Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is an intriguing city. The birthplace of tango, Buenos Aires is a culturally rich city. Besides its contemporary art museums, theaters and music venues of all sizes, the city offers free outdoor music performances and cultural events. Porteños (as Buenos Aires’ inhabitants are called) enjoy going out, so sidewalk cafes and restaurants are always lively and public performances and events are always well attended. On “gallery night”, for example, art galleries remain open from 7 to 10 pm on specific evenings from April to December so large numbers of porteños flow from gallery to gallery.
And the food in Buenos Aires is delicious! Argentinean grass fed beef is internationally known for its quality but the city offers all sorts of other cuisines as well . There are sophisticated contemporary restaurants and rich in atmosphere historic cafes.
Buenos Aires also offers sophisticated shopping experiences, for example galerias Pacifico with its beautiful painted ceilings by famous Argentinean artists, or the wonderful bookstore El Ateneo on Santa Fe avenue, an old theater turned bookstore with a coffee shop on the former stage.
Public transportation is cheap and convenient but the best way to see the city is by walking. Visitors can walk along the 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue in the world, and see the Obelisco, the Colon Theater and experience the city’s fast pace. Recoleta, a historical cemetery, is a must see, and is surrounded by trendy sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The Casa Rosada, where Argentina’s president works, is on the Plaza de Mayo, a park that has been the site of many historical events in the last century.
A wonderful way to experience Buenos Aires is through home exchange. An increasing number of Porteños are happy to participate in home exchange programs so that they can afford vacations abroad. Living in a Buenos Aires aparment or house is the best way to learn about the city culture: buying your food in the local grocery store or your street’s “verduleria” (fruit and vegetable store), having a coffee in your neighborhood café, talking with your next door neighbor and taking the “colectivo” (bus) to get around.
You can also use your home swap as a base from which to take day trips to places such as El Tigre (the Parana river delta), an “estancia” or ranch, or the feria de Mataderos. And if you’re doing a longer home exchange you can use your Buenos Aires place as a base from which to fly to other wonderful destinations in Argentina, such as Patagonia and the Glaciar Perito Moreno, the Iguazu waterfalls or the wine country on the Andes. To see home exchange opportunities in Buenos Aires in Stay 4free, see www.stay4free.com/search?q=Buenos Aires