Hidden Gems of Buenos Aires
Any tour can take you to Buenos Aires’ Tango Milongas (dance halls), or to El Caminito, or through the surprisingly cat-filled Recoleta cemetery to visit Eva Perón (of Evita fame)’s grave. Once you’ve done all that, and strolled looking for antiques in San Telmo, and maybe even visited the theater-turned bookstore at Ateneo, and eaten your share of afternoon media lunas (croissants) you might find yourself with a little more time. If you’re looking dig a little deeper into this city’s quirky past and present, we suggest adding on some of the following.
1. Winetasting at Anuva
This innovative wine bar seeks out the best in undiscovered wines throughout Argentina, and does generous guided tastings in English. They pair Argentine tapas such as empanadas, local meat and cheese and dessert truffles with their wine finds, many of them from independent wineries.
2. Bike tour
One of the best ways to get around Buenos Aires is by bike, and we love the bike tour of showy Puerto Madero, past Recoleta (see: cemetery) and the giant, 23-meter tall Floralis Generica, a blooming metallic structure designed by Eduardo Catalano, which sits in the Plaza de Naciones Unidas, an area crisscrossed by paths, and which has a large reflecting pool.
3. Feria de los Mataderos
Unlike the antiques fairs in San Telmo and other central neighborhood, the Feria de los Mataderos is made for locals, and locals who love horsemanship and showy performances. It’s part artisan shops, part gaucho (cowboy) culture, and part folk music and dance extravaganza, with about 700 different stalls, and it’s about 45 minutes from central Buenos Aires.
4. Botica El Angel
If you haven’t gotten enough of gaucho culture at the Feria de Los Mataderos (See number 4), come to this museum of 33 rooms that has on exhibition kitsch and memorabilia from the 1960s, when it was first founded. Bonus points for finding the angel that once belonged to Pablo Neruda, neighboring Chile’s most famous poet.
5. Street Art and Graffiti Tours
Buenos Aires has a long history of graffiti and street art expressing the country’s changing realities. Much of the art originated as political expression, but has also transformed into artistic displays best appreciated with a knowledgeable guide, through the neighborhoods of Palermo Soho and Villa Crespo. Buenos Aires is considered one of the world’s main centers of graffiti and street art, and taking a street art tour can give you first-hand experience with some of the country’s best.
6. Statue of George Washington
It won’t more than a few minutes to locate this curious statue of the founder of the United States in Buenos Aires’ burgeoning Palermo neighborhood. It’s located in the Plazoleta General Antonio José Páez, given as a gift by the people of the United States to the people of Argentina, and inaugurated in 1913. Perfect for a photo op!
7. Ciudad Cultural Konex
If tango’s not your style, and Buenos Aires’ late nights have got you down, this place has your name on it. The former oil factory turned cultural center has latest generation music at their weekly Monday evening event called “La Bomba de Tiempo” (time bomb). Not in BA on a Monday? They put on other alternative music and light shows on different nights of the week. See their website here.
8. Supper clubs/Pop up restaurants
Can’t get in to one of no fewer than ten Argentine restaurants rated in the top 50 restaurants in Latin America, or looking for something different? Ask Upscape to recommend one of the latest pop up or clandestine dinners in Buenos Aires. With a creative cast of characters opening and closing their doors in just a few hours’ time, there’s always something cutting edge going on in this gastronomical capital.
9. Manzana de Las Luces
In the Monserrat neighborhood of Buenos Aires, in the early 1600s, the Jesuit order built several buildings of historical, cultural, educational and religious importance, that still stand today. While you can visit the exteriors of many of the classic buildings at any time of day, there are also periodic tours of the five meter-deep underground tunnels that connect the buildings. The tunnels date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
10. Bamba de Areco
This colonial-era estancia has been restored as a boutique hotel, and is the perfect way to get to know rural Argentina in comfort. Choose from horseback riding, playing traditional Argentine games, mountain biking, horse and carriage rides, or watching polo players from the estancia’s team, or an afternoon of massage and pool-side relaxation. The estancia is an easy 120 km drive from Buenos Aires.