Ladies and gentleman, it gets hot during Bueno Aires Summers. The average temperatures aren’t that high, but something about this gorgeous city makes you feel like you’re constantly on the verge of melting. This isn’t meant to deter you. If you’re not a fan of the heat, that is no reason to avoid Buenos Aires. There are plenty of ways to stay cool when you find yourself touring Buenos Aires during the summer.
The Buenos Aires Bus
First, regardless of what time of year you visit, the Buenos Aires Bus is perfect for tourists. It covers nearly every neighborhood you’ll want to visit, with unlimited access all day. There are over thirty stops, and each one has sites worth stopping by. Just be warned, most of the seating is on the upper deck, and not all buses have shade up there. Bring your sunscreen and sunglasses, otherwise you’ll be begging to get off at the very next stop.
Experience the Tango in Plaza Dorrego
Another quintessential activity in Buenos Aires is watching the magnificent tango dancers. This is a great summer activity because most of the best shows happen well after the sun has set. Argentinians tend to have late dinners, and stay out even later, so enjoying the sunless hours is easier here than it is in the US. It is worth noting that I found the concept of siestas to be less popular in this metropolis than in other areas around Argentina.
My favorite place to catch a tango show is in Plaza Dorrego. The plaza is a large open area, with tables filling nearly all the free space. The tables are all owned by restaurants in the neighborhood, and they gladly offer full menus and a variety of drink specials. Then, as you’re enjoying your meal, different performers will take advantage of the only areas without tables to treat you to a tango performance. I much prefer this type of atmosphere than some of the more rigid performances. You can arrive when you want to, and leave as you want to, and no matter what, you’re guaranteed to see an amazing show. The performers will pass a hat when they finish, so be sure to have cash to tip them.
The Sunday Market
Also in Plaza Dorrego is a Sunday market that cannot be missed. As you’re strolling the plaza and the streets surrounding, you’ll find everything from art to antiques. You’ll also find fashionable clothing and accessories, as well as all the touristy t-shirts you could ever want. The only thing I did not love about the market was how difficult it was for me to decide which one small thing I wanted to take home with me. I eventually decided on an art piece that I saw earlier in the day, but by that point it was midday and I was not hiking back through the entire market for it. Learn from my mistakes, if you love something buy it. You won’t find anything like it again. Each vendor is incredibly talented and unique. It also gets crowded, and it is another huge opportunity to get sunburnt, so bring the sunscreen and expect to be warm for a few hours.
Live Vibrantly in La Boca
La Boca is another neighborhood that is definitely worth visiting. The vibrant colors scream, “summer,” in my mind, and the restaurants with wide open windows make for a great place for a cool lunch. This neighborhood is popular for tourists, and you’ll find plenty of artists selling their wares in the streets, as well as the PROA art gallery. This is one of those places that makes you want to become an artist, just so you can be featured amongst the beauty of the neighborhood. One word of caution though, this has become a popular place for pickpockets and other crimes targeted at tourists. As you should in all places, keep your wits about you when visiting.
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Lately I’ve been working on a blog post all about #buenosaires that should be up this week. Going through my photos has been making me really excited, mostly because everything about Buenos Aires was vibrant and beautiful. This is a photo of #LaBoca, a neighborhood known for its intense colors, good food, a super popular soccer stadium, and beautiful artwork.
La Recoleta Cemetery
When you’re ready to step away from the bustle of the city, which I’m convinced makes things feel even hotter, La Recoleta Cemetery is a beautiful way to pass a few hours. Similar to the cemeteries in New Orleans, all the tombs are above ground. Each site is laid out in perfect rows, making it feel like a small city. It is easy to get lost though, so if that happens I recommend going in one direction until you find the wall that borders the entire cemetery. Then you can follow that to the exit. They also host tours, for those that want to learn more about the individual sites.
Support a Local Fútbol Team
Another evening activity that is not to be missed catching a fútbol game. Soccer is starting to gain more traction in the United States, but I have never experienced any sporting event that even compares to an Argentinian fútbol match. The closest comparison I can think of, simply in terms of the crowd density and their incessant spirit, would be if Big 10 football were combined with the 2004 World Series. And I just went to a regular season game.
The players are phenomenal, and it is really easy for even a soccer newbie to get into it. We stood in the River Plate section, and I swear, I have never felt so swept up into a crowd. I don’t speak Spanish, so I had understood little of what was being said around me, but when something went wrong on the pitch, which, similar to American soccer, was almost always the referee’s fault, you could taste the frustration and anguish on the air. My heart leapt with every amazing save by our goalie, and felt like I was being lifted out of the stands when we managed to score. This was a great place to experience the less traditional, but very much authentic parts of Buenos Aires. And as an added bonus, the view from El Monumental Stadium is incredible, as you can see above.
Cool Down at Parque Norte
Situated right around the corner from the stadium is Parque Norte. This is truly the ultimate escape for when the heat of Buenos Aires becomes too much. There are three huge pools, available to the public for a small fee. It is a very popular spot, so don’t expect a quiet, calm, pool day. You can however expect the cool, blue pools to be the best way to cool off. Another interesting bit is that the park is incredibly close to the airport, so planes fly over you all day. I enjoyed watching them as they flew above, appearing like they could land in one of the pools. I spent hours cooling off, enjoying the music, and watching the planes pass.
If you find yourself going traveling to Buenos Aires in the heart of their summers, please don’t dismay. You’ll still be able to get out to see the beauty this city has to offer, and I certainly discovered some invaluable tips for cooling down when it all gets to be too much. I found myself falling in love with Buenos Aires, and I hope you do too.