Whether it’s Evita or the Tango

IT is called the city of many passions and one thing is sure, after a visit to Buenos Aires, it certainly left me with a burning desire to return.

Ever since I saw Evita when I was little (the show starring Elaine Paige and not the Madonna movie), I dreamed of going to Argentina to see for myself the influence that the “first lady” had over the country.

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You will find couples doing tango in all the squares of the Argentine capitalCredit: Getty
Argentina's beloved former first lady Eva Peron has tragically died aged 33

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Argentina’s beloved former first lady Eva Peron has tragically died aged 33Credit: Getty

So it only made sense that the first thing I did when I arrived in the capital was to book a visit to the museum dedicated to Eva Peron, the woman the country (and its president) fell in love with.

The building is in the neighborhood of Palermo and was created by Eva as a shelter for homeless women and children. It is still furnished with items that Eva collected for them to use when they stayed there.

Highly informative videos in each exhibit hall show different stages of her life, which was cut short when she died of cancer aged just 33.

My friend Lorna and I were impressed with what this former actress, born into poverty, was able to accomplish in her short but ultimately tragic life. It would be such a shame to miss a visit here if you ever have the chance to visit BA.

Another must-do is a trip to Recoleta Cemetery to see where she is buried. It’s modest and small compared to others, but worth the effort to find.

For our stay in the capital, I was a little avant-garde and I had booked my very first Airbnb — I know, that’s it!

We had also spent a few nights in a hotel, but I have to say the extra space offered by booking an apartment really made our stay so much more comfortable – I’m sure Lorna loved not having to share a room with my snoring!

It also meant that we could prepare an early breakfast (or late depending on the vibe) or even a midnight snack after partaking in the nightlife on offer in this crazy, crowded city.

Speaking of which, you really need to learn tango in Argentina – after all, it gave the world that sexy, steamy duo dance!

You don’t have to do it yourself if you’re shy, although any square in town will have couples courting through the motions at some point, and if you stop long enough to watch, you will be enticed to participate too – you have been warned!

Soak up the atmosphere at one of Buenos Aires' many street markets

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Soak up the atmosphere at one of Buenos Aires‘ many street marketsCredit: Getty
Heather riding as she enjoys being a

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Heather on horseback as she enjoys being a “gaucho” for the dayCredit: Unknown, clear with photo office

Instead, do as Lorna and I did and watch a tango show. We enjoyed a three course dinner watching a group of professionals tell the story of tango through dance at the funky five star Faena Art Hotel.

The Rojo Tango show is performed nightly at El Cabaret, an intimate venue inspired by the city’s 1920s tango clubs. Moody, red, sultry, sultry – the list goes on. And the show wasn’t bad either!

Food was also high on the list and we took a food tour through Airbnb Experiences. The Beunos Aires Flavors is a small walking tour, led by the always knowledgeable Jose, who offers the best on offer in and around the Chacarita region.

It lasts three hours and includes fine dining as well as more popular street food with a glass or six of delicious Argentinian vino.

GETTING THERE, STAYING THERE & MORE

BUENOS AIRES

GETTING THERE: British Airways flies direct to Buenos Aires from London, there are more options available on Skyscanner.

STAY THERE: Airbnb offers hundreds of accommodation options around the city, suitable for all budgets and group sizes.

MORE INFO: Fully vaccinated travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or a negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of boarding.

For more on visiting Buenos Aires, check out the local travel tip and for experiences try Airbnb’s dedicated section.

Another fantastic experience I had to try was being a gaucho for the day. What are you asking. Well, simple – gaucho is an Argentinian cowboy (or girl in our case).

You are picked up from your hotel/apartment and taken to the El Ombu de Areco country ranch (known as the estancia), in San Antonia de Areco, outside the capital, where you will learn a bit more about the history and culture of the gauchos.

It lasts three hours and includes fine dining as well as more popular street food with a glass or six of delicious Argentinian vino.

You can go horseback riding and then watch a folklore show, with demonstrations of traditional gaucho skills, before an amazing barbecue lunch of meat, meat and more meat – steaks of all varieties, cold cuts, salad, bread – and for non-meat eat me pasta.



You’ll get back to town in time for dinner and have an even better chance of enjoying the famous nightlife.

We headed to the small but wonderful Gran Dabbang, voted one of the 50 best restaurants in the world. And it lives up to its reputation with its fusion cuisine ranging from everything from India to Latin America.

The next day we headed to the neighborhood of La Boca and San Telmo. Any self-respecting football fan will know it as the home of Maradona who started his playing career at Boca Juniors FC before conquering the world.

This is one of BA’s most colorful neighborhoods, with brightly painted houses, dancers and street performers, and plenty of bars and cafes to enjoy. Don’t miss the papier-mâché figurines of Maradona, Evita and the Pope!

La Boca is a popular destination thanks to its association with soccer hero Maradona

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La Boca is a popular destination thanks to its association with soccer hero Maradona
Buenos Aires is the home of Pope Francis and you can see a papier-mâché figure of him in La Boca

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Buenos Aires is the home of Pope Francis and you can see a papier-mâché figure of him in La Boca

You can also enjoy it all from the saddle – but this time with two wheels on a guided bike ride.

On the way back to our apartment, we stopped at the Hierbabuena deli, a natural food restaurant, located on Caseros Boulevard in the San Telmo district. He also sells breads and cakes – grab them while you can. We did and had an amazing breakfast on the last day.

We reluctantly packed our bags and bade farewell to the city that stole our hearts. I certainly cried for Argentina on the plane home – not sure he cried for me!

Buenos Aires is famous for its nightlife

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Buenos Aires is famous for its nightlifeCredit: Getty

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