in December at the polo fields in Las Cañitas. Smaller tournaments and matches can also be seen here at other times of the year. For news on tournaments and where to buy tickets for polo matches, check Asociacion Argentina de Polo at http://www.aapolo.com/

Around Buenos Aires there are plenty of Polo schools. Most Polo courses run for a week and include accommodation on site. A popular option for a day-trip is Polo Elite [23], who operate polo lessons for beginners as well as guided trips to polo matches. They provide transportation for the 45min drive from downtown to their school.

Another option is Argentina Polo Day which runs professional polo games every day of the year, as well as polo lessons for beginners and pros. Its full day program includes also a typical Argentinean BBQ with unlimited wine and refreshment. The Polo Clinics includes also accommodation. Transportation is provided, for the 45 minutes drive from downtown to their polo ranch.

Puesto Viejo Polo Days [24] is another option. These full day experiences collect participants from the city and take them to a luxury polo estancia in the countryside. They offers transport, snacks, Argentine lunch with wine, lesson, mini match, use of hotel infinity pool, and an opportunity to watch a full polo match.

Gay travelers

In recent years, Buenos Aires has become a popular destination for gay travelers. For international gay travelers, the "Paris of the South" has also become the gay capital of South America. Same sex marriage is legal in the country and you will find the people helpful and amiable. There are many gay oriented services to help you make the best of your stay. There are also many gay or transsexual sexual workers roaming the streets waiting for a lover to come.

If you are looking for accommodations you can start by visiting BA4U Apartments [25] which specializes in finding rentals for the gay friendly community. They can also direct you to tours and services their clients use like Day Clicker Photo Tours

[26] and Pink Point Buenos Aires [27] tourist services. While you are visiting you might also want to stop in to see Chef Mun at the popular closed door restaurant Casa Mun [28].

Helicopter tours

The city of Buenos Aires and its suburban surroundings cover a tremendous expanse of land that cannot be easily and quickly walked, biked, or driven. That is what helicopter rides are for. You can discover Buenos Aires from a unique perspective: see the skyline of Puerto Madero's skyscrapers, the grid of concrete streets filled with taxis and colectivos or buses, the tourist attractions including the Obelisco, Casa Rosada, and Cementario Recoleta. Tour the skies above the human traffic on an exciting helicopter ride, a different way to explore the city.

Golf

You might not think of it as you walk around this big city of skyscrapers, but there is some very good golfing very close by. There are many trips to the golf courses that make it easy and relaxing for tourists to enjoy a day on the green. . Packages include any greens fees, equipment and a caddie who you can blame when you hook that shot into the woods!

Jewish travelers

Buenos Aires is home to one of the biggest Jewish communities in the world and the biggest in South America. There are many sights and activities specifically for Jewish people. There are museums, beautiful synagogues, monuments, barrios and history for all travelers to soak up and enjoy. Tours are given around the city to hit all the major Jewish landmarks. This is a great way to see a different side of Buenos Aires that most people wouldn't think about seeing.

Spas

Recently, more urban spas or day spas have flourished, some of them at large hotels such as the Alvear, Hilton, Hyatt among others. Furthermore, some green spas have opened shops and offer a great range of eco-friendly treatments.

Medical tourism

Making medical procedures part of your overall vacation package is a growing trend, and since Buenos Aires is relatively affordable for Westerners, it is at the forefront. If you decide to go the medical vacation route, there are a number of firms that have established relationships with local medical clinics who can deliver a total package. Make sure you check out the credentials of the doctors and other healthcare professionals before making your decision; that said, Buenos Aires is home to plenty of well-trained doctors with excellent reputations.

  • Buenos Aires City Festivals. Official listing of city-sponsored events and festivals.

Food

While the primary consumption of Argentinians is beef, there are other options in this cosmopolitan city. Italian food is pervasive but in neighborhoods like Palermo, pizza joints are seeing heavy competition from sushi, fusion, and even vegetarian bistros. Just about everything can be delivered - including fantastic, gourmet helado (ice cream).

Meat

You will want to try asado (beef/steak barbecue) at a parrilla, restaurants specializing in roasted meats. There are expensive parrillas, and more simple and cost effective ones, In either case you will likely have some of the best "meat" you have ever tasted. The bife de lomo (tenderloin) is unbelievably tender.

As matter in fact. the first regular refrigator ship is the Steamers Le Frigorifique and Paraguay, that carried frozen mutton from Argentina to France.

Jugoso means rare (literally "juicy"), however the Argentine concept of rare is very different from that of someone from the States (perhaps its a tourist thing, but an American ordering rare is likely to get something between medium well and hockey puck). Argentines cook their meat all the way through, and they can only get away with this method because the meat is so tender that cooking it well does not necessarily mean it's shoe leather.

For Westerners, don't be afraid to order "azul" ("blue"), you will not get a blue steak, more like an American Medium Rare. If you like your meat "bloody", or practically "still walking" it might pay to learn words like "sangre" ("blood"), or to make statements like "me gusta la sangre" ("I like the blood"). Don't be afraid to spend two minutes stressing how rare you want your steak to your waiter- this is something no one talks about in guidebooks but every other American and Brit once you arrive will tell you the same thing, if you want it rare, you have to explain exactly how rare.

Only the most old school parrillas (grills) don't offer at least one or two pasta dishes and pizza is everywhere.

Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires [34] leads walking tours around different neighborhoods of classic parrillas. During the tour, participants stop and sample traditional foods at 4 restaurants, 3 parrillas (steakhouses) and an artisanal ice cream shop, as well as learn about the history and culture around Argentine cuisine. The stops chosen tend to be hole-in-the-wall, locals only, establishments not in guidebooks.

Pizza

Italian and Spanish food are almost native here, as the cultural heritage heralds in great part from these two countries. Other popular meals are pizzas and empanadas (small pastries stuffed with a combination of cheese and meats). They are a popular home delivery or takeaway/takeout option.

Pizza is a strong tradition in Buenos Aires. It comes al molde (cooked in a pan, usually medium to thick crust), a la piedra (baked in a stone oven, usually thin to medium crust), and a la parilla (cooked on a parilla grill, very thin, crispy crust). Best places: "Los Inmortales", "Las Cuartetas", "Guerrín", ·El Cuartito", "Banchero's", "Kentucky".

"El Cuartito" in Recoleta has a delicious "Fugazzeta rellena" pizza. This restaurant can be packed with families and friends even at midnight.

In "Guerrin", ask for a slice of pizza muzarella with a glass of Moscato.

Vegetarian

Vegan food is available at these restaurants:

  • Artemisia - 3877 Cabrera
  • Bio Restaurant - Humboldt 2199
  • Bodhi - Chile 1763
  • Granix - Florida 165 2nd floor
  • Green Life - Paraguay 2743
  • Los Sabios - Corrientes 3733
  • Lotus - Cordoba 1577
  • Prana Cocina Vegetariana - El Salvador 5101
  • Sattva - Montevideo 446
  • Siempre Verde - Arribeños 2127

Sweets

One incredible and typical Argentinian kind of "cookie", is the alfajor, which consists of two round sweet biscuits joined together with a sweet jam, generally dulce de leche (milk jam, akin to caramel), covered with chocolate, meringue or something similarly sweet.

Service

Do not expect service to be comparable to large cities in Europe or in the USA. Don't expect your waiter to take your drinks order when the menu is delivered and don't expect the menu to arrive very quickly. If you want service, attract the waiters' attention, s/he will never come over to take your empty plate etc., unless they want to close.

Patience is the key. Argentinians as so accustomed to the relaxed service that they don't bother to complain directly to the waiter, but only commented toward fellow Argentinans. Speak out to the waiters if you feel it is appropriate.

Budget

There are a lot of al paso (walk through) places to eat; you eat standing up or in high chairs at the bar. Meals vary from hot-dogs (panchos), beef sausages (chorizos, or its sandwich version choripán), pizzas, milanesas (breaded fried cutlets), etc. Don't forget to indulge in the perennially popular mashed squash - it is delicious and often comes with rice and makes a full meal in itself. It is perfect for vegetarians and vegans to fill up on.

Mid-range

You can go to a huge variety of small restaurants, with cheap and generous servings, most notably the ones owned by Spanish and Italian immigrants. There are also many places which offer foreign meals, mostly Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Arabic, Spanish, and Italian.

  • Siga la Vaca. , several locations throughout the city, notably in Puerto Madero and Costanera, offers buffet-style asado fresh off the grill and includes a well-stocked salad bar. Including wine, approximately $80 per person.
  • Las Cholas, Arce 306,  +54 4899-0094. Great parrilla specializing in Northern Argentine found in Las Cañitas. The rooftop seating upstairs is a great environment. Don't expect to see many tourists here, just a lot of Porteños out for a three hour weekend meal. Try the Humita (made with mashed corn, cheese and spices) and Tamales (a sort of flour with minced beef) or anything off of the parrilla is great. Do not skip dessert.
  • Guerrin (pizza), Corrientes 1368,  +54 4371-8141. Go for a great pizza in a really noisy environment
  • El Farol, Estado de Israel 4488 (y Rocamora),  +54 4866-3233. "Typical argentinian food": Spanish + Italian + meat. Very high quality.
  • La Biela (near the Recoleta cemetery). Very nice cafe just outside of the cemetery, shaded by an enormous rubber tree. In very ancient times, it was a saying: If you are not greeted at La Biela, you do not exist. When the bill comes, remember that the largest part of the cost was not the meal, but the right to show yourself there.

Splurge

The most expensive and luxurious restaurants are found in the Puerto Madero zone, near downtown, heading to the River Plate.

But the nicer places in terms of decoration, food and personality are in Buenos Aires/Palermo.

  • The Grill at the Marriott Plaza Hotel. Acknowledged as a five star restaurant it offers the finest international cuisine and is considered among the best restaurants in Buenos Aires.
  • Primafila +54 4804-0055. Av. Puyerredon 2501. Classy Italian restaurant where you will find thin crust pizzas due to their brick-oven (dinner only, not available during lunch hours). Extensive menu including salads, pasta, pizza, meats and seafood. Expect to pay around 20 dollars for a pizza.
  • Cabaña Las Lilas +54 4313-1336. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516. This place had the reputation of being the best place to eat steak in Buenos Aires. The steaks are enormous and succulent. Be warned if you eat here, count on them having to roll you out as you will be near explosion (prob best to wear trousers with elasticated waists!). Its a constant struggle not to stuff yourself with the mouth watering appetizers before your steak even arrives. When it does, you may chuckle at the little plastic cow figurine jabbed into the meat, smiling at you and bearing the words “Estoy jugoso," - "I am juicy" (meaning rare). Count on spending around 85 pesos for a steak, 12 for a beer, and 80 for a bottle of wine from their extensive list of Argentine and international vintages. You can also share an order of steak, which the restaurant will serve on separate plate. The doneness is different in Argentina than in the U.S., for medium rare, order rare.
  • Restaurantino & Cafetino +54 515-0707. Olga Cossetini 791, Puerto Madero East;. In this up scale Italian restaurant expect to find cloth napkins, fine silverware and snooty waiters in starched uniforms and long aprons. As alluring as these characteristics sound the real highlight is the food which is rich and decadent. Wide selection of main courses including fresh pasta in homemade sauces ($15–30AR), traditional chicken dishes including Chicken Marsala $20AR-$30AR), and a variety of meats including Argentine parilla style steaks ($35AR). The menu of seafood is worth considering with rareties such as fresh Yellow-fin Tuna steak in a pesto sauce ($30AR).
  • Rodizio (is THE place to go if you want to eat the world famous Argentine asado. It is not cheap, but you can eat as much as you can of the highest quality steak, which is served in 'swords'. There are 3 branches: Puerto Madero, Costanera Norte (unbelievable view to the coast line). And a recently opened one in the tourist city of Mar del Plata.

Drinks

The main areas to go out are: Puerto Madero, close to the Casa Rosada. Safe during the day and night, due the obvious reason (Casa Rosada). At Recoleta area (close to the famous cemetery) there are also plenty of restaurants, bars and a cinema complex. This area used to be trendy but it is now mainly for tourists. Palermo SoHo and Palermo Hollywood are full of trendy stores, restaurants, and young and trendy bars. Palermo Las Cañitas is another nice area close to the Polo stadium. Also, San Telmo has a very bohemian, and very fun, nightlife scene. Buenos Aires has a popular cafe culture.

  • Cafe Tortoni Avenida de Mayo 829 between Piedras and Tacuari. Opened in 1858. The hot chocolate is incredible.
  • La Biela Quintana 596 and RM Ortiz. Luxurious. You can sit outside underneath a huge ancient ficus tree for a little extra cost.
  • Las Violetas, Av. Rivadavia 3899 (Esquina Medrano). A lovely cafe, a bit off the beaten (tourist) path but you can take the oldest subway line in the city, Line A, to get there. Well worth the trip.
  •    Krakow Café Bar (Krakow Bar), Buenos Aires, Venezuela 474, San Telmo/Monserrat (betw.Defensa & Bolivar),  +54 11 4342 3916?. 6pm-3am, F,Sat to 5am. This popular pub offers the best selection of tap beers in San Telmo, a huge variety of cocktails and top shelf liquors in a beautiful period location. Great European menu includes moderately priced tapas, picadas, pizzas, hamburgers, mains and Polish specialties. An international crowd enjoys a large projection screen for sport events, Nintendo Wii, board games, free WiFi and comfortable sofas in the living room/club section of the pub. The staff is multilingual and modern music is kept at the right volume. Happy Hour is every day till 10PM.
  • Confiteria Ideal is ancient and less modified but full of character; located at Suipacha 380.

Clubbing

Buenos Aires has a great variety of clubs and discos that are open until late hours (6AM or 7AM) and bars that stay open 24 hours a day. Have in mind that at closing times the streets will be swarmed with people trying to get home, so it isn't easy to get a taxi and the public transportation will be very busy.

Young teens are used to staying out and by-passing the little security, so be cautious when engaging girls in provocative clothing. They might try to hit off with foreigners as part of a dare with their friends. The famous Palermo Barrios (SoHo, Hollywood, Las Cañitas or simply "PalVo") have many hip restaurants that turn into bars as it gets later.

  • Pacha +54 4788-4280/95. Av. Costanera Norte y Pampa, A world renowned chain of club has a franchise in Buenos Aires showcasing local and international DJ's.
  • Casa Bar +54 11 4816 2712. Rodríguez Peña 1150 (@Santa Fe), Recoleta, Popular Recoleta bar with a fantastic international beer and liquor selection, excellent American-style bar food, DJs and live music and all international sporting events on several large flat-screen TVs on the first floor and a huge projection screen on the second floor. Happy Hour specials seven nights a week from 7PM until 11PM and other drink and food specials are announced daily.
  • Bahrein. Lavalle 345, Microcentro. Metro Line B, station Florida. One of the trendiest clubs in Buenos Aires with a good selection of electronic music. Tuesdays are popular among locals, with accelerated drum & bass rhythms. Thursdays are also a good option. The club is located within an old bank building, check the vault in the bottom floor.
  • El Alamo +54 11 4813 7324. Uruguay 1175, Recoleta. Free beer for girls M-F until 11PM and cheap prices all the time. Satellite quality feed on 10 large flat screen TV's.
  • Jack the Ripper +541148167508. London style pub in the heart of Recoleta. Libertad 1275.
  • Late Night Tango Late night tango shows are also very popular among tourists and locals alike. They often include dinner, a great show, dance lessons, and a few complimentary drinks. The dancers are all professionals and bent on putting in their best shows every single night. These shows start around dinner time, but can go well into the night. They can be a great starting block for the rest of your crazy night in Buenos Aires.
  • Magdalena's Party +54 4833-9127. 1795 Thames y Costa Rica, A social bar with an "indie" crowd in Palermo SOHO with live DJs on weekends. They serve American style brunch on weekends.
  • crobar +54 4778-1500. Paseo de la infanta, Palermo, A large night club located near the Palermo lakes. Known for their international DJs and electronic music.

Rock Concerts

Buenos Aires has a tradition of rock concerts going on all the time. Most of the time top international artist include several dates on their tour in Buenos Aires. Football stadiums are frequently used for the concerts. People from Argentina is oftem claimen as "Best crowd of the world" because of their behavior in Rock concerts. They constantly jump, sing as loud as possible, do Pogos (They usually push each other while jumping following the music,but it's not a kind of violence, it's a friendly and common thing), they also do Moshpits, and sometimes, Walls of death. If you're not accustomed to this, we recommend not trying to get to the front row because there is where it happens. People don't stop for a second not even to take pictures. Fans also go to the airport to receive artits and give them gifts, take pictures and ask them for sign things. They follow them to their car/van and sometimes they even follow it. Many artist also love Argentinian crowd, for example: Foo Fighters, AC/DC (Who made a live DVD of 3 sold out concerts, called "Live at River Plate", in 2009, sold in 19 countries), etc.

Shopping

Opening times

Shops at shopping malls and Supermarkets are usually open from 10:00 to 22:00 hrs, 7 days a week. Non-chain, small stores usually close around 20:00 and stay closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays except on big avenues and touristic areas. All of the main avenues are full with kiosks and very small convenience stores that stay open 24 hours. You will find no less than 2 for each 100 meters you walk. In the Recoleta area, several bookstores and record stores close as late as 2:30AM daily.

Money

The Argentinian currency is the Peso (Argentinian Peso; ARP). A 100 Pesos bill can be hard to break, so avoid changing round numbers so you get some change (e.g. when changing money change the amount that will give you 90 Pesos instead of 100 Pesos). Coins are rare and they are required for buses, so try not to spend them in stores.

Exchanging money

Money can be exchanged at Banco de la Nación Argentina at the airport and at any of the cambios (changes) along Florida or Lavalle, but, if you have the time, shop around for the best rate at the zone known as "La city". This zone is the banking district of Buenos Aires, and numerous exchange places are located right near one another. This mean fierce competition and options to check the best rates. In addition to this, in this zone is possible not only to change US Dollars or Euros, but also some other major currencies from Latin America (such as Brazilian Reals, Mexican Pesos, Colombian Pesos, etc.), Canadian Dollars, Asian (Japanese Yens, Chinese Renminbis, etc.), and Europe (Swedish Kronas, Swiss Francs, etc.). This can mean a saving of time and money by not having to convert 2 times. Take into consideration that wherever you go to an official money changer, you are always officially required to present your passport and copies are not acceptable.

Traveller's checks

Traveller's Checks are rarely used and may actually be difficult to exchange, but there is an American Express office at San Martin Plaza that will take American Express' Traveller's Checks. Banco Frances will cash them with proper identification, and are located all over B.A., including around tourist attractions such as El Obelesco.

Banks

Banks open from 10:00 to 15:00 and only on weekdays. Banelco or "Red Link" ATMs can be found around the city, but banks and ATMs are few and far between in residential neighborhoods like Palermo. Try major roads near metro stations. ATMs are the most convenient source of cash but should be used only in banks or ATMs that acted as the banks' branches. Just like in most cities, independent ATMs (not affiliated with any bank) are considered less safe.

ATM

ATM limits and fees| Some ATMs strictly limit withdrawals on foreign cards. You may be able to get out only 300 Pesos per day, so plan to visit the ATM often or hunt around for a more relaxed limit. The Citibank multipurpose ATMs are currently the only ones allowing withdrawals over 300 Pesos per day (probably up to the limit of your card). Otherwise, look for ATMs in the Link network. Banco Patagonico has a limit of 600 Pesos. The Visa Plus network of ATM cards have a lower limit of 320 Pesos per withdrawal with U$5–6 fee. Fees vary wildly from nothing to US$5–6. Read the fine print!}} As of July 2011, all ATMs in the Link and Banelco networks are charging a 16 Pesos fee for withdrawals from American cards. As these are the only two ATM networks to be found in Buenos Aires, plan accordingly. Cash exchange rates for US Dollars are very competitive, and it may be advantageous to simply bring a large sum of US currency.

Banking Fees

Fees for banking may be from both your bank and the Argentinian bank. Specific fee amounts depends on your bank and the ATM you use; most ATMs will charge foreign travellers around US$5–$7 per transaction, which will be added to your withdrawal amount. Sometimes the machines also dispense US Dollars for international bank cards that are members of the Cirrus and PLUS networks. Visitors from Brazil can find many Banco Itaú agencies all over the city.

Change

Change is a problem in Buenos Aires as there is a seeming shortage of coins. The locals give two basic reasons for it. The first being that the metal is worth more than the value of the coin so people sell their coins to scrap metal merchants, or the other reason is that the bus system requires all trips to be paid for with coins so there is a shortage in a city of 13 million people. Whatever the reason, if you buy an item that costs 4 Pesos and 60 cents, almost always expect to pay with the correct amount of money. Some shopkeepers sometimes hope that the purchaser will simply say 'keep the change'. However, this is not the case if you use larger bills at bigger stores (such as a chain store like Carrefour) for purchases.

Credit cards

As of July 2011, credit cards are very widely accepted in the city center and Recoleta, and it is not an issue to use a card for a small purchase such as lunch.

Credit cards are used less common in Argentina than in the USA or Europe. However, most of tourist-oriented businesses accept credit cards, although sometimes with additional handling fee to offset the fee that the merchants have to pay to the credit card networks.

Souvenirs

  • The mate: It is a sort of cup made from different materials, commonly from a desiccated vegetal core (a gourd), sometimes with silver or gold ornaments; which is used to drink mate, the most traditional social non-alcoholic beverage. The mate is drunk in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.
  • Other gaucho items: Traditional clothes, knives, etc.
  • Leather items: The cow is totally used here: meat, milk, sausages, and leather; all high quality. You can find coats and other leather products on Murillo street though the quality of the goods here varies widely. The best place to find high quality leather goods may be the malls and other major shopping streets.
  • Alfajores: These traditional cake/cookies, often containing dulce de leche, are delicious.
  • Football Jersey: Football ('soccer' for Americans) is a huge part of Argentine culture, so it is normal to bring home a jersey to represent your time there. Shirts from River, Boca or the Argentine National Team are always very popular and make great gifts.
  • Tango Shoes The zona de calzados is just Past Diagonal Norte on Suipacha. You will see many shops grouped together that sell tango shoes. As with many things in Buenos Aires shop around and make sure you are not getting the gringo price. Men can buy excellent hand made leather shoes for around US$50. For those of you with time on your hands you can ask them to make you a pair. They will draw your foot on a piece of paper and you can design your own shoe for the same price. Do be aware that if they tell you that it will be ready in a week, that probably means about 10 days (or around 7 business days).
  • Handmade Ponchos: The Native Americans in Argentina wear ponchos made of handwoven materials, usually distinct from other regions of South America. Some are seasonal, many are considered unisex. A good deal can be found, especially on the outskirts of the city.
  • A Bottle of Malbec: Argentina is famous for its wine, and Malbec is the signature grape of the land. A fine quality Malbec can be had for 8-10 US Dollars per bottle and makes a fine gift. If you know nothing about wine, go to a liquor store and look for the same brands/years found in nice restaurants.

Shopping districts

  • Florida Street and Lavalle Street (from 500 up to 1000) are for pedestrians only and is the place to find the majority of tourist's shops in MicroCentro. At the intersection of these two pedestrian streets, there is often some sort of interesting street performance going on, especially at night.
  • The Palermo Viejo in Palermo has many shops that will appeal to young or artsy people (think New York's SoHo). Nearby is Murillo Street, a block full of leather houses.

Book stores

  • Santa Fe Avenue offers not only lots and lots of clothes and book shops but also a nice athmosphere where you can walk along. You can start from the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue with 9 de Julio Avenue, and walk along Santa Fe up to the Alto Palermo Shopping (Av. Santa Fe 3253).
  • In the Corrientes Ave. from the Obelisco (big obelisk landed in the intersection with 9 de Julio avenue) up to Callao Ave., you will find a lot of cheap bookstores with tons of books mostly in Spanish. They remain open as late as 3 AM, Monday to Monday.
  • El Ateneo, originally a theater (Teatro Grand Splendid), has now become in one of the top 5 most beautiful bookstores in the world [32]. It has a reasonable offering of books in English. Located at Santa Fe 1860.

Markets and fairs

Saturdays and Sundays are great days for the outdoor markets, especially in the summer.

  • Recoleta: The Feria Recoleta (in Plaza Francia) is an assortment of all sorts of artisan products, from jewelry to shawls.
  • Palermo: Plaza Serrano in Palermo viejo comes alive in the afternoon with more artisan's handiwork and freelance clothes designers. Another nearby Plaza (in Palermo viejo) between Malabia, Armenia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua streets has stalls with items for sale. The Último Taller at Jorge L. Borges 1975 (between Soler and Nicaragua streets) sells funky candles and street address plates and markers; there are charming cats, and photos can be etched onto these plates as well. The shop is open Monday to Saturday 10AM-9PM;
  • San Telmo: On Sundays, Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo offers tango and antique products. Defensa street from Chile to San Juan comes to life with live performers and vendors. The crowds are thick, so keep an eye on your possessions.
  • San Isidro: Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, the "Feria de Anticuarios" at the train station of Barrancas has a nice athmosphere. It offers nearly 70 stands of antiques, from toys to books and stuff for your home. Check their website for pictures and more info.[33]
  • San Fernando: Saturdays from 10 to 18 hs., and Wednesdays from 10 to 16 hs. This is a market where you will be buying items directly from producers, with the condition that goods are produced with social and environment ethics in mind. You'll find books, vegetables, hand made clothing, musical instruments, etc. If you plan to buy things, remember to bring your own bag. The market is located at San Fernando train station, in Madero and Rosario streets (between Sarmiento and 9 de Julio).

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Buenos Aires on Wikivoyage.

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