For me when travelling, it always seems to be the places I expect the least from that I fall for the hardest. I had heard only good things about Buenos Aires before visiting, but in amongst the incredible beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites, and ancient ruins, it seemed to me a rather insignificant stop on our itinerary – in fact, there was a point it was even dropped as a destination.
How glad I am that it was reinstated. I adored BA. Five days staying in a chic apartment in trendy Palermo Hollywood were some of the most memorable of the trip, and mainly because we felt like we really settled in to our neighbourhood, spending hours wandering around the tree-lined streets (avoiding an obstacle course of poop – an unfortunate downside in the dog-mad city that the authorities are trying to sort out) and stopping in at the bars and cafes that fill the sidewalks and come alive after hours.
While Palermo Hollywood draws comparisons to the East Village in New York, its neighbour Palermo Soho reminded me a lot of West Hollywood, with its wide open streets lined with boutique stores.
Good to know: BA is a late-night city. The bars (in my experience) don’t get going until well past midnight, and don’t expect the nightclubs to fill up until 2 or 3am. A mid-evening disco nap is most definitely a requirement for partying in Buenos Aires!
One day we took a bike riding tour around the city, which was recommended to us by some friends. And I want to recommend it to you. Biking Buenos Aires was a fun, relaxed and informative tour. If I say it is an easy ride, it most definitely is, and there is really only one short stretch where you ride with the traffic and not in a bike lane. If this ‘fraidy cat can handle it, you can too. Our guides were really cool guys, and ended up taking us out to some bars in San Telmo later that night.
We visited the Botanical Gardens, City Zoo, and Rose Garden, and then on to the Spanish Monument, Plaza Evita, Recoleta Cemetery, and Plaza Serrano. Along the way we stopped for empanadas and local drink Yerba Mate.
The Argentinian capital is a gorgeous city – remarkably European in feel (it is nicknamed ‘the Paris of South America’), with its neoclassical architecture, manicured parks, and chic retail and dining. A must-see city.