Local traditions and culture in Buenos Aires

  • Tango
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  • Tango
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  • Tango
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Buenos Aires

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    by xaver Written Apr 28, 2013

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    From the arrival in the airport you see posters and brochures reguarding the history of Malvinas (british call them Falklands). The islands near the south of the country which are british colony. The Falkland war was decades ago but Argentinian seem to still think the islands should be called Malvinas and be part of the country, and well geographically, they actually are in the same tectonic plate, but nature and human behaviour, not often take the same direction.

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    Regiment of Patricians

    by GentleSpirit Written Jun 4, 2012

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    The Regiment of Patricians (regimiento de patricios) of the Argentine Army serves as the official honor guard at the Buenos Aires Cabildo, welcomes dignitaries at state functions and is honor guard for the government of the City of Buenos Aires.

    The Regiment was formed in 1806 to fight off the British invasion of the Rio de la Plata. It was made up of residents of Buenos Aires (mostly criollo). The unit has nothing to do with "patrician" as we understand it in english, these are not children of the aristocracy.

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    The Colon Theatre

    by Bjorgvin Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Colon Theatre is one of the most famous theatres in the world! It stands out for its architecture and its perfect acoustics. Don’t forget to visit for a guided tour, and maybe you´ll buy a ticket to a concert, an opera session or a ballet performance.

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    The best meat.

    by Dizzyhead Updated Jun 25, 2010

    The best meat and asado in Buenos Aires is found in the small dirty and cheap parrillas, not the the nice and expensive restaurants. You will find these cheap ones everywhere, especially in San Telmo and near Plaza de Mayo too. Good luck!

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    The National Sport

    by JessieLang Written Jan 4, 2010

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    The official 'National Sport of Argentina' is Pato! I would have expected it to be soccer (they are fanatics) but I learned otherwise. Pato (duck) is played by the gauchos. It is played on horseback, and evidently it is something like polo without the sticks. It is played with a leather ball now, but originally it was a duck in a bag.

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    Street Performers

    by cjg1 Written Nov 8, 2009

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    Durining one of our walks in San Telmo we encounted a man putting on a puppet show. Children and people gathered around his little stage. If you watch ; it's only polite to throw some coins in his tip box as a sign of appreciation.

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    Cafe Culture

    by mircaskirca Updated Sep 17, 2009

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    One of the pleasures of visiting Buenos Aires is lingering in its cafes, whether with newspaper, a book or a friend and soaking up the ambience. The city is not called 'the Paris of the south' for nothing. Buenos Aires has a popular cafe culture. On almost every street corner you will see at least one cafe. Most of them offer both indoor and outdoor seating. While indoor cafes are usually decorated with objects related to tango, old photos or art, outdoors offer a good point for people-watching which is always an interesting thing to do when visiting a new city.

    Cafes are integral to life in Buenos Aires. It is common for someone to seat at a cafe for hours and order nothing more then a coffee though it is quite common for Porteños to have their breakfast, cafe con leche y medialunas (cafe latte and croissants). Most of cafes offer variety of cakes and pastries, and sometimes you can get empanadas, salads or sandwiches as well.

    Thanks to Italian immigrants Buenos Aires has excellent coffee. You can choose between cafe (espresso), cafe cortado (espresso with a little milk) and cafe con leche (mix of half coffee and half milk). And for those with a sweet tooth, there is chocolate con churros (thick hot chocolate with sticks of fried sweet pastry which you dip into the chocolate).

    There are cafes for everyone: cafes for atmosphere (Confiteria Ideal, El Hipopotomo, El Federal), traditional cafes, literary cafes, bookshop cafes (Clasica y Moderna) and entertainment bars. Among the oldest cafes, the famous ones are Cafe Tortoni, Las Violetas, Confiteria Richmond, La Biela and La Giralda.

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    Cats of Recoletta Cemetery

    by cjg1 Updated Mar 20, 2009

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    We visited Recoleta Cemetery and were surprised at the amount sof cats wandering about. They were friendly creatures and didn't seem to have a care in the world. We found them lounging in front of some mausoleums, on benches, steps and stones. Some of the cats were quite friendly but Rob and I discouraged Liz from picking them up. She was content just to pet a few and even had a black and white cat follow her for a time.

    The cats are fed by local women daily, which is probably why they look so healthy.

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    Abundant Bakeries

    by TexasDave Updated Sep 21, 2008

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    Coming from the U.S. where it is increasingly more difficult to find quality baked goods other than at large supermarkets, it was enjoyable to frequently find small, independent bakeries selling all kinds of breads, breakfast pastries, and other sweets at inexpensive prices. Throughout the city they appear without having to search them out.
    The panaderia in these pictures is on J. L. Borges, about 3 blocks S of the Botanical Gardens and Av. Santa Fe.

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    by DAO Updated Sep 18, 2008

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    ‘Desaparecidos’ is the Spanish word for "The Disappeared." On March 24, 1976 the military seized power in Argentina and went on a campaign to wipe out Communism and left-wing terrorists. The military Junta collaborated with the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay in what was called ‘Operation Condor’. During military rule in Argentina (1976-1983) more than 30,000 people were rounded up and never heard from again. Many were tortured and their bodies desposed of in undiscovered mass graves or thrown into the ocean. At one point there were as many as 340 secret detention centres.
    The first picture shows the names of the ‘Desaparecidos’ in the La Boca neighbourhood. Many communities all across the country have these memorials to the loved ones that have never been traced.
    At the end of the disastrous Falklands War in 1982 the military destroyed all of their records to further frustrate the efforts to find the final resting places of the disappeared

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    Porteño pointers

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Sep 14, 2008

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    Locals in Buenos Aires refer to themselves as Porteños (people of the port), and take great pride in their city having quite a different feel, look and sound to every other city in South America - and it does. Spanish not only sounds different here - both words used and their meanings can be different too. The wealth and sophistication of the good times of the past shows in the grand buildings that could just as easily be in France or Vienna as here in South America. It's a city with a vibrant 24-hour a day beat to it. It's big, exciting, glamorous, sophisticated and yet there are aspects that are charmingly old-fashioned and intimate. There's no way you can hope to come to grips with it all in one visit or twenty - the basic rule for beginners is to relax and take time to enjoy simply being here.

    Rule 2 - Eat late or eat alone - the only people in restaurants before 10pm are tourists.

    Rule 3 - Dress well. Smartly casual, clean and well groomed will take you almost anywhere, scruffy is just not Porteño style.

    Rule 4 - Make sure you have small notes and coins on you for taxis, tips, buses, small purchases, etc. No-one ever has change for big bills.

    Rule 5 - Be prepared to be flattered/charmed/flirted with and for it to mean zilch - the Irish call it blarney - here they call it "chamuyo" (cha-ma-szho) and Porteños are the masters of it.

    Rule 6 - If you can't get there by walking, use the subte whenever you can - it covers much of the city, is faster than anything above ground, cheaper than taxis, clean and safe.

    Rule 7 - Only ever use a Radio Taxi - it will be marked as such. If one stops and it's not a Radio Taxi - don't get into it!!! Send it away, wait, hail another one,walk - whatever - just don't take that one.

    Rule 8 - Pronounce "ll" and "y" as "zh" - it's "Plaza Ma -zho" and chicken is pozho.

    Rule 9 - Say ciao instead of adios.

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    All the news

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    Readers of English can get their fix of international and local news daily with the Buenos Aires Herald. Founded by a Scottish immigrant, William Cathcart, in 1876 as a weekly journal, its original purpose was to publish mainly shipping news and, like the Times in London, had only advertisements on the front page. Cathcart sold the paper after a year and the new owner changed from from a weekly to a daily newspaper and, at the same time, moved towards news and current event coverage and comment both in Argentina and abroad. It has been in print ever since.

    Whilst no doorstop, the paper's coverage of both national and international news is pretty good and there is always sport, business, political and entertainment coverage as well features and comment on a wide variety of topics, including the shipping news - Cathcart would be pleased.

    During the years of the military dictatorship, it was one of very few newspapers to publish reports of the kidnappings, torture and death that were being perpetrated.

    It's widely read, and not only by the English-speaking community. It's also a good source of information about cinema times, theatre performances, polo match times, etc.

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    Bookshops and Literary Tradition

    by mircaskirca Updated Jun 8, 2008

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    Buenos Aires is a literary city, with bookshops and book fairs. In keeping with its literary tradition (Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortazar were both natives, and Ernesto Sabato is also coming from Buenos Aires Province), Buenos Aires is one of the best places on the continent to buy books. It has a flourishing book industry, one of the most competitive in Latin America.

    Buenos Aires bookshops have a style and special characteristics. Big and luxurious ones are located on the most important avenues, lots of them in historical buildings. During the 20th century many important book shops and publishing houses were open, such as Libreria de la Ciudad, frequently visited by Jorge Luis Borges, or the grandest of all, El Ateneo. Many book shops offer spaces for reading with comfortable sofas and tables to have a coffee, spaces where cultural events are performed. The readers can seat and enjoy, or read the book they have chosen from the shelves. Most bookshops are open until late at night.

    The area where you can find most book shops in Buenos Aires is definitely Avenida Corrientes. Corrientes, Santa Fe and Juramento and the shopping centres hold important bookshops offering the latest editions and plenty of materials of tourist interest: photography books and tango de-luxe books. For rare volumes, first editions, antiquarian, sold-out books and foreign language books you should go to the bookshops on Avenida de Mayo, the new circuit of San Telmo and the old bookshops on Avenida Corrientes, between Callao and 9 de Julio.

    No visit of Buenos Aires is completed without visiting the excellent literary spaces:

    El Ateneo
    Avenida Santa Fe 1860
    Barrio Norte
    tel: 011 4813 6052
    This splendid bookshop is transformed from an old theatre. Apart from the wide range of books and helpful staff, the big attraction of El Ateneo is the fine old building itself. What used to be the former stage is now a decent cafe.

    Avenida Corrientes 1743
    tel: 011 4374 7501
    A long-established meeting spot of the city's intellectuals, the atmospheric Gandhi also has a small in-house theatre, a cafe and a good selection of CDs, and it's a good place to find tango books.

    Avenida Corrientes 1555
    tel: 011 4372 8342 (books), 4375 2341 events)
    The highly recommended Antigona forms part of the Liberarte cultural space, which includes a performance area, a music and a video shop.

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    by RafaelTheSecond Written May 25, 2008

    Marcone and I played like two children in one of the most famous pools in the city, we did exactly like what many people. go to a Pileta Publica and spend the whole day!! Lots of families and friends having fun!!!!

    parque del Plata is also a social club but it is opens for the Public, you pay a small fee of 20 pesos and you can spend the entire day!!!

    JANUARY 2008

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    by RafaelTheSecond Written May 25, 2008

    Buenos Aires has no beaches...at least what we call "beaches". The Plata River baths the whole city but of course we cannot swim there..too much pollution which is pety becuse the river is a real sea!!! It is enormous...still serves the city a lot. It has a very important port after the huge port of Bahia Blanca, it is also very important for fishing..specially where the river meets the ocean. And the River is quite clean in the uruguayan side and also in the countryside of Argentina in provinces like EntreRios and Corrientes!

    So the argentineans just have some cool options, the public pools which are quite common in Buenos Aires!!!


    It is one of the refreshing option people have when they decide to stay in the city during the weekends!!!

    I highly recommend you to go there!!! ONLY LOCALS!!!

    JANUARY 2008

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