If you’ve come to Buenos Aires from the northern hemisphere, it’s a strange feeling to experience winter while everyone back home is basking in the sunshine and clogging up your Instagram feed with photos. But, you have to admit, the Buenos Aires winter ain’t so bad and while there are some days when the temperature drops below 10, these are broken up with days of glorious winter sunshine. And there are plenty of things to do to get you through the winter months until the jacaranda trees start to bloom again.
Make the most of the winter sun at the Reserva Ecológica
If it’s one of those beautiful sunny winter days we just mentioned, head to the city’s Costanera Sur for an afternoon amble around the city’s giant nature reserve (Reserva ecológica). It’s one of the only places in the city where you’ll find any form of wildlife and surrounded by wild vegetation, you’ll forget that you’re even in the city. You can rent a bike outside the entrance for cheap or just take a walk along the different picturesque trails. Stop for a rest on the other side of the reserve down by the water’s edge and look out across the brown waters of the Rio de la Plata and see if you can spot Uruguay. And don’t leave without stopping for a greasy choripán in the one of the famous BBQ stands along the Costanera promenade.
Chow down on traditional winter food
Argentines combat their hatred of the cold weather with some hearty traditional winter fare. You’ll see Locro and Guiso de lentejas advertised on the menu of many local restaurants. The former is a yummy, thick soup of corn, potatoes, beans, veggies and some form of meat or sausage and the latter is a deliciously oily and spicy lentil stew with potatoes, veggies and chorizo. Our favorite spots to go for this are Feria de Mataderos (held every Sunday, Av. Lisandro de la Torre and Av. de los Corrales) and El Perón Perón restaurant (Carranza 2225, Palermo Hollywood). Both places serve up generous portions with crusty bread to soak up the juice. And you can eat it all guilt-free, as you don’t need to worry about that beach body until at least September.
Drink Malbec and more Malbec
When it’s cold outside, it’s the perfect excuse to cozy up and drink copious amounts of full-bodied Argentine Malbec. You’re not short of wine bars in the city (Pain et Vin is an old favorite) or you can work your way through the selection of Malbecs at your local supermarket.
Time to tango
The annual Buenos Aires International Tango Festival takes place every winter and runs this year from August 9 to August 22. It attracts some of the world’s best tango dancers and teachers for two weeks of free concerts, performances, classes and around-the-clock dancing in the milongas (local dance halls). The city also hosts the Mundial de Tango, which is the World Cup of tango championships and hundreds of devout tango dancers from around the world compete for a place in the final at Luna Park Stadium. If seeing all the tango dancing makes you want to bailar yourself, you can score yourself a new pair tango shoes at the festival’s fair and book yourself in for a lesson.
Visit all the museums and galleries you’ve never been to
We can’t imagine you’ve covered every museum and gallery in the city and there are plenty that are worth visiting on a cold, rainy day. For something less conventional, check out the toilet museum in that beautiful old water building on Avenida Corrientes or the MACBA and MAMBA modern art museums in San Telmo that are conveniently located next door to one another (the MAMBA has been closed for renovations and will reopen on July 12). If you haven’t done the Palacio Barolo tour, put that at the top of your list too. The city’s mystical, neo-gothic landmark, inspired by The Divine Comedy, offers guided tours in English and Spanish that take you around the unique building and up to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city.
Catch some live music or theater
Banish the winter blues with some live music. A cocktail and some live jazz music is sure to warm the soul at the chic and sultry Thelonius Jazz Club (Nicaragua 5549). The Konex Center (Sarmiento 3131) also has a full program of theatrical and musical events over the winter months that extends beyond the famous La Bomba de Tiempo drumming shows that take place every Monday night, which is another must-see if you haven’t already.
Netflix in Spanish
There’s nothing wrong with lying in bed all day curled up with Netflix from time to time, especially if you focus on Spanish-language content only, as you’re working on your Spanish listening skills and broadening your vocab at the same time. There are plenty of Argentine movies and shows on Netflix to get your castellano fix or watch one of these five classic Argentine films.
Got any other suggestions for things to do in Buenos Aires during the winter? Tell our readers about them below.
Originally published on Ailola by Sophie Lloyd on July 10, 2018.