You got me there, now help me decide what to do!
April 19, 2016 9:51 AM   Subscribe

What should two awesome ladies do with a week in Buenos Aires?

You guys helped me so much in my last question in booking my flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now the flight has been booked and I am ready to start thinking about what I want to do once I am there!

I'll be starting a school program on the 27th of June, but my sister and I will land in Buenos Aires at 9:20 am on Tuesday June 21st and we have the rest of the week to explore before she goes back home on Saturday evening. We are both mildly experienced travelers: we're American and have traveled all over the US, and we have both lived in and traveled around Western Europe. I have a good deal of experience in traveling around Latin America, mostly in groups, but I did live in Mexico solo for 4 months when I studied abroad. I speak Spanish fluently, my sister has some French remembered from high school which actually served her well when she was living in Italy. Neither of us have food allergies or severe chronic illnesses.

We like: music and art, eating, walking around old cities, museums. We like palace/cathedral-type tours but can tire of them after a bit. She loves shopping, I'm kinda meh. I will hike and explore remote areas just for the fun of it, she'll do it if there is a goal, like the top of a mountain, to get to. We love the beach and swimming in the ocean, but I know it'll be pretty cool and rainy in Argentina in June. However, if there's a seaside area to visit and enjoy, that would be a good second choice for beachiness.

We don't like: military history, cruises or boat trips, sports (although I'd consider a football match if you convinced me it was an important experience), extreme adventuring, really loud clubs (although my sister does like to go out and experience the nightlife, me not so much) and due to time constraints, anything with a long amount of travel time.

So . . . what should we do? What should we not miss? And where should we stay? If it matters, we are two ladies around 30 years old.
posted by chainsofreedom to Travel & Transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really enjoyed El Zanjon de Granados. A great historical building / tour. I wanted to see the Water Company Palace, but didn't set up anything in advance. The El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore was super cool to check out.
posted by Phredward at 10:19 AM on April 19, 2016

Stay anywhere near Palermo (designy, styleish, clubs), Recoleta (traditional chic) or San Telmo (old tango barish, more downscale) (all 3 super touristy).
Bife, ice cream and pizza. Walk around. Fend off (or don't) the Porteños. More bife, ice cream and pizza. Repeat.
posted by signal at 10:23 AM on April 19, 2016

For museums, the MALBA (modern art) is great. The Bellas Artes has some gems, but pales in comparison to the major US and European art museums. They're a long walk or a short cab ride apart, and would make for a nice afternoon/day trip.

Bookstores! The Ateneo mentioned above is a beautiful space, but there are lots of others, used and new, along Avenida Corrientes -- walk up from the obelisco, and stop for pizza along the way at Guerrín, or churros con chocolate at La Giralda. Zival's is half bookstore and half music store and a great source for local music (tango, folk, rock, and more) - they have listening stations in-store. Also on Corrientes, the Centro Cultural de la Cooperación has a good bookstore and a usually high-quality roster of music and theatre going on.

The behind-the-scenes tour at the Teatro Colón is definitely worth it -- it's a very cool, and recently restored, old opera house and you get to see all the oddities under the stage (the wig shop, scene shop, and all the rest. It's a stunning space and worth seeing a production if you're into opera or contemporary music.

There's no swimmable -- or even really scenic -- coastline within an easy drive of the capital, I'm afraid. The city is very walkable, though, and the neighborhoods signal mentioned above would all be scenic and interesting places to explore on foot. The metro (subte) is easy and reliable (except when there's a strike, so watch the news because these are turbulent times politically). Speaking of which, the Centro Cultural Kirchner is also a gorgeous space, opened just last year in an entirely remodeled old central post office (which is architecturally beautiful and pretty much the opposite of what you imagine when you think "post office"). The programming was all free too, and often excellent, internationally known performers. But the current president just laid off hundreds of workers there and it's unclear whether it'll be open in June - right now they're saying it will, but who knows. Go if you can, though -- it's a real gem.
posted by dr. boludo at 10:44 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

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