With European-style architecture, top-notch museums, tango salons, Malbec wines, and Argentine beef, Buenos Aires seemed like a good place to sit and stay for a while. So we moved into a proper home (with an adorable grandma-like caretaker), enrolled ourselves in Spanish classes for the week and took our time getting to know and love this world-class city.

Part of what makes BA such an interesting place is its feistiness. Coming off both a military dictatorship and an economic collapse in the past 30 years, Porteños aren’t going to put up with any more shenanigans. This photo is of the Casa Rosada which is their White House and the backdrop of near-daily protests.

To get a grasp on this “historia viva” we signed up for an amazing political history walking tour called Cultour. We learned a bit about the current president Cristina, the Dirty War, and the Perons with a visit to Evita’s memorial and her workers party building, CGT (Evita memorials are everywhere in Argentina, btw).

Touristy as it may be, tango lessons and a show are a must. We went to Club Catedral in this renovated warehouse outfitted with 1920s decor for a class and then to watch the good dancers show us up. We would highly recommend this place–with an unlikely vegetarian menu and steal of a wine list!

A cemetery struck me as a strange city highlight but Recoleta’s ornate graves had us roaming its creepy beautiful passageways all morning.

We took a long stroll from our flat in Microcentro to get to Malba (Museo America Latina Buenos Aires) through series of lively parks. On a grassy knoll filled with people drinking mate tea (we cannot begin to explain what a cultural phenomenon this is–no one leaves home without their thermos, gourd cup, tea leaves, and straw), playing music, even practicing acrobatics up a tree.

The street wrapping around the park attracts a slew of fantastic skateboarders. (After seeing Mike uncontrollably take photos of skaters over the past couple months, I think he may just come back to the States as a sports photographer).

Popping into El Ateneo, a gorgeous old theater turned into a grand bookstore, was an inspiring spot to do a bit more Argentina research and grab a café con leche.

buenos aires design shops

The San Telmo neighborhood is a dream for antiquing. On Sunday’s they turn half the streets into a flea market and everyday you can pop into boutiques like this gem, Gabriel del Campo–the chicest store spotted in south America to date!!

Buenos Aires Favorites

La Cabrera: Top notch menu half off from 7-8:30 (don’t be late!)
El Desnivel: Our resident BA friend took us to this local parilla spot for amazing steaks.
Pizzeria Guerrin: Classic pizza joint on the cheap. Be sure to order the pizza bread so you can do as locals do and eat your slice like a sandwich.
Bar Plaza Dorengo: A place to get a raw taste of Buenos Aires café culture, if the infamous Cafe Tortoni’s tourists get you down.
Catedral: The trifecta of great ambiance, tango lessons, good eats, and entertainment.
Cadare Ice Cream: This town just knows how to make ice cream but here the dulce de leche with chocolate chips is beyond delish!


    1. Yeah, we did our best. Could have used an extra 5 days there (story of pretty much everywhere we have been in SA). we really loved BA, great city.

  1. Of course, the protest picture was my favorite… but I also love how everywhere you have these seemingly “this is us with a few of our best friends” pictures featuring what I can only imagine are in fact new friends who were total strangers a few days or hours ago!

    1. Sally, loved those protest photos too. people down there have so much passion, and the kids rally around all sorts of causes. huge womens movement these days all through South America, which really warms my heart, as it has been so many decades (read: centuries) of male dominated, machismo bull, it is so nice to see the young ladies showing their mothers how to stand up to it!

  2. JimSteere says:

    this is on our list .. as you know, Pat really would love to travel to BA … we’ll have to get the entire low down on this one … hey great wine right?! and wonderful juicy steaks I heard.  Romantic and vibrant is the reputation. (I meant for me not BA .. hahahhaaha only kidding) have fun you crazzzzzy cats!

    1. yeah you guys will LOVE BA, if you go you must add in a trip to Iguazu Falls too. But in BA, the tango is killer, the steaks, the wine, the architecture, and the incredibly recent history is enthralling and educating, we had no idea how much has happened there in the last 10 years. however if you go there might just be TOO much romance and vibrance…it might create a vortex.

  3. this is on our list .. as you know, Pat really would love to travel to BA … we’ll have to get the entire low down on this one … hey great wine right?! and wonderful juicy steaks I heard. Romantic and vibrant is the reputation. (I meant for me not BA .. hahahhaaha only kidding) have fun you crazzzzzy cats!

  4. Would say you guys got BA covered in this post.  Before you leave, how about a more extensive look at the Tango Salons and the tourist population’s attendance.

    1. We have some behind the scenes shots from the Tango salons. they were amazing. There were a fair amount of tourists (although not at either Tango place we visited), mostly in the theater district and Evitas palace).

  5. Fabulous post! I got married in BA, it’s a city very close to my heart. 🙂

    1. oh really, that is so cool. are you or your husband from BA? what a great city. also andi, tell us about this Chinese Medicine doctor thing in your profile. Also who do you travel write for?

  6. Csetchell says:

    As usual you make everything sound great – like I want to pack my suitcase and explore it right now 🙂

    1. shucks! well hey, that is one of the main reasons we spend so many hours writing each of these blogs, to share some of the amazing places with our friends and inspire them to go.

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