You’re in Buenos Aires now. Linger over coffee after your meal. There’s no rush. The waiter is not going to slap the check on the table while you’re still chewing on your food. This is also part of the meal and we call it sobremesa. Relax. Enjoy. Bond with your companions.
Don’t fret over tips. Tips are expected in the service industry, of course. Tips are about 10 to 15% of the total charge. If you make a small purchase, like a cup of coffee, round it up and leave the change. The same goes for taxis; drivers don’t expect tips. If you’re feeling generous, round it up and tell them to keep the change, “Quédese con el vuelto”.
Crossing the streets of Buenos Aires can be daunting. Pedestrians need to be aware of vehicular and bicycle traffic. Make sure you look both ways and don’t expect drivers to give way. They may not, especially going round the corner. Be brave yet cautious.
Take a crash course on Argentinean history. Visit the Recoleta cemetery, where everyone from Independence heroes to former presidents is buried.
Live and breathe tango in San Telmo. Catch a tango show or simply sit under the trees in Plaza Dorrego (on the corner of Defensa and Humberto Primo Streets) and enjoy the street performances. Tip the dancers.
Drown your sorrows in a bucket of helado. Porteños, as Buenos Aires inhabitants are known, love their ice-cream. Italian immigrants brought gelato making techniques with them and later generations experimented with new flavours. Any heladeria artesanal will do, but among the best are Volta, Persicco, Freddo, Juauja, and Chungo.
Go back in time at one of the Cafes Notables (historic cafes). Enjoy the quintessentially porteño combo of café con leche con medialunas in an old world atmosphere. The croissants are smaller, denser and sweeter than their French counterparts but delicious nonetheless.
Experience the traditional atmosphere and old-fashioned pizza at one of the pizzerias notables (historic pizzerias): Banchero, Los Inmortales, Las Curtetas, El Cuartito, Kentucky, to name a few.
Get to know famous cartoon characters at Paseo de la Historieta (Cartoon Walk) in Montserrat, San Telmo and Puerto Madero. This walk pays homage to those characters beloved by generations of Argentineans.
Go cycling or power walking in Costanera Sur, and enjoy great views of Buenso Aires. Reward yourself with a choripán (sausage sandwich) or a bondiola (grilled pork) sandwich at one of the parrilla stands.