We got a great start on the day with a typical Argentinian breakfast (toast, jams, dulce de leche) and getting our clothes that we dropped off for the laundry service at the front desk. We decided to do a walking tour around Buenos Aires that the hostel had mentioned to us. It’s called “BA Free Walking Tour” and it takes about 2 to 2:30 hours to complete. There are 2 throughout the day, one starting at 11am going through Congreso and ending at the Obelisco, and the other starting at 5pm going through Retiro and ending at Recoleta.
Our tour guide, Maggie, was awesome! She is so knowledgable about everything from historical information to a good place to eat. The morning tour is more politically focused, talking about how the congress and president interact, the dictatorship that lasted 7 years, and how the Argentinians rebounded afterwards. The main highlights of the morning tour are the Congress, Casa Rosada, the cathedral, some important avenues, and ended with the Obelisco. I learned so much about Argentina and its history on this tour and asked so many questions. The way the tour works is at the end you give the amount of money you feel is appropriate for the service.
Afterwards, I was really craving a Caesar Salad and Maggie recommended this cute lunch place called Green Eat Market. It has a lot of great salads and sandwiches to choose from and other healthy snack options. They are all prepackaged but made at the store so it’s fresh. A good-sized Caesar Salad was AR$48 and it came with a lot of dressing on the side which I love!
After lunch we headed towards Plaza San Martin to start the other tour which began at 5pm. Maggie was the tour guide again but this tour was a bit smaller, 16 people versus about 30 people in the morning. It was a very nice tour around some of the fancier areas of B.A. in Retiro and Recoleta. This second tour was about the culture and society of Argentina. We talked about the liberator of Argentina, San Martin, what people did with their money when the country was doing really well, the life during the dictatorship and much more. This was a very nice tour because you got to understand more about how Argentinians are and how they deal with crises.
The tour ended at about 7:45pm at the Recoleta cemetery, which closes at 5pm. Again, we asked Maggie for a place to go for drinks and we went with 2 Australian couples that we met on the tour. We walked along the cemetery and found a bunch of bars with happy hour specials so we picked one with a 2 for 1 drink special. It was really fun getting to meet new people and learn about Australia, which is good for us because we want to move their next year.
During the tour Maggie had mentioned the “Big Mac Index” which is used by economists to determine how expensive a country is and she said that in Argentina the price is AR$35, which is very cheap. The government did this to make it seem like Argentina is cheap and that it has a very good index, but in reality the country is very expensive. We were hungry after we got drinks so we decided to check out this deal. The funny thing was that the McDonald’s didn’t advertise the Big Mac at all! We ordered it just fine and it was so cheap we couldn’t believe it and it comes with fries and a drink. Dani thinks they don’t advertise the Big Mac because it is so much cheaper than all the other meal, which range from AR$60 to AR$80, that it would be strange to have one meal be AR$35. It’s an interesting idea and he is probably right, but we were satisfied with our greasy food!
- AR$230 = Parking (for the rest of our trip)
- AR$105 = Laundry
- AR$22 = Cab
- AR$50 = Walking tour (Buenos Aires Free walking tour - pay as you like)
- AR$136 = Lunch @ Green Eat Market
- AR$32 = Cab
- AR$50 = Walking tour
- AR$150 = Happy Hour
- AR$72 = McDonalds
- AR$50 = Cab
- Total = AR$900