You’ve already been browsing for books at Teatro Gran Splendid, seen a Tango show in San Telmo, checked out some graves at Recoleta and gone on a tour of Teatro Colon, so what’s next? Buenos Aires has a number of weird and wonderful lesser known attractions that appeal to a different kind of traveler. Check out our list of the top six.
Puerta Cerrada (Closed Doors)
There are plenty of top quality steakhouses serving up unbelievably succulent beef all throughout Buenos Aires, but did you know the best food in the city is actually behind ‘closed doors’? Puerta Cerrada is a type of secret restaurant held in a private home, offering five-star degustation menus in an intimate setting by some of the city’s best chefs. Extremely popular with passionate foodies, Puerta Cerrada is a great way to meet new people while wining and dining the evening away. Ask locals for recommendations or check out Casa Felix.
Transvestites and choripan
By day, Bosques de Palermo is one of the most romantic spots in the city, a place where children come to ride paddle boats and couples wonder around the lake hand in hand. By night, it’s a popular hangout for transvestite and transsexual prostitutes. Despite prostitution being illegal, these ladies openly solicit clients who slowly cruise by with their windows down. If you’re looking to explore the area at nighttime, there are some really good choripan vendors nearby too.
Get holy at Santa Tierra
On the other end of the spectrum, this rather strange and kitschy religious theme park just outside of Buenos Aires is a recreation of Jerusalem that narrates the life of Jesus through animatronics. There’s a carousel ride of manger animals, a nativity light show, a reenactment of the last supper and plenty of dioramas and displays dedicated to our Lord and Savior. The main attraction is a 60 ft. (18m) fiberglass Jesus statue that resurrects every hour on the hour. Amen.
Go on a Man Tour
Visiting Buenos Aires on a lads trip? Then check out city’s manliest tour. The Man Tour is a great way to explore the city’s hidden wonders—and, contrary to its name, it’s apt for males and females alike. It starts with a straight razor shave at a local barber shop (sorry ladies, this is the only male-only activity!) before meandering around the city while enjoying manly delights such as whiskey, cigars, beer and empanadas. There’s also a little bit of history thrown in there too.
Learn about where we poop
Housed in a magnificent 19th-century palace is the quirky Museo del Agua y de la Historia Sanitaria (Water and Sanitation History Museum) which displays a fascinating collection of toilets, faucets, bidets and other sanitary related artifacts. The palace itself was built as a water pumping station and still plays an important role in providing water to the people of Buenos Aires so that they can cook, clean and bathe.
Try a speed dating language exchange
It’s not technically speed dating, though it could be if the conversation runs smoothly enough. Spanglish Exchange is a regular event that pairs native Spanish and English speakers together in a Palermo bar to practice their language skills. Each language is spoken for five minutes before switching to the other for five minutes, allowing both parties equal time to hone their skills. After the 10 minutes is up, participants rotate onto a new partner. It’s a great way to practice a language and meet new people at the same time.