the Argentine Flag
If you are a Georgia Tech student traveling to Buenos Aires, there are many things that you need to know prior to getting there. I will do my best to share with you on what I feel are the necessities for life in Buenos Aires that will make your stay here the best it can possibly be. Keep in mind though, this is only from my perspective and from the experiences that I and my fellow peers have had after living in Argentina for a month.
First of all, practice your Spanish prior to arriving in Buenos Aires. There are some people who speak a little English, but for the most part, most people only speak Spanish.
the place where we got empanadas
They might understand a few words of English, if you manage to help them understand through the use of sign language, but knowledge of at least a few words in Spanish is a must.
Some of the basic words I feel you should know are the following:
La cuenta por favor: Check please.
Como se dice..: How do you say…?
Cuanto cuesta: How much?
Donde esta: Where is…
Basic numbers: Know these to order something.
the best coffee drink in Argentina!
Lo siento: I’m sorry/Excuse me
Por favor: Please
Lavar un seco: Dry-clean (This is in case you have nice clothes you DON’T want shrunk.)
If you at least know these few phrases, you can get by for a few weeks in Buenos Aires.
a famous cafe in Buenos Aires
Food is another topic that I’m sure you want to know about. What types of food do Argentines eat? Well, the most abundant food that you can find everywhere is empanadas. These little sandwiches come filled with the topping of your choice. I prefer my empanada stuffed with ham and cheese. The meat empanadas are decent, but they don’t taste as good as the ham and cheese ones. It’s better to buy them in bulk as well. The deal that members of our group always got was the 12 for 12 one. There was a place that sold empanadas by the USAL (Universidad del Salvador) where we had class. You won’t find a better deal than 12 empanadas for 12 pesos. While in Argentina, I would also suggest trying out lomo sandwiches and asado.
I highly recommend that you go watch a tango show here.
These are really good cuts of steak that will make your mouth water.
If you like sausage, I recommend eating choripan
Now that you know about what to eat, let me fill you in on what to drink. I’m a big coffee drinker, so if you don’t like coffee then you’ll want to take most of this with a grain of salt. My favorite drink by far in Argentina is the cappuccino Italiano. I love cappuccinos and this one is bigger and better than the rest of the ones you’ll get here. Everything comes in small portions in Buenos Aires when it comes to coffee, but this drink offers more for your money. Coffee lovers will also like submarinos (hot chocolate), cortadas (expressos) and the traditional café con leche (coffee w/ milk).
the place where we saw Flamenco!
I highly suggest that you also try out the juices here. The jugo de naranja (orange juice) is always freshly squeezed to perfection. You won’t get as much variety as you would in Brazil, but I can definitely vouch for the orange juice that you get in the cafes in Buenos Aires. The milk-based juices (smoothies) here are also very good.
If you are ever in the mood to read a book and enjoy a cup of coffee, any of the cafes in Buenos Aires will do. I recommend Café Martinez, because you can also get wireless internet connection there. There are a ton of cafes around the city and they all are vintage Argentine. Our tour guide told us that one can tell a lot about a city through the cafes in it, so you should definitely check them out to see what you can learn.
Flamenco dancers and the musicians
In order to travel to the many sites around Buenos Aires, I recommend that you study the bus and sub-te routes. The bus you will most likely use will be bus # 68. This bus will be the one taking you to the university and back. There are a lot of other buses, but I never was too familiar with them. I’m sure there were many shortcuts I could have taken to school and other places had I studied them closely. The sub-te can get tricky depending on where you want to go. I suggest trying out all the lines to get to a place in the first week or two to get familiar with where the train takes you. If neither of these transportation methods appeals to you, there is always the taxi. The taxi that I recommend is the Radio Taxi service. They usually have their taxis marked with that name and are usually not sneaky like some of the taxi drivers are.
if you go in groups you might even end up doing the YMCA! =)
They will not trying and cheat you out of your money, or at least in my case, they never did.
Do you like to shop? Some sites around town that I recommend for shopping are Florida Street and the mall at Alto Palermo. Both areas are packed with stores of all kinds of brands. Unfortunately, most of the items sold in these places were out of my price range, so I never shopped there; but if you are the kind of shopper who can find deals where most people think there are none, I suggest you check them out.
If you like music, there are many venues to check out. If dancing to music is what appeals to you, I recommend Lost and Asia & Cuba. The first is a club where on Thursday evenings, hip-hop music is usually played. I like hip-hop music, so I enjoyed the Thursday night that I went to Lost.
This is Lost. It got pretty packed over here.
Asia & Cuba is a restaurant that turns into a club.
I personally never got the opportunity to visit the place, but it came highly recommended by many in our residence.
If you are more of a music-listener instead of a dancer, there’s a jazz club called Notorious, which most of the other students in our group can vouch for.
I never went to this place as well, but all the reports I received on it were good.
There are also many shows you can attend around the city.
I attended a tango show at a place called Senor Tango, a flamenco show at a place called Cantares and an opera at the famous Colon Theater.
If you get a chance to go to any of these three or may be interested in attending one of the shows, I strongly bid you to pay a visit.
The shows are one of a kind and you probably won’t see any other like it anywhere in the world.
All of the aforementioned items are just some of the highlights that I believe you need to enjoy Buenos Aires at least as much as I did.
Go see a soccer game as well if you can! The fans are craaazy!
Of course, you might do ten times more than me and I certainly hope you do!
Do not limit yourself to just the things that I have listed.
I recommend that you get to know the people in your residence and your fellow group members as much as possible, so that you can go to many different places together.
It’s more fun to do things as a group, whether it is with your fellow American peers, Argentines, or even students from different countries who have come to Argentina
Meet new people and enjoy the city of Buenos Aires
I hope I’ve helped you gain a little knowledge about the city and I wish you all the best if and when you get here.