buenos aires, argentina
i studied abroad in buenos aires from july-december 2010. i was a 20 year old hoodlum with not a lot of money and i loved every second. i still have a group text going with my friends from the program and i tell people all the time to go there and argentina in general.
buenos is a funky city that has a european vibe and architecture with the grit of south america. they speak spanish with their own flair and have a slang that is known as lunfardo.
when i got a text this morning from my roommate laura who is currently living and working in belo horizonte, brazil asking for recommendations for this weekend - i thought i would throw them in here. note to laura: it's colder in buenos than in brazil - so bring extra layers.
la boca: Its where you see all the colors of buenos and the boca juniors football stadium. don't go at night.
recoleta cemetery: just an awesome place. you can get lost in the rows of mosoleums and make friends with the local cats. although i do love cemeteries (my family business is one). find evita's and while you're over there grab a table outside at la biela for a coffee or hot chocolate.
plaza de mayo y casa rosada: this is the argentine "white house" only it's pink. the surrounding plaza - plaza de mayo is home to the madres de la plaza who lost or had disappeared children during the dirty war. they are one of the longest standing political protests in the world. you can read more about them here.
malba: cool museum. it's modern and spiffy.
museo de bellas artes: more of a fancy museum. i used to go study there and it's worth checking out.
san telmo street fair: this happens on sundays around plaza dorrego. there's good food, arts and crafts and usually some tango. if anyone feels like picking me up some sifons i wouldn't be mad.
japanese gardens: they are huge and pretty and complete with a massive koi pond. i think they are some of the largest outside of japan (another great one is in portland,or).
la bomba de tiempo: this is a drum show. when I lived there it was on mondays but I would check the website for their next show.
puerto madero: walk around the diques in puerto madero and the nature reserve. the diques are really modern and offer a counter-point to the mostly french inspired architecture of the city. while you're over there grab a choripan from a food truck!
if you can take a day trip out of the city go to an estancia. they are argentinian ranches with a british vibe (polo country) and are amazing. estancia villa maria is a cool option. you could also go kayaking in tigre. thats a nice little day trip.
palermo has the best shopping and its got a cool vibe. i bought a few things while living there but i would recommend leather goods. carpincho leather is pretty cool as its waterproof and its actually made from capybaras and not cows.
las pepas: this is a good and fashionable leather shop from what i remember - i got my sister a purse from there.
arandu: This is a typical argentinian polo style shop. i have a pair of leather boots from there that i love and still wear all the time - super classic stuff.
rapsodia: this is the argentinian free people.
juana de arco: awesome and funky underwear. you can get them online in the states so you know they cool.
casa lopez: very famous older leather shop.
buenos is known for steakhouses so i will include some of my favorites that are both cheap and spendy. argentines also have great empanadas and italian food because they are culturally confused. people talk about the pizza but personally i didn't like it. buenos also has a tradition of "closed-door" restaurants. they are basically illegal supper clubs that are awesome. i would try to get in on one. a well known one is called almacen supper club or palader. since i haven't lived there since 2010 i also asked a porteño (slang for local) friend benjamin where he would recommend - a new restaurant is called ilatina.
usually your meal includes a cubierto but a 10% tip is also appreciated.
don julio: don julio is the best of the best parilla tipico and has a family run vibe.
miranda: has an amazing contemporary design aesthetic in palermo hollywood and i absolutely love the food.
la cholita: i really like the roof deck at this place. it even has heaters in case it's cold. it is a smaller and trendier version of las cholas (also good) which is a more spendy/touristy place. the parilla is good here but they also have amazing empanadas and a thing called provoleta which is a traditional cheese dish.
club eros: a hole in the wall with phenomenal food but still in palermo. it is actually also an indoor soccer/community center of sorts so it is a very non-touristy vibe. we went there all the time because we were poor but the food does not reflect that at all. i would put this on can't miss.
cumaná: really close to my home stay in barrio norte so i ate here all the time. they have awesome casserole style dishes (cazuelas) as well as killer empanadas. get a penguino of wine. can't miss i love it. it's also a good spot for lunch.
lele de troya: this is a cute multi room restaurant close to good clubs in palermo. i wrote in my notes it has good risotto and a cute vibe.
sarkis: laura you should go here. it's your kind of food. i think it's lebanese but it so fucking yummy.
oui oui: this is an incredibly cute place to get brunch or lunch. highly recommend for sunday morning.
olsen: in case you're in the mood to throw it back to copenhagen laura - they are scandinavian food. also the only real bagel i found in 6 months there.
milion: in a converted mansion and has a great vibe and great drinks.
floreria atlantico: my friend benjamin recommended this place. looks fancy af.
clubs/boliches (if you're feeling 22):
some of the clubs i went to when i lived in buenos were open until 2pm the next day but most stay open until like 7am. they are notorious partiers those porteños. some of my favorites were: crobar, pacha, niceto, boutique, asia de cuba and bahrein. in clubs make sure to not leave anything out. this is where i managed to get most things stolen.
when i lived there ba was mostly a safe city. however, there is wealth disparity and a lot of petty crime. i would recommend to not carry anything of worth unless you have to and only use purses with zipper closures and men keep your wallet in your front pocket instead.
anyways - for the most part you can get around easily in cabs and walking/subte during the day is totally fine. i took buses a lot too and never felt unsafe - the 152 is a great one to get up and down calle santa fe.