The best way to get to know a city is by taking public transport. It’s also an easy way for any traveller to cut down on their expenses. Here follows a masterclass to get you roaming Buenos Aires like a true porteño/a in no time.
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.
Catching some of Buenos Aires’s most impressive architectural sights can be considerably less painful than a walking guidebook tour, mainly because it involves simply walking up one street
Argentina may be best known for its hunks of meat and chunky empandas, but don’t be fooled by the macho exterior because when it comes to sandwiches this is the daintiest nation on earth.
If you want proof of Buenos Aires’ leisurely, sit-down coffee culture, look no further than the biggest homegrown chain, Havanna. Here on the counter you’ll find a diagram explaining just how takeout coffee works. “On the street! At the office!” read the helpful instructions, next to picture of a paper cup.
Taking at least one overland trip in Argentina is a must and the only way to really appreciate the country’s vast size. A few trips later – and bingo games aside – you start to realise Argentina bus travel is akin to being on a plane.
Walk down Buenos Aires’s central shopping street, Avenida Florida, and you’d be forgiven for presuming that Argentine music tastes encompass just one genre: tango. So where should you be heading to catch the city’s hottest bands? Here’s a rundown offering something for all tastes.
At first glance, an Argentina supermarket is like any other. Then you notice the whole aisle devoted to yerba mate, a vegetarian section that consists only of cardboard-like soya milanesas, and – as one blogger has noted – an astounding number of variations on tinned corn.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.’ So they say. Although here’s betting that ‘they’ aren’t Argentinian. In Argentina, breakfast is a thoroughly simple affair. The options rarely, if ever, move beyond the two key staples: tosadas (toast) or media lunas. They’ll be served with coffee and orange juice. Anywhere serving anything extravagant – including yogurt or fruit – or any form of cooked eggs is catering to tourists…