Spring in Buenos Aires

Spring festivities are common in most countries as it is the season of renewal and rebirth. In Argentina, every 21st of September students celebrate their day and the arrival of spring by gathering in parks to share picnics and listen to live bands anticipating the months to come.

Buenos Aires is particularly nice in the spring as the moderate temperatures, flowering vegetation and wide range of activities bring it to life.

Some of the city´s spring highlights are:

The City Flowers:. The Palermo rose garden (Rosedal) is one of the most stunning parks of the city and is at its brightest in spring when its over 12000 variety of roses are in full bloom. The purple jacarandas also pop up paving the city streets with their unique purple flowers whilst the abundant orange blossoms perfume the air. There is also currently an exhibit of flower sculptures by local artists being displayed at the Plaza San Martin.

(Photo by ag2078)

High Handicap Polo Season:  Buenos Aires is known for it’s Polo tournaments which are held from the end of August to the beginning of December. More information on matches herePolo Elite also offers polo lessons and English speaking polo player guides for the tournaments.

(Photo by daveoleary)

Live music and performances: Spring is the season for international rock and pop acts and festivals, the Creamfields electronic festival, the independent theatre festival and jazz festival, all held through the months of September-December. More information of this year’s line-up and tickets here.

(Photo by alrom)

Spring is also a wonderful season for short trips to estancias, to Tigre and to small towns like San Antonio de Areco, amongst others. Outdoor tango is also danced in many parks at dusk and you’re sure to smell weekend asados comming from the peoples houses.

We Recommend: San Antonio de Areco

(Photo by Eduardo Amorim)

To the North of Buenos Aires province, just 113 Km’s away from the city, lies a little town abuzz with visitors looking for a bit of history and a taste of gaucho life. The homeland of Segundo Ramirez, a local gaucho who poet and novelist Ricardo Güiraldes was inspired by when writing Don Segundo Sombra, one of the pillars of Argentine literature, is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of the typical countryside  gaucho life, to find native silverwork and traditional crafts, and explore historic landmarks.

 

Our suggestions:

Check out historic Gaucho artifacts and learn more about this Argentine archetype at the beautiful Museo Gauchesco y Parque Criollo Ricardo Güiraldes which is structured like an eighteenth century hacienda.

The Pampa Indigenas were already adorning their wives with silver bracelets way before the Spanish colonized the area so it should come as no surprise that one of the local specialties should be silverwork.  The Centro Cultural and Museo Taller Draghi showcases some of the finest examples of the elaborate designs of renowned silversmith Juan José Draghi.

Visit the historic bridge (Puente Viejo) and the San Antonio de Padua church, two of the first constructions of the town.

Take a canoe down the river, ride a horse through the open fields or go sports fishing to enjoy the natural environment San Antonio de Areco has to offer. Contact services here.

Stop for a sweet treat at La Olla de Cobre, where Carlos and Teresita make their own chocolate starting from the processing of the cacao bean to the delicious end product. Don’t miss their fantastic alfajores!

 

How to get there?

Two options are available to get to San Antonio de Areco, one is by car, the other by bus.

By car take Ruta 8.

By bus: Head to the Retiro Bus Terminal where  bus companies are grouped together by region. Chevalier  has a bus to Areco that takes about two hours.  During the summer season it is advised to buy tickets ahead of time.

 

Where to stay?

There are various estancias, inns  and Bed & Breakfasts to choose from. Some of the more known options are  Estancia La Porteña de Areco, El Ombu de Areco, and Paradores Draghi.

 

Tips:

Go on a weekday to avoid crowds and if you’re traveling in November don’t miss Tradition Week where festivities and local customs are celebrated all month.

This Week in Buenos Aires

Monday

(Photo by Sheep”R”us)

Lovers of modern art should definitely include a visit to the MAMBA (Museum of Modern Art) in San Telmo. The museum, which reopened in December of 2010, exhibits one of the most important art collections in Argentina today.

In the evening  head to Gran Bar Danzon for their wine happy hour from 7pm-9pm.

 

MAMBA

Av. San Juan 350, San Telmo

4342-3001

Open: Mon-Fri 12-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm

 

Gran Bar Danzon

Libertad 1161, Downtown

4811-1108

 

Tuesday

(Photo by malojavio. El Saucejo)

Visit a hatter for a unique fitting, have a traditional barber shop haircut and shave and finish up with a Cuban cigar and a whisky on Landing Pad BA’s original Gentleman Tour.

Meanwhile, the ladies can explore the Palermo area , which is full of small cafes, great and unexpected stores by independent designers, and contemporary art galleries. More on shopping in BA here.

In the evening don’t miss the experimental composer and pianist, Philip Glass, who graces the Coliseum Theatre’s stage at 9pm. Tickets here.

 

Coliseum Theatre

Marcelo T. de Alvear 1125, downtown

4816 3789

 

Wednesday

(Photo by Filo.mena)

Take a Fileteado Porteño Tour and discover the typical style of painting associated with Buenos Aires. The tour starts at 1.30pm in the Abasto area and moves to San Telmo either by bikes or public transport. It includes a snack in San Telmo and gives you the chance to try out the technique yourself! More information here.

In the evening starting 9pm, the Recoleta Cultural Center is staging Hombre Vertiente, an experimental performance including acrobatics, special lighting and interaction with the public, directed by Pichón Baldinu, one of the De La Guarda founders.

 

Centro Cultural Recoleta

Junin 1930, Recoleta

4803-1040

 

Thursday

(Photo by quacktaculous)

Head to the Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larrtea for an interesting peek at indigenous art being exhibited temporarily until the 11th of October.

Later on Book your place for the Fierro Hotel’s Thursday wine tasting and sample some great Argentine wines, chosen by the president of the Argentine sommelier association Andres Rosberg and in-house Sommelier Martin Bruno.  Tastings cost 25 USD per person and are limited to 7 people.

Marianne Faithfull and guitarist Marc Ribot will be presenting a special acoustic show at the Coliseum Theatre as part of the Horses and High Heels Tour. Tickets here. 

 

Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta

Juramento 2291, Belgrano

4783-2640

Open: Mon-Fri 1pm-7pm and Sat 10am-8pm

 

Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires

Soler 5862, Palermo

3220-6800

 

Coliseum Theatre

Marcelo T. de Alvear 1125, downtown

4816 3789

 

Friday

(photo by longhorndave)

Take a day trip to the local bakery, butcher shop and market where Teresita will show you all the traditional foods and ingredients. Afterwards go back to her home and learnt to make empanadas before having a delicious gourmet 4-course meal with wine pairings! More on Teresita’s culinary tour here.

In the evening don’t miss the chance to see Wagner’s opera Lohengrin at the stunning Colón Theatre.

 

Teatro Colón

Cerrito 628, Downtown

4378 7100

 

Saturday & Sunday

(Photo by Zofie)

FIBA VIII Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires:  24th September- 8th of October . The international theatre festival brings the best-staged performances from around the globe. Program and tickets here.

Shishu (Japanese embroidery) exhibit at the Japanese Gardens in Palermo. Figueroa Alcorta and Av. Caseres.

Top 5 Downtown Restaurants

 

(Photo by add1sun)

Tomo 1: Situated in the centric Hotel Panamericano, Tomo 1, which has been around for more than 40 years, offers some of the  best local and French inspired gourmet food in Buenos Aires. The upscale elegant ambiance, the gorgeous bar,  extensive wine list and the delectable food, make this a foodie haven to experience. Carlos Pellegrini 521, Downtown. 4326-6695.

Sipan: A recent boom of Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurants have sprung in Buenos Aires and Sipan is one of our top picks.  An upscale downtown restaurant with a secondary Palermo location, they offer product quality above all.  Not only is their food exceptional but also, their wide range of piscos make it unique in town. If passion fruit, seafood, condimented rice and a pisco sour sound like a treat to you, then you will love Sipan. Paraguay 624, Downtown. 4315-0763. info@sipan.com.ar.

Dadá: This lively restaurant in the heart of the city is always full and for good reason. Its famous Lomo Dadá is reputed to be one of the best beef dishes in town. If you like a colorful, bustling atmosphere with a cafe feel and fantastic food then Dadá will deliver! San Martín 941, Downtown. 4314-4787

Club del Progreso: Traditional ‘Porteño’ food is served in this elegant historic club, which dates back to 1852. The stately restaurant with its antiquated decor, and open courtyard is the place to go to for a great meal and a trip back in time after, or before, an event at the Colon Theatre. Sarmiento 1334, Downtown. 4372 3380.

Club Sueco:  Scandinavian food is great for sit down dinners and also for light on the go lunches. Open sandwiches on rich rye bread, salmon, cheeses, greens and great pastries are part of this northern European cuisine´s charm. The Club Sueco, on the 5th floor of a ideally located building the downtown area is one of the city’s best options for this kind of meal. The clean, well-lit room, and the top quality ingredients, and recommended dishes like fish pâté make it the go to place for a great meal in the city.  Tacuarí 147, 5th floor, Downtown. 4342 0888.

Argentine Wines: Bonarda

(Photo by Jorge Lorte)

Next to Malbec, Bonarda is one of the most popularly cultivated grapes in the country, and also one of the most traditional. Its origins are disputed as some say Argentine Bonarda was brought from one of three regions in Italy, others say its a not really Bonarda but French Corbeau, and yet others suggest it is actually Californian Charbono. Perhaps, it is the ambiguity of its origins that make this grape so local in the end.

Originally this grape variety was used to make ordinary table wine until its potential for fine wine began to be explored. Since then, the Bonarda market has expanded and now produces both table and premium wines, which are awarded and consumed internationally.

The deep colored Bonarda wines reminisce to red fruits like raspberries,  strawberries and cherries. Aromatic, with moderate acidity and a slightly lower alcoholic content than Malbec, this velvety light-bodied wine is ideal to pair with pastas grilled meat and vegetables, and legumes.

 

For a special sample of 5 Argentine wines, accompanied by snacks from HG Restaurant, book your place at our exclusive weekly tastings every Thursday starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800. recepcion@fierrohotel.com.

Buenos Aires for Football Fans

(Photo by Globovisión)

One of the things Argentina is known for is its football (soccer) fever. With one of the oldest National Football Associations in the world, dating back to 1893, 2 world cups, 2 gold Olympic medals, and legendary players such as the famous Maradona and Lionel Messi (currently one of the top world players), the sport is more than just a game for the locals, it is a part of the culture.   Football is about belonging; each team represents a neighborhood, a social class, and is sacred to its fans. Present in tangos and chants, in parks and backyards, football is a great way to get to know the local culture which is why we’ve put together a few recommended places, tangos, and activities where it takes center stage.

Tangos:

El Sueño del Pibe

Patadura

Bars:

For sentimental paraphernalia: El Banderin

A traditional spot in the Almagro scene, El Banderín is a place with a very personal identity.  This welcoming bar got its name from the many national and international football team flags (banderin), which are hanging from every bit of free space on the wall.  The flags were collected by one of its first owners so there is not only variety but also a few relics and the warm ambiance makes it a special place to visit and sit down for a few beers. Guardia Vieja 3601, Almagro. 4862-7757.

To watch a game: Locos por el Fútbol

As the name suggests Locos por el futbol (Mad about football) is a bar for hard-core fans of the game. With various screens so that everyone can see, and a thematic menu, this is the place to go to watch a game, drink a beer and mingle amongst agitated fans.  Azcuenaga 1898, Recoleta. 4807-3777.

Tours:

 

Boca Experience:  If you want to watch a live game, get to know the stadium and the Boca Museum, this is a great tour to take as you will be transported to and from the stadium and have, tickets, seating and a guide to take care of you. More information here.

Buenos Aires Football Tour: Travel Tango offers tours of River Plate and Boca Stadiums as well as transport to and from the hotel and tour guides to accompany you to the matches. More information here.

Play Yourself!

Another interesting option is to engage in a game of football yourself. The BAFA (Buenos Aires Futbol Amigos) is an international group of guys who team up to play football, socialize, and top it of with great asados. More information here.

Day Trip to Tigre

(Photo by escalepade)

 

At the starting point of the Paraná delta, in the outskirts of the city, is the town of Tigre, set on an island lined by small rivers and streams. This rugged location surrounded by nature offers a variety of attractions including canoeing,  kayak  and other excursions by boat, trekking, ecotourism, motorboat and commuter boats to take you to different places on the riverside, restaurants, spas, tea-houses, picnic sites, a naval museum, an art museum, a mate museum, a casino, a crafts fair and an amusement park.

How to get there:

By train:

The train is one of the fastest ways to get to Tigre and you have the option of taking the regular train or the “Tren de la Costa” which includes a scenic view and the possibility to stop at different train stations where you can shop for antiques (Borges station) or organic food (San Fernando station on Saturdays.)

Direct train from Retiro Terminal Station
- At Retiro station you have to take Mitre line train going to Tigre. Trip duration: 50 minutes.

Tren de la Costa from Retiro
 Terminal Station

1. Retiro to Tren de la Costa: At Retiro station you have to take the Mitre line train heading to Mitre station. Once you have arrived at Mitre station you have to cross the bridge over Maipu 2600 Ave, which takes you to Maipu station of Tren de la Costa.

2. Maipú station of “Tren de la Costa” to Tigre: At Maipu station of Tren de la Costa you have to take the train going to the Delta. It is a 30-minute long trip in a modern train with a beautiful view of Rio de la Plata and you can get on and off as you please.

Getting to Tigre by bus- Take Line 60 bus which starts its route at Constitucion. Trip duration: 90 minutes.

Getting to Tigre by car- Take Panamericana Highway up to Acceso Norte, then Tigre road on the ‘Autopista del Sol’

For a great lunch on your way to Tigre stop by Tipula, a Spanish inspired gourmet restaurant belonging to Fierro Hotel’s chef, Hernan Gipponi. Vicente Lopez 76, Martinez. 4793-7185.