Personal experiences & helpfull hints, Buenos Aires
We only had one occasion that we needed to use an internet cafe, we saw one at the Galerias Pacifico shopping mall (Cordoba and Florida), down near the food court. Just 2 pesos an hour, the connection was a little slow but fine for our needs.
We then decided to call my mother in law, it was my husband's birthday and she had given us a hard time because we never call her while on vacation. We only talked for about 2 minutes and it was 1.95 pesos, the connection was pretty crappy and I could barely hear her. But now she can't claim we are too cheap to call LOL
I got the Frommer's Buenos Aires guide and I really enjoyed the guided walks they put together as they focused primarily on architecture and led you into buildings you probably wouldn't have otherwise discovered.
My husband was a little frustrated with the placement of sights on the maps but they do a good job with giving cross streets so you can just use the maps as a general guide. Some of the information on times and costs were incorrect but I suspect that's a problem with any of the guidebooks. The restaurant recommendations were pretty solid and I like their "Take a Break" boxes.
What I didn't like was that there wasn't even the briefest section on language, it would have been nice to have something to reference for food, days of the week and a few other small things.
We booked our trip using Go Today and I was extremely pleased with just about everything regarding the trip. The package included our airfare to South America, our flights while in South America, hotels and transfers, the prices were very reasonable considering how much we got.
The flight to Rio was straight from Chicago to Sao Paulo, then to Rio and from Buenos Aires straight to Chicago, all on United. I couldn't have asked for better flight connections and to leave from Chicago it was only an additional $50 per person.
There are multiple levels of hotels, we decided not to go with the budget option and instead selected one of the middle levels, we were generally pleased with the location of the hotels and the quality of the hotels.
The transfer service was excellent, the drivers were always on time at the airport and picking us back up for the return trip. In Iguazu Falls, our driver also offered guided services but the prices were a bit steep and we found our own transportation.
Favorite thing: A friend and I took a bus tour and it was ok but the problem was that it took us no less than an hour to go around hotels to pick up people. And the same happened on the way back. So two hours from the tours was wasted. Next day we took a bike tour. Total different story, we met the tour guide at a specified place, not too far from the Obelisk, and so did all other people. The group was small, perhaps seven people. We spend the day biking around Buenos Aires and saw everything up-close, maybe many stops and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke great English. The only thing was that there are not too many bike lanes so sometimes we were biking along the cars, so just a heads up for those who get nervous easy. Overall, it was a great experience. http://www.biketours.com.ar/ing/index.html
Upon approaching for landing in Buenos Aires EZE airport you will realize BsAs is very well designed city by means of grids or blocks. In order to get to some place it is good to know not only the name of the street but also the intercepting street.
For example Esquina Homero Manzi is located at Ave San Juan y Boedo (y = and)
That is two different street names to indicate where thr exact part of the street the location is.
All over the city u can spot Locutorio.
They offer public phone boxes to call NDD/IDD at cheap rate (as low as 20centavos/min) and of course Internet access at broadband speed at low prices.
Prices varies from 50centavos per 15 mins or $1 per hour.
Computers are equipped with webcams too,if that's what u need.
"To visit Buenos Aires in a different way,go round the city with a friendly person, as a guide and move around unconventional places.."
This is something unique and you shouldnt miss this when you're in BsAs.
They're NGO formed by group of people who love the city and feel proud of it
They offer free guide service to individual or group.The free non-professional guide and orientation are serviced by volunteers.
How it works -
Tours are organized based upon your requests of special interest.
If you have no specific ones,they can always suggest.
The service last for 2-3 hours.
The only cost will be the expenses the tour itself demands.
e.g - bus rides,subte tickets,entry to museum etc..
Fondest memory: Complete the form available online at www.cicerones.org.ar and send at least a couple of week prior coming to BsAs. (reply will somehow be late so i suggest request for the service earlier)
+54 11 4330 0800
Even without seeing anything of great importance, it was a pleasure to just walk along the average everyday streets of Buenos Aires.
Warm temperatures, the sun shining, the hustle and bustle of everyday life in a large city with all it's attendant smells and noises and, let's not forget, the (for us) completely different Spanish culture! After all, that is what travelling is all about or, as the French would say, 'Vive la difference!'
We thoroughly enjoyed Buenos Aires - what more can I say?
There are a number of statues scattered around Buenos Aires, although the green parklands of the Palermo district seem to have more than their fair share! The statues cover a wide variety of subjects such as local heroes San Martin, Mendoza and Moreno; foreign icons Shakespeare and George Washington; local celebrity Carlos Gardel or such diverse things as a Lion, the Thinker, Don Quixote and numerous ones dedicated to Lovers.
Fondest memory: The most unusual statue that we came across was this one in the once-abandoned Botanical Gardens (presently being rejuvenated). This 1909 bronze statue presented quite a realistic scene of Roman debauchery resulting from their annual festival in honour of the God 'Saturn' !
We never got very close to the Rio de la Plata during our city tours, except for La Boca during our final afternoon. This is because the riverfront along the west bank of the river has a large buffer zone of streets, railway tracks and green zones between the water and the built-up Recoleta and Palermo districts.
However, as we flew out of BA from Jorge Newbery Airport, for our internal trips in Argentina, we had a good aerial view of this very wide waterway. Fed by the mighty Parana and Uruguay Rivers, the Rio de la Plata is a light chocolate brown colour, not very attractive for swimming at all. Further out, from the air you can see where the clear waters of the Atlantic swirl in conflict with the brown river waters.
This photo was taken from the departure level of Jorge Newbery, showing the sea wall that runs along the river here. It was a grey and humid day, but several people were fishing off the wall using very long rods, catching who knows what?
As you would expect in a city of 12 million people, the traffic can get hectic during rush hours. However, that being said, we never seemed to have much of a problem when we navigated our way through the city via taxis.
If you are touring the city on foot, as we did on more than one occasion, you need to keep your eyes peeled when crossing intersections. The cars assume that they have right of way and sometimes 'cheat' a bit on the lights or change lanes unexpectedly. One last glance over your shoulder is always a good idea!
This photo was taken as we crossed the world's widest street (it cuts a swath one city block-wide through Buenos Aires) on our way back to our hotel from Cafe Tortoni.
Walking all over the city. There is just so much to explore, many artists selling their wares in shops and on the streets. The music, the food. People having their coffee in the afternoon. Visiting the Museo de Bellas Artes was great! The best part of the day was walking out of my hotel in the morning into the lively city energy.
Fondest memory: Even if you know some basic Spanish, it's hard to understand the way it's spoken there a lot of the time, with the SH pronunciation for LL and Y. It's only this way in B.A. and the nearby provinces. Having said that, one of my fondest memories is talking with the people, who were always helpful and friendly.
OK, so it is much cheaper to use the Locutorios (something like communication centres offering telephone, fax and internet services) than the phone in your hotel room.
You could find them nearly on every main street in Buenos Aires. Easy to recognise them since they have the sign shown on the picture.
These places are just great for international calls. I remmeber that I paid something like a dollar for talking 3 or 4 minutes with Bulgaria. So, I would definitly strongly recommand this option :)))
In order to make an international call you should dial 00 + country code + area code + local number which is more or less what you do when you are abroad.
FYI, the country code for Argentina is 54 and the area code for Buenos Aires is 11.
Probably you would find this site useful if you can read Spanish:
Contact local "helper" Maria Isabel (Milla). She helped us with a tour of the city, and a special dinner for my wife, the opera fanatic, in Belgrano. You can reach her through Travelerspoint.com
Fondest memory: A bustling latin city, we remember the Sunday afternoon in San Telmo, and Plaza Dorrego. A great first day in BA after our long flight from the USA. Also, an opera performance at Teatro Colon!
Todo De Tango/All About Tango
Looking for a great place to watch a tango show? Feeling overwhelmed by the massive selection of shows? Need advice on which one is the best? The place I recommend you pay a visit to is Tangodata. Located inside the San Martin Cultural Center on the corner of Sarmiento and Parana, Tangodata is staffed by multilingual employees that will help you weed through different tango shows located in the area. www.tangodata.com.ar