The first time I traveled to Buenos Aires, I remember making a wish that I would one day be able to return to this magical city. Less than two years later, I was back and ready for more explorations! Buenos Aires is one of those cities that suits almost any traveler but if you only have a few days here, there are three things I definitely recommend doing before you leave:
Visit the Recoleta: Unless cemeteries creep you out and ornate churches aren’t your thing, hitting up this area is a must for any culturally curious traveler. The Recoleta Cemetery houses many of Argentina’s most notable leaders throughout history including Eva Perón, Raúl Alfonsín, and several presidents of Argentina. The graves alone are enough to make even the most jaded world traveler stop and stare at the impressive construction and architecture of each series of tombs. Next to the cemetery and also well-worth a visit is the Church of Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Although there is no subway stop that drops you off right in La Recoleta, the walk to this neighborhood is full of bustling examples of city like and European-style architectural buildings. Several coffee shops and restaurants line the surrounding streets.
Palermo: Last time I was in Buenos Aires, I only managed to see Palermo from the inside of a car. This trip, however, I actually spent most my time here. If you trek deep enough into the Palermo streets, you will make it to an area called “Palermo Soho.” This is similar to NYC’s Soho minus the huge crowds of tourists, making this an ideal afternoon shopping and lunch outing. While many of Buenos Aires streets are lined with garbage, Palermo Soho is essentially spotless. Cobblestone streets, funky boutiques and high-class restaurants make this neighborhood one of my favorites.
Also on my must-do list is a visit to both the Palermo Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Gardens. The Botanical Gardens are free while the Japanese Gardens are about a ten-minute walk away and cost a small fee. Sometimes even the most social traveler needs a few minutes of peace and quiet, and the Palermo parks and gardens certainly provide just the remedy.
See A Tango Performance: Even if you aren’t the best dancer in the world, there is something so seductive about watching a live Tango show in Argentina. I made a point to return to Tango Porteño for another great performance. This particular show takes you through the history of tango dance, showcasing the different styles that emerged with each new generation. Dinner is also available but if you are on a budget, you can just go for the show!