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Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

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New York City, New...
posts: 25
Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

My girlfriend and I would like to go to Buenos Aires for a vacation in late November.

I have heard some unsettling complaints from various colleagues of mine about Buenos Aires who traveled there in RECENT MONTHS... Due to the economic problems facing Argentina these days (lots of strikes, city is dirty and lots of crime, no US dollars allowed, etc.), they hated their vacations in BA.

My question is... despite these economic problems is Buenos Aires still the same beautiful city it once was, with a myriad of sites to see and activities to do? Or is it not worth going to?

I am looking for advice, testimontials, etc. from people who have RECENTLY traveled to Buenos Aires (last 6-8 weeks). Were your stays enjoyable? Did you have fun? In sum, do you recommend coming here for a vacation in late November?

I appreciate any information you can give me. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to help!

New York City, New...
posts: 25
21. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

WOW. Thank you for this great news. 15 days! What a great trip. Was 15 days enough or did you want to stay even longer? We are only planning to be there about 6 days... Hhhhmmm...

What kind of activities did you do during your trip? And where are you from?

Again, I appreciate all this info. Thank you.

Los Angeles
posts: 53
reviews: 171
22. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

I am from Los Angeles. You can do a lot in 6 days. We are leaving tonight and packing, so I will update you when I return home.

New York City, New...
posts: 11,517
reviews: 114
23. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

I don't understand your concern over US dollars. Use your ATM card when you get to Buenos Aires and get some pesos. We did exactly that at Buenos Aires airport (I believe it was a HSBC ATM) and used them all over.

We were in Buenos Aires in mid-August and loved it. It reminded me more of Europe than South America. Even down to the wonderful little gourmet delis and cheese stores in Recoleta.

Steak is cheaper than in NYC. But otherwise, meals are equivalent prices. But a lot of BA is free - walking around San Telmo, Palermo, Recoleta and its cemetery, the Casa Rosada. We were shocked by the price of a tour of the Teatro Colon, though - equivalent of USD 25.

Buenos Aires...
posts: 133
reviews: 14
24. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

Just remember... always keep your exchange ticket, that will help you in case you left some pesos and want to buy dollars back.

Good luck !

San Miguel de...
posts: 948
reviews: 39
25. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

kateoz,

I think Konrad might make good use of your ATM experience. He may have been concerned that by using an ATM he'd be changing USD at the official rate. The unofficial or extra-official rate, which is not without some risk, is substantially higher and widely available.

Buenos Aires...
posts: 133
reviews: 14
26. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

The funny is that i m going to travel soon and i can't buy any dollars!!! and in unofficial places, is like you say.. risky... !

Los Angeles
posts: 53
reviews: 171
27. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

15 days in Buenos Aires was fantastic. We love to walk, so we spent many hours a day exploring the city. Palermo Soho with it's many shops and restaurants is a great place to wander. Graffiti throughout the city makes for a fantastic tour in itself.

Puerto Madera is a fun way to enjoy a quiet afternoon along the waterways, admiring the yachts, the people rollerblading, the many outdoor cafes and restaurants. If you keep walking along the water toward the nature preserve, there are a lot of street food vendors offering really tasty stuff. We saw it on the food network, and our huge sandwich topped with wonderful sauces cost about $1.50. There are very few tourists there, just lots of locals with their families. It is definitely worth a visit.

Every guidebook talks about the San Telmo Sunday market, which we did on our first visit. This time we decided to go and explore San Telmo midweek so that we could really see it without the crowds. There are incredible antique stores, resale shops, and lots of restaurants. We happened upon the penitentiary museum, which is free and fascinating. We also discovered (the smell beckoned us in) El Parque Pizzeria which had the best pizza we have ever tasted. It is a tiny hole in the wall with a red awning, so if you happen to see it in San Telmo - check it out.

We also happened to see the flag removal at sundown in front of the pink presidential palace. It was rather like the changing of the guards, with soldiers marching out and one trumpeter playing as the flag was lowered. Very cool to see.

If you have not been to the Tigre Delta, then by all means go. You can hop on a river boat for a tour around the many canals and islands. It is a fascinating thing to see.

We went to museums, shops, restaurants, markets, outdoor fairs, rode the subways, enjoyed neighborhood cafes and fine restaurants, explored city parks, ate lots of medialunas, photographed the gorgeous architecture, ironwork and carved wooden doors, explored the many polo and leather shops, and enjoyed every single minute.

San Miguel de...
posts: 948
reviews: 39
28. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

bstorm,

Wow, nice trip report. I enjoy reading about the love affair that so many people have with this city. Thanks.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 4,385
reviews: 674
29. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

I agree you can have a wonderful time still even with the higher prices, especially if you're getting the informal exchange rate.

I arrived to town a few days ago. I changed over funds and bought several thousands of dollars worth of pesos and I got 6.15 pesos to $1 US. Absolutely it makes things MUCH cheaper vs. getting the official lower rate.

I came with a good friend that has never been to Buenos Aires before. So I've been playing tour guide. The weather has been fantastic! Really sunny days and cool evenings.

Taxi fares are more expensive than before but at the informal rate they aren't too bad. Traffic seems worse than ever though. And on the way from the airport there were protestors blocking the road so it took a while to get into the city.

My driver said that is happening more and more lately on the road to the airport.

One thing I noticed now vs. the last time I came in a few months ago is you don't have to fill out any immigration form anymore. They just scan your passport but no form to fill out now.

We've been having GREAT meals. We had to wait 1 hour at La Cabrera even on a Wednesday night at 9:30 PM. So business is as good as ever there it seems. We had an amazing meal at Sotto Vocce on Libertador. And last night I had a delicious meal at Sucre in Belgrano. All of the restaurants were totally packed. So they certainly aren't hurting for business it seems.

Some frustrating things and inefficiencies as usual. We tried to take the hop on/ hop off bus and online it says you can buy a ticket on any bus. So we waited in line with a bunch of other tourists in front of the Zoo in Palermo.

The lady on the bus said she was sorry but they don't sell tickets on many buses and said you have to go to some main office to buy tickets. What inefficiency! So she took off leaving about 12 tourists on an empty bus. She said the next bus coming in 20 minutes MIGHT sell tickets.

Needless to say we skipped the hop on hop off bus. Some other non-tourist related problems including not being able to withdraw US dollars from my US dollar savings account I hold at HSBC. That isn't a good sign when a bank won't easily let you withdraw your funds.

But all in all a great trip so far.

Miami
posts: 18
reviews: 34
30. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

My husband nad I will be travelling the first week of November!~Thank you for the feedback! We are very mindful of the tough time othe "argentinos" are going through! but as a tourist we only get a"speck of dust" of the city!~

Crime..is everywhere! we always use the same safty precautions we use at home!~ I am a sociual worker and I have done "field" work for years, day and night in the ghettos of New jersy and Miami!~ and I am still here!

Go to Argentina and "disfruta"

Be safe! have fun, Maria