If you are a keen dancer or a curious spectator, where do you go? It’s about time The Real Argentina put together a guide for all tastes. Below is a pick of top milongas. For the uninitiated, these are the tango dance clubs, where novices and experts go to practice, rather than the made-for-tourists dinner shows. Most milongas offer lessons, too, and for different abilities, so come early for the class, then stay to dance – and people-watch – until the early hours.
For five years, journalist Vicky Baker was Buenos Aires's stalker. She randomly turned up on its doorstep whenever she could, kept track of all its movements and felt seethingly jealous if anyone else made a move. Finally in 2008, she took the plunge and made the city her base. From here, she writes for the Guardian, Time Out, Reuters, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and others. In here spare time she also writes a travel blog – www.goinglocaltravel.com – and gets over her inadequacies as a non-steak-eating, non tango-dancing wannabe porteña by drinking lots of Malbec.
Argentina has talked about little else during the past week. There’s 24/7 coverage on the news channels, pages upon pages of articles in every newspaper (What does his old teacher think? What happened to his first girlfriend?). At every kiosco, his face looks back at you from the covers of Caras and Hola; congratulatory posters have been hastily thrown up in shop windows. Almost everyone has a story of how they once met him, received a blessing, or saw him on the Subte – or at least a family member or next-door neighbour has.
If you’re not lucky enough to be in Argentina right now, and you’re longing for some authentic Argentinian culture, what do you do? Traditionally, you head for the nearest themed steakhouse. That’s a very fine place to start, but is the sum of Argentina made up only by parts of a cow? A boom in tourism in the early 2000s has led to a more amplified understanding of the Argentinian way of life. From music and drinks to film and dance, here’s our look at Argentina’s growing influence abroad.
San Juan province is a victim of Argentina’s embarrassment of riches. With so many better-known attractions on the tip of people’s tongues, it falls off the radar for most foreign tourists, which is a shame considering the caliber of its offerings. If you are feeling adventurous and want to see an under explored part of the country, a visit to San Juan can easily been tacked on to a trip to Mendoza. Here’s our guide to the hotspots.
AirBnB has over two thousand properties listed in Buenos Aires. Argentina at large has a total of 3,500. The site is doing so well in South America that the company has opened a hub office in São Paulo. It is even gaining on the original US market: there are currently 55,000 listings in North America compared to 20,000 across Latin America.
Argentina: a country where you can get ice cream delivered to your door after midnight, where the number of variations on dulce de leche flavour can run into double figures, where homeware stores sell serving dishes that are just the right size for a one-kilo tub. Ice cream isn’t just an occasional treat here, it’s an essential food group.
Here’s a sign of the times: type ‘Why is Argentina so…’ into Google and one of the auto-complete options it offers is ‘expensive’. It’s the question on everyone’s lips, and one we can’t really answer in a short blog post, so let’s just stick to the basic facts: soaring inflation has left the prices of 2002 far behind. Here are The Real Argentina’s tips for following in their trend-setting footsteps when shopping in Buenos Aires.
“Help! I’m a vegetarian in Argentina and I may throw myself off La Boca’s Transbordador bridge if I have to eat another ensalada mixta.” If you’re a non-meateater in one of the most carnivorous countries in the world, you know what I am talking about. There are good days (falafel from Sarkis) and bad days (when you ravenously create make-shift chimichurri sandwiches from the parrilla bread basket).
How did the Welsh end up in Patagonia? To a certain extent, they fell victim to a dodgy marketing campaign. Feeling threatened by English dominance in the 1800s, they were looking for a place to relocate to in order to protect their language and culture. Originally, this was set to be Vancouver Island in Canada…
When you hear about over two thousand people gathering on the streets of Buenos Aires, odds are it’s a rousing protest or pro-government rally. Yet when similar numbers took to the streets in Boedo last Saturday night, it wasn’t saucepan bashing or Peronist chants keeping them going. Instead, tango music played and Malbec bottles were drained, as the third edition of Boedo’s Vendimia harvest festival got under way…