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A Few Days in Buenos Aires

Updated: Apr 18


We left from Atlanta at 9:00pm and arrived at the Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires at 9:00 am the following day. There is a 2 hours difference, so the flight lasted ten hours. The airport is located 17 miles south of the city. We had arranged with the hotel to have a driver pick us up, which we thought was a good idea. However, there were hundreds of drivers with hanging signs with their clients’ names and it took quite a while to find ours!

 

We stayed at the Hotel Park Tower, a Luxury Collection property. It is connected to the Sheraton and you share some of the amenities (club lounge, pool, restaurants). We had a lot of correspondence with the concierge staff before our trip and they really helped us to have a great stay.

 

After checking-in we walked to a hotel nearby to change some money and get Argentinian pesos. They name these small offices “cuevas”. People are changing money everywhere in the city. Argentina has one of the highest inflation rates in the world. If you change $400 you will get more than 300,000 pesos and you will need a backpack to carry your cash! Remember that there are three types of currency changes. The “Dolar official” rate that you get at the banks (the worst), the “Dolar blue” rate that you get at the cuevas (better) and the “Dolar MEP” rate that you get when using your Visa or Mastercard.  The “Dolar MEP” is very close to the “Dolar blue”, so use your card where it is accepted.


From there we took Uber (very affordable) and went to Casa Rosada. The Pink House is the presidential palace and a symbol of Buenos Aires. It was from the balconies of the Casa Rosada that Juan and “Evita” Perón (who inspired the song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina") addressed the masses during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Tourists have not been allowed to visit the palace since the new president was elected. We walked through the Plaza de Mayo to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the main Catholic church in the city.

 

We took Uber to the Obelisk (Obelisco), a national historic monument and icon of Buenos Aires. It was erected in 1936 to commemorate the quadricentennial of the first foundation of the city. After a quick lunch we walked to the Teatro Colón, where we had booked an English tour. Teatro Colón is one of the world's great opera houses. That first night we ate at Buono Italian restaurant located at the Sheraton. It has good reviews, but our food was just average.


On our second day we took Uber to the San Telmo Market. It spans more than 10 blocks and they sell food, knick-knacks, and antiques. It is a must-see in Buenos Aires on a Sunday.

 


Our next stop was in the Caminito neighborhood, a very popular place with restaurants, tango shows and shops selling Maradona and Lionel Messi souvenirs. Both soccer stars are idolized in the city and the rest of the country. Afterwards we took Uber to the Puerto Madero neighborhood, a modern upscale riverfront district with condos, restaurants and shops.  

We crossed the Woman's Bridge (Puente de la Mujer). The bridge was constructed in Spain and donated to Buenos Aires through a private donation. The rotating footbridge is extremely popular because of the fact that it is able to swing 90 degrees in order to allow water traffic to pass. Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it is said to represent the image of a couple dancing tango.

 

We had a little bit of time left and we went to the to the Recoleta Cemetery.

Over 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins and crypts commemorate some of Argentina’s most celebrated people. One of them is Eva "Evita" Perón. This is one of the more beautiful cemeteries we have visited, and it was very crowded.

 

The next stop was Floralis Generica, a moving flower sculpture that has become an emblem of the city. The six steel petals open at 8am each morning and closes at midnight. Unfortunately, a storm had damaged the sculpture a few months before our visit and it was still under maintenance.

 

That night, we had a reservation at the famous Don Julio Steakhouse. We booked it months in advance and we only received a confirmation a few days before our trip. Even the concierge of the hotel could not book it for us. The restaurant just received a Michelin star and was voted the best steakhouse in the world. Our expectations were high, but we were a bit disappointed. The steaks were by far not better than a Costata Fiorentina or a T-Bone steak. The atmosphere of the restaurant is very nice, but I will definitely try another steakhouse next time.


On our third day we decided to take a Hop-on Hop-off tour, which took us around the city for a few hours. We stayed on the bus most of the time. We went through the Palermo neighborhood, considered the most picturesque and fashionable part of the city. It is a vibrant area with lots of restaurants, coffee shops and parks.

 

We stopped and visited the Japanese Garden, one of the most relaxing places in Buenos Aires. Located beside Tres de Febrero park, the site was inaugurated in 1967 to coincide with a visit by the emperor of Japan, Akihito, and his wife Michiko.

 


That night we had booked a tango dinner show at Aljibe Tango. We found it before our trip, but the concierge booked it for us. We had great seats at one of the front tables. The food was excellent and the show was even better. You had dances, musicians and even a real gaucho. We paid with our credit card after dinner instead of pre-paying online. That saved us money.

 

We had a great time in Buenos Aires. We felt safe and never had a problem. Just keep your valuables at the hotel. The money situation is a burden, but you will get used to carrying all these bills. We were able to use credit cards in most restaurants and stores. Remember that restaurants want to get their tips in cash.

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