Bike travel, commuting and more


Argentina XIII: Buenos Aires


I love Mafalda cartoons, but it's still too early for the kids to read

Finally we get to visit the capital

After our first two short visits, we finally reserved nearly a week to visit Argentina’s main city properly! The central hotel we got last time was fully booked, so this time we got another one on the opposite side of the Avenida Corrientes. In the end our choice was a lucky one as it was located in San Telmo, a very nice neighborhood still right in the middle of the city.

Buses in Av. 9 de Julio
Old looking modern buses in Avenida 9 de Julio

San Telmo was full of modernist buildings, plenty of small shops and cafes, and sure, also many hipsters. But we loved it. It didn’t feel like part of a big city but rather a medium sized provincial town, with no big chains of restaurants or supermarkets.

San Telmo indoor market
Checking the San Telmo indoor market

Prices were also ok, even cheap in the main avenues and if you would avoid the “cool” places and just went to the normal ones.

Bookshop El Ateneo
Bookshop El Ateneo, I got some kids books here

Our hotel was alright, with a big room for ourselves, although we had no access to the kitchen. Breakfast was included, but in Argentina it’s not their main meal so portions are usually small.

Casa Rosada at dusk
Casa Rosada at dusk

The first day Susanne took the chance to visit the nearby hospital, as she was having some pain in one of her legs, probably from when the bike fell on her just before Belén with the strong winds.

Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires
Long queue outside Cafe Tortoni. We passed

We had travel insurance, but it was not needed. Argentina has not only a great public health system, but it’s also completely free. She went through Emergencies, thinking that she would have to wait for hours like in Germany, but instead she was attended immediately, and for free, no need to use our insurance.

The famous Obelisk in Avenida 9 de Julio
The famous Obelisk in Avenida 9 de Julio

For that reason, we have been told many people from the neighboring countries like Bolivia or Chile cross the border to get attended or to perform difficult surgeries that are just not available at home or would be too expensive.

River Plate stadium, in Palermo
River Plate stadium, in Palermo

The following day we did the tourist thing and took one of those double-decker buses. It was expensive, but since it was raining slightly and Buenos Aires is too big to walk with kids, it was a good way to see a lot in a comfortable way.

Kids in tourist bus in Buenos Aires
Keen travelers learning facts about Buenos Aires. One would soon fall sleep

Buenos Aires, like most major cities, is divided into neighborhoods with very distinctive flavor, nearly like different towns becoming one big metropolis.

Puerto Madero
The old harbour at Puerto Madero, now refursbished

Palermo and Belgrano are the nicest areas where most rich people live. Then you have San Telmo as an old bohemian neighborhood, or Boca which is a bit rough. Puerto Madero was the old harbor now converted in a posh area for offices and apartment blocks. And so on…

La Bombonera
The popular Bombonera stadium, literally on top of the nearby houses in Boca
Walking down Caminito, still in Boca
Walking down Caminito, still in Boca

On our last day we were lucky the famous San Telmo flea market was taking place, so we went to have a look. There were many nice things, but nothing that would interest us, as we would have to carry it on the bikes, so we passed.

San Telmo flea Market
Checking the flea market in San Telmo

Also, our plan now is to go to Uruguay, so we were running out of pesos and did not want to withdraw any more. Inflation is so high that if you come 3 weeks later the exchange rate might have move 10% or more!

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  1. katherine

    Mafalda Che!!! un clasico argentino. Y ya que pasaron por Caminito…bailaron Tango??

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