We just spent a quick weekend in Buenos Aires, and it was a very nice change from everyday life in Montevideo. Since we've been there before and have already explored Recoleta and some of Palermo, a few highlights and notable details of this trip are:
Buquebus: We took the Buquebus shuttle from Tres Cruces bus Terminal in Montevideo to Colonia, then the ferry from Colonia to Buenos Aires. This is more economical than the direct ferry from MVD to BsAs (and had a departure on Saturday AM instead of PM), but the journey takes longer. Because of the weather on Friday and into Saturday, I'm happy we did it this way. The winds were strong and as a result, the waters choppy.
Note: Do not expect to be able to get Argentine pesos at the Buquebus terminal in Buenos Aires. The Cambio was closed on Saturday morning and the ATM's were not working. Exchange your money in Montevideo so you don't have to waste time in Buenos Aires- because there are no banks, cambios or cajeros near the Buquebus terminal.
Hotel: We stayed at a gorgeous little hotel in an out of the way area. The Lola House is rated 6 on tripadvisor.com out of 341 hotels in Buenos Aires and I can't say enough good things about it. The rates were excellent and we were treated like royalty. The Subte (subway) stop is just a few blocks away and you can be in downtown near Calle Florida within about 10 minutes. Taxis are also very inexpensive, but it will take longer to get across town than via the subway.
Starbucks: You knew this was coming, right? We stopped not once, but twice in 24 hours. The baristas were wonderfully personable, remembering our names from the day before and even giving us free milk for Geneva. Not that I like the wastefulness of take-away cups, but man, this was really good.
Feria San Telmo: A fantastic mix of antique vendors and artisans with food and beverage peddlers, street performers and tango demonstrations mixed in. It's a little touristy, but stay, eat and wait for the tourists to leave, there is samba drumming and tango dancing all evening long. Takes place every Sunday south of downtown, on Calle Defensa between Av San Juan and Plaza de Mayo. We had a great time wandering and people watching.
We also dropped in to see a FABULOUS boutique hotel that Brad has been booking for his clients on the opposite side of town from where we stayed. We'll definitely try this place out on one of our next trips to BsAs- and I'll write about it then. Contact us if you want to learn more right now.
After living simply for the past 6 months- and loving it- we were both surprised how our consumerism nature came rushing back when faced with all the material things not available in Montevideo. Other than coffee and food, we bought a few personal care items and an inexpensive handmade bag at the San Telmo market, but thankfully we were strong and that was it for the purchases.
24 hours in Buenos Aires is not nearly enough time. I can't wait to get back. With a metro area of 13 million people, there is so much to explore!!