How I entertained my parents for one week in Buenos Aires
My parents recently came to visit me in Buenos Aires flying direct from Auckland, New Zealand, where I am from. After almost a year apart it was an epic reunion filled with hugs and laughter from many retold stories. I was incredibly excited to share the little life I had made for myself in Buenos Aires, having decided to live here for six months. But my task ahead of me was not an easy one – how to reveal the best of Buenos Aires in only one week?! In a city this size and this fun it seemed impossible. But I found I was able to pack most things into one week, obviously catering to the likes of my parents. That is, a heavy emphasis on art museums and good food. Each day and night was loaded with activities from parks and museums to cocktail hour and asado. Here’s the play-by-play, day by day.
Sunday night: with their late arrival we dumped my parents’ bags in my apartment in Congreso and immediately set out to get a feel for the streets of the city. Walking just four blocks to Av. Corrientes I could show them the broadway-like theatre lights and dash into Güerrin for arguably the best pizza in town.
Monday – Congreso : Based on the location of my flat it made sense to start the city tour in Congreso, allowing each barrio a full day to explore on foot. We started in Plaza Congreso where on a sunny day one can see people sitting on the grass, enjoying their mate. I explained the customs of mate sharing which you can read about on another blog post. After marvelling the impressive Congreso building and Rodin’s The Thinker (one of only three replicas made from original moulding around the world) we headed straight down Av. de Mayo past the Palacio Barolo where the Elebaires school is. The building truly stands out with its height and intricate architecture. Continuing down we crossed the widest avenue in the world, looking up at the obelisk and Eva Peron image as examples of the many powerful nationalistic symbols around the city. From there we visited Plaza de Mayo, the infamous residence for the Mothers of the Disappeared who have been marching every week for 40 years, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Casa Rosada and the Centro Cultural Kirchner.
En la noche : La Bombe de Tiempo is a Monday MUST followed by a fantastic Peruvian restaurant called La Conga for huge portions at low prices. Try the ceviche.
Tuesday – Recoleta : With our sube cards we caught a colectivo to Recoleta to spend another sunny day outside. The Recoleta cemetery was first on the list. It might not sound like a typical sight for a tourist but it is truly amazing walking through a village of the dead, resting in their extravagant marble tombs. The cultural centre Recoleta next door often has interesting exhibitions and musical concerts. Other places nearby we went to are Plaza Francia for a bite to eat, the 200-year old Gum tree, Museo Belles Artes, the Floralis Genérica, and the Museo Arte Decorativo.
En la noche : We had tickets booked for Aida at the world renown Teatro Colón, my second ever opera and I absolutely loved it. Afterwards we had dinner at Napoles Bar in San Telmo. It’s like eating in a museum with the owner’s collection of antiques scattered about the place – including 3 vintage cars inside!
Wednesday – Palermo : We took the eco bici public bicycles and headed to Palermo. A kind of museum mile, we went into the MALBA, Museo Evita followed by coffee in the attached terrace cafe. The botanical gardens and Japanese gardens are both nearby. We went into Museo Sivori, and cruised around the parks of Palermo. We returned quickly to Congreso to finish the day with a tour of the Palacio Barolo, to show my parents where I work but also for myself to learn more about the architecture. It is based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. Plus you get to access the top balconies with a panoramic view of the city which we did at 5pm tour so to catch the sunset! Best view in the city and Elebaires students receive a discount.
En la noche : Dinner at Spanish seafood restaurant Taberna Baska.
Thursday – Día en estancia : We escaped the city for a day as my parents are I were eager to do some horse riding Western style, and learn a little bit of the Argentinean gauchos. There are many estancias you can choose from all about an hour from the city, your choice depends on whether you want more horse-riding focused or the day including a music and tango show. We opted for Los Dos Hermanos, a working horse ranch. We galloped through the pampas and feasted on awesome asado, accompanied with plenty of Malbec. A perfect day in the Argentinean countryside.
En la noche : we came home and relaxed, recovering from the 4 hours horse-riding and large lunch. No dinner needed!
Friday – La Boca : We crusied around Caminito, a pedestrian street lined with colourful houses and street art. My parents enjoyed a bit of shopping especially for leather belts and handbags. A morning coffee in the Fundación Proa café lends a nice view of the river and colourful suburb. We then walked to Puerto Madero, stopping along the way in the Usina del Arte. Once at the river, we crossed the Puente de la Mujer and entered the Colección de Arte Fortabat.
En la noche : Notorious Jazz bar had a night of Brazilian music which of course including the lovely Girl From Ipanema. Then onto infamous parilla Don Julio in Palermo for mouth-watering tender meat. My parents were still up for a late night drink afterwards in one of the many bars in Plaza Serrano.
Saturday – San Telmo : A later start to the morning and we went to San Telmo market. The fería is only on Sundays but the food hall is open every day and has some shops inside too. We ate a mixture of paella and raclette for lunch. Muy rico! We then walked around the cobbled streets admiring the old bars and antique shops.
En la noche : Fuerza Bruta – a spectacular show designed to stimulate the senses on at the Centro Cultural Recoleta. It’s on every week.
Sunday came around before we knew it and we were off to Iguazú falls for a couple of days! The waterfalls are so incredible they merit their very own blog post which will have to come in the next few days.
I loved being able to show off my new favourite city to my parents and hopefully you enjoyed reading what we got up to as well. Buenos Aires is a cultural powerhouse flooded with excellent bars and restaurants and you can certainly get a lot done in one week!