Buenos Aires through the eyes of European

Caminito by Qu1m

I am well aware of the problems and risks of the one story approach toward anything, yet it was difficult for me to expect anything but a dirty city full of beggars and dangerous as hell. A place where being a tourist means that you will be routinely robbed and quite possibly hurt. Well, I am glad, that I was wrong and in a way I fell in love with Buenos Aires meanwhile.

What I remember most now after a week or so are the walks around the reconstructed railway nearby the famous rose garden with having an occassional beer or two in the pubs there. There is also a great carousel with two floors, which you can board even as adults. So that was definitely the thing to go for.

Old Carousel

As I was attending milongas throughout the city I needed to travel a lot. This turned to be a bit of an issue as I don’t really speak Spanish and the taxi drivers didn’t really speak any other language. But quite early I figured out that it isn’t much of an issue as there is Uber available in Buenos Aires and apart of the fact that the first driver who accepts your order usually cancels it, the application worked quite well and wasn’t too expensive.

I was also trying the public transportation, this includes buses, subway and trains. For public transportation it is necessary to buy a Subte card. You can buy this card at any subway station, you don’t need any ID and it costs 25 ARS. Then you put some money on the card and whenever you board any of the vehicles you provide the card and relevant money are deducted, usually between 6 and 12 ARS. I also didn’t encounter any problem in the public transportation and wasn’t robbed, even though I look as a rather obvious tourist.

Exchange of foreign currency. There is no need to choose any other than official way to exchange pessos at the moment. This may change in the future but the courses you get at official banks and ATMs are good enough and you risk less with respect to being provided with falsificates for the money. It is possible to exchange the USD and EUR at least on the airport before leaving to the arrivals hall and the courses are just fine there. If you prefer ATM, it is possible to withdraw something like 3500ARS for a payment of 205ARS, which also isn’t that expensive. If you prefer haggling it is often possible to pay with dollars or Euros in the shops and receive pessos in exchange. It is now also possible mostly to pay via debit card, though it is usually possible only with VISA, anything else is often unaccepted.

It is still very uncommon for even young people there to speak english. So really learn at least basics of the spanish or get yourselves a translator. Without the language plenty of things become more complicated and uncomfortable even though the local people were usually friendly and willing to help.

One of the paintings I encountered

One of the things I liked about just walking through the Buenos Aires was the amount of spray paintings on the buildings. Lots of these paintings were really beatifull and totally worth having on facade. One of the ones I loved most is the one shown on the image above.

What I was also quite surprised of is quality of the beer. I am from Czechia and we are proud of having the best beer in the world (It doesn’t have to be true, but it really is good). And the beers, even the pilseners here were quite ok. They were a bit bitter and not too sweet. The only sad thing is the price which was like 3 times of the same beer in Prague. As I am already talking about drinks, the steaks there are really good, they are comparably inexpensive and the taste is toatlly worth it.

The main reason I came to the Buenos Aires was to explore the world of the Tango there. I am not sure what I expected before the trip, but I definitely got something else. At first I probably expected that the tango will be a bigger thing in BA, but it was more like a hidden hobby for a few enthusiasts. There are more tango enthusiasts in BA then in Prague, for sure, but the venues were often somewhat hidden and evoced more the past than something living in present.

La Glorieta milonga

In a way I really felt as if I came to a nostalgic movie from the time long past, where the people would like to capture moments that doesn’t exist anymore. And honestly I didn’t like it. I prefer the current moment extending to future as the age to live in, I am not keen for any time in past including my own past. Also on plenty of milongas I felt like unwelcome intruder, which didn’t really help to enjoy them.

Anyway it was a very interesting experience and I am rather sure I needed it. To understand a bit about the culture where tango developed and still lives even though differently than I originally thought.



I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.

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Jakub Balhar

I always try to find answers to the complex questions. Now exploring the world of Mainframes in the Broadcom inc.