Puerto Madero and Catalina's, Buenos Aires
Both at night and during the day, walking around Puerto Madero is a must. This is something good to do after having eaten in one of the many excellent restaurants Puerto Madero has to offer.
The view consists of a canal, some very modern buildings and a bridge called "Puente de la Mujer" (Woman's Bridge) that crosses the canal.
Puerto Madero is a rather new spot in Buenos Aires. In the past these docks had been abandoned for many years. But in the 90s they were recycled and made into offices, bars, restaurants and apartments.
If you walk along the famed riverbank piers of Puerto Madero, you will find a familiar structure (one that you can find in Australia???)...guess what....this is the Opera Bay in Puerto Madero! This structure was modeled after the Sydney Opera House and located at the north end of Dique 4. Although I did not see its interior, this place also apparently houses a nightclub.
Around the Opera Bay, you will encounter the very nice brick structures turned into nice restaurants and cafes. Sit and enjoy a snack in one of them, and you will also see businessmen finishing up their deals over a meal, looking over newspapers and laptops. The renovated waterfront area of Puerto Madero extends south toward San Telmo and has the most expensive real estates in Buenos Aires (the Opera Bay included). Perfect strolling area!
I made a video of my short trip to Buenos Aires on Youtube. Hope you like this:
JUMPING NORMAN IN BUENOS AIRES
Argentina, like the USA, is a country made of immigrants. If the Casa Rosada is Argentina’s White House, here is its version of Ellis Island. The complex is on the north side of the Darsena Norte and it is where millions of immigrants first came ashore in Argentina. The majority came from Italy and Spain, but many other countries are represented, as well. The Immigrant Hotel is where the people cleared customs and immigration, received food, shelter and medical care. Built in 1905-1911 to replace a smaller building – not at the same site – there is a museum within the main dining hall of the hotel. Guided tours are available. See my TL for more.
A wonderful example of urban renewal – and costly – the old abandoned warehouses along the four dock areas that made up Puerto Madero have become alive again with residential and commercial activity, from ghosts to a happening center. The old brick warehouses line the west side of the port with grand promenades along the waters and small parks throughout. The port never was never long lived in tis primary function because of the narrow ship channels – though 58 km of rail track was originally laid down to service the docks. The cost was over 35 million gold pesos to originally develop the port and the project took over 11 years to complete in the last years of the 19th century. The main port was moved farther to the north and the south, where the facilities remain today. Today, restaurant after restaurant occupy the ground floors. Some basements have been utilized as pools for residents. The area became neighborhood 47 of the city in 1996. Two floating museums can also be visited - the Sarmiento and the Uruguay, ships with long service in the navy of Argentina.
Renovated waterfront that extends south toward San Telmo with the most expensive real estates in BA, with 5-star hotels like Hilton, Four Seasons and the unique Faena Hotel & Universe designed by Philip Starke
Get a parilla (grill or barbeque) in one of the very good high-end restaurants –a good parilla contains meats such as chorizo sausages and the thinner sausage, salchicha. My favorite is the vacio (flank steak), but you can also order bife de chorizo (rump steak), tira de asado (short ribs), colita de cuadril (tail of rump, triangle) or the lomo (tenderloin). Beef lovers celebrate!
When in Puerto Madero, you can’t miss this unique bridge and you would want to cross it! I did.
Connecting the waterfronts at Dique 3, the bridge resembles a sharp fishhook or some say a "harp", and some even go further to say that it is a couple dancing the Tango! Stretch your imagination and you will feel the sway of the bridge.
It is 160 meters long and is said to have been built mostly in Spain using the design of Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, then shipped to Argentina. It cost the city US$6M and it also moves, rotating 90 degrees for water traffic to pass. I did get to see it work, allowing a boat to pass underneath it!
At the end of the bridge, you get a feel of how religious the Argentinians when you find the image of the Madonna in a glass case at the end of the bridge.
I made a video of my short trip to Buenos Aires on Youtube. Hope you like this:
JUMPING NORMAN IN BUENOS AIRES
If you are looking for a place to eat, Puerto Madero has plenty of options for all budgets. The red-brick dock houses have been turned into restaurants, stores, a cinema and a university. It has become a favorite stop among tourists, similar to Navy Pier in Chicago and Rambla Del Mar in Barcelona. This has been one of the city's major revitalization projects. Many of the city's best restaurants have either relocated or opened up new locations here.
In the 80's a group of specialists were dreaming of recycling the port of Buenos Aires.
So, from 1991 to 1998 Puerto Madero Project gave place to technology and planning.
The attractive contact with the river and an area of high-gastronomy restaurants -together with new office-blocks and shops- make this place an ideal rendezvous for business people at lunch time and for friends in the evening.
Puente de la Mujer is a foot bridge in Puerto Madero. The bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava and was completed in 2001. It is a swing bridge of unique design. The bridge has a single mast with cables suspending a portion of the bridge which rotates 90 degrees in order to allow water traffic to pass. When it swings to allow watercraft passage the far end comes to a resting point on a stabilizing pylon. I am fastinated by bridges and this was was definitely different and unusual.
In Buenos Aires' prime waterfront location, Puerto Madero represents the latest architectural trend in Buenos Aires. It consists of old docks where the cargo brought by the ships was stored. The docks were restored during the 1990s with the idea of integrating the port to the city extending the downtown area.
This neighbourhood now flourish with modern and most expensive residential and business lofts and offices, sofisticated restaurants (some of which are rather upscale), bars, discoteques and cinemas while retaining the old English style architecture. In December 2007 still under construction, a brand new shopping centre called Puerto Madero Shops was about to open.
Two museum ships from Argentine Armada, the Corbeta Uruguay (built around 1877 in England) and the Fragata Sarmiento (this elegant former naval ship sailed around the world 40 times between 1899 and 1938) are parked at the docks. Declared a National Historic Monument, they are open to visitors. There is also an architecturally interesting footbridge Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge) and El Sueño de la Esfera (The Dream of the Sphere), first luminous sculpture installed in Buenos Aires. You can enjoy the promenade along the waterfront and take a break at one of the numerous outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires waterfront area on the banks of the Río de la Plata. The area
has some houses, offices, lofts, private universities, hotels, movie theatres, galleries and restaurants that attract locals and visitors to this area.
We enjoyed a nice walk along the river on a sunny afternoon. The area is bustling with people and it's a great place to watch the world go by.
Puerto Madero is a great place, and if you want to go home with the feeling that you really got to see what the city has to offer, you have to come here at least once. It's called "Puerto Madero" because there used to be grand plans to build the new harbor of Buenos Aires here. The project was a complete failure. There are about 20 red, brick buildings all in a row here, which used to be old warehouses, and once the project failed, this area closed down and all of the old warehouses were abandoned and inhabited by rats. However, it's a different scene today. Almost every one of the old warehouses has been restored, and nowadays they house restaurants, apartments, offices, and one of them houses the Catholic University. You'll find the yacht harbor here, 2 museum boats, and the Hilton Hotel as well. On both sides of the water there is a lovely, clean, relaxing promenade which I highly recommend strolling, and definitely you should eat in at least one of the restaurants. Many of the city's well known restaurants are located here, like Cabana Las Lilas, La Cabelleriza, Happening, Bice, and so forth. You'll also find a TGI Fridays. Yes, alot of tourists go here, but also locals (locals with a little money) so prices are higher than some other areas of the city, but nonetheless, it's a must see.
Walking around in Puerto Madero we stumble to Mississippi house river boat style Casino. We went in and try our luck. We put $40 into slot machines and lost. We had fun.
In the casino there are number of slot machines, Roulette, Craps, Poker, Black Jacks and maybe few other gaming tables. There are also bars and restaurant on board.
Camera is not allowed. When you enter they search your bag. You have to take your camera to the counter and they'll give you a number in exchange for the camera. When you finish loosing your money you can exchange your number with your camera. Don't loose the number.
Remember gambling can be addictive like VT :-)
The casino open 24 hours.
Perta Madero, Buenos Aires' newest barrio , was formed with the development of disused dockland and deserted land to the east of the city. Red brick warehouses along the wharfs have been converted into smart apartment buildings with restaurants all along the waterfront. Although it really only comes to life in the evening and weekends as people come to eat here at any one of the restaurants (most of which are remarkably similar - and rather bland) it's a pleasant enough spot for a walk in the daytime. You can also visit the museums on board the sailing ships, the PRESIDENTE SARMIENTO and the URAGUAY which are moored here permanently, or take a walk under the soaring white sail on the pedestrian Puente de la Mujer.
The building at the northern end that looks like a pancaked Sydney Opera House is a nightclub.
Several new office buildings have gone up in the area between the Puerto and the older part of the city - their glass and steel just another layer in the architecture that is one of the main attractions of the city.
This neighborhood is situated behind the Casa Rosada, on the banks of the river and in the vicinity of the "City", the Financial distric. It was created thanks a gigantic urban project in 1991 with the intention of recuparating the old harbor district that had been abandoned for many years (in this aspect, it goes in the today's trend of the flats in industrial buildings - like I saw in Lisbon). The old brick warehouses that used to serve as storage place space were renovated. They preserve its exterior apperance and house offices, a cinema complex, a hotel, a disco, forty restaurants and ten bars (new "lounge" style) that have made Puerto Madero one of the places most visited by nightlife lovers. It is a quite expensive place (in comparison to the rest of Buenos Aires) and people eating and drinking there are mostly people working in the Financial Area or people who possess a yacht! Indeed,
the old harbour canal n° 4 (Dique) was rehabilitated in marina for the yachts. Along the "Diques", you will find explanation about the creation of the neighborhood and a walk there is really interesting to discover the working of the harbor in the past. You can also visit the Sarmiento Frigate, an old Argentine Navy schooling ship moored at Dique 3 and admiring a wonderful bridge called Calatrava.