Even though I left Buenos Aires for a couple days to re-visit Lima, I still was able to do a lot in the city. I had planned a whole week, so I booked an AirBNB apartment in Palermo Soho, after learning that it was a great area for restaurants and bars.
Getting into EZE airport wasn’t terrible, but then I learned about the baggage claim. It took over an hour to get my luggage. The flight from Cuba waited over 4 hours for their luggage. It was a cluster.
After this, I found my airport transfer, and we made our way to the apartment. It is a solid hour drive into town… With traffic, it took us almost two hours. The apartment was cute and in a perfect location. It was very small, but it had an AC unit and a bed.
I quickly learned that hardly any location in Buenos Aires accepts credit cards. To make things more annoying, ATM’s are few and far between. If you see one, hit it and fill your wallet. I made my way over to Cervelar for my first taste of Argentinian beer. I also discovered that not many locals spoke any English. So I struggled my way through a couple beers, then took off. The next stop was Bodega Cervecera. They had less selection, but the bartenders spoke English and were very friendly.
I headed back to the apartment so I could take on my next morning.
I headed out to pick up some cash, setup my tattoo appointment, and explore my neighborhood. I found a spot called Don Julio for lunch. People were not lying: Argentinian steak is pretty amazing.
I tried to go to PIBA, but I found their complete lack of logistics or instructions paired with the hordes of novice beer drinkers far too annoying to stay. I made my way back to the area from the night before. Eventually, I came to Antares. I am always glad to try new places and see how the beervironment is, but sometimes you find places like Antares, and you just wish you had spent the whole time there. Oh well, live and learn. Great beer selection and good atmosphere. I was impressed.
I setup a city tour with Signature Tours to explore the sights around the city. I found this very valuable. I learned about the history of the city and the architecture. I know these tours are somewhat touristy, but in cities like Buenos Aires, I think it is fair to the visit only if you actually see the sights once.
The tour took us through Caminito, where we learned about some of the origins of Argentinian culture like Tango and Soccer. The colours of this part of town remind me of Burano and Murano.
The tour ended at Cementerio de la Recoleta which is regarded as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the entire world. It is also known for having Eva Peron’s grave. This place is amazing and somber.
I would say, it was a successful day.
After this, I hit up Well Done Tattoos to get my travel ink. For dinner I hit up another steakhouse, La Escondida. The food was much better, but the service was atrocious. It took nearly an hour just to get my check. I finally had to track my waitress down with cash and just walk out. It is always funny to me when people praise countries that don’t have tipping because the waitstaff can just do their job. But all I find is that it removes incentive to actually work hard.
I had made the decision to head back to Lima the next day, but I wasn’t about to miss a good pub crawl. The Buenos Aires Pub Crawl lived up to every expectation that I had for it. The reviews are correct. It is a must, if you visit. We hit up several awesome bars with great people. Sadly, I couldn’t finish the night with the crew at Kika. But it was still fun.
Since I took some time back in Lima, I guess the Christmas Eve was my fourth day. I had booked a meal for Nochebuena at La Cabrera after hearing all the rave reviews. Oh good Lord. The food was beyond my imagination. I had it all: sausage, heart, steak, empanada, wine. The atmosphere was fun and vibrant. The experience was perfect. I have never spent Christmas alone, but I was happy La Cabrera made me feel like family.
The last couple days were a blur of travel. I went to Uruguay then Iguassu Falls then had one final evening in Buenos Aires. I was able to hit a few more beer joints. Bier Life was a great spot. They serve delicious beers and they have a good happy hour deal: buy one, get one.
I am so glad that I finally visited Argentina. The city is vibrant. I feel like it should be called Monument City or something. The public parks and art and statues are fantastic. Be ready to hunt for ATMs and grab cash when you can. The pace of life is much slower than I was used to. But it was a great part of my trip.