Saturday, March 15, 2008

Buenos Aires





Did you see THIS article?

Oh, Argentina.

If our depressed dollar is making it impossible for you to justify the expense of a vacation to Rome or Paris, go now to Expedia and book your tickets to Buenos Aires. I went for 6 days last summer. Tickets were $900 round trip, I paid about $350 for my hotel for 5 nights, and I probably didn't spend more than $450 for the whole week on everything else.

A meal that would cost you $150 in NY is about $35 in Buenos Aires.

The city used to be one of the most expensive, but their own financial crisis several years ago means the city is a bargain now, and artists, developers, and travelers are flocking to BA now.

I tell people that if Paris, New York, and the blighted cities of the 3rd world had a baby, it would be Buenos Aires. It's beautiful like Paris, run down in other parts, and mind blowingly chic in the newer neighborhoods like Palermo Viejo and Palermo SoHo.

Don't speak Spanish? Neither do I. And I went alone, so if I can do it, you can do it. But it would be better to go with friends, especially design-loving friends who want to see the best of what's new in this city. I will tell you this: you don't have to do the things everyone tells you to do. I didn't see any tango. I focused my time on the San Telmo Flea Market (click HERE to read all about it), the restaurants, the food, and the shopping. The Wallpaper guide to BA plus a DK guide to the city are all you need. And a map. Get a map with street numbers, that's very important in BA. Everything else is pretty easy. And cheap.


Links:

Home Hotel
Home hotel.
Bar 6
MALBA
Buquebus, the ferry you need to take to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay



Color in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, just 1 hour from Buenos Aires


Cobblestone in Colonia, a UNECO World Heritage site.


Posada Plaza Mayor, great place to stay in Colonia, in the heart of the historic town.


The tough neighborhood of Boca. This is also the soccer team you will want to root for.


I gave up looking for Eva Peron's grave. But it's right around here... somewhere.






Coffee and lunch at Matt's. Everyone goes to Matt's.


Get your shop on in the Palermo neighborhoods.


The shopping is as good as that of NYC. Photos courtesy of gaysofourlives.com




The boys of Gays of Our Lives , hanging out at Home hotel.


16 comments:

Jules said...

Dec, you're killing me. I've been trying to find tickets to go back for my grandma's 87th b-day in August. I can't find anything cheaper than $1300. How did you find $900? For the 4 of us, including hotel and food, and [ahem] shopping, I can't make the numbers dip below $8-9k. What am I doing wrong?

mariposa said...

jules, you can find $900. from miami or nyc. sometimes that $900. price does not include taxes, so that jacks up the price. it does cost a ton to get there, but it is so worth it. don't stay in a hotel. check tango links, because alot of tango folks rent really great apartments way cheaper than hotels (and you can cook - the supermarkets are fantastic). i am taking a small, personal size (and discrete) tango tour group there april 16-26. i just had a cancellation with room for 2. anyone want to come? contact mizvtheb@planet-tango.com
great photos and article from madame decorno! y felice cumlpi aƱos para de abuela de jules :-)

Decorno said...

Jules - I went in the off season (May). $1300 for now probably isn't too bad. Make yourself feel better by pricign tickets to Istanbul. Or Malta. That always helps. :)

Mariposa is right... you're going to have to fork it over to get there, but once you're there, you'll hardly spend any money. It's a dirt-cheap vacation considering how far away you are going. Charge the tickets. You only live once.

Jules said...

We were supposed to go last year, and we even booked an apartment like Mariposa suggested. Unfortunately, we couldn't go at the last minute and we lost the money for the apartment. We are going with my mom (she goes there all the time to visit family and for her work) and she wants a hotel because she doesn't want to cook or clean while she's there. ;) That wouldn't be a problem, but she's saying it's going to be minimum $200/night and we want to be there 10 days.

I've got to make this work, because I want my grandma to meet my kids. :)

Mari--I'm in so-cal, so no NYC/Miami for me! We usually travel through TX. :)

Decorno said...

Hmm... I would still get an apt and just tell you mom that it's cheaper for you all to eat in restaurants and cafes (it will be, believe me). You can rent an apt there for a whole month for about $800, so the $200 USD a night is a bit rich. You may as well stay at Faena for that money. :)

As for the cleaning, ask if any of the apt rental agencies will let you add that on to your visit. You can totally make it happen.

Jules said...

Hah! :)

My mom likes La Naciones. Faena, at $425/night, sounds just like the place to go with a toddler and preschooler. ;)

Forever Chic said...

Ooh, Decorno, you are SORELY tempting me. Last night I was mulling over vacation spots - somewhat depressing considering the weak dollar. However, I did think of Buenos Aires, and this post confirms it may be the perfect getaway spot for me!

Anonymous said...

I just cancelled my trip to Paris...I can afford to get there but that's about it. Sad :-(

blogazar said...

I love this post! Thanks for sharing :)

librelife said...

I just returned Friday from BA and stayed at the Home Hotel. I was going to post on it on my neglected, boring blog as soon as I got my act together. We also went over to Colonia one day. Fantastic trip. Definitely a feast for the eyes. I have about a gamillion pics of the doors, windows and buildings from this town. Gorgeous.

How did you get pics inside Mercer? I was bowled over by that store, but they only let me take pics from outside.

The hotel and the staff were wonderful.

Decorno said...

I didn't take those photos of Mercer... I stole them from the boys at Gays of Our Lives. :)

I think their superfab gay superpowers allowed them to breeze in and get snapshots that we couldn't get.

librelife said...

I sent the link to my husband and he pointed that out too. I was quickly breezing through the post in awe of the pics and not actually reading apparently.

Plus, I made the stupid mistake of asking if I could take a photo. It really is a stunning store. We did not even look at the merchandise. It was like some fantazy bazzar in Morroco.

mariposa said...

for those who want to see another inside shot of mercer, check out visual vamp blogspot

librelife said...

I forgot to add in previous comments the way we were able to swing the airfare was to use our miles. Made the trip extra cheap, but you do have to look in advance to get the dates you prefer for the lowest miles.
Also I have read several places recently that Tunisia is another travel bargain spot. We are eager to make that trip...maybe next year? Thailand or Laos is supposed to be easy on the wallet too.

librelife said...

I forgot to add in previous comments the way we were able to swing the airfare was to use our miles. Made the trip extra cheap, but you do have to look in advance to get the dates you prefer for the lowest miles.
Also I have read several places recently that Tunisia is another travel bargain spot. We are eager to make that trip...maybe next year? Thailand or Laos is supposed to be easy on the wallet too.

David said...

I went last October - Flew into Santiago, Chile and took a bus over the Andes to Mendoza, Argentina (wine country) and then a bus to Buenos Aires and flew back from there. The trip of a lifetime. The food, the people, the sites - everything was excellent; (except for my partners wallet being snatched on the subway on the way to the airport) Like you said you can't beat the prices and the best steak you will ever have - period.