Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina in South America. Buenos Aires offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Obelisco de Buenos Aires
- Colon Theater
- Florida Street
- Plaza de Mayo and the Pink Palace (La Casa Rosada)
- Steak and Chips
- La Recoleta Cemetery
- Armed Robbery at my Hotel
There are over 1000 hotels in Buenos Aires, you’ll have no problem finding one in your price range.
Visiting Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in South America. Thankfully, it has a metro system which makes it easy to navigate. When I was in Argentina it was possible to change US Dollars with unofficial money changers at a rate a lot more favorable than the official rate. This was called the blue dollar exchange rate. Unfortunately due to the lifting of recent restrictions there is not much advantage to exchanging cash and you may as well draw money from the ATM. A word of warning, Buenos Aires has a high crime rate therefore don’t carry valuables with you unless you need to.
Obelisco de Buenos Aires
The Obelisco of Buenos Aires is the icon of Buenos Aires, it was top of my list of things to see. The Obelisco was built in 1936 to commemorate 400 years of the city. The street in which the Obelisco is situated is very wide and I was very pleased when I crossed the whole street in one go. You may think this sounds silly or easy but in Buenos Aires try crossing Avenida 9 de Julio without stopping!
Around the corner from the Obelico of Buenos Aires you’ll fin Theater Colón. If you are interested in the Theater then you should check out what’s on when you’re in town. You can take tours of the theater during the day.
Florida Street crosses right through the old city of Buenos Aires. You’ll pass thousands of restaurants, shops, street artists and Spanish colonial buildings. If you keep walking southerly on Florida Street, you’ll enter La Boca neighborhood which is famous for it’s colorful buildings, art and markets. It’s like a retro version of Florida street and a worthwhile visit for photographs of colorful houses.
There are a few Tango shows around Florida Street, Ventana is one but shop around for prices as there are many options available.
Located on the Plaza de Mayo is the Casa Rosada which is the mansion and office of the president of Argentina, this was Cristina Fernández de Kirchner when I was there. It’s the equivalent to the White House in the US or 10 Downing Street in the UK. The Casa Rosada photographs well from many angles all over Plaza de Mayo. You can arrange to visit the inside of the Casa Rosada during weekends but you must book in advance.
Steak and Chips
If you like steaks, then there is no better place than Argentina to enjoy one (maybe Uruguay). They call a steak ‘bife de chorizo’ or ‘lomo de chorizo’ and it’s usually served with chips. Throughout my time in Argentina I had this plate at least twice a day. You should really drink a Argentine red wine with your steak but I must confess I preferred to chase my steak with a local Argentinian soft drink called Ser.
La Recoleta Cemetery
A lot of people visiting Buenos Aires wish to visit La Recoleta Cemetery and see the tomb of Eva Peron (Evita). There are a lot of impressive looking tombs in the cemetery so you’ll probably come away with plenty of photos. I would recommend that you visit La Recoleta cemetery towards the end of the day so after visiting you can enjoy some of the nightlife of La Recoleta.
Armed Robber in Hotel
I had a bad experience in my hotel, Hotel Confort which is located on Viamonte. I had been exploring the city and was returning to the hotel, I noticed a motorbike parked right outside the entrance but didn’t think anything of it. When I tried to enter the hotel the sliding doors would not open so I swung my arms at the sensor. Little did I know that inside was an armed robber who had told the receptionist to turn off the sensor whilst he robbed her. Me swinging my arms had disturbed the robber and he decided to leave the hotel. However, by this time I had seen him and his gun and decided to walk a little up the road.
He shouted at me in Spanish, asking if I wanted to be next, then he got on the bike and they left. I then went into the hotel and the receptionist was very shook up, I gave her a hug and waited for the police with her. She was shaking but very thankful that I came back at that moment. In fact, she said I saved her life but I don’t think anything would have been any different if I hadn’t come back. Fortunately she only had 40 pesos so the robbers didn’t take much. The police then came and were very disinterested in what had happened. Other than this experience I would recommend Hotel Confort!
How to get from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls
I took the overnight Rio Uruguay bus to Puerto Iguazu from Retiro, bus station, Buenos Aires. This was a 17 hour service which cost 868 pesos. The bus was luxury with meals included as well as lots of legroom and the seats went back far enough to have a good sleep. They call this a semi-cama service in Spanish. I recommend you use this type of bus as much as possible whilst traveling in any of the South American countries, it truly is a hotel on wheels.