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For 91 Days in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Travel Books

We lived in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and the world’s 7th biggest city, for three months — from February to May, 2011. It was still summer when we arrived, and after a chilly winter in Savannah, GA, we were happy to explore our new temporary home in shorts and sandals. By the time we left, the temperatures had cooled down, but we were still enjoying brisk, sunny fall days.

Buenos Aires

Three months is a long time and, by the time our stay in Buenos Aires came to an end, we had a pretty good handle on the city. Not even a lifetime would be sufficient to see and do everything in this metropolis, but we got out onto the streets often as possible, mixing the touristy sights with more unknown highlights.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of our favorite things in Buenos Aires. For more, check out the comprehensive list of posts — or start at the beginning of our journey and read about the city in the order we experienced it. We hope that our experiences and pictures are of as much interest to tourists planning a trip, as to life-long porteños looking for a new view of their home… and anyone else who’s interested in Buenos Aires: one of the world’s most fascinating cities.

Food

We ate a lot during our time in the city, thanks to an incredible exchange rate (six pesos to the euro). Argentina is known for its steaks, and some of our favorite parrillas (grills) were the hip Desnivel in San Telmo and Las Cholas in Palermo. Pizza is another highlight, and the city is stacked with historic, wonderful pizzerías: El Cuartito, Kentucky Pizza, Banchero and Las Cuartetas. If in doubt at the pizzería: order fugazzeta!! For healthier, more upscale fare, check out Abuela Pan, Pizarras or the incredible Caseros. Don’t dare skip out on the city’s famous ice cream. And if you want to know where our absolute favorite meal was, during our whole three months, that’s easy: La Boca’s El Obrero.

[The full list of restaurants we visited]

The Barrios

Buenos Aires is split into 48 official barrios. We lived in San Telmo, where the city was founded, and which is one of the most popular with tourists. The other main barrios of touristic interest are La Boca, Montserrat, San Nicolás, Retiro, Recoleta and Palermo. Each one offers enough to occupy a couple days, and is worth experiencing in full. But we also made it to some other, less well-known neighborhoods, such as the fascinating Barracas and the elegant Belgrano “R”. We spent a day in the classic, and strangely overlooked barrio of Caballito, and often went to modern, odd Puerto Madero for jogging. During our time here, we made a couple day trips outside the city as well — one to Tigre, an awesome village north of the city on the Paraná Delta, and across the Río de la Plata to Colonia, Uruguay.

Festivals, Sports and Culture

Every weekend, there was something new going on, and we just scratched the surface of the cultural and sporting activities you can see in Buenos Aires. Toward the top of our list was soccer — we had a great time at San Lorenzo, and a frustrating experience at Boca Juniors. We were also introduced to polo, here — the British had a strong influence on the sporting scene of Argentina. We lived right on top of the weekly San Telmo Fair, a wonderful Sunday collection of neat crafts and crazy people, and also made it to the Feria de Mataderos, celebrating Gaucho culture. More out of obligation than anything else, we visited a tango show at El Querandí (and loved it), and also took a tour of the city’s best graffiti. And we were lucky enough to meet a couple local artists: Alfredo Genovese, who specializes in the porteño art of fileteado, and Chancha Via Circuito, an awesome producer whose mixes of cumbia and other Latin American beats have been landing on Best-Of lists throughout the world.

[Here's the rest of the cultural highlights we hit]

Museums and Buildings

As befits one of the world’s biggest cities, Buenos Aires is bursting at the seams with incredible museums and gorgeous buildings from its golden age at the turn of the century. We absolutely loved the modern art museums of PROA and MALBA, and were pleasantly surprised by both the Carlos Gardel and Evita Museums. The highlight, though, was probably the Isaac Blanco Museum of Latin American Art, set in a stunning neo-colonial palace. The list of stunning buildings in this city is too lengthy to fully detail, but our favorite tours included the Casa Rosada, the palaces of Paz and Barolo, the National Library and, above all, the incredible Teatro Colón.

[Even more buildings and museums]

Parks, Plazas, Pictures and More

There aren’t enough green areas in Buenos Aires, particularly in the inner barrios. But Palermo makes up for it, with its incredible set of parks, including the Bosques and the Botanical Garden. We spent a lot of time there, but even more in the Reserva Ecológica of the Costanera Sur (because we lived closer!) Other favorite areas included the amazing Recoleta Cemetery, the Plaza de Mayo and Palermo Soho’s ultra-cool Plaza Serrano. Jürgen’s camera was a constant companion, and he took innumerable shots of the city, the best of which have been collected into a number of photo-reportages, which offer a singular perspective of the city. Overall, our time here was exciting, surprising and often adventurous — never more so than when riding the crazy buses, or visiting an insane asylum to watch a radio program with an interesting concept.

Everyone’s Buenos Aires experience is bound to be unique. We hope that you enjoy reading our 120+ posts, as much as we enjoyed researching and writing them. Please leave us comments or get in touch with us if you have questions… and make sure to follow our journey to the next location: Bolivia – For 91 Days.

- Accomadation in Buenos Aires: HostelsHotelsApartments

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May 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm Comment (1)

Recoleta Cemetery

Other great cemeteries we have visited: Bonaventure and Laurel Grove

One of Buenos Aires’ most beautiful neighborhoods is also one of its most exclusive. They won’t let just anyone move in, so if you’re looking for a new home here, there are a couple of inflexible prerequisites: you must be rich, and you must be dead. Being famous helps.

Recoleta

One of the world’s most gorgeous cemeteries, Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of the city’s richest and most powerful citizens, and a wonderful spot for us plebes to do some gawking. They’re serious about that admittance policy. Not many are “good enough” for Recoleta. My politics are strongly populist, and the notion of a cemetery which exclusively houses the wealthy would normally disgust me, but in this case, I’m willing to disregard my inner socialist. Even in death, rich people are eager to show each other up, and the results of the rampant egotism are astonishing: every crypt is more beautiful, more ostentatious than the next.

The cemetery occupies an enormous amount of space and truly is a little city unto itself. It’s even organized into blocks. Strolling aimlessly about its streets is an overwhelming visual experience. Cypress trees sprouting up around mausoleums, feral cats slinking noiselessly across cracked tombs, sunlight filtered through stained glass throwing colorful shadows upon the ground. Make sure to have your camera with you.

Irigoyen

Established in 1822, Recoleta was the first public cemetery in Buenos Aires, without any kind of preferential policies. In fact, one of its first inhabitants was a young freed slave by the name of Juan Benito. But in the 1870s, a yellow fever epidemic drove the city’s elite out of the city center and into the neighborhood of Recoleta. They wasted no time in claiming the cemetery as their own.

Many of Argentina’s presidents are buried within its walls, but the cemetery’s most famous resident is undoubtedly Eva Peron. Surprisingly, her tomb is difficult to find and not nearly as impressive as those which surround it. Members of the oligarchy had fought for years against her being buried here, since she worked so hard to destroy their grip on power, but they eventually relented. Juan Perón, though, was a different story. He’s buried in the Chacarita Cemetery, west of Palermo.

Entrance is free, and it’s one of the absolutely must-see attractions for any visit to Buenos Aires. Recoleta is easily the most amazing cemetery I’ve ever been to.

Location on our Buenos Aires Map
-Cheap Accommodation in Buenos Aires

Cemetery City
Buenos Aires Blog
Angle Feet
Angles Watching
Buenos Aires Cypress
Buenos Aires Tour
Candle Angle
Cemetery
Cemetery Tour
Coffing Argentina
Dead Eye
Dog Lady
Pharao Buenos Aires
Egypt Grave Argentina
Flowers Buenos Aires
Family Grave
Glass Seat
Glass Dome
Friedhof Buenos Aires
Jesus Buenos Aires
Lady Look
mausoleum-buenos-Aires
Old Flowers
Recoleta Cemetery
Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires
Ricardo Alfonsin
RIP
Sleeping Woman
Spider Lock
Spooky Grave
Statue Buenos Aires
STatue Row
Stone Temple
Evita Grave
Eva Peron Grave
Evita Grave
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February 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm Comments (8)