Buenos Aires is a fascinating city and according to many lists, the most visited city in South America.
On a recent trip to Argentina, I decided to explore four sites that don’t appear on many “must do” lists or are at the bottom of lists, but I think they deserve a higher ranking.
El Zanjón de Granados
El Zanjón is in the San Telmo area of the city. If you like architecture, archeology, and history, this tour of a historic dwelling puts it all together. As with many tours, it depends on who leads you through your experience. The tour lasts about an hour and the woman who guided us had a wealth of information, not just about this site but about Argentine history as well. She also had a great sense of humor!
A while back, I read an article in the NY Times travel section about the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Given the sad disappearing act of bookstores in the US, that article stayed in my memory. When I planned my trip to Buenos Aires it was a must see for me!
Just go there… you won’t want to leave! It’s not just a bookstore, but rather a gathering place and destination in and of itself. There are lots of nooks and crannies where you can settle in with a book or cup of coffee from their cafe. Be prepared to enjoy the ambiance here for at least an hour or two.
The Guardian has named it the second most beautiful bookshop in the world.
Water Company Palace
The Water Company Palace (aka Palace of Flowing Waters) turned out to be my favorite building in Buenos Aires.
Absolutely stunning architecture. Unfortunately, the day I went to see it was a holiday, so getting inside was not possible. Take your time walking around the block, as it’s in an area of Buenos Aires that’s off the beaten track; you’ll get a flavor for a local neighborhood, as well.
The Teatro Colón is a spectacular Latin American opera house.
Whenever I travel, I always take tours of the opera houses. Given its world ranking, Teatro Colón is a must. And if you can catch an opera there, all the better. I actually did catch an opera while in Buenos Aires, though it was a Live From The Met performance, so not done at Teatro Colón. Catching an opera, or any live performance, with an overseas audience is always a fun experience and one I’ve enjoyed in many places I’ve visited.
I’ll throw in an ice cream tip, too. I’m an admitted gelato snob. I’ve heard people say that the gelato in Buenos Aires was even better than in Italy. Impossible, right? Or maybe not. I had to know for myself.
I got hooked on gelato in Buenos Aires. So here’s the scoop. Don’t bother trying all the ice cream shops in Buenos Aires! Just head to Un Altra Volta and thank me later! Or better yet, bring me home some Dulce de Leche Granizado and I’ll be your new best friend!
Buenos Aires is a big, fun city with lots to see and do. I enjoy finding gems such as these places and then, of course, topping off my explorations with gelato!