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Argentina is sultry with its movement, tempting with its meats and brimming with culture—and Buenos Aires is the country’s heart. The city is one of the most visited in the world, and the passion exuding from the place pulls many into residency. The birthplace of tango, Buenos Aires promises to breathe life and adventure into its visitors, no matter how long or short they may stay.

Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport

Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport near Buenos Aires. Photo: Gerardo Curiel – Flickr.

Plane, train or automobile — Unless you’re pulling a Ché Guevara and riding through South America on a motorcycle (and let’s hope you are), a flight is probably your best choice for getting to the city. Buenos Aires has two airports: Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport and Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport. You’ll likely land at Ezeiza, since most international flights go through there. It’s 21 miles southwest of the city. Be careful of the taxi cabs looking to take advantage of tourists and hop on a shuttle to the city. The Manuel Tienda León Bus Company is about $12 to downtown. Not the cheapest, but it’s reliable (and ultimately cheaper than getting taken for a ride, metaphorically).

EcoBici

EcoBici in Buenos Aires. Photo: Vcheregati – Flickr.

Cheap local transit — Biking is one of the best ways to seethe city. The city’s bike share program, EcoBici, lets you check out a bike for free for 24 hours. There are 158 km of bike lanes throughout the city — that’s almost 100 miles — making it very safe and traversable.

carne

A chef prepares carne asada and other meats in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Marissa Strniste – Flickr.

Come el carne (Spanish for “eat some meat’) — Even in the U.S., people associate Argentina with its delectable meats. Carne asada literally translates to grilled meat or beef, and the eateries where it’s sold are called parrillas. There is seemingly a parrilla on every corner, so swing in and dig in. If you want a set plan for dinner, check out Los Talas del Entrerriano. Chorizo is the specialty here. It’s reasonably priced and fills to the brim on weekend evenings, which is a sight to see. If you want a more tranquil atmosphere, go during the week at lunchtime. Whenever you go, go hungry — the portions are huge.

Argentina

Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires. Photo: Giulio Mola – Flickr.

Try to tango — Tango was born in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the 1800s, influenced by both ancient African rhythms and music from Europe. Some say it’s a lifestyle, some say it’s infectious. Some say the whole city seems to move to the beat of tango music, at a certain time of day when the sun is setting. You can learn to tango in Buenos Aires, watch the dance or even just listen to the music. Tango is essentially unavoidable in Buenos Aires, so make sure to take it in and let it move you.

Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: David Berkowitz – Flickr.

Play in the plaza — If Buenos Aires is the heart of Argentina, Plaza de Mayo is it’s main artery. So much life flows through the city’s main plaza. It’s in the Monserrat barrio, or neighborhood, and is home to the main cathedral. It plays host to many of the protests that occur in the city, dating back to the revolution on May 25, 1810, that led to the country’s independence from Spain. The tall, white Pirámide de Mayo pays homage to that moment. Just make sure to keep a hand on your valuables when you visit the plaza — high-traffic tourist locations are thief magnets.

La Boca

A building in La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Photo: Jasmine Nears – Flickr.

La Boca — One of Buenos Aires’ 48 neighborhoods, La Boca has retained an abundance of European ambiance. Many of its early settlers came from Italy, and the area still largely belongs to the working class. It is not one to be missed. The famed fútbol stadium, La Bombonera, is there, as is the colorful, waterside street, Caminito, which was created in a once-abandoned street by artist Benito Quinquela Martín. It’s also the place to catch some impromptu tango.

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Tagged: Food & drink, International, Tips & advice

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