My original plan to fly from Bangkok to Rio De Janeiro was foiled because of a Brazil visa issue, so I decided to fly to South America via Buenos Aires, Argentina instead. Typically, before I arrive in a new country or city I'll do a little online reading ahead of time, watch a movie with the setting in the city I'm traveling to, or maybe listen to some advice from a podcast, but I'm not the type create a list of fifteen must see tourist attractions. I like for my experience of the city to unravel naturally.
I think that one of the best ways to understand a city is to reach out to your network, people you already know. Some of the best advice I've ever received has come from people who live or have lived in the city I was traveling to. What better recommendations than that of a local or someone who gets all nostalgic about a place they use to live. Social media makes this extremely easy, and you'll be surprised by the places your third cousin, work colleague, or high school sweetheart have lived.
I was lucky enough to tap into a connection I had from my previous job back home. Here are some of his recommendations, and if you're reading this Mark, I appreciate the pro tips! Your love for Buenos Aries made my experience there that much more enjoyable.
Pictured above is the neighborhood of San Telmo. It's the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. It's filled with cafes, antique markets, parrillas, tango shows, and plenty of art. To me it's the heart beat of the city and a great place for travelers to instantly understand what BA is all about. If you happen to go, a great place to stay is Hotel Bolivar. It's got character and stories for days, and is cheap with rooms around $12-20 USD a night. If you're looking for a nightcap, hit up The Gibraltar. It's got tasty food (big shout out to Tom!), stiff drinks, and you can't beat the atmosphere. And since it's a traditional British Pub, you'll find expats, locals, and bartenders who speak english or will work with you on your español.
Pictured above is Cemerterio de la Recoleta. You wouldn't think a cemetery would be a must do, but the different types of mausoleums range from super expensive to neglected. It's such and interesting place to spend an afternoon. Oh, and Eva Parón is also buried here.