I’ve found the Trip Reports to be very helpful, so while you can find more detailed info on these subjects within this forum and on the individual reviews, here is a punch list of notes from our 6 days in BA about 2 weeks ago.
BA was awesome! We strolled and explored the city all day by foot and subway. No problems at all. Enjoyed a touristy Tango show one night and ate/drank like champs in Palermo Soho (near our hotel) all the others. My wife insisted on not bringing her wedding ring or nicer jewelry which was appropriate as nobody else seemed to be wearing American style wedding/engagement rings.
Bring USD$. I did not bring enough, changed too much into pesos before. The shops, like on Florida Street, will really deal if you have US$. If you bring enough cash, and don’t want to trade on the street for an easy 6-1 ratio (just ask around) then exchange a small amount into pesos before just so you have some currency for little things.
For the most part ok, but often had to “remind” them to turn on the meter. The taxi driver from Newbery Airport took a very direct route to our hotel in Palermo Hollywood but then “couldn’t find” the street and drove around until I finally pulled out my map on my phone to show him. A metered taxi to Newbery Airport from Palermo Hollywood should be about 40 pesos. The cabs were easy to get, but some were just better than others.
Easy, efficient, hot. Took everywhere during the day and into early evening. Didn’t take at night, but mainly because we enjoyed our hotel district after hours.
OFFLINE STREET/SUBWAY MAPS FOR SMART PHONE:
Helps to have downloaded a city map to your smart phone beforehand. Google maps lets you save locations for off-line use, but I found MapsWithMe app (About a $5 download and very worth it) better because it shows the subway stops on the map (Not the full subway map though). The Trip Advisor off-line guides were actually pretty weak but for the simplified subway system maps which were very useful.
PALERMO SOHO vs PALERMO HOLLYWOOD:
PH was fine, funky to a degree, but at some point dog poop just becomes uncool. PS has much more going on (including its fair share of dog poop) and is definitely a place to be. We liked staying here because it opened up much more of the city. Our Hotel was the Be/Hollywood in PH which was a solid place (separate review) especially being right on the corner of Honduras Street, one block the stark beginning of the PS action.
We went with Complejo Tango (Separate review). A smaller, and much better priced, company which offers a group tango lesson before hand – a lot of fun! The dinner was good and they were very generous with the wine. I’m no Tango expert, but the show we saw looked great. Towards the end they even came around and offered you – in a very comfortable way – the opportunity to use your new skills to dance with the performers near you table.
RESTAURANTS (all have separate reviews):
- Calden del Soho, Palermo Soho: Best steak ever. (Lomo medallion/filet). Local people (I think we were only gringos in there), but English menus available, very reasonable prices, great food, wine selection, and ambiance
- Don Julio, Palermo Soho: Quality, prices are fine, setting is cool. A mixing of tourists, English menus available, but a definite local experience. They offer you a glass of champagne or other welcome drink while you wait for your table - a very nice touch.
- Sucre, Belgrano: Trendy, cool and pricey but not outrageous, delicious. English menus
- Cafes: Plentiful all over, definite European café culture. Food was hit or miss.
Go see a match!!! Amazing and so exciting! Being from NYC I felt like I was lessening myself by paying extra to go with a company to the game – A BA friend recommended Tangol and they did a great job. Rather than struggling to buy tickets in BA or going through some shoddy on-line site from England for tickets, we paid a little more to get awesome seats, a ride to/from the game in a comfortable coach bus, a local guide who stayed with our group and was still able to enjoy some pre/post game hype. It’s not like in America where you can wander around the stadium and explore. First, they are old and each section is cordoned off with razor fencing and the field has a moat around it. Nobody wanders. They stay in their seats and chant and cheer all game, so go with group and just enjoy. Good luck finding a cab in all that craziness after a game and the subways are not close. I highly recommend if seeing River Plate, and honestly it’s a necessity if going to see Boca.
Tigre is a nice day trip, however I highly recommend taking the boat back to BA as opposed to the train. The standard trip is to take the train to Tigre, walk around the river area, the fruit market (where they sell a lot more than fruit), take a boat tour around the Delta (very interesting), and train it back to BA. A few boats few will take you all the way back to BA after the Delta tour – which was a really great experience and made the day worth it for us. You probably don’t need to book a guided tour from BA, but you can as it’s a bit simpler. Most make a stop in San Isidro along the way which was interesting, but nothing you couldn’t do on your own.
MILONGA (dance social):
We loved the Glorietta Milonga in Belgrano as it was outdoors, in a park, under a huge gazebo. (Plaza de Belgrano, 11 de Septembre b/w Sucre & Echevaria, Friday Saturday Sunday 7-10 pm). Easy taxi from Palermo Hollywood/Soho. Maybe a bit far from other areas – but totally doable if you have comfort with the subway then hitching a cab.
As stated before, we got around the entire city by foot and subway and loved it. As for Boca though, we had fun but cabbed in into and out of there as there is no close subway to Caminito Street. We strolled San Telmo that morning and took a quick cab to Boca/Caminito from there. On way out the cabbie did not want to drive all the back to Palermo so we just asked him to take us to Plaza de Mayo and caught the beginning of our subway line from there.
I found for all our travels going on MeetUp.com provided some good options for interesting things to do or groups to connect with, especially for things like bike or photography outings.
OK – enjoy your travels!