Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Buenos Aires

Fri Mar 1, 2013 5:10am EST
 
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By Alexandra Ulmer

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Not quite Latin America, not quite Europe, Buenos Aires is a delightful blend of old and new. Heavy on nostalgia yet youthful and dynamic, there is rarely a dull moment in the city known as the Paris of the South.

Argentina's grass-fed beef is as good as it's supposed to be, especially when washed down with the country's famed Malbec wine. And while dancing the tango might not be for everyone, it's worth getting a feel for the sounds and steps that give Buenos Aires its soul.

The city also boasts fashionable nightclubs, a revamped dock area flush with luxurious skyscrapers, fusion cuisine and an extensive network of cycle paths for a bit of two-wheeled sightseeing.

Political passions and the country's turbulent economic past are never far away in Buenos Aires. Don't be alarmed by frequent street protests or dozens of illegal money changers offering to swap dollars and euros at a favorable, black-market rate in the city's main shopping street, Florida.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a short stay in Argentina's capital.

FRIDAY

8 p.m. - Stroll from the city's landmark obelisk monument down Corrientes Avenue, Buenos Aires' answer to Broadway. Portenos, as residents are known, get dressed up for a night at the theater while literary types browse the many second-hand bookshops that stay open until the early hours.

9 p.m. Catch a play or a film at one of Corrientes' numerous cinemas or head to the nearby opera house, the Teatro Colon (www.teatrocolon.org.ar). Built in 1908, when Argentina was one of the world's richest nations, it offers a glimpse into the nation's wealthier past. If you don't fancy a show, guided tours are held every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.   Continued...

 
A crescent moon is seen over Buenos Aires at sunrise, September 6, 2010. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci