After a gruelling qualifying season which saw Argentina almost not make it into the real thing, thanks to Messi’s golden boot, Argentina finally qualified. The World Cup will take place in Russia in June and July of 2018, and hopefully Argentina will make it to the final, but let’s cross our fingers that they actually win this time! The matches will be screened in bars all around the city, but Argentines themselves take football so seriously that it’s often a family affair, viewed at home surrounded by loved ones. If they win towards the later stages, head down to the Obelisco to partake in the festivities.
2018 will see the Summer Youth Olympics taking place in Buenos Aires. For two weeks in October, expect the city to be overrun with athletic youths that will put your endless hours in the gym to shame. Nearly 4,000 athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from over 200 countries will participate in 32 sports. Events will be held at venues all over city, so you have no excuse.
Another big hitter on the sporting calendar is the annual Argentine Open Polo Tournament. Held each year in the Cathedral of Polo in Palermo, the championships bring all the glitz and glamour you would expect of this well-to-do sport to the capital. Get there early and spend the day sipping champagne as you check out the chukkas, but pace yourself, as it get hot hot hot in the city in November.
Argentina’s premier tennis tournament returns to Buenos Aires in February. Held in the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, head down to see the top seeds battle it out for the South American crown. If you’re lucky you might even get to see homegrown hero Juan Martin Del Potro slamming those balls down the line like there’s no tomorrow. Get your tickets here.
The Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema is one of the most important events in the city. Argentines are a cultured bunch and this can often make it difficult to secure tickets to whatever indie flick or documentary you have your beady eyes on. Top tip – if you’re free during the day, go to a matinee screening, as you are more likely to find staunch competition for seats at the show. BAFICI takes place in April.
What is more Argentine than tango? Nothing, perhaps. Which is why you would do well in 2018 to not miss the Tango Festival and World Cup that takes place in Buenos Aires in August. Famous tango teachers who have left Argentina to spread the joy of tango abroad return to Buenos Aires to compete and teach classes, which tangueros the world over descend on the capital to take advantage of. There are plenty of free events around the city, so seeing some world class tango doesn’t have to break the bank.
In the balmy November springtime, many choose to get out of the city and head for the countryside, or campo. At the Festival of Tradition in San Antonio de Areco, just an hour and a half outside Buenos Aires, you can experience the campo in all it’s glory at this cultural festival which honours the gaucho, or the Argentine cowboy. If you plan on spending the weekend, book accommodation in advance, as the town is small and lodgings are snapped up quickly. It will be rescheduled if Areco is affecting by flooding, as can often happen at that time of year.
November is arguably the best month in the city, not least due to the fact that this is when the International Buenos Aires Jazz Festival comes to town. With free and paid events happening all over town from notable jazz bars such as Bebop and Thelonious to outdoor arenas such as the amphitheatre in Parque Centenario, the city comes alive with the sounds of swing, played by local and international talents.
For those of you whose music tastes are more mainstream, Lollapalooza’s Argentine installment has you covered. This year’s lineup is a doozy, with headliners Pearl Jam, Chance the Rapper, Lana Del Rey and LCD Soundsystem meaning tickets are sure to sell out way in advance. Keep your eyes peeled for the sideshows that often happen around the time of the festival, as three days in a field might just be overkill.
2018 is set to be a good year for music in Buenos Aires, and despite the distance, musicians seem to love coming to the Argentine capital for the good crowds and the buena onda. So far Rod Stewart, Depeche Mode, the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, and even teeny-bopper turned legit actor Harry Styles will be making an appearance in the southern cone.
Ciudad Emergente is Buenos Aires’ very own culture trip, and this weekend-long festival that for the past two years has been held in the Usina del Arte and its surroundings in La Boca showcases the best local talent in theatre, music, performance and art. With a decidedly experimental edge, Ciudad Emergente is getting bigger every year, and even has a fully fledged urban art festival with international artists as part of its roster. The 2018 edition will take place in September.
Flora and fauna abound in the Patagonian haven of Puerto Madryn, one of the best places in the country to see a host of wildlife. Home to the continent’s large reserve of Magellanic penguins, Puerto Madryn is also the temporary habitat of the incredible Southern Right Whale, who come in their droves to mate off the Atlantic coast every year between June and December.
No visitor to Buenos Aires should miss out on a trip to the river delta in Tigre. Straight out of a Mark Twain book, Tigre is Buenos Aires’ answer to Vietnam, a rustic waterworld complete with brown, silty waterways that weave in and out of charming islands that are the perfect place to spend a long weekend. Stock up before you go if you plan on staying on the islands, as the ferries back into town are expensive and infrequent. And bring mosquito repellent in summer, the mozzies take no prisoners.
If you will be in Buenos Aires as the year transitions from one to the other, you should find yourself some Argentine pals and celebrate in true porteno style. This usually involves a food-related portion of the evening, followed by fireworks and then a night out on the town.
Argentines are practically allergic to winter, so many of them stay cooped up in their houses for most of the season, too chilly to venture outside. So if you are going to be in Buenos Aires for this depressing season, it would be wise to make some escape plans so you don’t go crazy. Many expats head to the US or Europe between June and September to take advantage of the northern hemisphere summer. You should do the same.
If there’s one thing you should do in Buenos Aires in 2018, and in fact, any time, any year, is indulge in the miraculous meat that Argentina is renowned for. Make friends with some Argies and get yourself invited to an asado barbecue or two, or three, or four.
Buenos Aires is full of amazing plazas and parks, and the city government has installed a wealth of outdoor gym equipment all over the city for you to avail of. Better yet, join an exercise group and make some new friends while getting in shape for summer!
Buenos Aires is surprisingly bike-friendly, and both inside the city and out you will find stretches of bicycle lanes to encourage you to get out and about and explore the city on two wheels. One of the best cycle routes it out to the river in zona norte, where you can bike to and bring a picnic to enjoy on one of the grassy banks that border the Rio de la Plata.
Formerly the central post office, this vast Neo-classical building was converted a few years ago into one of the most impressive cultural centres, if not only in the city, perhaps in the world. All of their events are free, and if you are lucky you can nab tickets to a performance in the dome at the top of the building. If not, there are always great performances going on in the foyer under the huge sculptural structure that holds the auditorium above.
Buenos Aires is rife with people passing on their skills and talents to those who want to learn. Always meant to take up the guitar? Start guitar lessons! Gagging to craft your own plant pots or teacups? Take a ceramics class! Been wanting to expand your painting skills? Take part in a muralism workshop! The options are endless, so check out any of the many cultural centres to see what classes they have on offer, or follow studios or artists you like on Facebook and Instagram to see if they are offering workshops.