Looking to explore the ‘Land of Silver’? Well then, here are just a few suggestions to kickstart your itinerary. Granted, Buenos Aires is the renowned capital city of the country and can hold its own in attracting tourists the world over. But today, we’ll be looking at another city, in an Argentinian province. A city that might just be criminally underrated as it is beautiful and wholesome.
The easiest way to get around this lively city is to use public transportation; the bus and/or the tram (called mendotran). The fare costs 70 ARS (Argentine pesos). Use the “Mendotran” app for further transport guidance. There is also the ride app called “Cabify” just like Grab or Uber, but uses only cars. If you do take this route and use the app you can use the code LAILR216 for 30% off on your next 5 rides. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy!
Sure, you can you just hotel or AirBnB it (All landlords and hosts in Argentina prefer cash payment in $USD), but where’s the fun in that? If you really wanna save money & soak up the city experience, why not stay in hostels and guesthouses? My top recommendations are the: Gorilla Hostel, Panda Hostel Mendoza & Fuxia Hostel for around 10 – 15 USD a night for one bunk bed. But if you’d like more privacy, you can check out the one bedroom per night for 20+ USD depending on the season.
Bucket List (and most are free!)
Start off your South American swig by visiting the Parque General San Martin & Plaza Independencia. Afterward, you can head straight for the Basílica de San Francisco Church and Museo del Area Fundacional for a dose of local history. Although, you might wanna save the latter for Wednesday, as it’s free entry on that day. Just get there within their opening hours (open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 7 PM & Sundays and holidays from 2 PM to 7 PM)
Next up, join the free walking tour of the city. More info can be found here.
If you’re more of a foodie, you can sample local cuisines along Avenue Las Heras, which is teeming with restaurants and cafes! There is also a food court in Mercado Central where they sell empanadas, seafood paella, calamars, pizzas, burgers, local pastries, and hotdogs. A trip that you, your companions & belly will surely appreciate!
Up for something a little more physical? Why not try some of these soul-invigorating activities? Bonus: they can be done for free! For starters, you can rope a bunch of friends to hike with you up the Hill of Glory — Cerro de la Gloria or the Andes Mountains such as Cerro Arco or Mount Aconcagua.
Don’t feel like much of a hiker? Maybe biking is more up your alley. You can bike the wine routes in beautiful vineyards around Argentina. Although there are paid tours that take you on the wine routes, nothing’s stopping you from renting a bike and doing it on your own. Additionally, many wineries offer free tastings and tours, and biking is an affordable and fun way to see the vineyards and enjoy the scenery. Bike rentals are offered in places like Maipu Bikes or Wine and Ride. Wanna catch your breath (quite literally)? Get a bird’s eye view (literally 360 degrees!) of the city in Terraza Jardín Mirador. It is an absolute must-see!
Neck-deep in Culture
If you’re more of a culture vulture, then be sure to check out the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno. Admissions are free, but donations are welcome. Or Museo de Ciencias Naturales y Antropológicas Juan Cornelio Moyano [Free entry]. Since they are both art and science museums, they have something to offer everyone. A little bit of something for all ages and all preferences. You can also attend live events including festivals, concerts, and theater performances. Check local listings at www.entradaweb.com.ar to check if there’s free or any paid entry you’re interested in.
Lastly, to truly immerse yourself in Argentine culture, what better way than to practice speaking their language? To help you with that, be sure to join Spanglish events. These events are where you can practice your Spanish from English in a relaxed and informal setting; usually in cafes and/or restaurants. Furthermore, you’re able to meet new people. Spanglish (Spanish-English) is held every Tuesday at 9:30 PM onwards at El Container Bar (location could change) or every Wednesday, same time at Believe Irish Pub and La Parlote (French-English-Spanish) every Tuesday at 8:00 PM onwards at Unión Cervecera, the meet up is free of charge, you’ll just need to pay for your own drinks/food.
Please do bear in mind that most of the aforementioned activities — from the getting around, the boisterous physical adventures to being in culture — are done in the Spanish language, so you’ll definitely need to brush up & master basic phrases to fully relish the experience.