Steaks, football and colourful buildings make this ‘Paris of South America’ a Latin hot spot
As we arrived in Buenos Aires it felt very familiar. The city is known as the ‘Paris of South America’ and it does live up to that name. With its café culture, grand boulevards and food scene, it almost rivals its European cousins.
As Catherine and I pulled up to our hotel, the Europlaza Hotel & Suites, we felt immediately at home. The hotel was a great mid-range hotel with everything you would need for a great stay.
When you travel to Buenos Aires you’ll find the quality of life is very high and the people are friendly and helpful. From our hotel, we headed to the Congressional Plaza where the Congress of the Argentine Nation building sits. This amazing building houses the government of Argentina and has similarities to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Walking through the park and heading to the centre via Avenue de Mayo, it seemed like we were walking down a Parisian street. After a 20 min walk, Catherine and I entered the Plaza de Casa Rosada at the west end and headed for the Buenos Aires Cabildo. This building was once used to house the town council, but now is open to the public as a museum.
Just outside was the Metropolitan Cathedral that sits on the north west of the square. It is not the original as it has been rebuilt several times since its humble beginnings.
The façade is of 19th century Neoclassical design and has no towers. The interior has 18th century statues and altarpieces, as well as Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decorations. The amble ceiling makes this a cathedral not to be missed.
As we crossed the Plaza de Casa Rosada, we passed the Monumento al General Manuel Belgrano an Argentinian hero. At the west end of the park is the Casa Rosada, arguably the city’s biggest landmark. The building played a staring role in the film Evita, with singer Madonna re-enacting Eva.
While in Buenos Aires you have to visit the neighbourhood of La Boca.
Caminito the main street is amazing and a great place to grab some lunch and pick up some souvenirs. The taxi was 10 minutes and cost about $5.
La Boca is famous for their colourful buildings and, of course a certain famous footballer. Yes, Diego Maradona grew up on the streets of La Boca and played for the local team, Boca Juniors before going to Europe.
After a looking around the La Bombonera stadium, we ventured back to the main street for a quick refreshment and caught a taxi back into the middle of Buenos Aires. The ride back took us through Puerto Madero and past the modern skyscrapers of the city ending up at Galerías Pacífico, the place to shop.
By now we need to eat and so ventured through the streets of downtown looking for a famous steakhouse. Almacén & Restaurant Suipacha was exactly what we had in mind – a beautiful setting with amazing, affordable steaks. Stomachs full, we headed back to our hotel for the night.
The walk home took us back across the July 9 Avenue causeway and to the bottom of the Obelisco. This huge needle was constructed in 1936 and was finished in a month.
Across the street we headed to the Teatro Colón, the main opera house of the Buenos Aires and a beautiful decorated building. It was getting dark and as we walked through the Plaza Lavalle, outside this amazing building we could take in where we were.
The capital was as beautiful we thought. Montevideo was our next step, so we caught a bus down to the Sea Cat Ferry Terminal the next morning.
After a quick passport check we hopped onto the Buquebus for the next 2 hours.
Visiting Buenos Aires on a mid to low-range budget was very achievable in Argentina and it had been brilliant. Catherine and I had seen and experienced much of what we wanted to do, and knew that one day we would re-visit this great city. Next was Montevideo on the open waves.
Checking out J & C