Top things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is an interesting city to visit — I’ve spent a month here in this European styled city and have had plenty of time to explore the best places throughout the city. I’ve been treated to some amazing cuisine, seen some notable places and learned about the history of the city. Here’s a list are my favourite things to do, and also a few points on what to watch out for while in Buenos Aires.
The Japanese Garden is located not far from MALBA (Museum of Art). It’s a beautiful garden to visit on a sunny day as you can get some amazingly colourful photos and just enjoy the walk through the Japanese styled park. It’s very relaxing with lots of large Koi fish, beautiful greenery and all based around a man made lake. It’s not as big as some of the other nearby parks and gardens, yet it is definitely worth the visit. Have in mind there is a small entrance fee, so come prepared with a little cash.
The Botanical Garden is only a short walk from the Japanese garden. On the way to the botanical garden you will pass by a Buenos Aires Zoo which you could also check it out if you’d like. (I didn’t visit the Zoo as I don’t enjoy seeing animals in captivity). The Botanical Garden is fairly large, it has many interesting plants (as any botanical garden should), separated by continents of origin. There are many nice spots where you can just sit and relax in the shade — my favourite spot was under a huge thousand-year-old tree. There is no entrance fee and it’s a nice place to get some amazing photo shots and just escape the buzz of the city.
The Recoleta Cemetery is famous as it is the resting place of many Argentinian presidents and other famous people — even Evita Peron is buried here. This cemetery was one of the most interesting cemeteries I’ve ever seen. The layout of the cemetery is maze-like — each tomb is about three metres tall — some are much taller. Many are interconnected and often you can peer through into each tomb allowing you to see cobweb-covered caskets inside. Most tombs contain stairs leading down to a lower layer — as you look down the stairs they become encapsulated by darkness. Slightly creepy! The entire cemetery and most of the tombs are made from concrete — on a hot summers day it becomes unbearably hot, so prepare yourself with plenty of water and don’t forget your camera as the unique designs provide eerie yet interesting photos. Entrance is free and closes at 5.
During my visit to Buenos Aires I enjoyed exploring the city, visiting many monuments and historical buildings. My favourites were (which also provide great photo opportunities): House of Parliament, Buenos Aires Monolith, and various statues throughout the city — including a statue of Bartolome Mitre (previous president of Argentina) where he is impressively riding a horse.
During my stay in Buenos Aires I spent most of my time in Palermo Neighbourhood — it is one of the biggest neighbourhoods in the city, filled with tree-lined streets and many cafe’s and restaurants scattered throughout. There are street markets to visit, nice artistic shops and a general feeling of safety when exploring the area. Tip: Watch out for land mines (dog poo) as it seems dog owners aren’t that religious when it comes to picking up after their canine companions.
Overall I didn’t find this city that appealing — it was interesting to see a city so far south with Italian-styled architecture. Yet I expected there to be more clean beaches, cleaner streets — yet was constantly looking at graffiti and tags. The recommended beach was either four hours south — Mar Del Plata or the other option was to catch a ferry over to Uruguay. Not exactly ideal when it was a hot summers day. Maybe I’m just used to the convenience of having a beach nearby. It was hard to adjust.
I’d recommend avoiding side alleyways in the city — and throughout Buenos Aires (both day time and especially at night). Although I was never pick-pocketed, friends of mine were confronted. I endeavour to always stay safe when I travel. It’s about making smart choices!
Thanks for reading — next up: My review on Florianopolis.