Looking to visit South America; check out Buenos Aires, says Matt Cassidy.
Landing in Buenos Aires Airport I was not sure what to expect and to be honest I was too tired to care; a 13 and half hour flight from Heathrow will make you feel rather ambivalent to everything. After a quick snooze in the hotel it was time to check out the capital.
From the colourful streets of Boca to the art deco architecture of downtown BA there is a lot to see from this city which you could confuse with Madrid and Paris.
I recommend taking a red bus tour for the price of €20 for a day ticket. Buenos Aires is a huge city so it is the best way of getting around. But remember to keep your ticket safe as mine took flight when I was sitting atop the bus.
Things to do
Football stadiums – Boca Juniors and River Plate
The two mega clubs are a must see for any sports fan. From the claustrophobic La Bombonera to the vastness of El Monumental, tours round the stadiums are a treat. Tours cost from €15 and are along the red bus tour route.
Just remember to remove your stadium tour sticker from one club to the next as they will not let you in the stadium as we found out at River Plate, after previously visiting Boca. Hold your nose in Boca’s stadium; the team’s nickname is ‘The Shits’ because the ground was built over a sewer and, boy, it smells.
The football season was on a midterm break courtesy of the 2014 World Cup, so I was unable to attend a match. But I did have the insane pleasure of watching Argentina beat Bosnia in the city centre; 20,000 Argentines celebrating was a sight to behold.
The birthplace of the tango is a wonderful cacophony of colour and noise. There are plenty of stalls and tango dancers to keep you entertained as you stroll around and take everything in. But remember to keep your wits about you as Boca is known as a dangerous suburb so it is advised not to wander too deep into the area.
A tango show
Check out the professional tango dancers in action while enjoying a three course meal. Before the show you can even try out your moves with the show’s dancers. I was amazing; trust me.
Pints pints pints
If wine delights your palate then Buenos Aires is the stop for you. If beer is your thing, try the local beer Quilmes. Pints cost around €2.70.
Meat, more meat, and more meat. Argentina is famous for its steak and when the waiter places a slab of meat the size of a cow’s ass on the plate for a meagre price of €10 in some places, vegetarians probably would reconsider their life choice. Pretty much every restaurant provides with bread and oil. I felt so cultured.
Cambio (change )
The Argentine peso is very weak so it is likely you will not get your hands on the currency outside of Argentina. The government rate for euro to Argetine peso was eight pesos to one euro when I visited. So with our local guides we went to local changers which are on every street corner. These ‘black market’ bureau de change offered rates around 13 pesos to one euro so they are definitely better bang for your buck.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Buenos Aires and if you like good food, good wine, and exploring, Buenos Aires is a holiday for you.
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