Travel Guide

Mapa Interactivo del GP Buenos Aires
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Courtesy of Alejandro Raggio.

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Tourist spots

Buenos Aires is a very popular tourist destination. As such, it has lots of places you might want to take a look at during your stay. We recommend planning for a couple of extra days stay if you can.


The “barrios”

There are several districts, or neighborhoods in Buenos Aires (called “barrios”), and the most visited by tourists are:


Microcentro (Downtown)
An ideal location for visitors to be near to the main historical spots of the Argentinean capital. Florida Street is located downtown and is a famous pedestrian street of the city, where visitors can do window shopping and buy clothes and other usual city goods. Many tourists come here, so it’s well catered for tourists, though it’s not an exact representation of the living area for the average citizens.


San Telmo
This district preserves colonial-style houses along narrow cobblestone lanes, illuminated with pretty wrought iron lanterns. In San Telmo, one breathes the history of Buenos Aires. There is also a very exciting, underground nightlife scene.


La Boca
Considered Buenos Aires’s most colorful neighborhood with a very outgoing personality. Tourists favor this picturesque district for its rich history and vibrant colors: greens, yellows, reds, and purples highlight the urban scenery.


Palermo
Hip residential neighborhood of tree-lined streets and intersections packed with restaurants, bars, and boutiques. There are several “sub neighborhoods” such as Palermo-Viejo, Palermo-SoHo,
Palermo-Hollywood.


Recoleta
One of the finest and most expensive areas of the city. It boasts many French style buildings, large green spaces, and first class restaurants. The famous Recoleta Cemetery is well worth a visit.


Belgrano
A residential and peaceful neighborhood with silent streets that lead to different shops, restaurants, architectural relics, and large green spaces. Belgrano’s one of the most distinguished districts, and it’s ideal for day walks along the wooded tile sidewalks.


Congreso
A dense downtown area that houses the legislative branch of government, it resides at the opposite end of Avenida de Mayo from the Casa Rosada (Rosy House, or “pink house” as some would called it) seat of the executive branch.


Puerto Madero
Just like the London docklands, the antique port of Buenos Aires has been renewed and now represents the latest architectural trends of the city. It has a mixture of restaurants, ranging from high end to U.S.A. chains such as Hooters and TGIF. It also has apartment buildings and a few expensive hotels. The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, an excellent alternative for nature lovers, lies nearby.


Tribunales
This part of town has many theater shows, especially on Avenida Corrientes. On Libertad street there is the astounding huge Colon Theatre, one of the most prestigious in the world.


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Tourist Spots

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Caminito
This classic tourist spot and street museum is located in La Boca. There are old houses painted in a variety of colors, as done by Benito Quinquela Martin and other residents of the area during the 50’s.



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Casa Rosada
The government’s executive branch is housed in this building, a strange mix of various architectural styles, perhaps best known for the balcony from which Evita rallied the working class crowds.



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Plaza de Mayo
The historical square of the city is surrounded by many tourist spots, including the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the Buenos Aires Cathedral. It’s a must-see for tourists. If you can visit just one place make it the Plaza and its surroundings.



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Recoleta Cemetery
The first public cemetery in the city, it contains many vaults and mausoleums belonging to the wealthy families of Buenos Aires. Its decorations are grand and spectacular, and several of them have been designed by renowned architects.



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Teatro Colón
The Teatro Colon, in the City of Buenos Aires, is considered one of the best theaters in the world. Acknowledged for its acoustics and the artistic value of its construction, it turned 100 years in 2008. It underwent a major renovation that took three years and $100-million to complete, and it reopened in May of 2010.


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Calle Florida
Architecture buffs will love the opulent, early 20th-century buildings that line this mile-long pedestrian mall, popular for its gem, leather and fur stores.



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Plaza Dorrego
Located in the heart of San Telmo, it’s one of the oldest squares in the city and a street market takes place here every Sunday.



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Museums

Buenos Aires has a large number of museums with the most disparate interests. The following is a link to the city government’s webpage, where you can find more than 130 different museums, divided into Art, History, Science, and Miscellaneous.

NOTE: unfortunately, the webpage is only available in spanish, if you are not familiar with the language, you might need to use an online translator. Click Here

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Day Trips

If you have a day or two to spare, there are a few places nearby that you might wish to visit



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Tigre
Day-trip distance from Buenos Aires, the Tigre River Delta offers porteños (Buenos Aires residents) and tourists alike a playground for everything from horseback riding and hiking to fishing and swimming. Comprised of hundreds of tiny islands, the Tigre is about 20 miles northeast of Buenos Aires and is reachable from the city by trains, then by boat from the train station. While the main attraction here is the delta itself (formed where five rivers come together), you’ll also find a Naval Museum, restaurants and playgrounds for kids. Several tour companies offer day-trip excursions to the Tigre River Delta—but visitors also can book stays in area bed & breakfasts and adventure lodges.



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San Antonio de Areco
A compact small town nearly 70 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, San Antonio de Areco is in the heart of the Argentine Pampas region. It’s a great 1½-hour day trip by car or bus from Buenos Aires—or the perfect jumping-off point for those who choose to visit at a nearby estancia, or a traditional large rural ranch and estate. Major attractions here include the colonial sights of San Antonio de Areco itself, the Museum of the Gaucho (which celebrates Argentine cowboys), and a variety of estancias themselves, which are located within two hours of San Antonio de Areco. If you don’t feel like planning your own itinerary, several tour and travel companies will coordinate your visit and arrange your estancia stay.



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Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
The historic quarter of Colonia del Sacramento, founded in 1680, evokes old Lisbon with its
Portuguese-influenced architecture and winding streets. The area, located in southwestern Uruguay on the Rio de la Plata, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. It’s an easy day trip by ferry from Buenos Aires, making the beaches a popular Argentinean escape. Major sights include Iglesia Matriz, the country’s oldest church, the Municipal Museum and a 17th-century port jutting into the river.



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Recommendations to visit

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Parque 3 de Febrero
Known by its more informal name, “Los Bosques de Palermo” (Palermo Woods), Parque 3 de Febrero is the most popular green zone in Buenos Aires. Located in the neighborhood of Palermo, it is known for its groves, lakes, and rose gardens. This is one of the best places to visit, since it is really close to many interesting places to visit, such as the Japanese Garden, the Botanical Garden, the city’s Zoological Garden, and the Galileo Galilei Planetarium. It is close to “Plaza Italia” station of Metro Line D, and “Palermo” station from Line San Martin train.



japanese gardens

Japanese Gardens
Administered by the Japanese-Argentine Cultural Foundation, this gardens are like a living part of Japan inside Argentina. Opened every day from 10:00 to 18:00, you can enjoy delicious meals at the restaurant, learn about Japanese culture at the Cultural Center, or have a walk by the central lake while you admire some beautiful things like a Japanese Peace Bell, stone lanterns, and a Buddhist temple, among others. It is located on Figueroa Alcorta Avenue, 8 blocks from “Scalabrini Ortiz” station from Metro Line D.



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Botanical Gardens
A triangular-shaped garden, bounded by Santa Fe Avenue, Las Heras Avenue, and Republica Arabe Siria street. It contains thousands of species of trees and plants, as well as sculptures and greenhouses. Inside the garden there is an English style mansion, which was the residence of Carlos Thays, architect and landscape designer responsible for designing the Botanical Gardens as well as Parque 3 de Febrero. Roman, French and Oriental gardening styles coexist together in this beautiful National Monument.



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Buenos Aires Zoological Gardens
Located in Palermo, two blocks from “Plaza Italia” station from Metro Line D, the Zoological Gardens contains more than 2,000 differents animals, some of them roaming freely around the zoo. Open from tuesday to sunday, from 10:00 to 19:00. If your are interested on this, send an email to zoodenoche@zoobuenosaires.com.ar for more information.



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Café Tortoni
First opened in 1858, the legendary Café Tortoni is one of the most representative places from Buenos Aires. Famous personalities like Carlos Gardel, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar and many others used to sit down at their marble tables, and it is considered an attraction in itself, an emblem of Buenos Aires culture. Even nowadays, delicious meals and tango mix together to make a perfect combination for anyone who wants to feel part of Buenos Aires’ history. It is located on Avenida de Mayo 825, near “Piedras” station from metro Line A. Website.



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Fountain of the Nereids
Located in Costanera Sur, on the intersection of Tristan Achaval Rodriguez Avenue and Padre Migone street, the Fountain of the Nereids is one of the most emblematic sculptures from the Argentine artist
Dolores “Lola” Mora (Hence the term “Lola Mora Fountain” to make reference of the monument). Crafted with white marble, the fountain represents the nereids (sea nymphs that helped sailors) assisting the birth of the Goddess Venus (according to Roman mythology, Aphrodite in Greek mythology).



floralis

Floralis Genérica
Located in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, a giant flower made of steel and aluminium is erected. It was a gift from the deceased Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano, who said that the flower “is a synthesis of all the flowers and is both a hope that is reborn every day to open.” The flower moved by itself, closing its petals in the evening and opening them again in the morning. Unfortunately, the mechanism that opens and closes the flower is no longer working, due to the fact that one of the petals was installed incorrectly, and in order to prevent damaging the sculpture, the mechanism was disabled.



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Saint Ignatius Church
St. Ignatius church is the oldest church in Buenos Aires. Built by The Society of Jesus in 1675 using clay, its actual facade was finished in 1734, and it was declared a National Monument. It is part of a historical landmark known as “Manzana de las Luces” (The Illuminated Block), located in the neighborhood Monserrat, near “Perú” station from Metro Line A.



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Food and beverages
Argentine Pizza

Argentina might be known for its meat, but when it comes to food, Argentine people might also choose pizza as their favorite dish. Near the staff hostel, there are two of the most emblematic pizzerias:
Güerrín (located on Corrientes Avenue 1368, near “Uruguay” station from metro Line B, 7 blocks away from the staff hostel), and El Palacio de la Pizza (located on Corrientes Avenue 751, near “Florida” station from metro Line B).
If you want to learn a little more about Argentine Pizza, be sure to check this: Click Here


There is not much food and beverages sold on streets but, if you happen to find street vendors, it is always advisable to avoid buying food from them, for it is not guaranteed that the food is handled with the appropriate hygiene.puestito
There were, though, some vendors in front of Jorge Newbery Airport, in Costanera Norte, popularly known as “Carritos” (food carts); due to local regulations, they needed to offer proper conditions for selling food in order to preserve their commercial activities. Nowadays this “Carritos” turned into food stands, equipped with refrigerator and freezer in order to preserve food from getting rotten, and provided tables and chairs for people to sit down by the river and have a good meal. If you happen to land at Jorge Newbery Airport, you might want to cross the street and try them out.

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Useful tips

Buenos Aires is mostly a safe city, but it can get tricky early in the morning or late in the afternoon in the neighbourhoods around the venue. You shouldn’t be around carefree by any reason, especially at night, when the chances of having a bad time raise in an unfortunate way. Because of that, here are some useful tips.

● Try to always plan your route beforehand. Do not go around on your own after sunset, try to do it in groups.

● Do not count money on the street. In case you need to take out your cell phone or mobile device (smartphones with huge screens in particular) in a metro station or any similar crowded place, do it discreetly.

● If possible, try to avoid the central train stations, Retiro and Constitucion at night. Security is poor at best and there are pickpockets and bag snatchers.

● Metro stations close around 22:00, so it is advisable to make all your tours before that time. If you are still on the street after that hour, try to find a taxi.

● Print this guide, it might be useful if you forget any detail once you have arrived to Argentina.

● If you arrive after 19:00 at the airport, if you haven’t made any transportation arrangement, the safest bet is to get a shuttle to staff hotel, since it’s much cheaper than a taxi (unless you are at least 3 passengers).



Tourist scams

● There some places infamous for scamming tourists. Tourists are offered to enter something sort of a pub/strip bar, once they are inside they offer you drinks and then they try to charge you ridiculous amounts for those drinks. These places are easily recognizable, you can’t see inside from the street, and there’s always someone at the door, either a woman trying to get men in or a bouncer. The same goes for anyone who offers you a free massage or anything of the sort, just refuse and keep going.

● Taxi drivers are known for trying to scam tourists with the fare, they try to drive around to get a higher fare or some even might have the meter hacked to charge you high amounts. It’s better if you get an estimate before leaving. Also, some taxi drivers pass counterfeit money to tourists, either when giving you back your change or just getting your ARS 100 bill, exchanging it for a fake one, then ask you for another bill and you end up with 10 fake bills (this is not so common, but better safe than sorry).

● Locals are not used to see counterfeit money often, but some scammers target tourists. If you need to tell whether a bill (bills are 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100) is a counterfeit, look at the top left corner (bottom left in the newest 100 bill) and see the ink that changes color from emerald green to dark blue by looking at it from different angles. If it doesn’t change colors, it’s a fake. http://www.bcra.gov.ar/bilmon/bm000000.asp (Examples of the bills, only those in right column are current, the ones in left column are no longer in circulation).

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Local Game Stores

The following are some of the local game stores that are located in Capital Federal. Make sure to contact the store in order to see whether they are organizing any event on that day. Friday Night Magic events are held at 19:00.

● La Batikueva
Lope de Vega 486, Villa Luro
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/la.batikueva?fref=ts

● Dima Games
Avellaneda 907, Caballito
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/groups/498282106872627/?fref=ts

● 2de6
Vera 692, Villa Crespo
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/pages/2de6/45873081219

● Urza Comics
Bermudez 1899, Devoto.
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/urza.comics

● Muy Lejano
Elcano 2998, Belgrano
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/muylejano.comics?fref=ts

● Dominaria Comics (Tournament Organizer of Grand Prix Buenos Aires)
Avenida Maipú 2265, Olivos
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dominaria-Comics/257634360947994?fref=ts

● Sekai Games
Tucuman 980, Capital Federal
Facebook contact: https://www.facebook.com/SekaiGames?fref=ts

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Currency exchange

The official exchange rate is around 1 USD = 8 ARS (Pesos argentinos). Be sure to exchange only the the amount you plan to spend, since it will be impossible to exchange back to another currency. At the airport, try to make a small exchange (at the airport “Banco Nación” is recommended), at least for covering the transportation fee, near the staff hostel you will find lots of currency exchange houses.

On Florida street, you might encounter some people offering to exchange dollars to pesos at a higher price. They are informally known as “Arbolitos” (“little trees”, due to the fact that dollars are green like tree leaves, and that they are standing in the middle of the street). Though they might at times offer you a better price (either by exchanging directly with them or more likely redirecting you towards a store) than currency exchange houses, avoid making transactions with these people, since this is exchanging in the black market (there’s a risk of getting scammed).

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Useful Links

● Map of Buenos Aires, provided by the city government’s webpage: http://mapa.buenosaires.gov.ar/

● Additional information about Buenos Aires: http://wikitravel.org/en/Buenos_aires

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Courtesy of:

● Alejandro Raggio

● Julio Sosa

● Claudio Nieva

● Pablo Paolo

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