I once read that Buenos Aires was just like an old European city (the “Paris of South America”) except that it had not been taken care of in 30 years. The best analogy though might be from Tourist 2 Townie, who said it was like a Silver Fox (“Rugged and aged with a lot of great stories to tell, but still energetic and good looking”).
Seems about right.
As opposed to the many famous Italian cities that can sometimes make you feel like you are in a Historical Disney Land, Buenos Aires feels lived-in. With every ounce of history squeezing out of the pores of its buildings.
But I like that.
The city is much more alive and on edge than relatively tranquil Santiago. But again, it’s only been a few days, so I’m sure many of the following impressions will change:
- Drivers have never met a pedestrian they haven’t wanted to hit as they accelerate through intersections.
- You eat dinner late and go out for drinks early… really early… like 12 or 1am.
- People have tremendous love for their Argentinian meat… and deservedly so.
- You better love Ice Cream because it is everywhere… and sooo good.
- Crime feels more present as even locals carry their bags in front of themselves and warn tourists about having their cameras stolen from around their neck.
- Between the cobblestones, uneven sidewalks, and copious amounts of dog poop… make sure you watch where you are walking.
- There are more backpackers and travel bloggers around as there seems to be so much to explore and learn in the city.
- A lot of incredible sights, museums, and tours to do. We might just have to extend our stay an extra week to get it all in!
- An older public transportation system that definitely gets you where you want to go. The buses are beyond confusing… but thank you internet for omnilineas.com!
These are just my first impressions of Buenos Aires and I can guarantee they will change in the 20 days we are staying here. What do I have wrong so far? What are some of the must-do’s?