We had some pretty high expectations of Buenos Aires (BA). Everyone we talked to about the city had nothing but good things to say about the place. We are now those people.

After spending several weeks in Patagonia where cities are non-existent and large groups of people are few and far between, I have to admit that I was a bit overwhelmed when we first arrived. I’m not a city girl by nature and walking through the popular pedestrian mall full of shops, restaurants, buskers, children eating ice cream cones, teenagers flirting, people walking their dogs, and the slowest, laid-back walkers anywhere – I was exhausted from just navigating around everything!

European Influences Abound

However, that buzz and energy is what this city is all about. This city doesn’t sleep. No one eats dinner until after 10 pm and if you are going dancing, don’t think about it until 2 am at the earliest. The people are beautiful and well put together at all times. Everyone from 12-year-olds to grandmas are wearing high-heel shoes and decked out in trendy outfits. Hair is done and make-up is on even if you are just pushing your two-year old in a stroller at a park. We were certainly in awe and would stop sometimes just to sit still and people watch.

San Telmo Antiques Market

The neighborhood where we stayed was called San Telmo and is famous for its Sunday antiques market. We are not particularly into antiques but in addition to the stores, there is also a central square surrounded by cobblestone streets and a variety of great restaurants and other shops. We had a beer on the square and watched some free tango dancing in the street one afternoon. Tango dancing is everywhere and there are plenty of opportunities for tourists to take classes or go to dinner and a show where tango is performed. We opted for the free shows put on around town (usually associated with a restaurant) which simply required a tip for the dancers when the show was complete. Tourists and locals alike would stop to watch the dancing as the beauty of the movements and the dancers themselves were always worth a look.

Street performers

Tango dancers