A piece of Europe on the butt of the world - Buenos Aires

"Culo del mundo" (butt of the world) - call their country the Argentines. True, Argentina is at the end of the world, still it is called the most European Latin-American country. Is it really European? I checked it out.

When I decided to visit Argentina, several aspects played a significant role, such as Argentina is considered to be one of the safest and most 'European' Latin-American country. For a solo female traveler these are important points.

Argentina is the world's 8th biggest country and therefore it has many different sites from the Andes mountains to the ocean, from large and humid rain forests to freezy glaciers. Besides that it has a rich culture which is the natural mixture of pre-colombian arts and the heritage of the colonist Europeans.

It's spring, it's Christmas!

I was proud of myself for making the choice to fly to Argentina when in Europe we are freezing our butts off. I landed in Buenos Aires after a 27-hour-long journey. The weather already turned to spring on the butt of the world. The streets were purple from the petals of the trees. 

Buenos Aires seemed to be a dynamic and livable metropolis with wide avenues and large, green parks. The classic buildings with wrought iron balconies, the people sitting in cafes, the tall palm trees in the parks and the Mediterranean weather reminded me to Paris and Madrid. Yes, it looks so European! Due to the emigration waives 95 percent of the population still has European origins.

What really shocked me? It was spring, but people were preparing for Christmas. Of course! It was beginning of December. It's just that for me Christmas comes with cold, snow, boots and hats. Here it comes with summer clothes, sunglasses and sun lotion. Christmas trees and flashing lights in the shops, and Christmas songs filtered through the windows.

I spent a whole day walking in a big shopping avenue, Santa Fe. This was a perfect way of taking on the rhythm of Argentina. I learned when to step on the street despite of the green light. I took on the speed of people. Or sometimes I was just sitting in a park or in a cafe and was watching people around.

Spring in Buenos Aires
It's spring, it's Christmas!
Does not it look like a European city?

8 places I visited in Buenos Aires?

1) Cafe Tortoni
It is worth trying the oldest cafe of the city, which is considered to be one of the 10 most beautiful cafes of the world. The cakes are delicious and the waiters know their work. I got a waiter, Boris, who we never found out about his nationality. Had a strange Spanish accent, but looked like a Russian mafia leader. He was helpful though, helped me to pick the cake, and knew how to manage my camera. Good points! I am especially sensitive about customer care, but I rated this cafe high in this aspect. :)

Cafe Tortoni

Cafe and a creamy cake

2) Obelisc and Avenida 9 de Julio
The Obelisc is one of the symbols of Buenos Aires, which was built for the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the city. But you will also find here the widest avenue of the world. The Avenida 9 de Julio has 20 lanes and it is impossible to cross it with one green light. The photo of me was taken between two green lights :)

Avenida 9 de Julio


3) Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)
If you are fond of the Latin-American culture - which I am -, do not miss the MALBA, where you will see pictures and sculptures of the most important Latin-American artists from old times and from today, including pieces of Botero and the famous Che Guevara portrait.

Inside MALBA for those who wish to take a rest :)

4) San Telmo district
This is the oldest district (barrio) of Buenos Aires. The cobble stone roads, the little houses all gave me the smell of the the early 20th century. Under the houses several tango bars and antique shops are waiting for the visitors. The best is to visit San Telmo during weekend mornings when the streets are full of with vendors offering handicrafts. This market is called the 'feria' and this is the perfect place to get some local jewelery, leather products or clothes.

Antique shop on the streets of San Telmo

But as it is true for most of the districts, life starts when the sun goes down. One night I went out to party in a bar at San Telmo, called the Boutique. It is common to have mid-week after office parties, when young people go down for a drink after work. They are dressed up formally but cool, and the age limit is 25 and up. Great music, friendly people but poor selection of drinks. Bad point!

After office party at Boutique

5) Boca district
Who has not heard of the football team Boca Juniors? They come from one of the most colorful districts (barrios) of the city, Boca. The emigrant worker families arrived to the nearby port and lived here in the 19-20th century. The wavy slate walls of the houses shine in all colors: yellow, blue, green and red. The terraces are full of with tourists watching the passionate tango dancers while waiting for their steak being prepared in the backyard. This is Boca, a cavalcade of colors spiced with the past.

A little farther stands the famous stadium of Boca Juniors. The blue and yellow colors perfectly fit into the multicolored environment. The big rival of Boca Juniors is the River. Buenos Aires is kind of divided between these two teams. The fact that which team you will support inherits from father to son. No way you can convince anyone to change team :)

Can you guess who is on the balcony?
The famous walking street of Boca
Vamos Boca! Sorry, River! :)

7) Palermo district 
The district of fashion and design, is the most populous one in Buenos Aires. The area is full of with bars and restaurants and you can sometimes pop into celebrities - of course only if you know some from Argentina. Palermo is the place of luxury and contemporary products to buy, but also a good place to go out to party. I do not want to sum up the hours I spent in the designer shops here :)

Streets of Palermo

8) Recoleta district
For some reason when I go to a new place I always visit the local cemetery. Not only because I like to feel the calmness of the place, but also I am magnified by the beautiful sculptures and I am also fond of discovering beautiful names from the past. So one of my pilgrimage was the thumb of Evita in Recoleta Cemetery. At the entrance a map helps the visitors to find the thumb of many famous Argentines. It is easy to get lost because the family crypts form long labyrinths. The coffins are not buried but are placed on the shelves of the crypts therefore you can see the not always properly closed coffins through the windows of the edifice. Not a usual view for me, definitely not considered for an evening walk.

Recoleta cemetery
Thumb of Evita


  • If you would like to see the most out of this huge city, the best option is to take a hop on - hop off bus. You can buy 2-day tickets, still you will need to walk around in a tense speed if you want to see everything. Buenos Aires is huge!
  • Use one day only for the center: Casa Rosada, Avenida de Mayo, Avenida 9 de Julio and the surroundings. Use the hop on - hop off for visiting the different districts mentioned above.
  • Every Sunday there is 'Feriado', which means markets with handicrafts. You can find streets full of with sellers offering jeweleries, mate tea equipments or antique goods. Find out from locals where there is the next feriado. :)

About Tiny Girl With Big Bag

Hobby writer and autodidact photographer whose passion is to travel and get to know new people and cultures. She has been on 4 continents and 30 countries, and the outcome is this travel blog where she shares travel stories, thoughts, tips and photography always through a subjective eye.

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