When I was a teenager, I dreamed of moving to Argentina. We often fantasize about places where we can hide from all the worries, and that was my place. I called it my country of 3 big “M”-s: Mate, Meat and Maradona (yes, back then he was one of the legends for me). Many years later I finally got to visit Buenos Aires, and one thing is sure: I’ll keep Argentina in my dreams, but for different reasons.
Buenos Aires, a capital of Argentina and a birthplace of tango, is often referred to as “Paris of South America”. For me as well, Buenos Aires has tiny pieces of many European cities in it: a little bit of Barcelona, a little bit of Paris, some of Berlin and some of Budapest. But at the same time it’s still South America, even though sometimes it’s hard to believe.
While staying in Buenos Aires we didn’t do too many things that tourist do, but instead we pretended as if we live there. Not intentionally, but this is how I like to think about it. And wow, that felt great! We didn’t go to museums, we didn’t take any tours. We rented a cozy studio apartment through AirBnB and spent our days walking around the city and doing all the stuff we would do during weekends – exercising, having coffee dates, going to fruit and veggie markets and so on. The truth is: we loved it. BA is such a beautiful place and a very comfortable city to stay in. Here are some things we found particularly charming about Buenos Aires:
These are simply beautiful! I’m not talking about congress, churches and banks – just walking around the streets you see such an amazing architecture that you give up on taking pictures, because there’s just too much! So many different styles and different stories behind it – I’m not sure how one can not fall in love with it.
2. Parks and dogs
There are many parks in Buenos Aires and you can see that locals use them a lot. Just to sit down, relax with your friends, drink some mate, play with your kids, let your dog loose. Speaking about dogs – I don’t remember a city I’ve been to lately where there were so many dogs running around. Adorable. Sitting in the park, watching dogs play – such a pleasure. It seems that in BA it’s encouraged to let your dogs off the leash in the park. The best part is that since dogs are used to coming to the parks, they really know how to behave. It was a joy seeing so many happy animals running around.
3. Ease of moving around
The metro system in Buenos Aires (known as Subte) is quite easy to use, and unless you are going to the outskirts of the city, you can easily get around with subway. It’s quite cheap (7.50 pesos per way), but can be pretty crowded during the rush hour. Even though some stations are not very clean, the wall art makes up for it. Speaking about art:
4. Art everywhere
Buenos Aires is known as the capital of tango – and yes, you can see tango on the streets, but it’s mostly for tourists. Besides tango there is so much more! Street art and subway art – we really loved how subway stations were beautifully decorated. Music – the amount of street performers is immense! And it’s not the same “Hallelujah” on guitar or Vivaldi on violin all over again. In Buenos Aires, for the first time in my life I saw a band playing on guitar and HARP in the subway! Harp, ladies and gentlemen, harp. We also heard a guy performing with a drum set on a subway train.
In no other place in South America have we seen people forming such beautiful lines to enter public buses. The queues in Buenos Aires are probably the best ones I’ve seen anywhere! So if you are bothered by people’s inability to line up, Argentina’s capital is one of the best places for you to enjoy your slight OCD.
We didn’t see much of Argentina on this trip, but Buenos Aires became one of our favourite places on the continent, if not in the whole world. It won our hearts, and I hope that one day we come back again to visit all the countless art museums and galleries, enjoy a theater show, maybe a football game and all the fascinating things this city has to offer.