Been There, Haven’t Done That: Four Hours in Buenos Aires

June 21, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

El Ateneo by Flynn Wynn

The meeting's over. You've got a little time to explore. It's your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people.

Buenos Aires is known as the Paris of South America, a vibrant cosmopolis of tree-lined avenidas, European influences, and stylish citizens called porteños. We've pulled together, with some help from our Acclaro Buenos Aires office, some unique activities and places in Buenos Aires, the ones most travelers don’t have a chance to experience. Next time you’re in town with a few free hours, check out our list and go home with your best stories ever.

1. Browse the stacks and toss back a cup of cortadito café at El Ateneo. Once it was a theater in which Argentina’s finest tango artists performed. In 2000 it was renovated and turned into a gigantic bookstore – yet the original ornate carvings, stage curtains, and grand ceiling remain. You can sit and read in what were once theater boxes.

2. Take a tango lesson, then practice what you learned. Try the beginner-friendly Tango Cool. Feeling a bit more adventurous? If the timing’s right, try a class at the Bendita/Maldita Milonga (it means “blessed/cursed tango spot”) in San Telmo at Peru 571.

3. Experience the resurrection of a 20-meter-tall plastic model of Jesus Christ, every 45 minutes, at the Tierra Santa Museum. The world’s first religious theme park is not to be missed.

4. Take in a tbol game (that’s soccer) at La Bombonera, the vertiginous stadium in which the legendary Juan Maradona once played. It seats 49,000, yet the local Boca Juniors team is so popular they regularly sell out.

5. Grab a coffee and a medialuna (an Argentinian croissant) at Café San Bernardo, a neighborhood spot in the Barrio de Villa Crespo that offers up billiards, darts, ping pong, and more 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Very much off the beaten track at Avenida Corrientes 5436.

Photo attribution: Flynn Wynn

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