We spent 5 days in Buenos Aires and these are some of the places we recommend you visit but by no means all that this beautiful city has to offer.
Plaza de San Martin
This is a park that has many large trees that have been allowed to stay in the city as it had developed which makes it a beautiful place to walk or sit and relax and people watch for an hour or 2. This spot is very central so there are lots of places around to go for a coffee or a bite to eat.
Cambio (currency exchange)
The main place for cambio is Florida street just off San Martin plaza. This street begins next to the tourist information office about 100m from the subway exit. At this point there are still many people offering currency exchange at a better rate than the banks but as Argentina has recently appointed a new president who has lifted some restrictions on acquiring us$ this might change in the near future. This rate is referred to as the blue dollar rate or black market currency. The Argentine peso has 2 rates the official rate that was overvalued by the government restricting the amount of dollars that residents could purchase and the blue rate that would be offered at the cambio which was needed for locals to acquire dollars easily. Now that the sanctions have been lifted the official rate has came back to within a peso or 2 per dollar difference with the blue rate, compared to only last month when the blue rate would fetch almost 6 pesos more per US dollar.
Close to San Martin plaza now known as the Torre Monumental. It was previously known as the Torre de la Inglis but was renamed after the Falklands war. Although many locals still use this name to describe it. It’s a nice tower to see if you are in the area and is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Puente de la mujer (Woman’s bridge)
This bridge is located in the Puerto Madero area. It’s a large rotating bridge that moves 90 degrees to allow ships to pass. It’s worth getting some photos of then crossing on the way from the central city toward the nature reserve.
Reserva ecológica (Nature reserve)
This is located in the newer part of town Puerto Madero where there are some high residential buildings. There is a lovely walk along the riverfront that has many statues of famous sporting icons from over the years. At the end of the walk you can cross the water onto the nature reserve. This is a great spot to see many birds and butterflies as well as some turtles in the pond as you enter. We spent an hour or so walking in the reserve but you could easily spend longer and it has many great spots to sit with some mate and relax.
Plaza de Mayo (May Square)
This is the main square in central Buenos Aires, where the Pirámde de Mayo is located. this is the oldest national monument in the city of Buenos Aires. It began construction in 1811 to celebrate the first anniversary of the may revolution. The Plaza de Mayo is also where many political demonstrations take place. There have been protests here since the before the independence of Argentina and this was the main location for independence protests at that time due to its central location and being close to the parliament buildings. When we visited there were some protests going on regarding war veterans rights.
Casa rosada (pink house)
This building is the main workplace of the president. It’s interesting to visit although we were only able to take photos from outside. There are free tours available to tourists usually just we were unlucky the day we were there it was closed to the public.
Post office this is a spectacular building that now houses the largest cultural centre in Latin America. Unfortunately this was also closed the day we were there due to the mass firing of public sector workers the day before. We were told that the centre can receive up to 10,000 visitors per day and it’s free to enter when open to the public.
A more upmarket area of town with lots of places to eat and drink as well as many park areas to sit and drink mate. The main highlights that we found are the;
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National museum of fine arts) located close to the flower and law university. This gallery has many paintings dating back as far as the 16th century. It’s free to visit and is worth a few hours to escape from the midday sun.
Cementerio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cematery)
This cemetery is located in the middle of Recoleta close to many restaurants and the main square. The Cemetery it’s self is surrounded by a high wall with a large gate at the entrance. It’s open from 9am-6pm daily and is worth a visit. This is where many famous Argentinians come to rest in peace. The list of people who lay here include former presidents, celebrities, Nobel prize winners and even napoleons granddaughter. Some of the grave sites are spectacular with statues of the people outside of their tombs, while others have not been maintained very well with lots of broken windows, cracked bricks and tiles.
The flower sculpture located close to the law university. It’s a great place to walk during the day and relax in the grasslands surrounding it, also at night it gets lit up beautifully. The flower will be opened up to show it in bloom if you visit during spring or closed over like a bud during the other seasons. We saw it in the bud stage during summer and it was well worth a visit. Unfortunately when we visited we had no battery left in our camera for photos.
Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pillar (Our Lady of the Pillar Church)
Nightlife @ La Bomba de Tiempo
We experienced a underground style club with music played with a focus on bongo drums. This is not as typical to Argentine as it had a more Brazilian feel to it. It was like an orchestra setting with a conductor keeping everyone on the right beat. The atmosphere was excellent and music was good. Entrance fee was relatively good at 110 pesos around £6 each. The drinks were average price with quite a poor selection of choice on offer as the only sold 1 type of beer 80 pesos for 1Litre and red wine only even although Nic ordered a white wine which was on the menu. The system of ordering drinks was pretty strange and rather pointless as you had to join a queue at 1 side of the entrance hall to order and pay them you had to walk over to the other side to join another queue to receive our drinks from the bar. This would have been fine but we had to get beer from the middle of the hall then wine from the other side and finally water from the left of the beer line. After all of our queuing it was time to go for a dance. We were very lucky as we had the chance to meet up with some locals who were friends of Pancho’s. Some of them had good English and gave us some valuable advice for places to visit while in their country. After the club closed at 10 we went out for some pizza and empanadas. This was an amazing first night to shine some light on the wonderful Argentine culture.