My friend David du Toit recently visited the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires. Here he tells us about her beauty:
1. In which area should you stay?
Buenos Aires is one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the world, so I would recommend staying in different areas. If you like cobblestone streets and antique shops, then you should definitely stay in San Telmo, the heart of colonial Buenos Aires. There are many hotels and hostels in this neighbourhood. For a student traveller I recommend Hostel Carlos de Gardel in San Telmo. Another area you should definitely stay in is Palermo. This neighbourhood is full of chic boutiques, trendy art galleries and exciting cafés and bars.
2. Must see:
There are so many things to see in Buenos Aires, but I am going to name three. Firstly, Cemetrerio de la Recoleta where the late Eva Peron is buried is an absolute must. The cemetery is similar to Paris’s Cimetière du Père Lachaise, just smaller. Secondly, a visit to the amazing Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) is simply a must see. This intimate art museum hosts paintings of Frida Kahlo, Diego Riviera and Fernando Botero. Thirdly, Avenida 9 de Julio is simply a must see. It is a long street sprinkled with lots of shops, bars and restaurants. It is also the widest street in the world – 13 lanes – which can be a daunting task for slow walkers.
3. Must do:
Anyone visiting Buenos Aires must take a bus to La Boca, the colourful area in the south of Buenos Aires. La boca is an arty neighbourhood where tango first started from its conventillos. It also hosts the city’s first port, which nowadays is a magnet for bohemian artists and con artists.
4. Must eat:
Steak steak steak. Argentinian steak is simply the best I have ever tasted. I think even vegetarians will like it! Try any steakhouse in San Telmo. Prices range from R100 to R350.
5. Are the people friendly/ helpful?
The people of Argentina are really friendly, although language may be a problem. Not many people speak English, so I recommend you learn some basic Spanish before travelling to Buenos Aires.
6. How long should you stay?
Buenos Aires is really a big city, so I recommend at least five days in this wonderful city.
Photos by David du Toit