Adam is a Philadelphia born writer and entrepreneur living in Buenos Aires who recently launched BABible (www.BABible.com), which he says “will change the way you see Buenos Aires and facilitate memories that will last a lifetime because it provides the most pertinent, locally generated information in a format that is both accessible and easy to navigate.” Because of his familiarity and fondness for Buenos Aires, I asked Adam to put together a Buenos Aires City Profile.
Overview: In December 2001, Argentina experienced an economic crisis that hurt the nation’s markets as a whole, but made travel to Argentina much more appealing to foreigners. Before the peso crisis, Buenos Aires was considered one of the most expensive cities to travel to in Latin America. When the peso stopped being valued on par with the dollar the cost of living suddenly plummeted for foreigners, causing them to congregate in Buenos Aires in massive numbers. Even though inflation is rampant in Argentina, Buenos Aires is still a bargain destination in comparison to Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States. Most of Buenos Aires’s century-old architecture has been renovated, but still maintains its old European and neoclassical feel.
Attractions and Neighborhoods: Buenos Aires residents, or “Portenos,” as they’re locally known, have a passion for following Europe’s architectural trends. As you explore the city, you will see a number of buildings that suggest influence from many other European cities including Belgium, Rome and Paris. Most of the city’s historical sites surround Plaza de Mayo. You will also experience Argentine history when visiting the barrios of La Boca and San Telmo. Furthermore, any traveler to Buenos Aires should indulge in a walk along the river in Puerto Madero, as well as an afternoon coffee at the many plazas and cafes in the Palermo and Recoleta neighborhoods. El Obelisco is one of the main icons of the city and is the center for many cultural activities and on occasion, protests. It is also the main gathering place for sports fans when their favorite team wins a game or a tournament, especially the national soccer team. Additionally, the Recoleta Cemetery is located in the upscale Recoleta Barrio of Buenos Aires, and it is the final resting place of many of Argentina’s wealthiest and most famous families and personages, including Evita. The Museo de Artes Latinoamericano de Bunenos Aires, or the MALBA, houses one of the best collections of Latin American art dating from the 19th- and 20th-centuries, and there are works by Antonio Berni, Pedro Figari, Frida Kahlo, and Diego Rivera here.
The original neighborhood in Buenos Aires was San Telmo, and it is also the home to the Tango. Boca houses the city’s soccer stadium and also has some unique sights that are worth seeing. Las Canitas, Palermo, Puerto Madero and Recoleta are the most posh and luxurious neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. All of the best restaurants and clubs are situated in these locations and you will most likely spend the majority of your time in these neighborhoods. These six neighborhoods demonstrate the distinct aspects that Buenos Aires offers visitors, such as history, preserved Latin American culture and 21st century amenities.
Dining and Nightlife: Buenos Aires is an international city and you can find any type of cuisine that you may desire. European immigrants from Spain and Italy who migrated to Buenos Aires brought some of their signiture dishes along. If you are looking for an authentic dining experience visit a parilla, or BBQ, and indulge in your favorite cut of beef. Chori & Wine is located at Costa Rica 5198 and serves the best rib eye in the city. For a good authentic Italian meal, visit La Baita on Thames 1603. The pastas here are some of the best available and the wine selection is quite good as well.
Local Transportation: Buenos Aires is a perfect walking city. It is relatively flat and the tree-lined boulevards surrounding European facades provide a nice view while walking. The city also has good public transportation. There are a number of taxis that can get you to your destination relatively cheaply. The bus system is also very good here and you can reach any location in the city by using a bus, which is cheaper than a taxi. The fastest and cheapest method of travel in Buenos Aires is the metro. You can access a good portion of the city using the metro, but unfortunately, not all destinations can be reached by metro.
Traveling to Buenos Aires: There are a number of carriers that provide service to Buenos Aires including: American Airlines, Continental, Delta, United, U.S. Airways, and LAN Airlines. The best way to find non-stop service to Buenos Aires is by using a travel website such as kayak.com, which will provide some of the best prices available. Also, you could use exitotravel.com, which specializes in travel to South America and can find great deals on flights.