Buenos Aires – Argentina

The Tango City

Buenos Aires is one of the favourite capital cities in South America. It remains as one of the preferred destinations for people both from the region and from others parts of the world. Its museums and monuments, the parks and squares, San Telmo’s colonial designs and Puerto Madero’s new architecture, the large Palermo Woods, the shows and book shops, the nearness to the river (Rio de la Plata), tango, good food (the meat) and the elegant and cosmopolitan air that every visitor highlights.

Buenos Aires - Government Casa Rosada

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the south-eastern coast of the South American continent.

Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the third-largest conurbation in Latin America, with a population of around thirteen million. The city of Buenos Aires is not a part of Buenos Aires Province, nor is it the Province’s capital, but an autonomous district. In 1880, after decades of political infighting, Buenos Aires was federalized and removed from Buenos Aires Province.

The city limits were enlarged to include the towns of Belgrano and Flores (both are currently neighbourhoods of the city). The 1994 constitutional amendment granted the city autonomy, hence its formal name: Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (Autonomous City of Buenos Aires). Its citizens first elected a Chief of Government (i.e. Mayor) in 1996; before, the Mayor was directly appointed by the President of the Republic.

People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European style architecture and rich cultural life.
Buenos Aires International Airport (Ministro Pistarini International Airport) is located in the suburb of Ezeiza. The best way to go to the city is by a “Limousine Service”, the best (Manuel Tienda Leon) with a fixed price (around 200.00 Pesos) with a discount for the return trip.

A fleet of 40,000 black-and-yellow taxis ply the streets at all hours. License controls are not enforced rigorously and there have been numerous reports of organised crime controlling the access of taxis to the city airports and other major destinations. Taxi drivers are known for trying to take advantage of tourists. Radio-link companies provide reliable and safe service. (Ask your hotel or restaurant for the Radio-Taxis) – Avoid taxis on the streets if you can. Low-fare limo services, (Airport Service) known as remises, have become popular in recent years.
Your Visit

Buenos Aires Bus is the city’s touristic bus service. The official estimate is that the bus carries between 700 and 800 passengers per day, and has carried half a million passengers since its opening.

The best way to know Buenos Aires and start your first visit is with the “Touristic Bus Service”. The tour includes 20 stops, which are great tourist points in the City of Buenos Aires. The bus takes you to all the neighbourhoods, after that, you can decide to visit them one by one or just the most interesting.

Belgrano (Tipa-lined residential streets, Tudor architecture and numerous museums). Belgrano used to be one of the limits of the city. It was far from downtown and many families had their country houses there, surrounded by green gullies. Today, it is a residential neighbourhood with apartment buildings, many embassies with wooded areas and commercial zones.

In Belgrano you will also have “The Hippodrome”. If you arrive in November, enjoy the National Grand Prix, the Argentina Derby, and a classic turf event disputed since 1884.

“The Argentina Campo de Polo” – Polo is a traditional sport in the country and Argentine players are famous world-wide. The Open Championship takes place every November. It is a must if you are in town. Another interesting place it is “Chinatown” small but colourful

Entrance to Buenos Aires Hipodromo

La Boca (The old port district still maintains its 19th-century ambience). La Boca name makes reference to the place where it is located: the entrance (la boca, in Spanish) of Riachuelo river.

By mid XIX century it was a very active port, full of salting houses, grocery stores, workshops, taverns and houses built over wooden pillars. Some years later thousands of immigrants reached this same port coming for Europe with the illusion of starting a new life in America. Italians, mainly from Genoa settle here.

In La Boca you will find “La Bombonera” the Buenos Aires soccer team stadium. “Caminito” the main street in La Boca (an outdoor museum), the houses on Garibaldi & Magallanes streets are painted in lively colours.

Painted Houses in La Boca

For your attention: It is NOT ADVISABLE to visit La Boca by night

Palermo (A trendy neighbourhood filled with restaurants, shops and clubs called boliches) Palermo is a neighbourhood of parks filled with magnolias, pines, palms, and willows, where families picnic on weekends and couples stroll at sunset. You might want to think of this part as Palermo Nuevo when compared to Palermo Viejo, described below, though some locals also call the area Alto Palermo.

Designed by French architect Charles Thays, the parks of Palermo take their inspiration from London’s Hyde Park and Paris’s Bois de Boulogne. The Botanical Gardens and the Zoological Gardens are both off of Plaza Italia. Stone paths wind their way through the botanical gardens, and flora from throughout South America fills the garden, with more than 8,000 plant species from around the world represented. Next door, the city zoo features an impressive diversity of animals, and the eclectic and kitschy architecture, with some buildings designed as exotic temples, is as much of a delight as the animals themselves.

Palermo Chico, part of Palermo proper, is an exclusive neighbourhood of elegant mansions off of Avenida Alcorta. Other than the beauty of the homes and a few embassy buildings, this small set of streets, tucked behind the MALBA museum, has little of interest to the average tourist. Plus, there is no subway access to this neighbourhood.

Colourful Plaza Serrano in Palermo Viejo

Palermo Viejo, once a run-down neighbourhood full of warehouses, factories, and tiny, decaying stucco homes few cared to live in as recently as 15 years ago, has been transformed into the city’s chicest destination. Once you walk through the area and begin to absorb its charms – cobblestone streets, enormous oak-tree canopies, and low-rise buildings giving a clear view to the open skies on a sunny day – you’ll wonder why it had been forsaken for so many years.

Palermo Viejo is further divided into Palermo Soho to the south and Palermo Hollywood to the north, with railroad tracks and Avenida Juan B. Justo serving as the dividing line. The centre of Palermo Soho is Plazaleto Jorge Cortazar, better known by its informal name, Plaza Serrano, a small oval park at the intersection of Calle Serrano and Calle Honduras. Take note that on some maps, Serrano is also called Calle Borges.

Young people gather in the plaza late at night for impromptu singing and guitar sessions, sometimes fuelled by drinks from the myriad of funky bars and restaurants that surround the plaza. Palermo Soho is known for both its restaurants and its chic designer shops. Palermo Hollywood, a quieter, slightly less gentrified area, got its name because many Argentine film studios were initially attracted to its once-cheap rents and easy parking. Both areas were historically where Middle Eastern immigrants originally settled, and this presence is still apparent in the businesses, restaurants, and community centres that remain.

Restaurante Janio (Palermo Viejo)

Puerto Madero (these 1880-era docklands are now the city’s newest neighbourhood with a modern skyline and upscale restaurants) this area sits to the east behind the Plaza de Mayo. Once a dilapidated port, the area is now filled with an abundance of restaurants in renovated warehouses. New construction has also placed offices, high-rise residences, and luxury hotels into this neighbourhood.

The district can feel cold and antiseptic by day because of both its vast expanses and its new construction, so you might want to come at sunset when the water in the port glows a fiery red and the city skyline is silhouetted.

This is also perhaps the only neighbourhood in a major world city where all its streets are named for women. One of its major highlights here is also the Bridge of Woman, designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Buenos Aires - Puente de La Mujer

Puerto Madero’s other unique feature is its Ecological Reserve, an area of open space created by natural forces in revolt against man’s abuses. Sediment has collected on construction debris dumped into the river here, and wild plants and birds have slowly settled onto the reclaimed land. The closest (subte-subway-metro) to the neighbourhood is Alem, on the B line, and a new tourist train runs the length of Puerto Madero, but walking is faster.

Puerto Madero Walk

Recoleta (the traditionally upscale district combines Parisian architecture with trendy high-rises and a variety of cultural venues). The name of this neighbourhood comes from an old Spanish word meaning, ”to remember.” Its history dates to the late colonial period and the establishment of a convent where Recoleta Cemetery, Evita’s final resting place, now sits.

Once on the edge of Buenos Aires, Recoleta is now one of its most exclusive shopping and residential neighbourhoods. Marble buildings reminiscent of Paris and green leafy streets make up the main impression of this area. Avenida Alvear, crowned by the city’s most famous hotel, the Alvear Palace, is lined with luxurious showrooms (some are in buildings that were once the homes of the city’s wealthiest residents) from the most impressive designers. The Polo Ralph Lauren store is particularly worth a venture inside. There is no convenient subway access to this neighbourhood.

Retiro (Art Nouveau cafés and restaurants among Art Deco office architecture) Retiro is a barrio (district) located in the northeast end of the city; Retiro is bordered on the south by the Puerto Madero and San Nicolás wards, and on the west by the Recoleta ward.

Retiro is one of the largest hubs of transportation services in Argentina, and is home to numerous high-end shopping establishments and residential areas popular among both local higher-income families and expatriate executives. Local and long distance rail service heading to the north originate from Estación Retiro (Retiro train terminal), also a major long-distance bus terminal (Terminal de Ómnibus) is located adjacent to the station, subte line C of the Buenos Aires Metro system and numerous local public bus services, this area is always teeming with commuters and traffic on week days. Other principal streets and avenues in Retiro are Santa Fe, Córdoba, and Libertador Avenues, pedestrian Florida Street, and Avenida 9 de Julio.

The Retiro section of Florida Street was the site of Harrods Buenos Aires, originally the London department store’s only overseas affiliate, from 1914 to 1998; the abandoned landmark continued to host art shows and Tango festivals, and permits were obtained in 2009 to reopen the retailer.

Another Retiro landmark spared demolition was the Ortiz Basualdo Palace. Completed in 1912 as a private residence, it was acquired by the French Government for use as its Embassy in Argentina in 1939. When entire blocks of housing were razed to make way for an extension of the Avenida 9 de Julio in the late 1970s, the embassy was spared due to its landmark status, and remains the lone building in the midst of intense traffic. The neighbouring Pereda Palace, built in 1920, serves as the official residence of the Ambassador of Brazil.

A Buenos Aires lady and her dog in Palermo

Retiro is home to a number of five star hotels, including the Four Seasons, Marriott Plaza, Sheraton, and Sofitel. The oldest of these, the Marriott Plaza, was opened in 1909 and faces Plaza San Martín, to the north of which lies the train terminal and the Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina (formerly Plaza Británica), where the Torre Monumental (formerly Torre de los Ingleses) is located. The palladian monument was donated by the Anglo-Argentine community for the 1910 centennial celebrations, and suffered several acts of sabotage in the wake of the 1982 Falklands War.

Also nearby are the Basílica Santísimo Sacramento, the upscale Patio Bullrich shopping arcade, the Estrugamou Building, the Fernández Blanco Museum, and the Peace Plaza in the district include the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Air Force, the Navy, the National Mint, and the Rail Transport Agency. The former Hotel de Inmigrantes, the primary point of entry for millions of immigrants from 1911 to 1953, is also in Retiro and today serves as a national museum.

San Telmo (One of the oldest neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, this area is characterised by well-preserved 19th century architecture) San Telmo If you think of tango, romance, and a certain unexpressed sensual sadness when you think of Buenos Aires, then you’re thinking of San Telmo. This is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, once the home of the very wealthy until the 1877 outbreak of yellow fever caused many to flee to newly developing areas north of the city centre.

The heart of San Telmo is Plaza Dorrego, the city’s second-oldest plaza (after the Plaza de Mayo). A few of the buildings on its edges still date from the colonial period. There is a decayed grace here, and travellers who have been to Habana Vieja in will experience a certain déjà vu. Tango-themed bars make up much of the entertainment in San Telmo, in addition to the restaurants and cafes that have been in operation for almost 150 years.

Calle Defensa, lined with antiques stores, runs from north to south and is the area’s main street. It takes its name from the route Argentina’s colonial army used to defend itself from a British invasion in the early 1800s. If you have only one day to visit this neighbourhood, do it on a Sunday when the San Telmo Antiques Fair is in full swing, complete with tango dancers. The event generally runs from 11am to 5pm, and it’s become so popular that vendors have set up on side streets.
Many Porteños still think of the neighbourhood as dangerous, based on crime dating back to the 1990s, but rapid gentrification has changed the area completely. Still, take caution at night, just as you should anywhere.

Buenos Aires right now has an image of a “run-down” city, with dirty streets (mainly in the centre) and sidewalks, full of holes, very dangerous for walking.

Buenos Aires - Piramide de Mayo


Buenos Aires – Cabildo – Pl. de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo Area
This is not so much a district as the historical and political heart of the city, laid out by Don Juan de Garay in 1580 during the second founding of the city.

The plaza is surrounded by city and national government buildings and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which dates to the late colonial era. The plaza’s main defining feature is the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace), home to Evita’s famous balcony. It still remains the main point for political demonstrations and also serves as a shelter area for the homeless and the piqueteros (demonstrators) who often camp out here at night.

The most important ongoing political demonstration that occurs here is that of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. The demonstrators are made up of the mothers and grandmothers of citizens who disappeared during the 1976 to 1982 dictatorship in what was known as the Dirty War. This demonstration occurs every Thursday beginning at 3:30pm and is a must-see for understanding the country. Other than the drastically altered cathedral, which was remodelled in 1836, the Cabildo (old city hall) is the only other remaining colonial building on the plaza. That, too, however, has been severely altered from its original dimensions, chopped away as Avenida de Mayo and Diagonal Sud were created.

The area known as Abasto is officially within the neighbourhood of Balvanera. This sector of Buenos Aires got its name from the former Mercado Central del Abasto, the wholesale produce market that thrived in what is now the Abasto Shopping mall. The original marketplace opened in 1893 in the rural outskirts of the city, but grew quickly into an immigrant neighbourhood with brothels, tenement houses, cantinas and theatres.

Abasto Shopping Mall & Carlos Gardel Statue

It was in this environment that tango had its beginnings and the tango icon, Carlos Gardel, blossomed from a poor immigrant child into a world renowned star. The original marketplace was significantly upgraded in 1934 with the opening of a state-of-the-art building. The central market operated there for 50 years as the city continued to grow. By 1984, the market’s bustling activity produced major traffic congestion, which forced its relocation to its current site in the greater Buenos Aires area.

The building was abandoned for 14 years and its surrounding neighbourhood also suffered a decline. Fortunately, the beautiful art deco building was salvaged and now contains a major shopping mall, Abasto Shopping. The inauguration of the mall in 1998 and the subsequent opening of a luxury hotel, tango theme restaurant, and other businesses revitalised the neighbourhood.

Today Abasto is characterised by its artistic and bohemian spirit, honouring not only Carlos Gardel and tango, but other art forms as well. Many of the alternative or “under” theatres are located in Abasto and its adjacent areas. The neighbourhood continues to attract immigrant populations, most notably Bolivian and Peruvian communities. Abasto has a rich history and several places of interest to visit within just a few blocks.

Abasto Shopping Mall

Abasto Shopping – Avenida Corrientes 3247 – Tel.: 54-11 4959-3400. The facade of this mall (formerly a wholesale produce market) is one of the city’s architectural landmarks. The Abasto today contains over 250 shops, 12 movie theatres, an interactive educational museum, an amusement park and a large food court (Cheap, Junk food, People).

Abasto Plaza Hotel, Avenida Corrientes 3190, Tel.: 54-11 6311-4466. This five star thematic hotel highlights the neighbourhood’s tango atmosphere. The area’s main tourist attractions are in the immediate vicinity and it features theme rooms, daily tango lessons and shows.

Statue Carlos Gardel,  is located in the Pasaje Carlos Gardel (a passage) between Jean Jaurès and Anchorena Streets. On weekends you can enjoy of tango and folklore shows.

In the corner of the cut road, named Carlos Gardel, and Anchorena Street, there was a restaurant that housed within its walls the colourful characters of the market: the ”Chanta Cuatro ”. A silent witness to a unique story where Carlitos Gardel used to meet his friends and cronies for dinner, stay up late, singing, or … just dawn.

Nowadays, at 3200 it is the La Esquina de Carlos Gardel (the corner of Carlos Gardel) a tangueria (a place where you can have dinner while enjoying a tango show) where the old bar “Chanta Cuatro” was located.

Avenida Corrientes
Avenida Corrientes (English: Corrientes Avenue) is one of the principal thoroughfares of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. The street is intimately tied to the tango and the porteño sense of identity. Like the parallel avenues Santa Fe, Córdoba, and San Juan, it takes its name from one of the Provinces of Argentina.

The intersection of two of the city’s main thoroughfares, Avenida Corrientes and Avenida 9 de julio, is one of Buenos Aires’ key epicenters, unmistakably marked by the tall Obelisco.

Though the entire length of Avenida Corrientes serves as an important traffic artery, it is the section between Avenida 9 de julio and Avenida Callao that lights up the night, turning it into what is known as the “Broadway porteño”. The bright marquees of most of the large commercial theatres can be found on Avenida Corrientes. This theatre district also has numerous smaller and alternative theatres on the adjacent streets.
It extends 69 blocks from Eduardo Madero Avenue in the eastern Puerto Madero neighbourhood to the West and later to the Northwest, and ends at Federico Lacroze Avenue in the Chacarita neighbourhood. Automobile traffic runs from west to east. Line B of the Buenos Aires Metro runs most of its length underneath the street.

The Asociación Amigos de la Calle Corrientes (”Friends of Corrientes Street Association”) is a group that collaborates on the urban planning of the street. They have placed commemorative plaques on 40 street corners bearing the distinguished figures from the history of the tango.

Actors from the theatres promote their plays on the Avenue

The late night entertainment activity has led to restaurants, pizzerias and cafés that stay open until late into the night and several that open 24 hours a day.

There are numerous dining options, from exclusive high end to more moderately priced family restaurants. Among the favourite places to eat are several classic pizzerias.

Traditional Buenos Aires cafés also abound, many of which were patronised by famous artists and intellectuals of their day. Some feature the classic elegance of the early 20th century, while others highlight their bohemian spirit.

A daytime walk along Avenida Corrientes, west of Avenida Callao, leads you into the “bookstore district”, where unusual literary treasures are waiting to be found within the many new and used bookstores.

Avenida 9 de julio
Its 140 meter width classifies this avenue, inaugurated in 1937, as one of the widest in the world. Along its entire length, its islands are landscaped with statues, monuments, grass, plants and trees. The landscaping was done by Carlos Thays with 1,000 jacaranda, ceibo and cherry trees donated by Japan. Its most prominent attraction, the Obelisco, is a central gathering point for celebrations (such as soccer victories) and special performances. This impressive avenue is beautiful by day, but turns stunning when the city lights sparkle against the night sky.

This towering obelisk is a city landmark, measuring 67, 5 meters in height. It was constructed in 1936 in remembrance of the fourth centennial of the city’s first founding. On its four faces there are inscriptions detailing the city’s two foundings, the designation of Buenos Aires as the nation’s capital in 1880, and the first raising of the national flag on the site of the former Iglesia de San Nicolás.

Buenos Aires Hotels

The city has & big choice of hotel possibilities, the most important point on the choice, beside the category of the hotel & the price, it is the location, as you read it on the introduction, the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires are very different, but all interesting. I recommend Puerto Madero, Retiro, Palermo and around the Obelisco (Avenida 9 de Julio & Corrientes).

The best choice to be near good restaurants & bars, with no need to take taxis to go to your restaurant or bar, is Puerto Madero. Another good choice is Palermo, with “boutique hotels” and trendy bistro’s & bars. If you want the popular atmosphere of the city, the Obelisco is a good choice (located in the centre) but you need to take a taxi to go everywhere.

NOTE: AVOID Broadway Suites in Avenida Corrientes, nice photos on the web, nice mark and presentation, but a nightmare for real: Rooms 1950 style, reception not friendly, service 0, and you need to pay in advance the total price of your stay at “check in”.

On the nice side, the Novotel in Avenida Corrientes is a fair choice: Nice rooms (medium size) and shower room, with great breakfast served on your room included on the price, nice restaurant & bar, with very good service, price on the average.

The Gourmet Corner

“Meat” is the most important element for your gourmet search, the city has one of the big choices in the world for meat restaurants. Argentinean beef is supposed to be “one of the best you can taste”, (along with the “Kobe beef” in Japan).

Enjoy your meat

“Asado” is a term used to describe cuts of meat, which are cooked on a grill (parrilla) or open fire. Asado is not exclusively Argentine, it is also popular in Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and the Southern States of Brazil. An asado in Argentina usually has a sequence of meats presented by the asador (the cook). First come the chorizos, morcillas (black pudding), chinchulines (chitterlings), mollejas (sweetbread) and other organs, often accompanied by provoleta, a grilled cheese dish. Next the costillas or asado de tira (ribs) are served followed by vacío (flank steak), matambre and possibly chicken and chivito (baby goat). The following is a list of beef cuts and terminology used when referring to asado in Argentina:

Bife Ancho – A steak from the prime rib and part rib eye
Bife de Costilla – A normal T-bone steak
Bife de Chorizo – Sirloin and rump
Bola de Lomo – Fine strips or large cuts – the same cut as sirloin strips
Chinchulin – The lower intestines
Colita de Cuadril – The tail of the rump roast
Cuadril – Rump roast
Lomo – Tenderloin
Marucha – A part of short ribs
Matambre – A very thin part of the flank steak
Mollejas – Sweetbreads
Riñones – Kidneys
Tira de Asado – These are short ribs usually sold as long strips with or without the bones attached
Ubre -The udder

After this “meat” introduction, I hope the reader will be hungry, so let’s go to the Buenos Aires Restaurants scene. My first encounter with “meat” and a Buenos Aires Restaurant was at: La Brigada.

This classic San Telmo parrilla, arguably one of the best Parrilla in Buenos Aires depending on who you ask along with La Cabrera and Cabaña Las Lilas.

The place is a “tourist attraction” and if you don’t protest, you are treated as a tourist, even with a reservation. You are seated in a row of tables in the middle of the restaurant on the first floor, not the best table sitting to sample your first meat dinner in Buenos Aires.

Refuse the suggestion and ask for table N° 48, one of the best where you can have a view of the restaurant scene. The service is a little arrogant but after you set-up your prerogatives it can be very pleasant, the beef is brilliant, some dishes arrive so tender, the waiters cut the meat with a spoon, great care is taken in suggesting wines to complement what steak you order.

Try the “Empanadas de Carne” – “Bocadillos de Verduras” – the “deep-fried vegetables” and the deliciously antisocial “papas fritas provenzal” (garlic fries). For the meat sample the “Bife Especial” & the “Colita de Lomo”. For wine the “Cabernet Sauvignon” (Zuccardi) or the “Malbec”.

La Brigada (Since 1992) – (Price for two with wine around US$ 100.00)

Estados Unidos 465 – San Telmo – Buenos Aires Tel: (+54) 11 4361 5557

Other meat restaurant located on the trendy neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, with a typical Argentinean “spit” at the entrance, not a tourist place.

Estilo Campo – (Price for two with wine around US$ 90.00) Alicia Moreau de Justo 1840 – Puerto Madero – Buenos Aires Tel: +54 (011) – 4312- 4546

Very nice meats with interesting specialities as the: Wild Boar from La Pampa with mushrooms and madera sauce, – side order vegetables terrine. Piglet roasted on a Spit (Friday and Saturday night only) Special lamb roasted on a Spit from the ”Patagonia” (only Sunday midday). And of course the traditional cuts as: ”Chorizo” boneless beef steak Estilo Campo, with sweetbread dice, bacon, grilled peppers and fried potatoes. Plus The Baby Beef 700 grs. – it takes 45 min.
In Puerto Madero you can find international restaurants with a mix of meat, fish & house specials. Among them I think the best is “Puerto Cristal”: a very large restaurant, with seating capabilities of 350 persons, “never closed” and open till 1:00 A.M. Owned by a Spanish family from (Lugo in Galicia) since 1995. The “Lunch Special” is only around US$ 15.00. Among the best specialities are:

*Sole broiled with garnish green leafs.
*Selection of fish – variety of broiled fish, Chilean salmon, sole, haddock, baby squids, trout, squid, octopus, king prawns, with garlic sauce, olive oil, octopus, button mushrooms, capers and fine herbs – for 2 Persons.
*Patagonian tooth fish in Company With grilled octopus, baby squids, mussels, prawns and mushrooms, and black and Greek-style rice – for 2 Persons.
*Patagonian lamb – Served with red wine and rosemary, garnished with andinian potatoes.
*Alligator in cheese tuile sautéed with vegetables, with white wine and soybean sauce.
*Llama tenderloin – Served with shitake mushroom and tarragon sauce, garnished with barley risotto. The Creole desserts.
*Mar del Plata Cheese, Fresh cheese, sweet potatoes and quince pastes, fig and pumpkin in syrup (To share)

Puerto Cristal – (Price for two with wine around US$ 110.00) Alicia Moreau de Justo 1082 – Tel: +54 (011) 4331-3669

Restaurants along Puerto Madero Walk

If do you need more info on the Buenos Aires Restaurants; visit:

* The 5 Best Parrillas in Buenos Aires
* Buenos Aires Parrillas: The Ultimate Guide

Before I close the Buenos Aires Information, enclosed the advert you will find on the Argentinean webs addressed to people with little knowledge of the Spanish language.

I think it is a good way to promote the language

Of course if you visit Buenos Aires, remember you are only 3 hours away to see Uruguay and the capital Montevideo.

The best way to visit Montevideo it is with the “Buquebus” the fast ferry connecting the two cities. (www.buquebus.com.ar)

Buquebus Terminal in Buenos Aires

Direct ship MVD (3 hr)
Includes: Round trip ticket for the day direct to Montevideo on fast ferry, City tour, and visit to Punta Carretas shopping mall and in/out transfers. Total = A$774,00

For many tourists, there are only two reasons to visit Uruguay: beachy, clubby Punta del Este and quaint, historic Colonia del Sacramento.
Montevideo, the nation’s relaxed capital on the banks of the Río de la Plata, offers an eclectic mix of architecture and culture, but is often relegated to the status of stopover.

Montevideo’s (1.3 million residents) skyline is punctuated by few skyscrapers; it is home to charming small museums, a lively old city and only a handful of tourists.

Often referred to as the symbol of Montevideo, the Salvo Palace was once the tallest building in South America. Although its 26 stories might not impress you, it remains the city’s highest structure. Finished in 1928, Palacio Salvo stands 100 metres high with the antenna included. Located Plaza Independencia and Av. 18 de Julio.

Palacio Salvo – Plaza Independencia, Montavideo

Saturday afternoons take on a virtual party atmosphere at the Mercado del Puerto (Piedras and Yacaré) (www.mercadodelpuerto.com), a grand 19th-century port market that is a carnivore’s delight.

1930’s décor at the restaurant of the Montevideo Ferry Terminal

The traditional routine: start at the bar of Roldós with a bottle of Medio y Medio, a mix of sparkling and dry wine that serves as the mercado’s official beverage and, at around 120 pesos a bottle. Then switch to a Uruguayan red when you sit down for a meal or the Uruguayan steak sandwich, that even in its plainest form comes loaded with lettuce, tomato, egg and cheese at one of the parrillada restaurants like La Maestranza, while skilled grill masters roast hunks of meat and, probably just for show, the occasional green pepper.

Lunch for two, with wine, is about 750 pesos. Though taxis are cheap, Montevideo’s centre is manageable on foot, and a good place to start is Mercado de los Artesanos (Plaza Cagancha 1365), a crafts market where artists do shifts selling each other’s candles, leatherwork, ceramic lamps and finger dolls. Afterward, walk down 18 de Julio to see the Plaza Independencia.

Indeed, if there is one building that is particularly well cared for, it’s the city’s cultural temple, the Teatro Solís. The theatre, which dates from 1856, was renovated in 1998 and remains pristine.

Teatro Solis – Montevideo

Think twice before choosing a hotel downtown. Charming by day, the old city can be loud and unpleasant, or quiet and dangerous, at night. Since the city is so easily navigable by cheap taxis, it’s best to stay in an upscale neighbourhood like Pocitos, which is right on the water. Most hotels accept U.S. dollars.

The 1950s Ermitage Hotel – Juan Benito Blanco 783 www.ermitagemontevideo.com is an excellent value, with water-view rooms starting at $80. Tel: 598-2-710-4021

A more modern option is the Punta Trouville Apart & Suites Francisco Vidal 726 & Juan Maria Pérez 2957 – Tel: 598-2-712-0903 www.puntatrouville.com.uy Rooms, which are equipped with kitchenettes, start at $85

For upscale accommodations, the Belmont House in the Carrasco neighbourhood (Riviera 6512 – Tel: 598-2-600-0430 www.belmonthouse.com.uy has doubles starting at $240.

Most Montevideo hotels are either big international chains or small, locally run operations, some unchanged since the 1960s. But the 21-room Don Hotel, opened in January 2011 in a 1938 nautical Art Deco building, is a new boutique choice.

The Don Hotel Piedras 234 – Tel: 598- 2-915-9999 Doubles from $135 standard, $200 superior, $320 suite. Donhotel.com.uy The Don is in the Old City, across from Mercado del Puerto, a restaurant-filled, Victorian-era covered market that is the city’s most popular tourist spot. Mornings, you can watch the market come alive from your balcony, with the Rio de la Plata visible just beyond. You’re blocks from the international cruise port, the Buquebus ferry to Buenos Aires, the Carnival Museum and Sarandí Street, with its weekend leather market, bars and museums. The hotel’s location near the port and Mercado del Puerto, and the Rio de la Plata views, can’t be beat. Tourists should be vigilant in the port area at night, and taking cabs (just a few dollars), to and from the hotel is recommended.

Other hotels to be mentioned:

Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel, Plaza Independencia 759 – Montevideo, Tel: (598) 02 9020111 – www.radisson.com/montevideo.uy. The Victoria Plaza has long been one of Montevideo’s top hotels. Standing in the heart of the financial district, this European-style hotel makes a good base, and there is lots of business and social activity. Ask for a room in the new tower, with spacious guest rooms and executive suites with classic French-style furnishings and panoramic city or river views. The busy hotel has a large multilingual staff that attends closely to guests’ needs.
Plaza Victoria is famous for its casino, with French roulette tables, blackjack, baccarat, slot machines, horse races, and bingo. There are two lobby bars, in addition to the casino bars. Arcadia, on the 25th floor, is the city’s most elegant dining room.

Sheraton Montevideo, Calle Victor Soliño 349 – Tel: (598) 02 7102121. The Sheraton Montevideo is the city’s most luxurious hotel. A walkway connects the hotel to the Punta Carretas Shopping Centre, one of the city’s best malls. Spacious guest rooms have imported furniture, king-size beds, sleeper chairs, marble bathrooms, 25-inch televisions, and works by Uruguayan artists. Rooms on the top two executive floors feature Jacuzzis and individual sound systems. Hotel service is excellent, particularly for guests with business needs. The main restaurant, Las Carretas, serves Continental cuisine with a Mediterranean flair. Don’t miss the dining room’s spectacular murals by contemporary Uruguayan artist Carlos Vilaró.

Punta Carretas Shopping Centre - Montevideo

Sheraton Four Points – Montevideo, Ejido 1275 – Tel: (598) 02 9017000 – www.fourpoints.com/montevideo The Sheraton Four Points is considered a four-star property, but it falls somewhere between four and five, save for its smaller size. The lobby is stark and modern, with polished black-granite panels over white walls in the soaring atrium. Walkways open onto the atrium on each floor, all connected by a glass elevator. Rooms are on the dark side, with charcoal carpeting, dark woods, and rust-coloured bedspreads. The bathrooms are spacious, however, and suite bathrooms have hydro massage bathtubs. All rooms have high-speed Internet access; at a charge of $16 a day, Wi-Fi access is also available, all at the same price as an in-room connection. The desks make a great work space.

Buy your lunch on the street

Restaurants in Montevideo

Enclosed list of the most interesting Restaurants in the city:
*El Palenque, Perez Castellano 1579, at Rambla 25 de Agosto 400, in the Mercado del Puerto. Tel: (598) 02 917-0190.
Located in the Mercado del Puerto, this is one of the area’s most popular restaurants, crowded with locals and tourists alike. It gets especially crowded when the cruise ships come in. It has been around since 1958. Fish is the highlight, but they also have tapas, pasta, paella, and lots of grilled meat. A specialty is the Paella Exotica, made with rabbit.
*Los Leños, San José 909 – Tel: (598) 02 900-2285. This casual parrillada resembles one you’d find in Buenos Aires – except that Los Leños also serves an outstanding range of mariscos (seafood), such as the Spanish paella or lenguado Las Brasas (a flathead fish) served with prawns, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. From the grill, the filet de lomo is the best cut – order it with Roquefort, mustard, or black-pepper sauce. The restaurant’s fresh produce is displayed in a case near the kitchen.
*El Viejo Mar, Rambla Gandhi 400 – Tel: (598) 02 710-5704 Resembling an old fishing club, El Viejo y el Mar is on the riverfront near the Sheraton. The bar is made from an abandoned boat, while the dining room is decorated with dock lines, sea lamps, and pictures of 19th-century regattas. You’ll find every kind of fish and pasta on the menu, and the restaurant is equally popular for evening cocktails. The outdoor patio is open most of the year.
*Isla de las Flores 1900, Isla de las Flores 1900 – Tel: (598) 02 410-5188. Open for dinner, Monday to Saturday. Closed mid-December to mid-February. One of the best of Montevideo’s restaurants, a six-table hole in the wall that specialises in locally sourced offal and meats (lamb, rabbit, beef, and pork) prepared in a mix of European styles.

Nice Old Houses in Montevideo


Bright New Houses in Montevideo


'The last Charrúas' and 'The Diligence.'

I think now you will have a good panorama of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Sorry I don’t include any “tango” presentation, but “tango” is a feeling, and for the feeling you need to be there.

Freddy Santamaria “The Smooth Operator”

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