I went to Buenos Aires, Argentina this past August for my full time MBA program. We were there consulting for various nonprofit organizations assisting them with their business plans and branding. It was an amazing experience filled with company visits and meetings. While there was little downtime, I did get to experience a little of the Argentinian culture. Here are some of my favorite things from Buenos Aires that you shouldn’t miss when you get there.
Feria de San Telmo
Mostly situated on Humberto 1 in the neighborhood of San Telmo, The Feria de San Telmo, or San Telmo Fair is only on Sundays from 10am till 5pm. The fair is packed with vendors selling goods from hand made leathers to antique glass bottles. You can find people strolling from stall to stall pondering on which item to purchase. There are also local food vendors sharing the finest Argentinian and Buenos Aires traditional cuisine. I think I ate at least three empanadas that day.
While perusing the vendors I made my way into an old antique shop. I had been looking for a wood crate to decorate my apartment with and was unable to locate one in New York City. Fortunately, I found this amazing weathered fruit crate with Spanish writing on the side at this antique shop. The owner was a lovely older gentleman who after some friendly haggling set a fair price but we both got what we wanted; me with my crate and him with a sale.
The market is a combination of street vendors, established covered markets and antique shops. You could spend a good portion of your day looking through all the items and visiting each merchant but I guarantee you will be able to find that souvenir for your loved ones back home here.
Cementerio de la Recoleta
The Cementerio de la Recoleta is the resting place for many historical and influential Argentinians but the most famous or recognizable of them all is Eva Peron. The whole cemetery is a maze of massive mausoleums leading you around in a circle. The closer you get to the center the more influential or affluent the families were as those are the most prestigious locations.
Most of the mausoleums have this eerie appeal as they are no longer being attended too. Its possible the descendants can no longer afford to care for such impressive structures or possibly families have moved away both in distance and memory. This is a definite must see for those Evita fans or if you are into architecture and history.
Caminito – La Boca
Nestled in the neighborhood of La Boca, past the Estadio Alberto J. Armando where the beloved Boca Juniors play is Caminito. This delightful area is filled with beautiful street art, vendors selling local goods, food and wine. Did I mention the wine? Argentina is home to Malbec, a full-bodied red wine with origins in France. There is a little corner store with the most delicious empanadas that pair perfectly with a glass of Malbec. Get an empanada to go and wander around the street vendors or watch the Flamingo dancers perform in the street. Or perhaps purchase a beautiful piece of artwork from one of the vendors.
Did you know there is a rich Italian influence in Argentina? While Spanish is the predominant language in Argentina the Italian culture has had a significant influence on the people and culture of Argentina. The neighborhood of Palermo is a perfect example of how the Italian culture and native Argentinian cultures merge together.
If you are looking for the best neighborhood to stay while you are in Buenos Aires, check hotels in this one. If you are looking for some of the best food in Buenos Aires, go to a restaurant here. If you are looking for the best clubs and nightlife. Put on your best and hit the town in Palermo.
Palermo has everything from great Italian restaurants, traditional Argentinian steak houses and even dessert. I recommend Il Matterello and if you find you still have room after dinner for dessert go get some ice cream at The Ceme Lab.