We're a little late on this one too – sorry! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming after this post.
After the heavy activity of Patagonia, we headed to Buenos Aires to slow things down in a fast-paced city. We planned 19 days in BA, with a quick 3-4 day excursion to Mendoza. It was a really nice change to be in one place for a while. We were able to unpack our bags and settle into “normal” life in a foreign city.
AirBnB has been great to us thus far, and in BA we rented a little apartment in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood. Palermo Hollywood is part of Palermo, the largest barrio (neighborhood) in BA, and arguably one of the coolest. The apartment was a perfect size for us, a duplex with the bedroom upstairs and a little living room with a balcony overlooking a large courtyard below. Nearby we had everything we needed – restaurants, bars, ice cream shops, supermarkets, and shops. Palermo feels a lot like the East and West Village in NYC – a little gritty in some parts but very fun and entertaining.
As soon as we arrived in BA, we hit the grocery store and stocked our kitchen. In order to save money (and our waistlines) we committed to eating breakfast at home every day, packing lunch or eating it at home most days, and cooking dinner 3-4 days a week. It was so nice to cook again, actually! We prepared basic meals that were healthy and easy, and enjoyed the simplicity of eating in.
Then, we just enjoyed the Porteño life (Porteños are what you call people who live in or are from Buenos Aires). We walked all over the city, exploring the huge parks, famous buildings, and unending sights. Here's a quick bulleted list of the major highlights:
From the impressive architecture of famous Casa Rosada where Evita gave her famous speech, to the gritty, colorful barrio of La Boca, this city is full of life.
We spent time walking around and through many of the parks and green spaces spread across the city. It was wonderful to see the locals enjoying their parks like New Yorkers enjoy Central Park.
We visited several museums, our favorite being the MALBA modern art museum. The city's Belles Artes museum was lackluster for us, but then again it's hard to compare any museum to the Met, our benchmark for a fine art museum.
We explored the city's endless markets... from the San Telmo antique market on Sundays to the Palermo Soho stalls on Sat/Sun, the city is teeming with street vendors everywhere you turn. It's almost overwhelming! Some of it is plastic crap, but the artisanal wares are easy to spot and fun to explore.
We went to shows... notably the new version of Fuerza Bruta which was trippy and impressive. Fuerza Bruta originated in Buenos Aires in 2005, and is a dance, drum and acrobatics show. It was featured in New York for many years before closing last year. But hey New Yorkers, it's back with a new iteration (it's called “WAYRA”), and it's awesome. Go!
We got into the Christmas spirit with the Nutcracker at the famous Teatro Colon. The acoustics are some of the best in the world and absolutely live up to the hype.
We ate at fabulous restaurants, notably the Argentinian “parilla” or wood-fired grills that are all over the city. Meat, meat and more meat (plus red wine).
We toured the Recoleta Cemetary, an eerie tourist destination with some of the most intricate mausoleums we've ever seen.
We experienced the famous Buenos Aires rainstorms on several occasions, including one that felt like a tornado was about to hit. They don't have sewers or drainage here, so the streets turned into rivers, literally, and the city ground to a complete halt.
We took a day trip to Tigre, which is the Paraña river delta 45 minutes north of BA. Once there we went on a 5 hour boat ride through the river canals of the city with one of the local guides, where we saw tons of birds, ate pizza and drank mojitos on the river, and saw the BA skyline in the distance. Stunningly beautiful sights within a short train ride of a major city!
Unfortunately our time in Buenos Aires had to come to a close, but we had an amazing time there and would go back in a heartbeat. It's a gorgeous city (one of our favorites) with a great mix of food, culture, history, and natural beauty.