3 days in the city of permanent strikes, Buenos Aires

Argentina is famous for mate and series that we used to watch when we were kids. In fact, Argentina has very rich political history, and famous for uprisings and fast continuous changing of an economic and political situation.

The first fact that I knew about the capital of the country is that an average number of strikes in Buenos Aires is 2 per day!!! The walls of the city center are covered by graffiti and sculptures are getting vandalized daily.

Exchange rate

1$=15 pesos.

You can change money right at the airport at a good rate.

Alternatively, on the Florida street, there are plenty of people saying “Cambio”. They also provide you a good rate for 50 and 100$ bills, better that any bank or office but you have to be careful and check every bill they give you in exchange. Phony bills are easy to distinguish just touch each of them, see the color and watermark.

Safety

Buenos Aires is famous for its high rate of crime. Local people do not recommend to leave the city center, carry expensive cameras and walk alone after 8 pm (when it is dark). Take care of your purses and bags.

Transportation

From the Ezeiza airport, you can either take a taxi for 500-600 pesos or take a bus, public or private.

There are 2 private companies: Tienda Leon and Arbus. The difference is on price and schedule. The primer will cost you 220 pesos, at an additional fee they can take you to your hotel and the latter 180 pesos. To reach the city center it will take 30-60 mins, depending on the traffic.

By public transport, it will take more than 3 hours. We decided not even try but so far it is the cheapest option and would cost you 20 pesos with 2 transfers.

Buses and subway in Buenos Aires perfectly work and a fare is cheap 6-6.5 peso for a bus ticket and 7.5 for a subway. Many buses go to suburbs of the city and before you get to the bus you will need to stay in the line.

Before you can take any ride you will have to buy a SUBE card in any subway station or in some shops. It will cost you another 25 pesos. Better to add enough money once you buy the card because there is no automates, only person in a metro station who does it for you and you will spend time in line or you will have to reach another station just because the officer does not work with cards today (on weekends especially).

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Bus stop in front of Congress building

Montevideo/ Colonia ferry

In this entry, you will find information about ferries to Montevideo and Colonia.

Where to stay

This time we stayed at the Airbnb place near Congress. A pretty accessible place for sightseeing. I would also recommend Recoleta or greater Palermo area. They are accessible by subway and you can easily get to all main sights.

There is one drawback of living in the center. Streets are very noisy, be ready to have wooden old style windows which do not protect from any noise.

Architecture

As well as Montevideo, Buenos Aires can demonstrate an architectural kaleidoscope of any styles and figures, especially in the center. There are no policies about the responsibilities of owners of old historic buildings and nobody takes care about the facade of buildings.

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Palacio Barolo near residential building

What to see

My walk started from National Congress of Argentina where I found Free Walking Tour guides. What a luck! Since I had such a short time in Buenos Aires I decided that it is better to walk with someone who can give more information and show beautiful places telling the history.

National Congress of Argentina

Beautiful and monumental building. Along with the fountain across the street, it creates a composition which is full at Virrey Chevallos street.

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Monument of the National Congress

In the park nearby you will find a 0 kilometer of the country and statue “the Thinker”.

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the thinker

Palacio Barolo

Palacio Barolo is a work of Mario Palanti. This complex represents the 9 circles of the Inferno, 9 rings of Mount Purgatory, and the 9 celestial bodies of Paradiso of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The same building was then built in Montevideo and called Palacio Salvo.

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Palacio Barolo

Avenida 9 de Julio

This avenue is considered as the widest avenue in the world! To cross this avenue the pedestrian will need to wait for the green light of at least 2 semaphores and it will take about 2 minutes to cross it (our experience). Do not even try to cross any street on the red line or walk without watching on the sides of a pedestrian cross. NEVER!

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View to Evita Mural image

Cafe Tortoni

The oldest cafe in the country. The most disappointing place. You would have to wait in the line before you get in. Better to come at noon, we skipped the line.

The food was not as good as you can find for the same price in any other restaurant. It is not the place to it, it is just a museum, that is why you better order croissant (medialunas) and tea or coffee, visit the inner museum and go to eat at the other place.

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Hungry Anton and me at La Tortoni

Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada

The square in front of House of government or Casa Rosada- this where all the strikes usually take place. There are many reasons people go on strike: the crime and unfasten around the city, the governmental decisions, a new president, taxation, devaluation and much more.

Casa Rosada (Pink house) has pretty strange color for governmental building and there are still many theories why it happens to be pink. It has its own museum open for public on the other side of the building. Also on weekends, there are free one-hour tours to visit Casa Rosada. These tours have to be booked well in advance.

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Plaza de Mayo (guy on the right seem to be a ghost=)
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Casa Rosada behind me

Cementerio de la Ricoleta

Make sure that you have 1 extra hour to visit Cemetery of Ricoleta. All famous, powerful and influential people of Argentina are buried here.

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Entrance to the Recoleta Cemetery
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Well organized cemetery

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It is worth to see once and better to have information about famous people you want to visit here, otherwise, there are some guided tours as well.  The territory of this cemetery is huge and  I think that is quite sick that people that alive are in need of their own home while dead people have their mausoleum most of them are not visited by anyone except curious tourists.

 

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