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5 Things to Skip in Buenos Aires

5 Things to Skip in Buenos Aires

There are so many travel guides on finding things to do that it quickly becomes overwhelming. TripAdvisor was my first source, but we also looked at Triposo, AFar, Lonely Planet, and countless travel blogs. Everyone has recommendations on what to see and do in Buenos Aires and after weeks of reading, the lists start to overlap a lot. In the six weeks we spent in Argentina, we hit up a lot of spots on those lists and by the time we were packing up, we felt like we’d seen everything worthwhile.

Not every place we visited was as advertised. Travel sites seemed to recommend places just because it’s what everyone recommends. Some places just sucked or didn’t live up to the hype and we could have easily skipped it in favor of doing something else. Here are some places you don’t have to worry about missing.

1: Puerto Madero in Winter

This area nearish to the port is a neighborhood developed to make Buenos Aires a real port city, but that didn’t work so it’s now a lot of overpriced high-rise condos where the rich and expats go. It’s also dead quiet in the winter. It also doesn’t feel like the rest of the city and just seems tacked on. Unless you are going to the nature preseve, checking out the Puenta de la Mujer, or pigging out on a cheap choripan lunch, you can skip the ride here. We were told by a friend that the neighborhood does transition quite a bit in the summer with porteños out on the promenades enjoying the weather and even dancing.

2: Villa Crespo During the Day

This is the neighborhood Porteños live in because they AirBnB their apartments in Palermo. The architecture and neighborhood is not nearly as charming as Palermo, but there are clothing outlet stores galore. After walking around for a few hours, it didn’t look like the area had much more to offer during the day. Apparently at night, like much of the city, it changes to showcase excellent restaurants. We didn’t make it back at night, though.

3: Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo

This is an art museum in a historical building on the lovely Av. Del Liberator. I love museums and the older the art, the better. The good news is that there are some beautiful paintings and tapestries here and admission is free on Tuesdays. The bad news is that the art often hangs askew on the walls and is sometimes so high up that the glare of the lights obscures it. Tapestries hang in narrow hallways so that you can see about 5% of it a foot from your face, and loudly chatting security guards really ruin the mood.

4: Catedral Metropolitana

This Catholic Church sits in the same plaza as the Casa Rosada. It’s neoclassical exterior makes it look like a bank on the outside, but despite the fact that it took decades to complete the interior, its not very well done. The quality of the work put into this cathedreal doesn’t live up to churches we’ve seen in other parts of South America and in Europe.

5: El Ateneo

This is basically a theater turned into a Barnes and Noble. The bright lights and DVD racks really suck the magic out of the old theater and pushes it to the background behind postcard stands and a cafe on the stage that looks like an endless boring play. The positive side is that it’s a beautiful space that is being used rather than decaying. Feel free to judge it for yourself.

Have you been to BA? Anything we are missing? Got wrong?

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