Many people has missed this place. Buenos Aires is a jewel that has yet to be really discovered. During our 4 day stay in BA, we lodged at the Mariott Plaza Hotel at Plaza San Martin, which is at the foot of the infamous Florida street. Florida street was ‘interesting’ to us but bargains are not to be found. Almost every thing I saw from electronics to clothing was, in some cases, 3 times higher than back in the US.
It is an interesting street to walk down and it’s about a good 45 minute walk from one end to the other. Well advisable to do and see the sights. Transportation tip: taking the subway is convenient and cheap, cheap, cheap, but be on notice that many stations take only exact change or tickets only. It really depends where you are going but we were safe and purchased them in lots of 10 (more are available). I think the average subway ride came to about 29 cents (US). Also, the cab fares are crazy cheap. We regularly took cabs across town and were only charged $4 (US), that’s it and tipping isn’t required at all! It just doesn’t make sense to bother with a rent car when you have such cheap and available transportation; although, I’ll warn you that the cab drivers drive very fast and red lights are usually a suggestion to stop. Out of all the sights available to us, we enjoyed Recoleta Cemetery the most.
Not only for seeing Evita Peron’s family’s tomb’s but so many of the crypts are extremely interesting in design and architecture. We only spent 2 hours there but we would have enjoyed another two hours walking among the many dignitaries, mayors, senators, and other Argentinean famous people. Some of the most interesting crypts have very small ‘room’s for the living to come visit their dead relatives. Many of the caskets are out in open view! There are also about 75 cats that are ‘living’ residents in the cometary and most are very friendly and make interesting photo ops among the crypts. Very amazing, very different and I would highly recommend a half day at Recoleta Cemetery. When you leave the cemetery, on the weekends, there is usually a big market right outside on the grounds. Some of the best purchases we made were from the local people who were selling their art, crafts and beautiful leather goods. Again, setting aside some of the other interesting places you’ll read about in most guide books, we like the personal touch.
We took a cab over to the Retiro / Barrio Norte / Recoleta around 11am and strolled along the streets and stopped in small shops and small cafes to taste the local cuisine (kind of a walking ‘tapa’s’ tour!). It was great and the whole time we are mixing and mingling with people who shop, live and eat in this same area. About mid-afternoon we took a cab over to Plaza Dorrego, the second oldest square in the city, which is know for art fairs and local vendors. Again, what a way to see how the local people live.
We stopped in a flea market. Take a cab there and walk the Caminito pedestrian mall and adjacent streets. This is the barrio that has the very colorful buildings and many outdoor cafes where tango dancers entertain you during your meal and/or drinks. While somewhat touristy, it was worth the colorful pictures and watching the tango dancers was such a treat while sipping a cool beverage!