Buenos Aires Things to Do Tips by VeronicaG
Buenos Aires Things to Do: 1,700 reviews and 2,606 photos
Our Lady of Pilar Basilica-Recoleta
Our Lady of Pilar Basilica is situated outside the walls of Recoleta Cemetary. It is an 18th century church built by Jesuits. Beautiful, vibrant carvings can be seen and appreciated inside the sanctuary.
The carvings are vivid portrayals from the Bible. They fill the sanctuary with a holy awe and tell a compelling story at the same time! A small museum exhibiting articles of worship and a few relics was open to the public for a small fee.
We found this little chapel to be fascinating! The peacefulness of the sanctuary despite the many visitors made it seem a lovely respite in this teeming city.
Directions: Outside Recoleta Cemetery
Casa Rosada (background); Plaza de Mayo (monument)
Our city tour paused at the main square--Plaza de Mayo--the tall monument in the photo commemorates the May Revolution of 1810 which led to Chile's independence from Spain (1816). It is the site of much political turmoil in past and recent years.
The Casa Rosada seen in the background (The Pink House) is an executive administrative building where the President works. It also contains the personal items of former Presidents of Argentina. Hours are Tues.-Fri. 9 am-6 pm; Sun. 3pm-6 pm.
The Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo (city council) are located near this square, also.
Directions: the East side of the Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires near the financial district
Rain, rain go away...
Buenos Aires has a nice number of squares throughout the city. We were headed out to shop on our last day here and were caught in the rain. I am fitted with my nifty new purse and very appropriate new umbrella for the trek. See SHOPPING tips.
One of the most famous squares in Buenos Aires is the Plaza de Mayo--scene of many political protests. It is a memorial to the revolution of May 1810--see THINGS TO DO.
We did alot of walking in Buenos Aires and I noticed the beautiful women there. Buenos Aires is blessed with beauty all throughout the city, in its architecture and its people.
The Buenos Aires Herald is a newspaper offered in the city that is printed in the English language. It was founded in 1876. If you are missing the news on your travels and have a limited command of Spanish, pick up this newspaper! It is the oldest English language newspaper in Latin America.
Directions: Look for it anywhere
The floating casino
After dinner in Puerto Madero, we followed a lighted walkway just about to the entrance of the Floating Casino. Although this is not something we are ordinarily attracted to, we had heard it was worth a visit.
The big spenders were upstairs at the game tables; the rest of us were downstairs at the slot machines. It was so smokey at this level that it was difficult to breathe. The casino was crowded and noisy, but a lot of people were enjoying themselves.
Recently (Nov.11,2005) the Buenos Aires Herald reports there has been a question about an illegal payment for a five year extension of the casino's contract. It is being investigated.
Directions: Puerto Madero
La Boca Stadium
You'd be doing yourself a favor if you take a tour of the city before venturing out. A shuttle bus picked us up at our hotel, then at Vincente Lopez ave. we changed vehicles to join a large bus filled with other tourists. After a show of hands, countries represented were Chile, Japan, Norway, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States.
We passed picturesque Recoleta Cemetery and headed for Palermo. Our bus paused at a park by the Casa Rosada (where the President has his office) to allow us to take pictures. Across from the park we could view the National Cathedral.
We then headed for San Telmo ,the oldest part of the city where we were shown examples of colonial architecture. At LaBoca (the colorful artists area) we were given time to tour the soccer stadium--home of the Boca,Jrs.--visit souvenir shops and view the artwork along the streets. Next we drove past the floating casino then soon afterward headed back to a shuttle that delivered us to our hotels.
On this particular bus tour a special photo was taken of each passenger and presented to us before departing the vehicle. YOU'LL LOVE THIS PHOTO!! The tour was 3 hours plus. We also received a tango CD that was great!
A cemetery for the affluent
Recoleta Cemetery (1822) is the last resting place of the prominent in Argentina. It was mid-day when we made our way through the narrow walkways formed by row after row of miniature mausoleums--6400 people are entombed within the thirteen acre cemetery.
The heat radiated off the tombs, yet many people were taking their time reading the plaques affixed to their walls. Presidents, dignitaries and the celebrated rest in family crypts here. It is a place for the affluent, yet a commoner was buried in this cemetery, too...Eva Peron, (wife of Argentinian leader Juan Peron) who is lying in the Duarte family tomb. We noticed it was a popular stop with the visitors.
Most of the graves are well kept, but a few were decaying from lack of care, displaying shattered windows and discheveled contents like altars and stained altar cloths. While visitors roamed the grounds, cats soaked up the sun on the tomb's marble steps seemingly oblivious to passers by.
Recoleta is open daily from 8 am -6 pm.
Address: Calle Junin 1790
Here we are bargaining at the Feria!
The San Telmo Feria is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. The street fair/flea market is from 10 am-5 pm and draws a respectable crowd! Booth after booth of antiques, jewelry, silver pieces, glassware, linens, handmade crafts and other items are offered for sale. This is one place in Buenos Aires where bargaining is expected.
On a street nearby, people pose in entertaining vignettes offering to have their photos taken with the tourists for a contribution. Children play accordions in the hopes of receiving a small tip for amusing the visitors.
San Telmo is said to be the barrio most connected with the Tango. There was a Tango demonstration at the feria when we visited. It was a passionate display!
Address: Defensa and Humberto Streets
Directions: An old charmed neighborhood
The bright colors of La Boca!
The barrio of La Boca is colorful with its painted metal buildings and artwork lining the sidewalks. This area is known for the bright colors and lively themes of La Boca's artists.
The Riachuelo River runs through the barrio and although it has a reputation for being filthy, there have been efforts to clean up the waterfront. La Boca is prone to flooding so the sidewalks are very high off the streets in some areas.
The Boca Juniors soccer team calls La Boca home. The stadium is nicknamed Bombondera or "bon-bon". Stadium tours are given for a small fee and a great gift shop for sports enthusiasts is on site. There are numerous souvenir shops outside the stadium, also.
The day we visited a group of young boys paraded down the street, entertaining the visitors with accordion music. They received tokens of appreciation from the spectators.
Directions: Buenos Aires
Postcard from El Ateneo
El Ateneo is a unique and fantastic bookstore where one can browse for hours. It is located in a former theatre, so you'll see decorative mouldings and gold embellishments throughout.
Several people suggested we visit this "stand out" establishment. If you are not in a hurry, take time to really explore this place!
There are several levels containing books and CD's. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful. There is something for every taste at this store and we rated it a stellar example of its kind. El Ateneo just oooooozed character!
Address: Av. Santa Fe between Av. Callao and Riobamba
Phone: 54-11 4813-6052
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