Wendy Wu’s Dan Pogson gets to know Argentina’s captivating capital.
For a native Londoner like myself arriving into Buenos Aires, the city feels almost homely with spacious parks to wander around, a good underground system to get around the city and some of the most amazing steak restaurants you will ever visit. With its wide open boulevards and wonderful architecture I’m sure any resident of Paris or Berlin would feel equally at home.
I began my time on the city where many people end theirs – a cemetery! The word doesn’t really do it justice here though as Recoleta Cemetery is home to the mausoleums of the city’s most famous inhabitants and the grandeur of the architecture is something to behold. The most famous resident is Eva Peron of Evita fame, but her resting place is just one amongst many beautiful buildings. You’ll be just as wowed by the surrounding area which has some amazing shopping as well as buildings to take in which help show off the rich heritage of the city.
From here I visited the district of La Boca which is famous for its colourful buildings with various statues looking down on the tourists below welcoming them to the district. We stopped at one of the many restaurants in the district which have a live tango display, normally from lunchtime onward, with elegant dancers and romantic singers performing. I took the time to sample some some of the famous Argentine red wines and delicious empanadas which both live up to the hype.
After our lunch I visited the stadium of the city and the country’s most famous football club, Boca Juniors. The stadium details not just the history of the football club but the district as well and how the club still helps to support a lot of the business there. If you are lucky enough to catch a game you will see why the club has a reputation for boasting one the best atmospheres in all of football.
Outside of the city you are able to take day trips to visit some of the Estancia’s like El Ombu de Areco. These working farms are a wonderful place to enjoy a horseback ride in beautiful countryside and learn more about the iconic Argentine gaucho, the cowboys of Latin America. They are also the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Asado, a barbecue of legendary proportions.
Don’t miss the chance to take the ferry over to Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay, which is only a 50 minute journey away. The World Heritage-listed Barrio Historico is a lovely neighbourhood with cobblestone streets, grand squares and quaint churches.
The nightlife in Buenos Aires is legendary with lively bars and a great dining scene, including some of the best steaks you will eat in your life. One of the best restaurants in the city, if you like your steak, is Don Julio. Housed in a lovely 19th century building, they take their meat and wine very seriously here.
Tangoing in the street during the day may be normal in the La Boca district but there are many places in the city where you’ll be able to see it in the evening. One of the most famous popular to watch Tango in the city is Cafe Tortoni. Although it is smaller than some places it does make the performance more intimate and the french-style decor of the restaurant really adds an individual feel which many places do not offer in the city.
So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of Buenos Aires. You’d need a lifetime to really get to know everything there is to know about this incredible city but hopefully I’ve shown you that you can get a fabulous flavour in just three days.
Essence of Agentina & Brazil
A classic South America itinerary with a tango-worthy twist, travel between the vivacious cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro and the spectacular Iguazu Falls. Visit three Countries in one trip with a trip to Colonia in Uruguay.