Rosario Getaway

(Photo by pablodf)

Rosario is the third largest city in Argentina, after Buenos Aires and Cordoba, and, at just 298 km from the capital, it is a common destination for Porteños on a short visit. It´s architectural and historical relevance, as well as its vibrant cultural life and privileged setting over the Paraná River, make it an interesting place to visit.

The most popular attractions include the monument to the Argentine flag, where it was first hoisted in 1812; the Plaza San Martin, which is surrounded by Italian neo-renaissance, German neoclassic and art deco architectural styles; an art nouveau- modernist route; the art deco Pasaje Monroe; Batten Cottage, which looks like a street out of London; Parque de España, which was funded by the Spanish and opens to the Paraná river; El Bajo, a neighborhood that overlooks the river with cultural and gastronomic options; the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Rosario (MACRo) which exhibits the largest collection of Argentine contemporary art in the country. and the Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino (the largest after the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires).  Of course, the Paraná River is an attraction in itself and there are many water related activities to participate in as well. Additionally, Rosario is the birthplace of many renowned Argentines including artist Antonio Berni, comic artist Fontanrosa, the polemic Che Guevara, and football star Messi.

How to get there:

Local flights to Rosario are offered by Aerolinas Argentinas and leave from Aeroparque every day. The flight lasts approximately an hour and a two-way ticket costs approximately 600 pesos, depending on the season.

There are also two trains that leave from Retiro train station from Monday- Friday and take approximately 7 hours. Returns from Rosario are from Sunday-Thursday. A one-way ticket costs between 20-70 pesos depending on the train and seating. The train schedule is available here.

Another option is to go by bus. The drive takes approximately 3-5 hours (depending on the service) leaving from Retiro bus station and there are many companies that offer this route. One-way tickets cost approximately 150 pesos. (Find tickets with Urquiza here.)

Where to stay:

Pullman City Center Rosario: This 5 star hotel has a casino, tennis courts, pool and more.

Barisit House Hotel: This centric boutique hotel is a renovated house from the 1900´s. It is ideally located and it has a pool and serves a buffet breakfast.

5 Outdoor Buenos Aires Attractions

(Photo by Denise Mayumi)

 

As the days get warmer and the sun shines bright, exploring the city out in the fresh air becomes more appealing. Fortunately, one of the great things about Buenos Aires is that despite being a gigantic urban labyrinth, its streets are lined with lush trees and there are plenty a park and a place to explore outdoors.

 

Parque 3 de Febrero: The lush extensive parks that were inaugurated in 1852 by caudillo Juan Manuel de Rosas are a city emblem. Between Av. Libertador and Lugones, and extending from Av. Casares in Palermo to La Pampa in Belgrano, this group of parks is composed of 25 hectares made up of 15 public parks and 21 private sport clubs.  Some of the highlights for those getting to know the city include the “Rosedal”, an extensive rose garden with an Andalusian patio and a small lake to pedal boat in, the Sivori museum of art, the planetarium and the Japanese gardens which host a variety of activities related to Japanese culture.

 

Recoleta parks and Cemetery: The Recoleta Cemetery is one of the most famous attractions of Buenos Aires and for good reason. Great political figures, scientists, writers and other important characters of the city are buried in this cemetery full of stories of broken hearts, love and hate, friendship, obsession, loyalty and ghosts. The architecture of the vaults is also pretty spectacular which is why it’s a must visit. Other attractions in the area include very extensive and lovely parks, museums, architectural gems and the famous Floralis Generica monument.

 

Puerto Madero: Pierced by the river, this upscale area is lined with renovated warehouses that were turned into hip restaurants overlooking sailboats and bridges. Modern and upscale, it is a great place to walk through, and lunch in. The elegant Puente de la Mujer (woman’s bridge), and the Fragata de Libertad (a ship turned into a museum) are the main attractions of this carefully cared for area.

 

Reserva Ecológica: Behind Puerto Madero is a unique ecosystem that naturally emerged from deposits of rubble used for the construction of a highway in the 70s and 80s.  It has become a great place for bird watching within minutes of the city, and also has the best views of the city’s skyline. Guided tours of the reserve are available on weekends from 10.30am-3.30pm and a monthly nocturnal visit is conducted which you must book a week in advance for. More information on nocturnal tour dates here.

 

Tigre: In the outskirts of the city, on the opposite side of town, is an island lined by small rivers and streams. The 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. More information here.

10 Neighborhoods to Explore in Buenos Aires

1 Retiro: Full of movement and busy commuters going to and fro the central train station and bus terminals, this lively neighborhood is great for people watching and has wonderful sites too. The San Martin Park with its Malvinas monument, the Torre Monumental, The Kavanagh Building, the stunning Military Palace with its museum of arms, the Fernandez Blanco Hispanic art museum and the art galleries around calle Arroyo, make Retiro a great place to visit.

(Retiro train station by carlosoliveirareis)

2 San Nicolas: Next to Retiro, often know as downtown, this emblematic neighborhood is known for its many notable bars such as La Giralda and Confiteria Ideal, for the famous Obelisco and Corrientes Avenue where you can find Broadway like theatres, bookstores galore and the best pizzerias in town, and for its architectural landmarks such as Tribunales, the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, and the stunning Colon Theatre.

(9 de Julio Avenue by puroticorico)

3 Puerto Madero: On the other side of San Nicolas, crossing the Leando Alem Avenue is Puerto Madero. This area, which is pierced by the river, is lined with renovated warehouses which were turned into hip restaurants. Modern and upscale, it is a great place to walk through, and lunch in. The elegant Puente de la Mujer, the Fragata de Libertad (a ship turned into a museum) and the Ecological Reserve through which you can get one of the best views of the city, are worth checking out whilst in the area.

(Puerto Madero by matt.hintsa)

4 La Boca: A well-known neighborhood in the turistic circuit because of its colorful houses and its historic relevance in the unique migratory patterns that defined the city’s identity in the early 20th century. Places worth checking out are Caminito, fundacion PROA (great art exhibits), the Quinquela Martin museum and the Boca stadium.

(La Boca by Paula Soler-Moya)

5 Barracas: This historic off the beaten path neighborhood was originally occupied by the emblematic families of the city who built beautiful palaces, houses and churches. An outbreak of yellow fever however scared these families out of their homes at the end of the 19th century and working class later populated it. A textile factory, and a chocolate factory amongst other were opened attracting more workers. These factories however closed in the eighties, and the construction of nearby highways impoverished the once rich neighborhood even more. This coexistence of classes and structures with interesting places such as churches, factories, pasaje lanin, and an underground meeting spot for secret societies make Barracas a very interesting place to visit. We do insist that you go with someone who knows the area as there are parts of the neighborhood that are very unsafe. Eternautas, for example offers a great tour of this area.

(Pasaje Lanin by jafsegal)

6 San Telmo: Another favorite on the turistic circuit, San Telmo is a colorful and lively neighborhood known for its antique fair on Sundays. Apart from its antique shops, it has many lovely traditional bars (El Federal, Bar Seddon, Bar Dorrego), a buzzing modern art and design scene (check out the MAMBA museum) and a lot of tango shows both on and off the streets.

(San Telmo antique fair by Paula Soler-Moya)

7 Monserrat: The historical and “political” neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Monserrat is where Congress and the government house (Casa Rosada) are set. Also in the area is Plaza de Mayo, Palacio Barolo, the subway line, which still keeps the charming old-fashioned wagons, Cafe Tortoni and Los 36 Billares and La Manzana de las Luces, an old jesuit residence dating back to the 1700’s.

(Cabildo by loco085)

8 Abasto and Almagro: (They’re really two neighborhoods but since they’re next to each other and have so much in common we decided to join them.) These buzzing cultural neighborhoods are considered to be tango epicenters as none other than Carlos Gardel was raised there. Consequently, the Carlos Gardel museum is in this neighborhood, as well as many tango bars and milongas such as La Catedral and El Bar de Roberto. Other places to visit are Confiteria Las Violetas, one of the most beautiful teahouses in the city, and the Centro Cultural Konex where original and lively shows are often staged.

(Pasaje Zelaya by mccopa)

9 Recoleta: the rich families of the city populated this luxurious emblematic neighborhood when they fled from Barracas due to the yellow fever outbreak. The lush parks and elaborate French architecture come to mind when Buenos Aires is referred to as the Paris of South America. The famous Recoleta cemetery is a must visit in the area, as well as the two art museums (MALBA and MNBA), the Duhau Palace, the Floralis Generica sculpture next to the national school of law and La Biela cafe.

(Floralis Generica by Evelyn Proimos)

10 Palermo: This extensive neighborhood has become the it place for dining, shopping and going out. Its lovely corners, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, unique design stores make it fun and lively. Its gorgeous 3 de Febrero parks with its rose garden, Japanese garden, Botanical garden and Zoo, and the racetracks complete this bustling areas appeal.

(Rosedal by claudioruiz)

10 Things We Love About Buenos Aires

 

1- The Pulsing Energy

(Av. Corrientes by bimurch)

One thing Buenos Aires isn’t is dormant. This is not only a by-product of city life in general, but part of the local character. Late night partying (meaning it starts at 2 am), frantic driving, bright lights,  loud energetic voices, and the countless things to do and see, make this city a full-blown life force.

 

2-The Delicious Food

(Alfajores filled with dulce de leche. Photo by jamieanne.)

Argentine meat is famous worldwide, and indeed, the asado is one of the national stars, however the local indulgences don’t stop there. Try the dulce de leche, ice cream, pizza, alfajores, and the pastries and you will be pleasantly surprised.  Additionally you can count on variety, quality and freshness of produce all year round, which promises palatable dining.

 

3- The Charming Café’s

(Cafe Tortoni. Photo by J.)

A big part of the city culture, there’s a special allure in the traditional cafes, whether they’re well known or anonymous barrio relics.  Stopping for a quick cup of coffee with medialunas whilst on the go, or for a warm submarino (chocolate bar dipped in hot milk) with churros on a winters day is a must.

 

4- The Flower Shops and Verdulerias

(Verduleria in Palermo. Photo by iggykaser.)

Step out on the streets and you will find the city is ornamented with perfumed flower shops and colorful verdulerias exhibiting their variety of fruits and vegetables.

 

5- The Shady Trees and Parks

(The Jacaranda trees in bloom. Photo by q.crescente)

Contrasting with the traffic and the conglomerate of people are the large parks and the shady trees that line even the busiest avenue. The Jacaranda tree, which is spread around the city, is known to pave the streets with purple flowers in spring and the ombú trees, display their grandiose roots in many of the city’s lush parks.

 

6-The Amazing Architecture

(Puente de la Mujer. Photo by S.Amrit)

From the French sumptuousness of the Colon Theatre and the city palaces to the more humble but colorful buildings in La Boca, from the Colonial structures to modern day skyscrapers, the city is filled with a variety of architectural styles of great beauty.

Some architectural must-sees include the Palacio Barolo, the Cavannagh building, the Colon Theatre, and the Puente de la Mujer in Puerto Madero, amongst others.

 

7- The Diversity

(La Boca by jodastephen.)

Buenos Aires is a city defined by the merging of different influences. Spanish, Italian, French, British, and German backgrounds meshed with the native traditions and people making for a unique social construct with a very peculiar identity. This diversity is reflected in the cuisine, the architecture, the art, the customs, the styles and the ethnic make up of the city’s inhabitants.

 

8- The Cultural Buzz

(Teatro Porteño. Photo by Luis Fdez.)

Theatres, galleries, and stages of all sizes plague the city providing for a lively cultural and artistic scene. Live music can be heard everyday in many places and range from traditional and remixed tango, to local rock, to folkloric music, to jazz, to funk, to classical, to a percussion orchestra. The same variety and quantity of theatre productions and art exhibits can also be found everywhere, making Buenos Aires a very lively city, culturally speaking.

9- The Literary Flavor

(El Ateneo bookstore. Photo by una_cat.)

From the nostalgia present in tangos and the stories of immigrants, to the crazy quirky characters that roam the labyrinth like streets, to the political history, the intercultural influences and the cat filled botanical garden, its no wonder that such great literature has come out of Buenos Aires.  Filled with bookstores and avid readers in the trains and buses, the city was named the international book capital of the year for a reason!

 

10-The Passion of the People

(Argentine Tango. Photo by gwilmore)

Gesticulation is something that every ‘Porteño´ expertly carries out when cheering for their football team, whilst having singsong conversations over coffee, or temper tantrums whilst driving. Whether they’re mourning for their long lost past or seducing a lady in a tango, raising they’re voices in a heated political argument or celebrating a victory, their passionate personalities shine through for better and worse, making them a very lively crowd.

 

Anything you would add?