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Trip Report September 2013

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Walnut Creek, CA
posts: 99
reviews: 65
Trip Report September 2013

I spent five days in Buenos Aires in September 2013, as part of a longer solo trip that included Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro. The following are some of the highlights of the BA portion of the trip:

Airport Arrival/Departure Transportation

I arrived at Newberry airport, on a flight from Iguazu, on a late afternoon. The airport was very hectic and the arrival of luggage was very slow. I used Manuel Tienda Leon car service to get from the airport to The Glu hotel in Palermo Soho. I think it was about $25 (US).

I left from EZE on a Monday evening. My hotel called a cab for me; I think it was about $45 US. At 6pm, it took over an hour to get to the airport, so leave plenty of time, if you have a night departure.

Weather

Weather was variable. The first day was quite cool and I was glad I had a down vest with me. It got progressively warmer and most of the time it was in the high 60s, low 70s. One day, there was heavy rain the entire day.

Safety

I had no problems but I was very careful. I only used my Nikon DSLR at the cemetery and around Recoleta; the rest of the time I used my Canon point and shoot camera. I used a purse from PacSafe that is designed to prevent pickpockets, and I felt more comfortable on the trains because of this feature.

Getting Around

I’m a good walker, but the city was vast and at times I used the subway. I was nervous, but taking Buenos Aires Local Tours gave me the confidence to use it. On weekends, it was not as crowded. Overall, though, I walked a great deal.

Sights

During the five days I was in Buenos Aires, I saw the following sights

Madres de Plaza de Mayo - very moving sight. They march on Thursdays at 3:30.

Palacio Barolo - magnificent art nouveau building on Av. De Mayo - worthwhile to see the lobby

Recoleta Cemetery - worth a couple of hours or more than one visit

San Telmo Market - go early on a Sunday to avoid crowds. Lots of vendors and things to see and photograph

Evita Museum - worth a short visit; beautiful building

Teatro Colon - worth seeing, but finding the entrance for the tour was not marked and was difficult to find.

Ateneo book store - beautiful book store, but I thought there selection of travel books was poor.

Puerto Madero - nice, easy walk; I enjoyed seeing the Calatrava designed bridge. There are a lot of food stands by the ecological park.

Shopping

I wanted to buy a leather jacket in Buenos Aires. My hotel recommended Uru in Recoleta. They had beautiful things but were not cheap, and I was nervous about having something custom made. I ended up getting a jacket for about $150 at Murillo 666. The quality was not as good as Uru, but it was fine for my tastes. Notes that Murillo 666 is open on Sundays, although the staff at my hotel told me it was closed. I also like walking around the outlet stores in Villa Crespo, near Murillo. It was a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, although I did not buy anything. Note that the outlets are only about a 15 minute easy walk from Palermo Soho; the leather stores are about 5 minutes further away.

Misc

I originally was torn between staying in Recoleta and Palermo Soho, and I’m glad I chose the latter. To me it was a more interesting neighborhood, although not as central, and I enjoyed walking around and exploring the neighborhood. I had originally planned to stay at a hotel across from the Recoleta cemetery, and I found that area very touristy and somewhat run-down.

While I am glad I spent the time in Buenos Aires, it is not a city I would be in any hurry to go back to. While people were very nice and helpful, much of the city is run down with lots of graffiti, broken sidewalks and too much trash. This was true of Palermo Soho, even though this is considered one of the better areas. There were especially so many beautiful buildings in the Microcenter than have seen much better days. Overall, much of the city just felt sad to me, rather than charming as others have stated.

San Miguel de...
posts: 961
reviews: 39
1. Re: Trip Report September 2013

Aurora,

Thank you for your comments. You have some critical things to say but unlike so many I read you are not strident or opinionated. I really appreciate that. It is such a shame that this truly magnificent city is suffering from neglect. Many of the monuments and buildings were designed and built by brilliant architects and artisans in an age when craftsmanship resulted from a lifetime of dedication to excellence and fine detail. I've had many conversations with Argentines who are chagrined by this state of affairs. There are also many there like long time poster BA Sandy and others who display a historical depth of knowledge on this subject that gives me hope that someday Buenos Aires will be given a much need dose of TLC. Given enough time you could fall in love with Buenos Aires if you're not careful.

Edited: 2:08 pm, November 23, 2013
Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,245
reviews: 139
2. Re: Trip Report September 2013

Thanks for posting your report and am sorry you weren't taken with BA, there was a post on here about 6 months ago with a video of how BA was in much better times and you can see what a magnificent city it was, sadly some of the beautiful buildings have been neglected and it's such a shame.

Boulder, Colorado
posts: 1,167
reviews: 238
3. Re: Trip Report September 2013

Good for you. You managed to "pack it in" and see much of what the city has to offer. IF you come again, think of staying in Palermo Botanico. I think you'll like it.

We stay in the same n'hood since 2008 and every year we return we see the same sidewalk cracks and then more. While we look down continuously while walking.....it's a small price to pay for enjoying BA SO MUCH.

Happy Travels.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 432
reviews: 6
4. Re: Trip Report September 2013

I've really enjoyed reading your trip reports. Thanks for sharing your impressions of BA/neighbourhoods, transportation tips and general itinerary ideas. I will also spend 5 days exploring the city solo and appreciate the helpful tips.

5. Re: Trip Report September 2013

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