Firstly it’s great to be back home after living out of suitcase for the last while but I am really really missing south America. I didn’t expect to love it so much but it has me hooked! I only got to visit Argentina and Brazil but I am already thinking of returning for a longer trip to visit more countries. It has a vibrancy that can’t be beaten and a real sense of freedom, there is colour everywhere, music and a real sense of live in the moment.
I started my trip in Buenos Aires which is such a great city and I thought it was so busy, well until I reached Sao Paulo that is!A big thing that I was constantly warned about was safety, I never felt unsafe in south america, quite the opposite and the people we met were so friendly. Just be aware of your surroundings and don’t carry too much cash as you would in any large city.
Where I stayed…
I stayed a the Globales Republica Wellness & Spa Hotel which was very reasonably priced. It was very centrally located opposite the Obelisk and also right next to the metro which was great for getting around!It also has a Spa but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to use it.
Places to Eat…..
I got the most amazing steak at a restaurant called La Famiglie on Salta street,the service was great and the waiter couldn’t do enough for us.I also thought it was fairly reasonable, for AR$760/€46 I got a bottle of wine, two huge steak dinners,dessert and two complimentary glasses of champagne. I didn’t eat that all myself tho, my sister was with me! I also tried La Rey Pizzeria which is great for a quick lunch or dinner. It’s cheaper and has Argentinian, Italian & Vegetarian options. The pizza’s are really tasty and I loved the diner decor which was really retro.As for one of my favorite things….Coffee…well in Argentina they LOVE to put cinnamon in it! Personally I find it completely overpowers the coffee and don’t like it.So if you feel the same about your coffee then learn this phrase…..No canela ,por favor!
Things to do….
Buenos Aires with nearly 3 million inhabitants is a hive of activity, day and night. I was hoping to take in a tango lesson but unfortunately wasn’t there long enough. I did get to visit Recoleta Cemetery, the resting place of Eva Peron. An hour or two is more than enough time to wander about and see the various tombs and mausoleums. It’s free to get in and past presidents, military heroes, influential politicians and the just plain rich and famous are buried here.I also visited Plaza de Mayo which is the oldest public square in Buenos Aires, it houses Casa Rosada and just behind it is Casa Rosada Museum which is free and open Wednesday to Sunday. It’s lovely to just relax in Plaza de Mayo square and have a coffee. It is fun to head to San Telmo and browse through some of the antique shops and markets. There is a beautiful park at Plaza San Martin that we relaxed at on our way to book our bus tickets at Retiro bus station.
Some hints & tips…..
- If travelling from the airport to the Obelisk where I was staying, I was quoted AR$ 600 or US$ 40 by a taxi but I got a shuttle bus for AR$ 180. I used the shuttle ArBus which are literally just outside the arrivals door. So biiiig difference in price if you are on a budget.
- The metro or Subte as it’s known locally is great, it is so cheap to use. Buy a card for AR$25 and just top up as you need. It is AR$7.50 per journey and I used it throughout my stay without any issues.
- Retiro Bus station is in a fairly dodgy looking area but it is well policed at all times which is good.
- If your Spanish isn’t strong then google translate is your friend! English is not spoken much in Buenos Aires and my Spanish is pretty weak. If I asked a question in Spanish they replied so fast I couldn’t understand them!! So I wrote out my basic questions in both English and Spanish and just pointed to them. That way they replied slower and everything moved much smoother when booking tickets.
- Below is the Subte map so you can plan your journey before you go….
Buenos Aires is a fun, vibrant city, I only wish I had a chance to stay longer. There were so many other sights to see and experience but hopefully I will get the chance in the near future to go back.