Spent four days in Buenos Aires in late November 2013, here are some thoughts.
My preconceptions about BA were happily dispelled. I booked to arrive in AEP and found clearing the airport very smooth. Same experience leaving, except that as it is a small airport, there aren't enough jetways so we had to do the bus and stairclimb thing, not great on a windy night in biting rain when people are taking their time getting seated.... Another was about Argentinians (mainly from comments from other South Americans from other countries). I found them incredibly friendly and helpful, willing to try English as I had hardly any Spanish. Also found BA safe.
Area stayed - Recoleta. I enjoyed this neighborhood, central enough to walk to the centre, Puerto Madero, MALBA, and a cheap taxi ride to Palermo, etc. I enjoyed visiting Palermo Soho, and I enjoyed leaving even better. Recoleta seems less touristy, more "real". And safe even for a single woman to walk around after dark.
- weekend tour of Casa Rosada (well-recommended).
- Recoleta Cemetary (you can do this without a tour; as you enter, turn right towards the original entrance and you'll find a map there to help you locate Eva Peron's crypt).
- Fine Arts museum (Museo De Belas Artes) - free and fantastic.
- MALBA - only A$40 (about US$4) and also fantastic. Note it opens only at noon.
- La Boca - went in the late afternoon as things were closing, but found a restaurant with a lovely Cuban band and singer, so we decided to stay for a drink and soak in the atmosphere. With a A$10 tip each, cheapest concert I've been to!
- Palermo Soho is great for shopping, starts to really happen only after noon. Use this guide for some of the best shops: gringoinbuenosaires.com/buenos-aires-shoppin…
- Bullrich Mall has some nice boutiques
- San Telmo Sunday market has some great crafts, especially in the middle section. Towards the end near Mexico, there is a cheap place to refuel called El Rey De Chori (King of Chorizos): pickupthefork.com/2013/…
Food. Had some great meals for incredible prices. Micro-reviews:
1. i-Latini: excellent 7-course meal involving lots of coconut, lime and other flavours. Coffee was made the traditional Colombian way, in a ig pot with cinnamon, so even though our meal ended past midnight we had to try it. Paired with an excellent Torrontes, with a nice tip, came to A$700 each (less than US$100!). Definitely deserves its top ranking on TA.
2. Chila - originally wanted to try Tegui but it was closed as it was a public holiday. Luckily Chila was open. Despite some reviews that it was too "conservative", had a great meal paired with a very nice San Felicien Malbec.
3. La Cabrera - weird experience where we were made to wait 45 minutes even though the restaurant was almost empty. Three of us shared the 500 gm wagyu steak. Excellent, and came with a lot of sides, so we wished the waiter had warned us so we did not have to order a salad to start. We also made the mistake of ordering lemon-champagne sorbet. It's actually an ice-cream float using champagne instead of soda!
4. La Pecora Nera - while it was fine, I was a little under-whelmed. Best Italian in the city? Seems they could do better.
Some other tips:
- I got the blue rate of 1:9.7 and when I changed too much, was able to change back to dollars at about the same. I found my cambio in Recoleta by asking the concierge at my hotel. I would suggest trying that first before resorting to Florida (which my concierge warned me against).
- try to plan your trip to avoid public holidays. Even more than Sundays, everything will be closed.
- we took a mix of radio and non-radio taxis. Found radio taxis slightly more knowledgeable about streets.
That's about all I can think of for now, feel free to ask questions!
BVEdited: 5:00 am, November 29, 2013