As a devotee of Europe, South America was somewhere toward the bottom of my bucket list. Above it were the countries in Europe I haven’t been to yet, Ireland, and of course, returning to Italy a few dozen more times. But an opportunity to spend nine days in Argentina came my way about a month ago, and it was just too good to pass up.
Let me tell you, the country and its people absolutely blew me away! I spent time in three very different – but equally amazing – cities, and I want to share the highlights with you. Our first stop was Buenos Aires, and that is the city I will be focusing on in this post.
This bustling capital city of Argentina is overwhelming at first. But give it a day or two, and it really gets under your skin – making you want more and more! The thing that struck me most was how European it is. Honestly, if you were blindfolded and flown to Buenos Aires, then your blindfold was removed while you were standing on any street in the city, you might think you were in Paris or Madrid. The architecture and vibe is SO European! It’s no surprise, really, given the fact that the city was built specifically to mimic Paris, and many of the inhabitants came from France, Spain and Italy.
There are so many different areas of the city to explore and so much to see and do. While things are certainly happening in the city center, you definitely need to hop in a taxi and experience the different neighborhoods. In Recoleta, you’ll find lavish homes and posh hotels as well as the beautiful La Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Perón and many of the city’s wealthy patrons are interred.
In the Palermo neighborhood, you’ll find all the trendy and chic bars and restaurants. Head here to let your hair down and have some fun! In La Boca, you can wander around El Caminito, a colorful and artsy area filled with shops and restaurants.
But whatever you do…don’t leave without experiencing a tango show. My recommendation for an amazing dinner and show is La Ventana. You can (and should) even get a tango lesson before…after all, you’re in the birthplace of the tango – don’t leave without dancing it! The venue is majestic, the show is unforgettable and the food is delicious. You really can’t go wrong.
I recommend spending at least three or four days in Buenos Aires, and highly recommend staying at the Sofitel. This beautiful and elegant property has comfortable rooms with all the amenities, a couple of great restaurants to choose from (if you don’t feel like heading out one night) and the service is impeccable from the moment you check in until the moment you check out.
Buenos Aires is definitely a city that stays with you long after you leave. If you are someone who loves Europe but feels like you’ve seen it all, or maybe just want something a little different, this is truly a perfect place for you. I find myself thinking about all the things I didn’t see or do while I was there, and I know that I will return.
If you are interested in experiencing Argentina first hand, let me know – I’d love to help you get there!
Stay tuned for my next posts, where I will talk about Puerto Iguazu and Mendoza – the two other fabulous cities I visited.