Often referred to as the “Paris of South America”, Buenos Aires is a huge city with some really interesting sites. Although this is a big city, you won’t find angry locals who dislike vistors. The locals love to help lost travelers find buses, trains, or even a good cafe. While Buenos Aires doesn’t have a lot to offer when it comes to natural beauty, it definitely makes up for it with all the markets, theaters, tasty restaurants, one of a kind bookstores, gardens and of course, nightlife.
Public transit is very well organized in Buenos Aires. Buses, trains, and subways all work together to make basically any part of the city and the outlying suburbs accessible. The subway (or “subte”) is definitely the fastest of the three but closes early, so the weary and perhaps intoxicated traveler will have to take the buses (or “colectivos”). While the bus routes can be a bit daunting, you can always ask basically anyone on the streets and they will be more than willing to suggest a bus and explain where to catch it.
The street markets in Buenos Aires have something for absolutely everyone. You can find handmade jewelry, instruments and even dinosaur figurines. Many merchants target their goods to tourists so they make them easy to fit inside an overstuffed suitcase. All merchants will be ready to haggle, so make sure you are as well. It is not uncommon for merchants to jack up prices for foreigners, so be ready to talk them back down to a fair price. Even if you don’t buy anything, the markets are fun and interesting to stroll through. Almost every area of Buenos Aires has its own markets, usually on the weekends. The most popular market, however, is the San Telmo market. Catch a bus on a Sunday and check out all the merchants have to offer.
If you are a foodie, this city will have plenty to offer you. Unlike many other cities in Argentina, Buenos Aires truly embraces foreign cuisine. When traveling through Argentina even the biggest meat fanatics will tire of the parillas (grills) that boast high quality yet unseasoned or spiced meats. Argentines are not particularly fond of spices of any kind, which just makes the authentic foreign food of Buenos Aires that much more desirable. Within the city you can find Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Armenian, Italian, and more. As for local gems, everyone should definitely stop by a local panadería (bakery) for a freshly baked medialuna (croissants, but sweeter and much more delicious than the American version) and pick up an empanada on the streets.
The nightlife in Buenos Aires is nothing like Americans are used to. If you catch a cab home before 5am, everyone will know you are not a local. It is not uncommon to eat dinner at 10 or 11 and begin drinking at midnight. Around 3am most people head to a boliche (dance club) and dance right into the early morning.
This city is a great place to explore. You can spend days just wandering the streets and stopping whenever you see an interesting cafe or intriguing bookstore. While strolling through the streets you will inevitably encounter street merchants, dog walkers wrangling 10 dogs at once, and many other unfamiliar yet somehow refreshing sights.
-Rease Kirchner–Travelated Staff Writer