Buenos Aires Argentina Travel Photos
Florida Street, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, Obelisk, Puerto Madero Marina, Shopping: All these come to mind when I think of Buenos Aires. It's one of the world's most exciting cities, with historic buildings, great shopping and friendly people.
I'd started my South American trip in Santiago Chile, then traveled south to Ushuaia Argentina, north via Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls, taking in a gaucho barbecue tour, Recoleta; and a side trip to Montevideo, Uruguay. Here are some pictures of Buenos Aires in summer.
Avenida 9 De Julio Obelisk ~ Heart of Buenos Aires Argentina
Since my Buenos Aires city map was laid out with west at the top instead of the customary north, this landmark Obelisco (Obelisk) over the vendor's shoulder kept me from getting lost.
My hotel (the Bristol) was only a block away. The Obelisk is in the middle of the 16 or so lanes of traffic that make up Avenue 9 De Julio, billed as the World's Widest Street (425 feet (130 meters), which runs north-south.
Portenos, as Buenos Aires inhabitants are know in Argentina, are quick to point out that the width of Av 9 De Julio includes two parallel streets.
Most of the pedestrian crosswalks over the various lanes are controlled by street lights, but for a few of them weren't.
In those cases, I waited for someone who looked like he knew what he was doing, and crossed with them.
The center boulevard is given to parkland, where vendors would set out tables to sell their wares, or students would gather.
There are a number of restaurants, coffee bars and shops along the streets in this area, as well as other hotels, and three McDonald's.
Buenos Airies Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall Florida Street
From the Bristol Hotel Buenos Aires, it took me about 15 minutes to walk across Avenue 9 De Julio from the hotel, and another four blocks to Calle Florida (Florida Street, which is largely pedestrian mall for about one mile.
I took this picture near one of the entrances to the Galerias Pacifico.
The mall shops are lovely, high end as you'd expect for this area of Buenos Aires, and there is a fabulous food court, where I made it a point to lunch on strip loin steaks served with potatoes and salad sides with typical Argentina sauces for about $6 USD.
The pedestrian mall outside on Florida Street is lined with stores selling all manner of typical Argentina goods -- sidewalk touts lure one and all to come see the 'cashmere' and leather clothes.
I finally worked out that 'cashmere' is a generic term for wool, not the fine hair from the goats. There are a number of places to eat or get a cup of coffee close by.
English is sporadically spoken, so a Spanish phrasebook is handy to have with you (see the Books page for one and for some suggested guidebooks).
Edificios Aguas Argentinas ~ Argentina Water Building Buenos Aires
I first saw this building from a Buenos Aires shuttle bus window. As the driver stopped at a traffic light, I looked out the window and there it was, gleaming with a thousand colors, it seemed, in the early morning light.
As I was the only passenger, I moved up to the front to ask the driver what is was.
"That's the Argentina Water Building," he said. "I think it's the most beautiful building in Buenos Aires."
As soon as I had the chance, I looked it up on my trusty Buenos Aires tourist map, and headed out to take a picture.
It's located about 10 blocks west from the Obelisk, on Riobamba between Av Cordoba and Av Tucoman, though it occupies most of a city block.
I arrived here around 1 p.m., when, unlike my first early-morning sighting, the light is not the best for the colors.
I learned it was built in 1884, with subsequent additons. The detailing is wonderful. If you go, please make time to see it.
Colonial Buildings Plaza De Mayo ~ Buenos Aires Argentina
From the Obelisk on Avenida 9 De Julio, head southeast on Av. Pte. Roque Saenz Paena, which leads straight to the Plaza De Mayo.
It's a good idea to keep abreast of local news as the Plaza de Mayo is a hotspot for all manner of demonstrations.
If there's been any current contentious issue, then, as a visitor, do avoid it on those occasions.
About 6 square blocks on the west side of the plaza contains many old colonial buildings, including several large churches and convents.
Avenue de 9 Julio ~ World's Widest Street ~ Buenos Aires Argentina
I stopped 'in the middle of the street' to take this picture.
One day, as I passed, there were about 15 men dressed in what I think were traditional gaucho outfits, though they looked too stylish to be work clothing.
They simply stood silently all in a row, facing the Obelisk.
Another day, three chatting nuns, arms linked and carrying white canes, tap-tapped their way across the lanes of traffic.
And once, two young men went rushing about plastering every surface with posters full of angry lettering. The next morning, when I asked my guide to come translate them for me, all the signs had been removed.
Casa Rosada ~ Casa de Gobierno ~ Evita's 'Home' Buenos Airies
On the east side of Plaza de Mayo (or south, on my confusingly laid-out tourism map) is the famously pink Casa Rosada.
I'd come upon it from the east, and so I first saw its front facade, shown in the picture here.
These days, the governor makes his residence elsewhere. There are free guided tours in English on Fridays at 4 p.m., says my Lonely Planet Argentina guide.
Casa Rosada Rear Balcony View Buenos Aires Landmark
This picture shows the balcony at the back of the Casa Rosada palace that overlooks the Plaza de Mayo.
Breathe there a soul so dead that can stand here under the balconies and NOT sing, even to him- or herself . . .
Don't Cry For Me, Argentina! with visions of Evita (or Madonna)?
Not I, but I was quiet about it, and on this Saturday noon hour, there were few people about.
We tourists all had cameras; the locals were further into the Plaza, feeding the pigeons. The pink color of Casa Rosada is reputedly most brilliant at sunset, the slanting golden light making the walls glow!
Plaza De Mayo Buenos Aires Argentina
Like any plaza worthy of the name, Plaza De Mayo home to a large array of pigeons.
As well as Casa Rosada, the Plaza de Mayo is overlooked by the Cabildo (town council), and the Cathedral Metropolitana.
Thursdays at 3:30 p.m., Las Madres de la Plaza De Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo) march here, protesting Dirty War atrocities.
Florida Street Buenos Aires Shopping
From the Obelisk / Bristol Hotel area, I walked four blocks east on Avenue Corrientes (which intersects with Avenida 9 de Julio at the Obeslisk itself).
From Florida Street, a largely pedestrian mall runs another 4 to 5 blocks.
Buenos Aires Busker on Florida Street near Galerias Pacifico
The fellow (his back is to the camera) created this sand sculpture in the center of the pedestrian mall outside the Galerias Pacifico.
Before I could take the picture, I had to pay a few pesos.
Inside Galerias Pacifico, you'll also find the Centro Cultural Borges, and on weekend evenings, a free tango show.
When you enter, look up. The vaulted ceilings are covered in wonderful murals.
Plaza Libertador Gral. San Martin Buenos Aires
This plaza with flowering jacaranda trees is located near where Florida Street ends, in this area called Retiro.
This area is well suited for visitors, as it is close to a number of good hotels, as well as shopping and attractions, the domestic airport and the ferry terminal.
The Buenos Aires Four Seasons Hotel is located a few blocks north, in the upscale Recoleta area, with its carpeted sidewalks, trendy restaurants and Evita Peron's grave.
Buenos Aires New Barrio Puerto Madero Argentina
Newer and trendy Puerto Madero is only a few blocks south from Casa Rosada
|Had I checked my map the first time, I could have saved myself another walk.
Restaurants and condos line the marina area.
From the Obelisk, it's a nice. roughly circular walk to Florida Street, then down the mall to the Plaza Libertador, then southeast to Puerto Madero.
From there, go northwest past Casa Rosado and Plaza De Mayo to the Obeslisk. There are plenty of spots for snacks and meals along the way.
Promenade at Puerto Madero Buenos Aires Argentina
As well as upscale restaurants (most with outdoor seating areas), many older port buildings in this area of Buenos Aires are seeing new life as lofts.
The Constanera Ecological Park is across the canal from here, and acts as a green buffer between the city and the Rio de la Plata that separates Argentina from Uruguay.
Puerto Madero Marina in Buenos Aires Argentina
I took this photo from one of the bridges spanning the Puerto Madero canal at wide intervals. This view is looking back towards Florida Street area.
Casa Rosada is to the left of this view, about 3 blocks distant.
The green space (to the right) begins a few blocks east of here.
The Retiro Estacion (Station) is almost straight ahead (it's across the street from the Plaza Libertador/ end of Florida Street).
Look for the landmark, solitary Torre de Los Ingleses (English Tower) to keep your bearings.
An Evening of Tango and Dinner
La Ventana Tango Show (basically, a dinner theatre) offers two shows/night:
One show starts at 8 p.m.; The other at 10:30 p.m. (I recommend attending the early show if you have an early departure the next morning).
In the hour or so before each seating, legions of tour buses and vans dominate the surrounding streets, but the line-up moves fast.
A documentary film about Tango plays during the meal service, which is done with admirable precision and speed.
The stage show itself is quite wonderful, and the costumes are gorgeous. Sit back and enjoy!
Rose Onyx at a Florida Street Shop Buenos Aires Argentina
The window display for one of the upscale shops near where Florida Street ends opposite the Plaza Libertador fairly gleamed with these rose colored onyx pieces.
(I used the polarizing filter to shoot through the plate glass so avoid reflections.)
Nearby shops sell semi-precious gemstone jewellery pieces. Check for the best selection and prices.
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