I was fortunate enough to spend 2 months in the ELECTRIFYING city of Buenos Aires. If you get to spend more time there, or God willing live there I’m totally jealous!! I can proudly admit that I was satisfied with my experience and that I felt like I got the most out of my time there.
Just to be clear, hands down my favorite thing about my time in Buenos Aires was definitely meeting my Porteno (Buenos Airs local) friend Matias. With him I was really able to get an inside feel/description of the people and their culture. No experience compared to the weekend he took me to his house outside of the city (away from other tourists) and took my Argentine Asado V-CARD.
But not every traveler has the time or luck to have that kind of experience. And not every traveler has the same agenda and or desires. Some want to learn the local way of life, some just want to see the sights. There are many different ways and styles to traveling.
**SIDE NOTE** I am the kind of traveler that wants to meet the locals, hang out with them, and do as they do. But Buenos Aires is so awesome and epic that almost all places will have tourists. So don’t get frustrated if you see a lot of them. It’s almost impossible to keep anything a secret. Even my local friends showed and took me to these places. It’s not hard to make Argentine friends as they are some of the most social and vibrant people people I’ve ever met. Must be the Italian in them haha.
Hypothetically let’s say you’re going to be in BA for a week because you’re going to move on to other parts of South America. Or you only have a week or two of vacation time. Here are the top 5 things you should do!
TOP 5 THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO.
1.) GO TO A FUTBOL GAME
I could be totally biased and tell you to just go to a River Game, but you’re going to have an incredible experience at any game. You’ve got the Boca Juniors and other teams as well, but I went to and became a River fan because my local friend Matias was a fan and totally got me in the spirit. I also lived In the Belgrano district which is home of the River Stadium. The atmosphere is incredible and when I put on my River Jersey I totally felt like one of the locals (saying a lot considering I’m 6’2 and have red hair). The non stop screaming (I’m serious) and passion is absolutely incredible.
2.) GO TO CLUB 69 (NICETO VEGA)
Every Thursday Night. Club 69. That is all you need to know! The night life in BA is one of the best in the world. The only reason I can’t say it’s the best is because I haven’t been everywhere…. that being said I’ll give you an update when I travel the whole world haha. You get the point though, it’s awesome. Word of caution though, If you do it right, you won’t get home until about 8 in the morning! Secondly, every Thursday Night Club Niceto Vega turns into CLUB 69. This night is special because the club hires different professional groups to put on exotic shows… hints Club 69. It’s not a strip club or anything like that, just a club that includes a very distinct performance haha. If you want anything to do with the nightlife in BA you have to go. I have a few Argentine friends that all agreed it was their favorite. Check out their facebook group to see who will play the Thursday you are there!
3.) LA BOMBA DE TIEMPO
Every Monday night “LA BOMBA DE TIEMPO” (a group of professional drummers) plays. Sadly, due to some technological mishaps and procrastination I never got to go. Your’e probably thinking “How is this guy giving me advice on where to go when he’s never been?” Well I went, but I arrived to late due to some email problems but long story short I could feel the vibe from outside and if I had one more Monday I would have gone. But it’s famous and all the locals love it. Just one of those places to go let lose and have a good time.
4.) SAN TELMO MARKET
Ahhh the San Telmo Market. I really enjoyed this as well. Every Saturday and Sunday the markets open up in the San Telmo District to the locals and tourists alike. It’s got everything you need. Mate cups, Quilmes t-shirts, Boca/River gear, Argentine paintings, great food, and more. The perfect place for souvenirs, but I honestly went almost every Sunday just to enjoy the atmosphere and to walk around. This is a must.
5.) TANGO LESSONS
Traveling South America has made me realize how important dancing and music are to different cultures. Whether it’s Tango in Argentina, Salsa in Cuba or Colombia, or line dancing in the Southern U.S. But Argentina is the Tango capital of the world. If you only have a week you’re not going to become a pro, but it’s totally worth going and getting the vibe and experience. I went to La Viruta located at 1366, Armenia St in the Palermo district. The beginner level is mostly all tourists so if you want to Tango (see what I did there?) with some locals you’re going to need some time and serious dedication to advance. After lessons you can practice for a few hours and watch some real Argentine pro’s as well. Great experience, check it out.
Like I said earlier, this list will give you some cool pointers and a good ground game if you’re only have a little time BA. Of course their are some other things as well, but I could go on forever.
Below I’ve listed some other things I did that you might want to check out as well.
- Amauta Spanish School – Even if you’ve only got a week or so it’s the perfect place to go to get some expressions you might need in the street. I was there for 2 months and enjoyed it a lot. Teachers are really thorough and can give you some advice about the city life as well!
- Polo lessons with POLOELITE
- Buenos Aires Pub Crawl – Again a lot of tourist, but just as many locals and you can meet plenty of them!
- Spanglish Exchange – basically like speed dating but with practicing English and Spanish instead. It’s not going to make you fluent or anything, but I went twice in hope of learning some slang words and meeting some more locals. And it did just that because there are a lot of Argentines that want to practice their English.
Here are some food and drinks I highly recommend you try
- Drink MATE – Doesn’t get more Argentine than Mate. You will see a lot of locals drinking and carrying around cups in the streets. Hell, my teachers were drinking it in class (glad to, because they share!).
- Find a Parilla – Seafood has always been my favorite but the beef in Argentina made me seriously re-think that. They are everywhere and there are a ton of great restaurants so I honestly can’t even think of where to start.
- Pizza – You’re going to see pizza restaurants everywhere but my personal favorite was…. Well for the sake of my Argentine friend not hunting me down and killing me in my sleep, I can not tell you my favorite place. It’s a small hole in the wall but man it totally dominated any other place I went to.
- Alfojora – A sweet double layered cook. Really sweet
If you can think of anything else say it!!