Traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, one of the top 10 most populated cities in South America. When you begin your descent into the domestic airport, the sheer size of the city starts to sink in. Travelers will find a sea of buildings and skyscrapers as far as you can see. Although we were in Buenos Aires for about a day and a half, we made the best of it.
Getting Around In Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is extremely walkable. Since the city is heavily concentrated, travelers are able to get around fairly easy. There’s also a subway that navigates throughout the city, though my teammates informed me it’s best not to take it alone as a foreigner at night. Taxis are also omnipresent; you can take a cab ride for very cheap ($2-$8) anywhere in the city.
During our stay, David and I walked over 9.6 miles. David has visited Buenoes Aires about 9 times now, so he suggested what landmarks to visit and parts of town to walk through.
Nightlife In Buenos Aires
Although we didn’t go to any night clubs, David and I did do a lot of bar hopping. We met with one of David’s previous coworkers, Nacho. He’s a Buenos Aires native and has lived in the city his whole life. Nacho is quite a character: friendly demeanor, comical and intelligent. He’s hopeful the new government will settle the anxiety Argentinean feel and believes the inflation situation will begin to finally stabilize.
For those of you who don’t know, inflation has been a serious issue for Argentina over the past year. By mid year, every consumable ostensibly raised in price by nearly 30%. Nacho and others feel confident the situation is now under control and will settle in coming months.
The bar atmosphere in Buenoes Aires is similar to other crowded cities: loud with chatter and music. I will note the atmosphere was a little more inviting and friendly than some big cities in the United States. We went to a bar where we could change chips for Argentinean craft beer. The bar also had some awesome flatbread pizza. Afterwards, we visited a bar with a single whiteboard filled with names and a pool table. The person who wins would then challenge the next person on the white board.
Since I love pool, I believe it’s probably important to mention the difference in rules. In Argentina, if you scratch (don’t hit a ball or make the white ball in a pocket), the opponent can then go twice. So if they miss the first time around, they get another chance. Yep, bizarre as hell but it’s how they play.
La Recoleta Cemetery
Our teammate Carlos from Cordoba recommended a very famous cemetery called La Recoleta. The cemetery is where iconic families, businessmen and politicians are buried. You’ll find masterfully sculptured tombs in what seems to be a maze of beautifully crafted graves. Each tomb is unique; no two tombs are alike which makes it even more breathtaking.
In La Rocelta, you’ll even find the tomb of Eva (Evita) Perón, the first lady of Argentina. She was a beloved political figure who has stuck in the minds of Argentinean even after her death in 1952.
On the outskirts of La Rocelta, there’s one of the oldest churches in Argentina. The church walls are lined with gold and other fine materials. We walked in only for a brief moment, as there was a mass going on.
Other Notable Landmarks
After La Rocelta, we ventured off to see a few cool landmarks. We walked towards Plaza de las Naciones Unidas to view Floralis Genérica (the metal flower). This gigantic sculpture was a gift to Argentina by a renown Argentinean architect Eduardo Catalano. The flower opens every day and closes every night to represent hope and rebirth.
We then walked towards the city center to visit La Casa Rosada or the Pink House. The building is the Argentinean version of the white house: it is the executive mansion and office of the Argentinean President. It’s pretty massive and guarded all around. Cool landmark.
Afterward, we walked Rio de la Plata to grab some coffee and rest for a while. The bridge here is pretty cool, as it opens horizontally instead of vertically. We saw a crowd towards the end of the river, so we decided to walk towards it thinking there was an event. As it turns out, it was simply a gathering of Pokemon go players. Wild.
Food, Tell me About The Food!
Buenos Aires, like Cordoba, does food very well. The most notable place David and I ate at during our brief stay was El Cuartito, which has been around since the 1930’s. We stepped through the doors around 2PM on a Saturday and the restaurant was bustling with customers. I was surprised to find only two servers and an old man who was directing foot traffic to tables.
The pizza was intensely cheesy. The crust was baked and just the right amount of crispy. They topped the pizza with onions and/or onions, which gave it a great kick. We also had some of the empanadas, which were fantastic.
Argentina is known for Choripán: a hot-dog-like sandwich with sausage and various veggie toppings. David and I didn’t get around to having a Choripán but we saw it everywhere. If and when I go back, I’m definitely going to get one.
Leaving Buenos Aires
Our stay in Buenos Aires was simply too short. I could see myself venturing in the city for months. Buenos Aires is truly an amazing city with friendly residents, flavor-packed foods, intriguing history and awe-inspiring architecture. Before I left the city once and for all, I took a last photo of El Obelisk, which sits in the middle of the widest avenue road in the world: 9 de Julio Avenue. I hope I have the opportunity to come back soon, because it was one hell of a memorable stay.