Eva Peron from Evita once said:
“What’s new, Buenos Aires? I’m new! I wanna say I’m just a little stuck on you.“
And you will be stuck on Buenos Aires too!
Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America. Known for its European-style architecture, rich cultural life, abundance of theaters, and of course, tango, Buenos Aires has something for everyone.
Ana Astri-O’Reilly was born and bred in Buenos Aires and shares her insider secrets on the best things to do in Buenos Aires…
Things to do in Buenos Aires
What’s the best time to visit Buenos Aires?
My favourite time of the year is the spring (end of September all through November), when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom and the city is covered in lilac and the temperature is mild.
What’s the best way to get around Buenos Aires?
On foot and by bus.
What are the different districts of Buenos Aires?
There are so many! We call them barrios.
- Palermo is divided into clearly distinct areas, mostly trendy.
- San Telmo is the oldest part of town and has a bohemian air to it.
- Microcentro is where the government buildings and banks’ headquarters are located.
- La Boca is famous for the colourful houses of La Vuelta de Rocha.
- Recoleta is the quintessentially posh barrio.
- Puerto Madero is the newest barrio and sits next to the river. It has many restaurants and bars and it’s a good place to jog or roller-skate.
What should women pack for Buenos Aires?
Pack comfortable walking shoes as it is a very “walkable” city. Bring some makeup and nice clothes to go out in the evening but try not to bring flashy, expensive jewelry.
However, if you want to stand out as a tourist, by all means wear your backpack and Birkenstocks, don’t do your hair and carry a bottle of water with you.
What are three things every woman must do in Buenos Aires?
Shopping is a bit of a cliché but you can find nice leather shoes, boots, handbags and jackets. I’d suggest that any visitor to Buenos Aires should walk around, find good people-watching spots (La Biela café in Recoleta is a good one,) maybe take tango lessons.
Will visitors have a difficult time with the language barrier?
Some locals speak English, especially hotel staff. You probably want to have a Spanish phrasebook handy.
What are some typical accommodations?
The usual: chain hotels, hostels and boutique hotels.
What are three traditional meals (and the best drink) in Argentina?
The best drink is a no-brainer: wine, of course.
Ice cream is utterly delicious (try Freddo, Volta, Persicco).
If you like meat go to a parrilla (steakhouse) and order bife de chorizo or entraña (flank steak) or tira de asado (thinly cut beef ribs).
Empanadas (hand pies) are a delicious snack or even meal. There are many different fillings: beef, ham and cheese, sweet corn, tuna.
What is the most common misconception about Argentina?
That it has tropical climate and culture. No idea why, maybe because many people, especially Americans, think that all of Latin America is exactly the same.
Are there any culture shocks women should expect in Argentina?
Some men can be disrespectful towards women. Just ignore them.
Where’s the best photo opportunity in Buenos Aires?
The parks of Palermo in the spring with the jacarandas in full bloom. The Puente de la Mujer in Puerto Madero.
Is there a gender divide in Argentina?
Yes, there is but it is not wider than in any other developed nation.
What other advice can you give women considering visiting Buenos Aires?
Watch your belongings, don’t hang your purse from the back of the chair in public places.
What did you think about this interview?
Join the discussion and leave your comments, tips, and personal experiences in the comments below.
Thank you Ana for participating in this interview. For more info on Ana, please visit AnaTravels.org.