Its South America’s most visited city, and in recent years has had a huge influx of immigration which means the city is a melting pot of culture of food of Arts there’s a lot going on here, that being said there are a couple of cultural things you’re going to want to know before you go here are 11 things not to do in Buenos Aires.
1 – Don’t expect to eat early
It may surprise some of you to hear the people in Buenos Aires don’t usually start dinner until around 10:30 at night and then might go as late as midnight, there’s a reason for this it’s because after work people go to the gym, they’re playing football, they’re socializing, there’s a large emphasis on the latter half the day here it’s their leisure time and they try to make the most of it, and then on the flipside of that it means that people typically sleep in a bit later on weekends, and I highly recommend trying to get on their schedule while you’re there to really experience what it would be like to live there.
2 – Don’t call the United States America
This one you can probably get away with while you’re there, but if you want to be correct I think you probably should refer to the US as the way they do their which is Estados Unidos or United States in Spanish, that’s because if you look at a map there’s actually North America, Central America, and South America, and referring to all three of them as America, can offend some people again this one’s a bit nitpicky but it’s a good way to expand your Spanish anyway.
3 – Watch your belongings
So look in any major city there’s a certain amount of crime in one of Buenos Aires, you know no more or no less than any other big city but it is important to be aware of your surroundings, for example it’s probably better not to stand on a street corner with your phone and held out just in the options that someone decides to make a trap for it, and you know stuff like watching for pickpockets in touristy areas like La Boca and some parts of Palermo.
4 – Don’t miss a football match
Football can really be considered the heart of national pride in Argentina, and they’ve largely incorporated it into many aspects of their culture so one thing you definitely have to check out is a local match, assuming you’re there the right time of year it’ll give you great insight into how Argentines think and act, and I’ll let you explore one of the backbones of their culture not to mention it will be one of the most fun things you do while you’re there it’s about as local as you can get.
5 – Don’t take CABS
I’m a huge for putting a true burr it’s almost always the safest the fastest and the cheapest way to get around the city, there’s just really no reason to take a cab and set it manoeuvre, and of course public transportation like trains and buses are also totally fine I’m talking from the ease-of-use perspective, and yet the added benefit of not having to deal with a cabbie trying to rip you off or negotiate price or anything like that.
6 – Don’t just stay in San Telmo
Is by far the most touristy part of the city and it’s a fantastic place to stay, that being said there are a number of other places that you should definitely not miss while you’re there, a few examples are Montserrat which is popular with artists tango dancers and other creative types because of the cheap rent, or Recoleta which is an architectural and cultural center of the city with tons of museums historical landmarks as well as the famous Recoleta cemetery, then there’s Belgrano whose streets are lined with trees, shops, grocery stores, as well as the city’s small Chinatown, and finally there’s Palermo which is the bohemian vibrant district full of artists hipsters designers, old spanish-style houses, is the kind of place to sip a Cortado and a chic café.
7 – Don’t expect the “picante” to mean spicy
Argentine cuisine is heavily influenced by European groups like the Italians and the Spanish, and unlike that the latin-american cousins their food is not spicy, spices in Argentina are usually used to enhance the flavor of the food as opposed to bringing out actual heat, things like steak things like pizza what you usually don’t have a ton of spice on them, so you’re coming from Mexico or somewhere in Asia like Thailand you’re gonna be surprised at the word spicy doesn’t have the same meaning here as you think it does.
8 – Don’t get drunk
This one comes with a caveat cuz of course you can’t get truck in Argentina and if you want to have a good time go for it, all I’m saying is that Argentinian culture isn’t very spirit heavy, the focus is more on wine on beer and usually that’s a random meal, you won’t see a ton of Argentinian slamming back shots the local bar, so I’m gonna be best not to make a fool of yourself.
9 – Tipping
Tipping in Buenos Aires is a little bit different than some parts of the United States, for example we’re in the u.s. you tip your restaurant staff, you tip your bartender, you tip hotel staff, you tip taxis, you tip a lot of people, Argentina taxi drivers definitely do not expect tips, and in restaurants an average of about 10% as usual, that being said most places won’t have the option to include that in a credit-card transaction, so be prepared to pay your tip in cash before you leave.
10 – Don’t talk politics
Politics is a huge deal in Argentina and the people are deeply involved on both a local and national level, which means that hot-button political topics can bring a rise out of people that you talk to and they’ll likely to become very animated if you bring it up, and not always in a good way, with that in mind especially just steer clear of the topic altogether to avoid any unnecessary conversation.
11 – Enjoy Buenos Aires
From the people to the food to the incredibly complex culture, there’s so many layers to this city, I had such a great time trying to uncover them and I’m sure that you will too.
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