Buenos Aires is one of those cities that you either love or hate; but if you are a culture devotee and like cities where there is always something to do, you will most likely fall in love with this eclectic metropolis. Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina and it is located in the southern shore of the Rio de la Plata. It is also one of South America’s most tourist friendly destinations and a place that posses an incredibly rich cultural identity.
The moment you step on Buenos Aires you notice its European heritage mainly evident on its architecture. Places like the “Teatro Colon”, one of the world’s finest opera houses, not only depict this legacy but also represent the intellectual personality of the city. In Buenos Aires arts, history and traditions combine effortlessly with modernity and a nightlife that never stops.
The Birthplace of Tango
Visiting Buenos Aires and not attending a Tango show, whether it is a street show or a sophisticated Tango venue, is like going to Paris and not stopping by the Eiffel Tower. The Tango dance and music embody so much of the Argentinean traditions that if you want to truly understand this city and its people you have to start by understanding Tango.
Although the dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires derived from various forms of European music, it soon became popular throughout the society and today tourists can appreciate its different styles by the numerous tango shows that exist throughout the city.
Some of the most popular Tango shows include Señor Tango, Esquina Carlos Gardel and La Ventana; all of which feature different tango styles and offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a classic and delightful Argentinean night.
The Best Meat of the World… Or Pizza?
Although it is hard to judge whether or not Argentineans have the best meat of the world, you can rest assured that it is one of the best quality. Regardless if you buy it at the market or at an elegant restaurant odds are you will get a piece of steak that will certainly be worth your money. Argentineans’ love for meat is reflected on the city’s numerous restaurants and diners. Of course you can find a Mc Donalds if that is what your are looking for, but Buenos Aires’ version of fast food restaurants; small diners that offer delicious and juicy steaks at a very affordable price and a great selection of pizzas (other of the numerous Argentinean passions) seem like a better option for those who can appreciate a good piece of meat… or pizza!
Some of the most renowned meat restaurants of Buenos Aires include La Brigada and La Cabaña de las Lilas. La Brigada is located in the funky San Telmo district and it is the ideal place to enjoy a Sunday lunch with locals and appreciate the over-the-top soccer décor. After pleasing your tummy with a delicious set of ribs, one of the restaurant specials, you can head to the famous “Feria de San Telmo;” a popular antique street fair that takes place in the San Telmo neighborhood every Sunday from 10am to 4pm. The fair features more than 270 stands where you can find all kinds of antiques, paintings and accessories among many other things and numerous street performers that give the fair an ambiance unlike any other.
La Cabaña de las Lilas, other of the most famous steak houses of the city offers tourists meat with a texture and taste that are simply a knock-out. The restaurant is located in the trendy Puerto Madero and it is a wonderful place for a night out with friends. Once you are done with your meal you can enjoy a walk around Puerto Madero’s marina, the modern hotspot of today’s Buenos Aires.
If you are looking for a cheaper option without sacrificing quality a good alternative is “Siga la Vaca”. This all you can eat restaurant known by locals as “Tenedor libre” or free fork, offers incredible barbecue options that you can order directly from the grill. For no more than $20 USD you will get all the meat you can eat, dessert and one drink. Although sometimes you may have to wait in line as they don’t take reservations, this restaurant is definitely worth your time and money.
Caminito and La Boca: Symbols of Buenos Aires
Possibly one of the biggest tourist hotspots of Buenos Aires, Caminito Street holds a charm almost impossible to explain. Its colorful homes that have its origins from Italian immigrants in 1880 and its numerous street entertainers that dress up in typical Argentinean outfits have lured visitors for years and years, making it one of the most symbolic streets in Buenos Aires.
Another symbol of the city is the district of La Boca home to the soccer stadium La Bombonera. Evenif you are not a soccer fan, visiting this stadium can be an exciting experience. Its name, which in English means “Chocolate Box,” is due mainly to its shape with a flat stand on one side of the pitch and three steep stands around the rest of the stadium that looked from up seems like a chocolate box. The stadium is owned by one of Argentina’s most famous soccer clubs, Boca Juniors so you will find a museum featuring exhibits of the club’s players and a large mural of Diego Maradona, one of Argentina’s internationally acclaimed soccer players.
La Recoleta Cemetery and Eva Peron’s Grave
Listing a cemetery as a tourist attraction may seem a little weird to some people, but Buenos Aires’ Recoleta Cemetery is definitely a must in your list of things to do. This cemetery is located in the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood and it has graves of some of the most famous and influential people of Argentina. You will find graves of presidents, scientists and also Eva Peron, the best known person buried here. If you have the chance, wait for the tour guide. Guides are free and they offer a great insight of the personalities buried here.
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