Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

 › entry 59 of 84 › view all entries
The Palacio del Congresso

Arriving in Buenos Aires on Argentine Labor Day was probably not the most ideal day to arrive as almost everything was closed. But after a 36 hours bus ride through nothingness I didn´t have that much of a desire to rush out and start seeing the city anyways. I also had to figure out where the US Embassy was so that I could go there on Friday to get more pages added to my passport as it was almost completely full. It was quite the task to find where the US Embassy was because the street that it is on, Columbia, doesn´t appear in any Buenos Aires online map databases, but there is a Columbres in a totally different neighborhood. But in the end it was located and I went there Friday morning expecting to wait for hours or having to leave my passport there until Monday.

The Casa Rosada
After going through security, which in keeping with the trend in America had been outsourced to a local Argentine security force, I only had to wait about an hour while they stitched and taped new pages, that look completely different, into my passport, which now looks rather homemade. From the embassy location in Palermo I then walked through the botanical gardens and Japanese garden before walking south to some of the art museums on the way to Recoleta to see the the famous cemetary there. The cemetary was quite nice, smaller with less grand mausoleums than the cemetary in Santiago, Chile, but with a much more intimate feeling to it. Strolling through some of the main streets on the way back to the subway it was such a drastic change from the small towns and cities in the south of the country to see the wide streets lined with multi-level stores of virtually every worldwide brand.
The tango of course

The next day I wandered through the nearby areas of Palermo Soho, a pleasant but rather pretentious area of overpriced boutique shops and restaurants packed with upscale Argentines and tourists soaking up the sunny weather. Sunday I had hoped to go to the Boca Juniors - River Plate game, a huge rivalry between the two main soccer teams in Argentina but I had arrived a bit too late to get any reasonably priced tickets so I had to settle for watching the game on TV, which proved harder than it should have been. Practically every place was totally full with people and many had minimum orders of $20 pesos per person to even enter. The streets were emptier than they would normally have been and I think more or less the whole country came to a stop during the game which ended up 1-0 in favor of Boca.

The obelisk in Plaza de la Republica
 

Monday I spent the day wandering all around the city center, looking at all the old buildings and monuments and the famous Avenida de Julio with the obelisk in the center bordered by 7 lanes of traffic on either side, which in turn are each separated by grass medians flanked by 3 more lanes of traffic on either side for a solid total of 20 lanes. The road has to be crossed via four separate crossings and is supposedly the widest avenue in the world. Unfortunately two of the main attractions in Buenos Aires are closed at the moment for restoration and renovation, the Colon Theater and the Government House, known as the Casa Rosada or Pink House. The other government buildings can only be visited on guided tours which are run at various times throughout the day and week, often with no signs or information, making visiting a bit difficult.

Tombs in the Recoleta Cemetary
Tuesday my last day in Buenos Aires I spent walking through San Telmo and La Boca. San Telmo was a smaller and more down to Earth version of Palermo Soho while La Boca was vastly different than the other parts of the city I had visited. It was much older and run-down, with the exception of the cleaned up touristy part around the soccer stadium, which was a bit too much for me. The district was filled with old buildings with colorful but often faded sheet metal siding and crumbling facades. Many parts of it aren´t that safe and it´s certainly one of those places where you wouldn´t want to be wandering around at night. However, it was a nice contrast to the more touristy attractions of the city center and Palermo and Recoleta.

Overall, I thought that Buenos Aires was nicest and most modern big city that I have visited in South America so far.

Colorful sheet metal houses in La Boca
Santiago was just as modern and cleaner but with much less to do, while Quito and Bogota both had better scenery with the surrounding mountains. Buenos Aires had a good mix of everything, although the surrounding area didn´t seem to offer as much as some other places. But I enjoyed my time there and got to hang out with some great people as well, which usually makes all the difference.

Next stop: Uruguay.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Palacio del Congresso
The Palacio del Congresso
The Casa Rosada
The Casa Rosada
The tango of course
The tango of course
The obelisk in Plaza de la Republi…
The obelisk in Plaza de la Republ…
Tombs in the Recoleta Cemetary
Tombs in the Recoleta Cemetary
Colorful sheet metal houses in La …
Colorful sheet metal houses in La…
Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo
The Casa Rosada
The Casa Rosada
The trees in Plaza San Martin
The trees in Plaza San Martin
The view from Plaza San Martin
The view from Plaza San Martin
The waterfront at Puerto Madero
The waterfront at Puerto Madero
Church in Recoleta
Church in Recoleta
In the Recoleta cemetary
In the Recoleta cemetary
More tombs in the entrance of the …
More tombs in the entrance of the…
Pedestrian walkway on Ave. Florida
Pedestrian walkway on Ave. Florida
Old building near the main plaza
Old building near the main plaza