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Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

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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!

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1. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

I am an expat, living in BA, does that count ? :)

We visited BA in November, 6 years ago. We liked it so much we moved here 5 months later. We have lived here for over 5 years, it is as wonderful as the day we arrived.

It is still full of the same wonderful people..which makes it special to me !

The city looks better in some areas, there are more parks, and the old ones have been fixed up a bit, the buildings have gotten a wash and a shine in some areas.

Yes, there is hardship and strikes and protests and prices have gone haywire .. but I am not sure how much any of that would affect a tourist.

I still recommend visiting here. As a visitor, you won't have to worry about the same things the residents have to worry about.

USD are allowed, unless you are buying an apartment :) Go to the bank, ATM machines and take out pesos and you are set to go, no problems.

It is a huge city, you will only see a little bit of it in a visit.

There is crime in every city in the world.

Every city has its dirty spots and good spots.

You live in NYC ? We did too. You will like it here, it won't feel that different to you. Except the people are very kind and friendly and the music is better ..

( just joking - although ...)

You should read the forums, read trip reports.

I

Edited: 3:49 pm, October 05, 2012
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2. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

Hi Konrad,

I just got back from BA - my friend and I were there for 6 nights and we loved it. Actually the next time we return, I'd love to follow this itinerary I made after discovering some neat places: 2 nights in Palermo Soho over a weekend (say Thur and Fri night for shopping and eating), 2 nights in Recoleta for site-seeing and eating, and 1-2 nights in San Telmo or Puerto Madero for San Telmo Sunday Market and a stroll along Puerto Madero, maybe stop for lunch in one of the nice restaurants or spa at Faena Hotel.

If you enjoy food, you must dine at Tarquino in Recoleta, HG at Fierro Hotel in Palermo Hollywood, and have ice cream at Persicco in Palermo Soho. Tegui also looked amazing.

And honestly I would only visit BA if you attach it onto a longer trip (include Iguazu for example). We spent the next week in Peru and it was GREAT.

let me know if you need more ideas!

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3. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

I think moving to a different hotel every 2 days might eat up a lot of holiday time .. you can easily take a taxi to all of these neighborhoods from wherever you stay and enjoy everything mentioned above.

I agree about staying as long as possible ! We were here for 10 days our first visit and it was not even close to enough time to see all that we wanted to see.. ( so we moved here lol)

Argentina
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4. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

<<I have recently read something on t/a that made a reference to Buenos Aires being a city like Manila (in rather unkind terms). I was rather offended at the time, thinking that my once beloved city could be really compared to Manila, a city that I knew little about but that I had relegated to a third world city with many problems. Well life does have a way with lessons close to home. Recently a family member has been travelling to Manila on a regular basis and this is her report. Manila is hot, humid, warm, crazy, polluted, has total traffic gridlock like no other city, poor and yet very rich, beautiful and sometimes ugly, parks and flowers galore, wonderful food, excitement, and most important of all absolutely beautiful people with incredible hearts, generosity and warmth, a city like no other and one she would be happy to live in and in her words, very much like Buenos Aires!!>>

This wonderful post was written a few months ago by Anna00747, and I believe it's a perfect answer to your question.

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5. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

Hello everyone,

I would like to give you my sincerest thanks for responding so quickly. Thank you for this detailed and helpful feedback.

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

As another ex-pat resident, I agree with Scarlett that nothing has changed in recent years that would affect a tourist. There were more frequent demonstrations when I first came, in 2006, and there were just as many crime stories. Many, many parts of the city are cleaner now, as Scarlett says. The sidewalks of San Telmo used to be covered in trash; now we have bins on every block. And new trees.

It is a big, dirty, noisy city... which is also beautiful, charming, welcoming and wonderful.

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7. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

ScarlettO1,

Thank you for all this information. You are correct on so many points, especially being that there is crime in every city, there are dirty parts in every city, etc. I am just a little concerned about the strikes and the "lock down" on US dollars. If I may ask - who tends to strike? Are these government workers? Or people working for private companies? Secondly, I thought President Kirchner set up a policy that no one is allowed to bring in US dollars to Argentina? Forgive my ignorance! I would love to get the opinions of a local who truly knows what is going on in BA.

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8. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

hcychan,

I really appreciate your advice being that you were a tourist enjoying the city. Thank you for responding. Also, your itinerary sounds great!

I think we are going to stay in one hotel for about 6 nights. We found a place near all the major sites including the cemetary, Puerto Madero, Teatro Colon, etc.

Also, please, keep the recommendations coming. My girlfriend and I are foodies. I am dying for some AMAZING steak and redwine. May I ask what else you did for fun? Tango show (I want to see one!)? Clubs? Bars? Things to see during the day? Etc.

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9. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

sylvie2,

Thank you. Sounds like BA is like any other city. Nothing to fear. I appreciate your insights. What are your favorite things to do in BA?

Argentina
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10. Re: Is BA Still A Great City Despite Economic Problems?

Konrad,

I'm a local. I was born in Buenos Aires and have lived most of my adult life in this city.

Yes, life is hard in some aspects in Argentina right now; but politics, economy & a bureaucratic state are a problem for locals, not for tourists.

President's K. policy regarding foreign currency (a.k.a. "the clamp on the dollar"), is to prevent further flight of money off the country.

You can bring up to 10,000 US in cash with you as always.