Fall in love, again and again

Buenos Aires – Argentina
  • La Boca street art La Boca street art
  • Recoletta - Buenos Aires Recoletta - Buenos Aires
  • The colourful buildings of La Boca - Buenos Aires The colourful buildings of La Boca - Buenos Aires
  • The colourful buildings of La Boca -Buenos Aires The colourful buildings of La Boca -Buenos Aires

A Quick Glance

Destination(s) Buenos Aires – Argentina

Duration 24 hours

Traveller(s) Couple

Trip highlight Watching tango dancers strut their stuff on the footpath

Travel Advisor Dawn McKiernan

Stay in touch

Receive innovative monthly ideas, inspiring stories, great reviews and offers.

Discover why it is so easy to fall in love with Buenos Aires on a walk through its lively and unique neighbourhoods.

From the luxurious areas of Recoletta and Palermo, with their leafy European styled streets and buildings, to the workers ramshackle streets of La Boca with its diverse and intriguing history, the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires are ideal to explore on foot.

We set off early in the morning to La Boca, to see the colourful facades of the buildings and try our hand at our private tango class. It was an hour and a half of pure enjoyment!  We laughed and danced our way through a variety of styles and steps, all under the constant guidance of two teachers who were so patient with their two left footers!

After all the dancing we ambled around the town admiring the brightly coloured buildings, often seeing tango dancers performing on a street corner or out the front of a café. The music was compelling us to join in, but after our recent experience we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves, so we sat, ate and drank coffee while watching the dancers effortlessly perform steps we had just struggled to obtain. It was magical.

We then headed back to Recoletta as it was market day. The market was located on the rambling lawns out the front of the mystical cemetery and we wandered through the stalls selling beautiful handmade items, jewellery, bags, paintings and food. Just as we were about to leave the market, we saw a man putting the finishing touches to a colourful and rather unusual painting of the city, depicting all the places we had seen and where we wanted to go.  His name was Alex and we sat and chatted for ages about the painting and what he did in Buenos Aires. We quietly decided that the unfinished painting would look great at home so arranged to meet the next day to view the finished product. Still in Recoletta, we couldn’t leave without going into the cemetery to find Evita’s grave.

The cemetery was fascinating - unlike nothing I have ever seen before; such opulence, soaring edifices of angels, dragons, majestic statues above tombs with leadlighting, coffins stacked within in clear view, with flowers and gifts adorning many of them. It was a sight to see, eerie, beautiful and artistic, each row adorned with an even greater or more lavish tomb or grave. With its grand size, it felt like we were walking amongst a silent and sleeping historic town.

We finally found Eva Peron’s tomb, which it was not as lavish as expected, adorned instead with simple fresh roses. As we viewed her granite and brass resting place, locals stopped by to say a short prayer and leave behind a single rose at the site. The sun was setting and a slight mist was descending as we made our way out of the cemetery. It created a mystical atmosphere and we felt like we had stepped back in time, imagining at any moment a horse drawn cart clattering down the cobblestones. We found ourselves whispering in quiet voices so the ghosts of years past wouldn’t hear us as we sneaked out through a small wooden door in the side of the huge cemetery walls.

Dinner that night was one of the most enjoyable meals we had on our journey. We heard through the grapevine of a secluded local restaurant that was as traditional as the tango. We couldn’t wait! The taxi driver was surprised we knew of such a place, so when we arrived we were very excited. The restaurant was set amongst a row of houses in Recolleta; there were tables and chairs outside under dark green awnings, gas fires burning and a crowd of eager faces all waiting for a table. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and advised our table would be ready soon before being led to a seat outside next to a warming fire. We felt like locals as we heard the rich Spanish dialect from the crowd.

Dinner is a ritual here that often doesn’t start until after 9 and is a prerequisite before a night out at a tango house or coffee palace where you can expect to be up until 1 or 2am. The food was delicious. Luckily, we were advised by Enricho (our waiter) to order the smaller meals, as a steak of nearly1kg is regular fare. The whole meal was scrumptious, the atmosphere full of fun and exuberance and we were surprised to find it was almost midnight when we finished up.

Feeling full and a bit weary, we were about to head back to the hotel when we decided to head to the latest ‘It’ bar in town, The Library Lounge at Hotel Faena, which a local guide told us was the place to go for a nightcap. The bar was lively and full of energy and we soaked in the atmosphere before heading back to our hotel to recharge our batteries.

Our day in Buenos Aires was close to perfect. With its mix of delicious food, historic interest and contemporary culture, the exuberant lifestyle and colourful history of Argentina is all there just waiting to be enjoyed on a simple stroll through the streets of Buenos Aires.