Ten things to do in Buenos Aires off the beaten path.


1. Walk the XVIII Century tunnels of the “Manzana de las Luces”. If you are in Buenos Aires on a Saturday and you enjoy history, go and visit the “Manzana de las Luces”, an old Jesuit monastery a couple of blocks from Plaza de Mayo. Once there you will be shown the old Governor’s house and the tunnels the monks used to smuggle merchandise. Saturdays 3pm Perú 272 AR$ 3.

2. Have a cup of coffee at La Puerto Rico. Just around the corner from the Manzana de las Luces is this authentic Porteño stablishment. Opened in 1887, this simple café is famous for the aroma of freshly-ground coffee and its famous local clientele. Adolfo Alsina 420. Opens Monday through Fridays 7AM until 8PM, Saturdays 8AM until Midnight, Sundays noon until 7PM.

3. Visit a building from 1923 inspired on Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. Palacio Barolo is one of the most fascinating buildings in the city. Commissioned by Luis Barolo, a wealthy Italian Agricultural producer in 1919, it took 4 years to build and was at the time the highest concrete structure in South America. A lighthouse on top of the building (that lights up every night and can be seen from Uruguay) lets you have a great view of the city. Visits Mondays and Thursdays each hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 p.m., in English and Spanish. Consult for night and weekend tours. AR$ 30 http://www.palaciobarolotours.com.ar

4. Watch a cult movie at the Malba Museum. The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires holds a great private collection of works property of the Eduardo F. Constantini Foundation. They also have off the beaten path movies daily that are worth a visit. Check out their programing on their webpage www.malba.org.ar. Visiting their permanent exhibition is a great option too.  Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Entrance to the general exhibition AR$20, tickets for the movies: AR$17.

5. Play a game of pool at the Cafe Tortoni. This is probably Buenos Aires’s best known Cafe. It opened in 1858 (the oldest in the city) and has hosted a long list of celebrities that include Don Juan Carlos king of Spain, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Gardel and Hillary Clinton, just to name a few. Even if many tourists visit Tortoni, most don’t know the back room where the pool tables are and where locals gather to play. Find a few friends and some time to play pool here while enjoying a glass of draft beer and a good picada.  Av. de Mayo 825/29

6. Get yourself some rhythm with La Bomba de Tiempo (The Time Bomb). Imagine 3,000 people (yes, three thousand) jumping and listening to 17 drummers in an open space. Every Monday at 7pm at Ciudad Cultural Konex. Sarmiento 3131. AR$25.

7. Buy Tango CDs at Zivals. You have to take some of Buenos Aires’ music home with you and the best place to get it is at Zivals, a music store with a great selection not only of Tango, but also Jazz and Classical music. Av. Callao 395  downtown, and Serrano 1445, in Palermo.

8. Walk on Arroyo Street and visit posh Art Galleries. In the neighbourhood of Retiro there is a street that feels more like Europe than any other in the city. It’s a very short one, but the most famous galleries in the city are on this street. Just around the corner, on Suipacha Street, you will find a tiny bakery with excellent cakes and a couple of tables to enjoy them with a cup of tea. Maru Botana Suipacha 1371.  
9. Visit Tealosophy by Ines Berton. The most interesting teas in Buenos Aires are blended by Ines. With more than 70 varieties it’s worth visiting this amazing little shop. Gorriti 4865, Palermo. Monday through Saturday 11AM until 8PM Sundays 1PM until 7PM

10. A special museum to visit. One of the most interesting museums in Buenos Aires is Xul Solar’s. This great painter lived in the Palermo district and this museum takes part of his residence to show his works. Planned by the artist before his death, it’s a great opportunity to see the works he selected to be shown to the public. Laprida 1212. AR$10 

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