After two short months and four visitors later, I have managed to make the rounds to most (if not all) of the monumental meccas and touristical fancies of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

El Flor de Buenos Aires

El Flor de Buenos Aires

I won’t rewrite the travel guidebook, but after landing in BA after 8 wonderful years in Washington, DC, I felt it necessary to share with you at least one monumental tour of this nation’s capital, starting with the one that made me (miss and) feel most at home – El Obelisco!

Long street view with Obelisko

Long street view in BA with Obelisco

The obelisco was designed by Alberto Prebisch and built in1936 for the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city of Buenos Aires.  This 220 feet tall  is located at the center of la Plaza de la Republica, where Avenida Corrientes and Avenida 9 de Julio intersect.

Obelisko close up

Obelisco close up

They say that Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest street in the world, stretching 16 lanes across, 8 on each side, and squeezing even a few more depending on the hour of the day.

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio

While Buenos Aires is a great walking city, it would probably take an entire week to see this monumental tour by foot.  If you prefer to avoid driving or taking a taxi in the craziness that is BA traffic, you will want to get to know the BA Subte, or subway, and numerous bus lines flowing through the city.

Buenos Aires Subte

Buenos Aires Subte

At the end of the D line, and where several subte lines intersect is the famous Plaza de Mayo, the heart of many political moments in Argentina’s history including legendary Peronista political rallies and later weekly demonstrations by the “madres de la plaza de mayo“, mothers of the disappeared.

Plaza del Mayo

Plaza del Mayo

The plaza stretches out in front of the Casa Rosada, or pink house, where day to day political business decisions are made and the president and their cabinet offices are located.  Unlike the White House in DC, the Casa Rosada is not where the president and her husband reside; there is a presidential mansion in the province of Buenos Aires that they call home.

La Casa Rosada

La Casa Rosada

Just a short walk from the Plaza de Mayo is a stretch of the city that runs along the Rio Plata known as Puerto Madero.

El Puerto de Rio Plata

Rio Plata, Puerto Madero

Puerto means “port” in Spanish.  Buenos Aires being a port city, this area was a crucial commercial focal point in the history of Buenos Aires, and the origin for the name of people from Buenos Aires, “Porteños”.

Old storage along the waterfront promenade

Old storage along the waterfront promenade

Much like the warehouse district of Minneapolis, the old port buildings and surrounding area of Puerto Madero have been transformed into a hip part of Buenos Aires, home to some of the newest modern BA condos , and a slew of classy, tasty restaurants, all the while keeping that historical ‘feel’.

Puente de la Mujer

Puente de la Mujer

About a 1/2 mile through the city grind beyond the peaceful riverbank of Puerto Madero is the biggest, and best plaza in Buenos Aires, Plaza San Martin.

View of English Tower from top of Plaza San Martin

View of English Tower from top of Plaza San Martin

The beginning of the plaza starts at Avenida del Libertador (San Martin was afterall the liberator of Argentina) and runs up along one of the only major hills in city of Buenos Aires.  The top of the plaza boasts a spectacular view, and a spacious plaza lined with lovers on park benches and voluptuous trees year-round.

Plaza San Martin Arbol

Following Avenida del Libertador to the north you’ll want to take a slight detour to the Recoletta to see the beautiful cemetery.

Recoletta Cemetery

Recoletta Cemetery

The cemetery is home to some of the most famous, and infamous,  figures in Argentina’s history, including Eva Peron, and continues to be a place where the highly esteemed hope to bury their kin.

Un angel (con fuerza!)

Un angel (con fuerza!)

Where city meets cemetery

Where city meets cemetery

Back to Avenida Libertador and following it north leads us to another greenery stop along the monumental tour: El Jardin Botanico.

Green!

Glorious!

I don’t really know NYC that well, but everyone likes to compare Buenos Aires to Nueva York so I’m giving it a shot: the botanical garden is to BA what central park is to NYC. (!)

Greenhouse

Greenhouse

With over 5,000 varieties of species from all over the world, this Jardin is truly a piece of heaven in the midst of a bustling, elbow-to-elbow, bumper-to-bumper, grime to grim, 24-hour energy and noise producing city that we love.

Peaceful

Peaceful Heaven

Even the kitties know when it’s time to take a break and seek refuge in the garden!

Kitten H(e)aven

Kitten H(e)aven

The botanical garden is adjacent to the Zoo, near Plaza Italia, on the edge of the Palermo neighborhood.

Plaza Italia

Plaza Italia

Palermo is home to one of several weekend fair and craft markets, but is better known for its fashion boutiques shopping and as one of the centers of nightlife in Buenos Aires.

Palermo by day

Palermo by day

While I don’t have photos of inside the boliches, let’s just say that the night life in BA is vibrant! Porteños are late eaters and night riders with some clubs opening at 3am and another round at 6am with so-called “after hours” locales keeping the party running through midday the next.

Palermo by night

Palermo by night!

The dance culture in BA could be divided into club dancing – anything and everything you might see in a club in any major city in the world plus a bunch of salsa – and TANG-GO…

BA Tango Shirt

“Real Tango” is almost like a hidden gem in Buenos Aires, you have to be “in the know” before walking into a Milonga, or dance parlor, where the real dancers show their moves.

Tango for Tourists

Tango for Tourists

For those not interested in taking a Tango lesson or just staying in BA on a shorter time frame, a trip to San Telmo and La Boca on a Sunday afternoon will likely satisfy your taste for a view into this sexy and sultry music and dance.

La Boca

La Boca

You’ll also likely want to checkout the San Telmo Sunday crafts fair and antiques market before heading home to share your favorite photos, facts, and folklore about the great city of Buenos Aires.

Closing of the flor at dusk

Closing of the flor at dusk

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