The Argentine capital of Buenos Aires is full of sultry surprises and culinary delights. To get a first-hand glimpse into the best of what the city has to offer, we asked three of our well-traveled staff members to get their insights on the best things to see (and do) in the city.
What surprised you most about the city?
Lael, Director of Product Development: Buenos Aires has a very European feel with a South American twist. It’s like a cross between Paris and New York, but with a truly authentic South American flair. Argentines speak Spanish with hand gestures most people associate with Italians.
Danielle, Groups Marketing Manager: I was surprised by how many great little neighborhoods with tons of bars and restaurants there were – at night, we felt like we were in a cool neighborhood like the West Village in NYC. I was also surprised by how easy, comfortable, and safe we felt walking around by foot. You obviously have to be careful in any big city, but I was still surprised by how easy it felt. I also felt really comfortable in the taxis, even when I was on my own.
Valerie, Software Project Manager: I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but I was surprised by how cosmopolitan the city was. Its architecture felt very European and reminded me so much of Paris in particular. It also has impressive boulevards—Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest street in the world!
What local foods did you try? What made them can’t-miss?
Lael: All kinds of steak: bife de chorizo (sirloin), ojo de bife (ribeye), bife de costilla (beef ribs). Don’t miss the Malbec wine—it pairs really well with steak.
Danielle: Since I don’t eat meat, I had a lot of seafood (including ceviche), empanadas, veggies, cheese and desserts! Dulce de leche and alfajores, soft sandwich cookies filled with the creamy caramel spread, are popular for a reason. Surprisingly, pizza was really popular, and we went to a famous pizza place one day, El Cuartito.
Valerie: Beef is definitely the big culinary attraction, and especially so as part of an asado—a large, social barbecue.
Want more food? Indulge with this blog post >> On our radar: The food scene in Buenos Aires
What aspect of local culture did you love most?
Lael: Buenos Aires is both laid-back and cultured. I love the vibrant tango culture, but also the fusion of other-world cultures that you find in the city.
Danielle: The people and the food. Dinner was such a fun ordeal – long meals, lots of time to chat, lots of wine… it was great! The city just felt really alive every night of the week.
Valerie: I loved the tango optional excursion on my tour. That dance is impossibly cool and the performances were really impressively done.
Have you been to Buenos Aires? (Ready to visit?) Share you favorite tips for your fellow travelers in the comments!