In Buenos Aires, morning comes loudly. You are likely to be woken up by the din of honking horns and rumbling buses or the rattling of jackhammers and construction.
Don’t let of any of this get you down. Argentina’s capital is a big, bold city, but it is also a place of beauty.
You’re in Buenos Aires with some friends, and you have just forty-eight hours to spend here. After the sounds of the street awaken you, you can stop in a café for a breakfast of coffee and medialunas, sweet moon-shaped pastries. For a tour you ought to start with the heart of the city, the Plaza de Mayo in the Microcentro neighborhood.
A ride on the A subte, the first subway ever installed in South America, will get you to the red-brick plaza. There you can see the colonial Cabildo building where independence from Spain was signed, the pink and ornate Casa Rosada where the president lives, and the Pirámide de Mayo, commemorating the revolution. After the plaza, you can walk down the Avenida de Mayo to the Calle Florida. The brightly colored shops on this pedestrians’ street form an outdoor mall, where you can see thousands of people, bands, and street performers.
If you take Florida northward, you will reach the Galerías Pacifico, a modern shopping center with walls filled with classic art. You can get a great meal in the food courts, and after you’ve rested you can take the D subte into the lovely Palermo neighborhood, where there are dozens of green open parks. If you rent a public bicycle you and your friends can enjoy the open air here. In this area you should visit the Planeterio Galileo Galilei, a futuristic building right by the Bosques de Palermo park. The Bosques de Palermo is a nice place to sit and drink mate with your friends in the shade of a gomero or jacaranda tree. The caffeinated properties of mate will help you regain energy. There are many city statues and monuments throughout the park, as well as parakeets and other wildlife in the trees and ponds.
After you’ve returned your bicycles and taken the subte or taxi back to your hotel, a great dinner can be had in a traditional parrilla restaurant. Argentina is famous its meat, and in a parrilla you can have plates of the best cuts of beef you’ve ever tasted. The food is excellent, and the size of the portions may put the most voracious eater to shame. Now that it’s evening, you can’t miss the pulsing Porteño nightlife. Clubs or boliches in Buenos Aires open around midnight, and Argentines love to dance and party until six in the morning. Those frenetic hours in a Buenos Aires boliche will be unforgettable.
On your second day, you’ll want to take the B subte to the end of Avenida Corrientes and walk over to Puerto Madero, the most modern neighborhood in the city. Marvel at the shining skyscrapers and the river that passes through the neighborhood. You can see the sleek Women’s Bridge and the ancient museum ship Buque Museo Fragata Sarmiento there, and enjoy a lunch in one of the restaurants on the waterfront. For a bit of peace, you can pass through Puerto Madero and visit the Reserva Ecologica, a natural wetland where the urban atmosphere gives way to natural tranquility. You can see all kinds of wildlife in the ecological reserve, including waterfowl and turtles. Ideal for a Yerba mate!
Leaving Puerto Madero, you can take a bus on the Avenida Leandro Alem back into Palermo, where you must experience MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. Here you can see amazing paintings and sculptures from all over Latin America. After this you can take the D subte back into Microcentro. Getting off at the Tribunales station, you can see the majestic building where Argentina has its Supreme Court, and after a short walk you can attend a performance at the world-famous Teatro Colón. This theater hosts orchestras, operas, and all kinds of other shows, and it is located right on the busy Avenida de Mayo, the widest avenue in the world.
Here you can see the towering white obelisk, the icon of Buenos Aires. It is on the corner of 9 de Julio and Av. Corrientes, and from there you are a short walk away from the dozens of restaurants and other theatres on Corrientes. You can get some great Argentinian pizza at El Guerrin, and then see a play at the Metropolitan Citi. By now it’s evening, and if you still have the energy for it the boliches would surely welcome you back. But, after filling up your days with sightseeing around the bustling city, nobody would blame you for just wanting to rest.
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