6 Ways To Say Hola to Buenos Aires
South America is on the bucket list of most people who like to have fun. The promise of action and authenticity steeped in sexy Latino vibes is hard to resist, but due to distance and language barriers (Baxter, you know I don't speak Spanish), most of us have relegated it down the list to a ‘one-day’ type of adventure.
Well, it’s time to dust off your Spanish and whip out your holas, because Student Flight’s crazy-good flight deals to Buenos Aires mean that South America is THE place to plan your next escapade. Since Buenos Aires is a) your starting point and b) freaking awesome, here are a few appetisers to get you amped for the Argentinean capital.
Stay out all night
There’s something deliciously wicked about staying out all night and stumbling home in the early hours of the morning. Things happen later in Argentina, so don’t expect to eat dinner before 9pm, which still gives you plenty of time to get to the bar before it opens at midnight. You might have to wait until 2am for nightclubs to open, but serious clubbers don’t rock up until 4am so pass the time by busting some moves to heart-thumping electronica interlaced with traditional melodies.
Get crazy at the footy
Forget everything you thought you knew about soccer and head to Bombonera Stadium to bomb-dive into the world of futbol. Argentineans live and breathe for ‘the beautiful game’, and the atmosphere at a live match is absolutely, wonderfully nuts. Get ready for everything from rousing chants to kiddies screaming profanities, but just make sure you’re cheering for the right team - the crowds are segregated for good reason.
Tango up a storm
Tango is the perfect expression of Buenos Aires’ soul - sexy and graceful with a suggestive edge of sin, it seems to flavour every aspect of the local lifestyle. Check out one of numerous neighbourhood milongas, or organised dances, and get ready to eat a little, drink a lot and dance until you drop. Stroll past San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrego on a Sunday night to see La Milonga del Indio - a once impromptu get together that has continued on for 20 years. There’s an open dance where you can strut your stuff once the pros are done with the floor.
Embrace your inner carnivore (if you have one)
Meat eaters should be frothing at the thought of Argentina’s juicy beef steaks and their rock-bottom prices. You can find a parilla, or steakhouse, on every self-respecting street corner, but head to the Palermo district for some of the best in the biz. Opt for the ojo de bife (rib eye) or bife de chorizo (sirloin), keeping in mind that Argentina’s idea of ‘rare’ is a little less pink than ours. If you’re feeling brave, then let your waiter know - offal is a local favourite, and he or she will dish you up some riñones (kidneys) or molleja (thyroid gland) before you can say ‘that’s offal nice of you’.
See art that’s right up your alley
Buenos Aires’ architectural scene is a gorgeous jumble of styles and periods, and the abundance of vast, disused walls is like a red flag to a bull for street artists. The city places few restrictions on street art; all you really need is the consent of the building owner and you are free to get tagging. This total lack of haters has ensured that Buenos Aires is graced with jaw-dropping murals that range from cheeky pop culture renderings through to exquisitely detailed masterpieces. If street art is your thing, then don’t pass up on a walking tour with a graffiti focus.
Visit one of the world’s coolest cemeteries
Even if you’ve never seen Evita, you’ve surely seen clips of Madonna warbling ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ from a pink-tinged balcony. Eva Perón was a much-loved social and political figure who inspired generations of Argentinean women with her passion and conviction in a male-dominated world. A visit to Evita’s final resting place at Cementerio de la Recoleta is not as creepy as it sounds - the cemetery is more like a solemn little city, where 6,000 or so mausoleums strive to outdo each other with ornate embellishments from a variety of periodic styles.
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