Top Ten Things To Do In Buenos Aires

My “Top Ten Things To Do In Buenos Aires” refers to the attractions that Buenos Aires is known for, and by some, considered the must dos. This list is my opinion of the top ten things to do in B.A to make your time there unique, to set your B.A. vacation apart from another and includes activities that really lend to B.A’s culture. Enjoy!

1) Play Polo with Polo Elite – I don’t know when my interest in polo began but it might have something to do with me riding and playing field hockey as a teenager. It’s a sport that seemed to combine the two and it had a je ne sais quoi that definitely intrigued me. It was on my “must do” list when I decided on Argentina, the unequivocal home of polo.

First, I did some research on my own, read traveller’s reviews and came up with a recommended company, Polo Elite. I contacted Fernando directly (a wonderful young man who is also easy on the eyes ;)) and he was great in communicating with me as well as keeping me up-to-date on weather conditions; it typically takes 3-4 days of drying time between rain and game time.

Coincidentally, I met an English girl named Harriet, in my hostel, who was also interested and who had inquired with the hostel. It turned out the hostel also recommended Polo Elite. So, three days after a rainstorm we were picked up a few blocks from our hostel, along with others and we set off for the 45-minute drive into the beautiful Argentinean countryside to a ranch located next to the Estancia where Michael Bublé wed his Argentinean bride.

We were picked up at 2pm and returned home for 9pm, the length of your half-day dependent on seasonal daylight. A full day is also offered with lessons, a mock match, BBQ, pool time and if you’re lucky, a professional match in the adjacent field. In our group? A guy who lives on the street behind me in Toronto, in fact in my brother’s building. As well, his friend and a few others who had ZERO riding experience. But, the great thing is that no riding experience is required. Fernando is excellent in his teaching and at the end of the day everyone was able to play a game. One, who had never ridden before even scored a goal which led us to victory. I do have to laugh though at my competitive spirit when Fernando asked if everyone where I am from is like me? Perhaps not. I do love my competitive sports.

Run, don’t walk and try polo with Polo Elite.

Booking Info: http://www.poloelite.com/

ARS $470 pesos or $110 USD for a half day.

2) Learn to Tango at Catedral: I chose La Catedral for my tango experience, opting to avoid the large touristy type of venues. “This milonga gets points for sheer originality. Unlike many milongas it’s not located in a shabby old dance hall or a beautiful Art Deco building, but rather a factory which has been converted into a big tango salon strewn with beat-up old furniture and strange artifacts. A big portrait of Carlos Gardel smiles down from the wall behind the high stage area. It all has a sort of grungy appeal. La Catedral attracts a young crowd and plenty of foreigners, particularly on Tuesday nights when they have a beginner’s lesson.”

The only downfall is that it can get crowded and our instructors spoke a lot of Spanish even though they knew most were English. They do speak English though so get close, pay attention and ask questions. NOTE: I’d recommend bring a partner/friend of the opposite sex, however, the later time brings in a lot more singles and I stayed when three cute single men asked me to join them. Done.

Booking Info: 20 pesos entrance. 30 pesos with a lesson. http://www.lacatedralclub.com/

3) La Bomba de Tiempo Percussion Event: Do you like percussion and losing yourself in tribal beats? Add in a fantastic venue called Konex, an old oil factory. Held inside if it’s raining and outside when it’s clear. An incredible night of percussion and fun with friends. Be ready to sweat buckets if it’s held inside.

Booking/Ticket Info: Monday nights. 50 pesos entrance fee. Inside you may purchase drink/food tickets. Full bar and limited food options, empanadas, nachos and popcorn. Maybe hotdogs if I remember correctly.

http://labombadetiempo.blogspot.com.ar/

4) Football game – Boca Juniors: One of the things I wanted to do most in South America, either in Brazil or Argentina, was to attend a football (soccer) game. South American fans are undeniably the craziest, some national players have even been killed by fans when making mistakes on the world stage. However, getting to a match IF NOT booked through your hostel or hotel is pretty much impossible. I checked every avenue possible, booking online, booking through a ticket agent etc and I would have paid the ARS $450 via the hotel but there was no more space available.

So, I did some research and found a blogger online who detailed how to go about getting tickets without purchasing through a hotel and it would also end up costing half of what the hotels charge. But, after a frustrating adventure we found out after all that it was in fact not doable, the ONE place we were told we could go to buy tickets was not open. Please note that there is no will call like many venues in North America where one can buy tickets. And, most importantly, almost all tickets you’ll buy near the stadium are counterfeit and will not get you inside. Even cops will tell you not to buy tickets from scalpers.

We spent a lot of time and effort trying to see the Boca Juniors play and weren’t able to. Instead book with a group going together and you’ll likely have a lot more fun meeting other travellers as well.

Booking/Visit Info: http://www.bocajuniors.com.ar/en-us

ARS $450 pesos ($100 CAD/USD) when booked via a hotel. Other teams may be cheaper, around ARS $350-375 pesos.

5) Brunch at Tortino Café – I’d recommend heading to Buenos Aires’ oldest café for a coffee or a meal. It’s no Cafeteria Colombo in Rio but it still has a beautiful interior and is well located on Avenida de Mayo. Perfect before heading to San Telmo’s Sunday market.

http://www.cafetortoni.com.ar/index2.html

6) Ride the “A” Subway Line – You don’t have to go far to enjoy the cars on Buenos Aires’ A Line. In fact, I took it only two stops to Café Tortoni for brunch. Line A was the first line opened in 1913 so enjoy the ride while you’re transported back in time to a time when you had to open the doors by hand (and still do) and when you could open the window to enjoy the ride underground. Beautiful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buenos_Aires_Metro

7) Discover Palermo – I love the Palermo district and I did not get to spend nearly enough time there. I would have liked shared my time between staying centrally on either Avenida de Mayo/ San Telmo and then in Palermo. What I did get to see of it was during the Graffiti Tour and while walking the twenty blocks to the Argentine Experience (not a close as I thought it might be).

Palermo has amazing boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants in every price range. It is a great mix of residential and commercial space with tons of tree-lined streets and of course, some of the best street art in Palermo SOHO. I can’t wait to go back and stay in Palermo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palermo,_Buenos_Aires

8) Bike tour of Buenos Aires – I didn’t get a chance to take part in a bike tour but saw many who did. It looks safe, relaxing and educational and I will for sure do one the next time I’m in Buenos Aires. Try out either Biking Buenos Aires or Ridin’ BA.

With both companies you may rent your own bike or join a bike tour.

Booking/Ticket Info:

Biking Buenos Aires – http://www.bikingbuenosaires.com/

Ridin’ BA – info@ridinba.com.ar – 15.3518.4842

At time of booking you might also want to read reviews on www.Tripadvisor.com

9) The Argentine Experience – What a great day it was for me on Friday, March 16th, 2012 after thoroughly enjoying the Graffiti Tour, meandering through beautiful Palermo, and then enjoying dinner at The Argentine Experience, a charming and interactive gastronomic evening with like-minded people, great wine and fantastic food.

Enter the host Leon, an effervescent young Brit transplanted from London to Buenos Aires. After moving to South America six years ago to learn Spanish he ended up becoming one of G (formerly GAP) Adventure’s top tour guides and then found himself in Buenos Aires’ looking to create a food/wine experience he would want to take his tour groups to. Voila! The Argentine Experience, which, seems to be the best possible fit for Leon, combining his language and social interaction skills along with his love of culture, wine and food. 

A maximum of 12 guests were invited to a dining room table where we learned how to make and created mouth-watering empanadas before wolfing them down. We were then brought up to speed on Argentinean hand gestures (there are many due to the large Italian influence), enjoyed the most delicious steak I had while in Argentina, an organic filet mignon and made our own dessert complete with mate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage) and alfajores (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche filling then dipped in chocolate and coconut).

Leon and his chefs were extraordinary, the service impeccable and Leon does a wonderful job of getting the demographic just right. After dinner he’ll point you to club nearby with free entrance for those who want to continue their evening together. 

That night I ended up forging friendships with a group of Aussies whom I will never forget and with whom I spent two of the following four weeks with.

Hats off to the chef! The Argentine Experience is not to be missed.

Booking Info: Try and book 2-3 weeks in advance and be flexible if possible so that Leon may best match you with others whose company you will enjoy. Lunch and dinner available.

http://www.theargentineexperience.com/

10) Teatro Colon – An architectural and acoustic marvel, Teatro Colon is Buenos Aires’ premiere opera venue and is considered one of the top five acoustic venues in the world. If you can’t make it for a performance, whether it be for opera, ballet or a concert then definitely do consider it for a guided tour.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teatro_Colón

http://www.teatrocolon.org.ar/en/

Booking Info: Guided Tours of the Teatro Colón are available Monday to Sunday, including holidays, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (last tour departs at 5:00 pm) and last 50 minutes. 


3 Responses to Top Ten Things To Do In Buenos Aires

  1. Pingback: Latest Wine Festivals

  2. I’ve heard a lot of really great things about Buenos Aires. Looks like a good list of things to do. Thanks for sharing!

    Andy April 7, 2013 at 3:03 PM Reply
    • One of my favourite cities with so much to do. I’ll definitely go back. Thanks for the follow back. 😉

      Julie Munsch April 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM Reply

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