AFAR: Planning Buenos Aires – THINGS TO DO

14 Mar

Photo: graffitimundo dot com

As you may know, I’m planning Buenos Aires. After the intensive ice cream search, I decided to figure out what I could do. I’m trying to go beyond the typical things like the Recolata cemetary and tulip. You can find those things from other sources. I’ve linked excerpts for the things that I’m interested in and hope this helps you plan your trip too!

Let me know what your favourite things to do are in Buenos Aires. What are you favourite hidden gems of BA? Where are the locals? Let me know in the comments! 

*Note: I’m doing a separate post on Tango. But I’d still love to hear your comments on that scene.

Graffiti is a big thing in Buenos Aires and it’s all over the city (not sure where the main concentration is though).  There are actually graffiti galleries and tours in Buenos Aires. A few I found are:

Photo: Graffitmundo dot com

Graffitimundo – (@graffitimundo) the quintessential graffiti tour in Buenos Aires.  More info on What’s Up Buenos Aires.

From their Trip Advisor review: We run tours in close collaboration with a network of street artists, and share our first hand knowledge of the scene through friendly guided tours which reveal the extraordinary story behind the thriving urban art scene. Our tours take you off the beaten path to reveal the city’s hidden graffiti hotspots and street art galleries. You’ll learn all about the Buenos Aires urban art scene, from the cultural and historical origins to the different styles and techniques on display. Stopping by an artists’ studio and finishing in the city’s only street art bar and gallery, the tour also gives you the chance to meet with artists and buy affordable artwork. All proceeds from our tours are used to keep our project running, and enable us to continue promoting the scene and supporting its artists.

Stencil art is huge in  Buenos Aires  and exploded following the 2001 crash, as stencil collectives and artists took to the streets and covered the city walls in layer upon layer of political and satirical images. 10 years on, the stencil scene remains one of the most remarkable aspects of urban art in Buenos Aires, with pieces demonstrating unparalleled levels of artistry and meticulous technique. Graffitimundo offers some workshops on it for $60.

There are FOUR TOURS (holy cool): The group tour ($25 USD); the private tour (TBD); bike tours ($35 USD) and the hidden walls tour that take you to the grittier parts of the city ($35 USD).

San Telmo Art Walk — Run by actress and graffiti artist, Lauren Pringle and founder Rick Powell of the bilingual art blog JuanelearAR, this tour is a hyper local look of San Telmo, one of BA’s oldest and most bohmeian neighbourhoods. The tour is about 2-3 hours, and is $28 USD. These funds help to support Rick who has cancer. Amazing. Sign me UP! And the Trip Advisor reviews are here (all raves).  Juanelear also has some rad links to all things Buenos Aires.


LoveYou – for some reason I can’t link to their site. It doesn’t work. Is this still open? Paraguary 5335, 011-54/11-4774-1170 (

Turbo  – doesn’t look like their website is entirely up to date on their events; however, their Facebook group seems to be more on the ball. Plus, cool pics!

Hollywood in Cambodia – looks like a super rad gallery and I can’t wait to check it out. Emily Haines also did a cool video about moving to Buenos Aires for a bit to get some inspiration for Metric’s new album. At the end, you can see her at HIC.  Thank you for the hat tip, Sean!

Post St. Bar –  From Time Out: Mega promotions like free pizza on Thursdays keep this place buzzing, and a number of graffiti and stencil artists have joined forces to dress up the walls, which now rock over 1,500 stencils. Nice! They also say to steer clear of any mixed drinks here (that’s not sketchy at ALL) and to just get a beer if you are drinking. In Palermo, naturally.

Artists’ Atelier tour – the genius behind this tour lets you visit different galleries and if you like the artist, you can meet the artist. Amazing!  The tour is a bit pricey at $100 USD but if you’re a big art fan, this seems like a really cool way to meet locals and learn more about the art scene here. (They also do this tour in New York.)


*Many know the BA Roller Coaster Video of Inception Park.  I found this one about dog walkers in BA. Interesting!


Buenos Aires Local Tour (FREE!)  — I found out from a few blogger friends, notably Emily in Chile about this great tour guide, Jonathan from Britain who gives these tours around Buenos Aires. She said it was excellent, so I’m excited to see what’ s it all about. Plus, you learn a few Spanish phrases or two. I’ll take that for free (of course, I’ll tip). Oh, and he has a blog! Lovely. There’s a lot of information on his tour site about the different barrios and further afield guides. So useful!

BA Local – in every guidebook from LP to Time Out, what I like about these tours is that they’re specialized on interest. So you can do an interior design tour, an art tour, or a shopping tour. What I don’t like is that they don’t have the price on their website. Pony up!

Urban Biking – offers night tours ($50USD) and bike + kayak tours ($120 USD) –um, COOL.

Amigos del Pedal – organizes a free, 35 km group bike ride around the city every Saturday.  Looks like a fun way to meet locals and burn off all of that steak! It seems that they do other events other than just the bike rides (but that’s their crew).

Other bike tours: and


Recolata Cemetary:


Gorgeous Photos of Recolata Cemetary from my new favourite photographers Rob and Lauren. Rob and Lauren’s flickr.  And Buenos Aires in their 10 favourite photos. LOVE this!

Funny thing: I was just researching and found this food blog called The Lost Asian. Then I found out that Rob and Lauren knew her because she was also a photographer. I randomly found her on their site but just talked to her today. Crazy!

Another cool site on all things Buenos Aires is Spotlight Buenos Aires.  Sweet!

Like Paris, Buenos Aires decided to put up some artificial beaches (January and February). Very cool!

Evita’s Buenos Aires 

Excerpts from the New York Times.
Sites of interest from this article:

The Casa Rosada, also known as the Pink House, is the Presidential Palace, home to the balcony that Evita often used to address throngs of Peronists — known as the shirtless ones because many were poor laborers — gathered in the Plaza de Mayo and up Avenida de Mayo. Itbecame iconic as the setting for “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” the signature song of the musical “Evita.” Free weekend tours of the palace allow visitors to peer from the balcony themselves.

Duarte Family Tomb, Recoleta Cemetery. After 24 years of being shuttled about Argentina and even being buried in Italy for a few years, Evita’s body came to rest in 1976 in this simple black tomb belonging to the family of her father, Juan Duarte. (He is buried in Chivilcoy, a few hours away in Buenos Aires Province.)

Luna Park – a concert spot where Don Peron first laid eyes on Eva Durate. Fascinating. Looks cool and a place to catch a modern day concert.

Congreso and the Salon Rosado or Salon Eva Perón. The gray granite Congress building is among the most impressive neo-Classical –style structures in Buenos Aires. After women gained the right to vote in 1947, a wave of female politicians came into office. Evita opened the women-only Salon Rosado, or the Pink Room, so that they could discuss issues important to them without men around. Now called Salon Eva Perón and open to the public, the room bears a plaque explaining its importance, contains a bust of Eva Perón, and has retained its original furnishings.

Ministry of Health Building. One of Buenos Aires’s tallest structures, the Ministry of Health was built by the Peróns. A stage at the base of this building was the site of a 1951 rally at which the crowd, estimated at two million people, called for Evita to announce her candidacy for vice president. (She decided against it.) Today, the building is home to the city’s newest Evita monument: two 10-story images of Evita’s face on the central tower, made of steel. The work on the south facade was unveiled on July 26, 2011, the 59th anniversary of her death, by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a former first lady herself who has drawn comparisons with Eva Perón.

Colonia Chapadmalal, Mar del Plata. Chapadmalal is the site of an enormous Bavarian-style beachside complex built by the Peróns for poor and working people in 1952 outside Mar del Plata, the country’s largest resort town, about four hours south of Buenos Aires.  While anyone can visit the complex and museum, staying overnight involves a lengthy application process. Instead, stay in Mar del Plata at the recently renovated Hotel Presidente Perón.


8 Responses to “AFAR: Planning Buenos Aires – THINGS TO DO”

  1. Marie Elena Martinez March 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    I’m in Buenos Aires now. It’s been a blast to come back to one of my favorite cities in the world. A few new treasures — Pehache, cool boutique on Guarrachaga in Palermo Soho. Swank home goods (picture frames, candles, blankets, etc…) interspersed with women’s clothing and accessories like bags and belts. LOVE. The indoor market in San Telmo (not to be confused with the weekend outdoor feria on the square) that has vendors selling vintage Argentinean leather bags, belts, etc… great value, great stuff. For soft, gorgeous high-end leather bags, I loved Julieta Sedler on Armenia, and for funky clutches, Luria on Thames.

    Las Pizarras, great local restaurant, 10 tables on Thames. Simple, clean food presented as daily blackboard specials that soars. A must-visit. Paraje Arevalo, in Palermo Hollywood is another local food spot that’s doing great things for the food scene in BA. La Fabrica del Tacos on Gorriti is where you should head if you’re tired of empanadas (as if that’s possible…). It’s a kitschy spot that blends Argentine meat with Mexican favorites. Tip: for killer steak, you can get into La Cabrera (the trendy Palermo hotspot) before they open from 7-8 PM and pay 50% off the bill! Gives the restaurant an extra seating and budget seekers a break on something usually more expensive. I prefer to get my steak at Don Julio, tho. The bi-level restaurant serves awesome portions of meat in a dining room where all patrons are asked to sign their bottle of wine for posterity. The walls are covered with these bottles in tribute to people enjoying their meals. Two great lunch spots in Recoleta? Alamacen de los Milagros and Resto — a simple spot serving lovely lunches within the architecture society. Last, the best dinner I had in BA was the tasting menu at Hernan Gipponi in the Fierro Hotel. The food/wine was amazing, but in addition the Fierro is a great boutique hotel on Soler in Palermo Hollywood, and costs just over $100/night.

    Okay, that’s all I have for the moment.

    • nearafar March 15, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      OMG! YOU ARE THE BEST. Great tips! xoxoxox

  2. zoetic * epics March 21, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    @Natalie: WOW! Very informative suggestions! I’ve only booked my flights, and spending 3 days in B.A., so I’ll have to be choosey! How long are you in Argentina? We are going to Argentina this fall, and inspired from photos, we’re going to El Calafate. There are directs flights from B.A. (3 hours 30 mins – non-stop – each way). If you’re into that kind of outdoorsy adventure thing!

    @Marie Elena Martinez: Being a minimalist, I’m not a huge shopper, but your suggestions have got me grabbing my wallet, ready to purchase! I’m looking forward to finding a clutch at Luria on Thames! Thanks!

    • nearafar March 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      I haven’t heard of El Calafate. I’ll take a look at it. I’m thinking about going for at least two weeks in November. We will see!

      • Marie Elena Martinez March 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

        Yes — El Calafate is absolutely breathtaking — if you’re in-country and have the time, it’s worth the trip and the effort. Southern Argentina and Patagonia are beautiful, tranquil naturally wonderful spots — make the time! 🙂

      • nearafar March 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

        Thank you again!

    • nearafar March 27, 2012 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks! El Calafate looks amazing and I really want to go. Not sure how long I’ll be in Argentina. If I can afford it, I’m thinking a month or so. I need to be somewhere else for a while! Totally writing down your shopping suggestions. Whee!

  3. Eva April 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Check out the Wallenburg monument near Palermo Botanico. It’s exceptional!

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