As the country struggles to boost tourism after the arab spring, all eyes are on the thriving resort of El Gouna.
Teatro Colón’s Centro Experimental
It didn’t take long for the newly renovated Teatro Colón to regain its standing as one of the city’s must-see attractions. Considered to be one of the best concert venues in the world for the quality of its acoustics and impressive architecture, it has hosted figures such as Richard Strauss, Enrico Caruso, and Maria Callas. But not many visit its Centro Experimental, which has operated from the building’s basement since the 1990s, staging innovative performances that are difficult to imagine in this classic theater. For example, this year the Centro presents a tribute to John Cage and a play by local playwright Fernando Rubio.
Mercado Sabe la Tierra
An escape to northern Buenos Aires province is always a comforting and relaxing break from the urban chaos of the city, especially if it includes a visit to the Mercado Sabe la Tierra, located at the San Fernando station of the Tren de la Costa. (The train is worth spending a day on, and it’s rewarding to stop off along the way, especially at San Isidro and Tigre.) The market is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering products that are organic and natural, as well as a variety of workshops and activities. The market presents a good opportunity to practice yoga, partake of a percussion workshop, and buy what you need to prepare a healthy banquet.
Come see the work of greats such as Frida Kahlo, Antonio Berni, Diego Rivera, and Xul Solar. The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, or MALBA, open since 2001, continues to be one of the best places to get a panoramic view of the most representative Latin American art. It’s best to spend an afternoon viewing the permanent collection as well as the temporary exhibits of great artists from all over the world; even then, you are likely to want to extend your visit. Check out the museum’s cinema, where not-to-be-missed classic and independent new films are screened.
Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415; malba.org.ar/web/home_eng.php
Symbols of and references to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy fill this formidable, eye-catching building located along Avenida de Mayo. Its 22 floors, for instance, are divided into three sections: Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. And there is a rotating lighthouse at the top, which is turned on for special occasions, that represents Dante’s Empyrean. Built between 1919 and 1923 by the architect Mario Palanti, the Palacio Barolo is a mixture of neo-Romantic and neo-Gothic styles. Besides enjoying its unparalleled city views, you can also take advantage of guided tours to learn about the Palacio’s history; afterward stroll down to the legendary Café Tortoni (Avenida de Mayo 825 ), where Jorge Luis Borges used to have his own table.
Avenida de Mayo 1370; www.xochimilco.df.gob.mx/turismo
Walk down the alleys of the Cementerio de Chacarita (Chacarita Cemetery), and you are bound to find the statue of legendary tango singer Carlos Gardel, which almost always has a lit cigarette in its motionless hand—an offering from an admirer. A visit to this eternal resting place can be a melancholy experience, but also interesting. Impressive mausoleums and gargoyles intertwine with the tombs of famous figures, such as the pianist and tango composer Osvaldo Pugliese, the poet Alfonsina Storni, and the painter Benito Quinquela Martín. Then, lift your spirits with a few slices of pizza and fainá (farinata) at Imperio, across from the train station.
Avenidas Corrientes and Federico Lacroze
The boca neighborhood, with its traditional street museum, Caminito, and the Boca Juniors stadium, La Bombonera, is one of Buenos Aires’s top attractions for tourists and locals alike. Fundación PROA, a contemporary art center, is one of the newest jewels in the area. Exhibits, cultural lectures, a bookshop, and a café invite visitors to relax and take in Fundación PROA’s cultural offerings, such as the exhibit presently on display, Pop, realismos y política. Brasil–Argentina (Pop, Realism and Politics. Brazil–Argentina).
Avenida Pedro de Mendoza 1929; proa.org
Hipódromo de San Isidro
A packed schedule of races attracts hundreds of horse lovers to this hippodrome to place their bets. For those who are not particularly knowledgeable about equestrian competition, the passionate and excited atmosphere that is created around the grass track may prove an atypical entertainment. At the hippodrome’s website you can download a betting guide as well as an equestrian glossary to help you with Spanish terms such as chaquetilla (jockey jacket) and palafrenero (the horse’s groom).
Avenida Márquez 504, San Isidro; hipodromosanisidro.com
Take a stroll along this classic Buenos Aires avenue, which leads to an iconic 61-meter obelisk and is lined with the city’s major theaters, but don’t miss stopping for a good slice of pizza from Güerrín, Banchero, or Las Cuartetas. Each pizzeria is imbued with years of tradition, and diners either take a table or enjoy their pizza standing at the bar, along with a draft beer.
People in line for a table at this picturesque 125-year-old eatery in the Almagro neighborhood, where imposing stained-glass windows remain intact. Teatime is when most people drop by; the service includes delicacies such as Torta Leguisamo, a cake with dulce de leche, meringue, and almond cream. You can also buy sweets to go at the shop, including the traditional panettone, a local favorite.
Avenida Rivadavia 3899, at the corner with Medrano; lasvioletas.com
Club Atlético Fernández Fierro
The Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro is a tango band of international renown, characterized by its modern style. And the Club Atlético Fernández Fierro (CAFF) is the performance space this group created to present its own shows and provide other local musicians with a place to play. Check out the concert listings and enjoy a typical Buenos Aires night out, with first-rate music, a glass of wine, and a few empanadas.
Sánchez de Bustamante 764; caff .com.ar
Paul Theroux looks at his hometown after the marathon bombing and finds the mood of the city transformed.