As I was saying in my post on Caminito, Buenos Aires is not the most beautiful city on Earth. In fact, when, inspired by the stunning views of Rio, we asked the hotel concierge what the best place to get a panoramic view of the city would be, he was truly puzzled. Unable to get a meaningful answer, we have soon discovered that the best place to see the city is, in fact, our hotel room at the Park Tower Hotel. That’s why I am sort of overusing different versions of this picture in my posts on the Argentinian capital.
For instance, that’s what you get during the day time.
So Buenos Aires is almost the opposite of Rio. The comparison, however, runs in the opposite sense as well: the Argentinian capital is everything Rio is not, too. For starters, it is not dangerous: an 8 year-old with a gun asking you to hand him over your money and your passport (true story) stays in Brazil. You see people wearing jewellery, expensive watches, branded sunglasses and they are fine. That’s refreshing after Rio. What you also feel right away is a different level of life sophistication. Buenos Aires has it all for a good life: truly great restaurants, art markets, Miami-like neighbourhoods with hipster cafes, endless parks and classic and contemporary museums with the world’s finest collections. It opens up a totally new perspective on a daily life in Latin America, making you feel at home, but with a twist of tropical set up.
Nothing illustrates Buenos Aires better than this modern-slash-art-deco building, tucked between the classic European style baroque houses and a splurge of posh green.
Unlike Rio, with key monuments far from each other and unreachable by foot (well, unless you have a lot of time and have been practising for this trip), the best way to discover Buenos Aires is by foot. Like a European city. You take a map and wander through the neighbourhoods of Palermo (for trendy places and posh meals), Puerto Madero (for modern skyscrapers), San Telmo (for a whisper of history and an artisan market), Microcentro (for the business vibe) and Belgrano (for a taste of upper-middle class Argentinian life). The only place that might require a taxi ride is La Boca, where the Caminito is: theoretically, you can get there by foot but the way is not that spectacular and you would be better off spending this time over some delicious lunch at Palermo or an art hunt at San Telmo.
Here is a hand pick of famous spots of the Argentinian capital. Make sure you stop by Floralis Genérica, The Steel Flower of Buenos Aires, which is designed to open and close its petals in rhythm with the Sun. You too, try to catch the rhyme of the Argentinian capital and move in the unison with it.
Some addresses from my Little Black Book of Travel, both picked up at The New York Times:
- Casa Cavia is a place to be for lunch. It is so many things: a restaurant, a made-in-house perfume store, a library, a posh art deco house and a cozy, cared-for garden. Take time to discover them all.
- La Mar: an outstanding Peruvian restaurant, a reason on its own to travel here! If all the food in Peru is as good, I am moving there. Like, today. Naturally, it was overbooked the day we decided to try it, so we came early (like, 8 p.m. early), sat at the open air patio and promised to eat their fantastic seviches fast. So good.
That’s it on Buenos Aires – for now. The conclusion of our discovery mission with Louveteau is that if Rio is a must to visit and photograph, Buenos Aires is a place to live – and enjoy it, every day. One spot is missing from my sights’ list (and pictures), and that’s the one that impressed me the most. Would you guess what it is? Oh, and, of course, you can take so many ferries from Buenos Aires, to so many places, but that’s the story of another post.
And just look at that dog! Good life, told you.