A few of my favourite things: Buenos Aires




Buenos Aires is an enchantress of a city, filled with stately European architecture, the heady beat of a tango saloon, antiques markets staged in cobblestoned squares and the warmth and passion of the porteños. The winters are mild, the summers warm, and there is so much life in BA – I fell so much in love with this city that I intend to return and live there… one day. We can all dream.

Here are few of my favourite things about La Reina del Plata:

Parillada
A parillada in Buenos Aires

Parillada

An Argentine grill house serves something called a parillada mixta – usually some combination of steak, chorizo, sausages, blood sausage, ribs, liver, kidneys, and sweetbreads, cooked by the chef then brought to the table on a portable grill, served with a lemon wedge, chimichurri sauce and sides. Parilladas are everywhere in Buenos Aires – the one I sampled (thrice!) was around the corner from Giorgio’s House, where I was based during my stay in the city, a local recommendation.

In general, I loved the food in Argentina… for the first three weeks. I spent my fourth week angling for a fresh salad, curry, sushi, noodles and vegetarian food – there really is so much steak and Malbec, empanadas and pasta one can take! Special mentions go to the Italian-style gelato, more-ish medialunas, dulce de leche con churros, and alfajores – a story for another day!

Tango feet 2
Tango: a flurry of limbs

Tango

Tango started in La Boca, a poor, immigrant neighbourhood of Buenos Aires during the 1800s and is synonymous with Buenos Aires. There so many options to experience tango – at staged shows, at local milongas, taking private lessons. There is something primal about tango, with its blend of African and European influences, its sensual movements, and tense, almost-haughty emotion. Every time I watch tango in Buenos Aires, I was transported by the dance.

San Telmo antiques
Inside an Aladdin’s cave: One of San Telmo’s many antique shops

San Telmo Markets

I love markets – wandering around stalls selling vintage items for a few hours is my idea of a good time, so one of the best things about Buenos Aires for me was the market in Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo. There are a ton of small antiques, local souvenirs and arts and crafts. There’s also a party atmosphere – tango dancers, musicians, face painters, and food stalls offer entertainment and refreshment. San Telmo itself is a wonderful place for a wander – there are plenty of shops filled with character in the area.

BsAs La Boca
Colours of La Boca

Colour in the streets

La Boca is a whirlwind of primary colours – El Caminito, the main street, leading the way with blue, red and yellow buildings housing restaurants, shops and bars. The story here is that a local fisherman, having painted his boats, had some leftover paint left, which is used on his house. Soon, his neighbours followed and La Boca became a rainbow riot of colour. There is also a lot of graffiti in the streets of BA – in the side streets of La Boca itself, along Avenida de Mayo in the city centre, and in Palermo Soho. In Buenos Aires, there is colour everywhere. Graffiti Mundo run local tours, taking visitors off the beaten path and revealing the story behind the street art scene in Buenos Aires – I wish I’d known about this company when I was in BA, but when I go back, I will definitely take a tour with them!

There is so much life, movement, passion and colour in Buenos Aires. I have been twice, and hope to return one day, to put out semi-permanent roots, to learn the tango, speak castellano rioplatense, the local Spanish spoken with an Italian lilt, and become, even if for a little while, a fully fledged porteña. Buenos Aires is a queen amongst cities, and one of my favourite cities in the world.

What I have missed? Share some of your favourite things about Buenos Aires in the comments below!

Buenos aires map

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16 Comments

  1. restlessjo says:

    We should all come. It sounds fabulous!

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Yes – let’s all book a flight now! 😉

  2. Yes, BA is magical. I’m not typically crazy about large cities, but BA is an exception. I loved it more my 2nd time there – on my first trip in 2006 smoking was allowed – and happened – literally everywhere. In 2007, a law had gone into place limiting smoking. Ahhhh….

    You’ve hit most of the great highlights for sure. But I also love the inexpensive and high quality leather. I bought quality dress shoes at a fraction of their US price. The great street art (though you have a nice photo of one at the top of your post). The hustle and bustle of La Florida – touristy and crowded, but a lot of fun. Walking along the river.

    Yeah, I’d move there too.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Can see why you would have preferred it the second time around! Great point made about the leather – love their leather goods. And with the exchange while I was there, the shopping overall was actually amazing.

  3. 76sanfermo says:

    You made my day! I spent many years in Bs.As. ,when I was much younger and I miss that town……
    Beautiful takes and descriptions! Thank you!

  4. Joe Owens says:

    You have some beautiful photography here. I was especially intrigued by the street art at the top. Perhaps i will be ale to visit BA myself some day. Thanks for sharing your love of this beautiful place with all of us.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Thank you Joe! It would be lovely to visit BA, I hope you do make it there some day.

  5. Pall says:

    I liked this post, well done. The only thing I’m missing is the Bombonera, football a la Boca Juniors ;). Just kidding, it’s great as it is, a nice city deserves an equally nice summary. And a very nice blog btw.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      I never had a chance to go watch La Boca play – wish I’d done it. My friend went and said the atmosphere is electric! Perhaps another time. Thanks for your contribution!

  6. Lu says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is awesome! I have read some articles about Buenos Aires (where I live) and some other places that I like. I love your lifestyle! I have only 14 years old now, but in the future I would like to travel like you do. You are awesome 😀

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Ciao, Lu! Thanks for stopping by my blog too! I love BA! Your city is very beautiful. I’m sure you will fulfil your dreams of travel, good luck and best wishes!

  7. Heather says:

    I’m headed to BA in a few days and reading your post made me even more excited for my trip!

    1. Heather that is AWESOME!!! Have an amaaaaazing time! I’m very jealous!

  8. aurelia says:

    Hi Peggy,
    Great post about Buenos Aires. I’ve been living here for 8 years now, I too love San Telmo market and its antique shops. I would add to your list Palermo Soho’s designer boutiques and having a drink in Plaza Armenia. And now that spring has arrived, you cannot miss the beautiful Jacaranda trees with their amazing flowers.

    1. Excellent suggestion, thank you Aurelia! I’m so jealous you get to live in BsAs, one day I hope to move there and become a portena like you too! 🙂

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