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Many prefer to visit Buenos Aires in the summer, as a means of escaping winter in the northern hemisphere and because, let’s face it, the city was built for summer. But, one of the great things about winter in the Argentine capital is that temperatures rarely get below 40°F (5°C) and it is usually sunny. So, with this in mind, let’s check out what there is to do in winter in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires is home to two of the most beautiful cemeteries in South America: the famous Recoleta Cemetery, and the lesser known Chacarita Cemetery. While Recoleta is the final resting place for many notable Argentines of regal and political stature, such as Eva Peron, Chacarita is home to a more bohemian and creative set from Argentine history, such as the poster boy for tango, Carlos Gardel. The Recoleta cemetery is conveniently located beside a park and cultural center, so a walk around can be a full day out, while the vast swathes of land that the Chacarita cemetery occupies provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and has some of the most interesting architecture in the city.
Buenos Aires is an incredibly photogenic city, and because of the many sun-filled days in winter, the light is perfect for a day out with your camera. Walk around the trendy Palermo neighborhood and snap the movers and shakers who can be spotted sipping coffees and cocktails, or head down to the colorful port neighborhood of La Boca, but be careful with your camera here, as it is quite a poor area and your camera may be attractive to thieves. Pay special attention to hidden passageways, and head to one of the city’s many markets for some great shots of antiques and Argentine trinkets. Foto Ruta do great photography tours and classes for all levels.
A great winter’s day activity is to head to the Costanera Sur and check out the ecological reserve. A former holiday destination for wealthy Argentines before they started to venture down the coast after the railway system was constructed, the eco reserve underwent a massive transformation when it was used as a dumping ground for construction waste, but was eventually overtaken by nature, and now is one of the most biodiverse places in the city. Rent a bicycle or just walk around this incredibly wild part of the city, and look out across the river towards Uruguay.
Often when people think of day trips out of the city, they think of Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay, mainly to tick another country off their list. However, your time would be better spent getting the train 45 minutes north of Buenos Aires to the river delta of Tigre. This pretty city is immaculately maintained, and a trip on the water taxi around the islands is the perfect way to spend a crisp, fresh winter’s day. Be sure and wrap up though, and have lunch at one of the restaurants on the islands, such as Gato Blanco.
Argentines do not deal well with the cold, so it’s lucky that they have devised some hearty dishes to stave away those pesky chills come the winter months. It is common to see chalkboards and handmade signs in the windows of traditional restaurants advertising locro, a hearty corn, meat and sausage stew born in the Andes and popular on national holidays. Guiso de lentejas, or lentil stew, is also popular in winter and is best sampled in the Peron-themed restaurant Peron Peron, as it was reportedly one of the president’s favorite dishes.
For any tango afficionado, winter is the season in which to visit Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires International Tango Festival takes place for two weeks in August and sees the world’s best tango dancers and teachers descend on the capital for 14 days of shows, competitions and dance, dance and more dance! Check out the many milongas the city has to offer, and make sure you get some sleep during the day, as tango is a nighttime activity.
Christmas barely exists in Buenos Aires, being that it falls smack bang in the middle of summer. So for those who are used to Christmas being synonymous with cold weather, warm coats, and plenty of time indoors, June, July, and August in Buenos Aires may just inspire you to get all festive and celebrate Fake Christmas. Common among the expat community, if you find yourself in BA over winter, try to get an invite to a Fake Christmas party. They are sometimes listed on the Buenos Aires Expat Hub’s Facebook page.
Argentines are an expressive bunch, and one of the ways this manifests itself is through music. There is a plethora of live music venues all over the city, and this is a great way to escape the cold and do something fun inside in the evenings. Even though Argentines tend not to venture out in the cold, a good gig will always be a draw, and expect solid clubs like Niceto to be packed during the winter months. Check out The Bubble’s weekly Setlist column for what’s on in Argentina.
Another means of self expression popular in Buenos Aires is theater. Actors are ten a penny in the city, and theater is a stalwart of the city’s cultural scene. Whether you head to the Buenos Aires Broadway of Avenida Corrientes, check out a function in the city’s famous opera house, Teatro Colón, or opt for an independent theater production, making a groove in a theater seat for a few hours is an ideal way to spend a winter evening.
Buenos Aires has some really incredible architecture, and one way of passing those winter days is to learn a little bit more about the built environment of the city by taking a tour around one of its most famous buildings. Teatro Colon has tours daily in a variety of languages, while Palacio Barolo’s guided tour brings you to the building’s peak to take in the amazing views of the Congreso plaza and building, which also has weekly tours in English and Spanish.