Buenos Aires at Christmas

Old Oct 17th, 2015, 11:31 PM
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Buenos Aires at Christmas

Hi guys,

My boyfriend and I are hiking in Patagonia in December then spending a few days in Buenos Aires before flying home. I have been doing a bit of research about what we can do etc but because we are there over Christmas (December 22-27) I am wary of things being closed for the holidays.

We will arrive in on the 22nd December mid-afternoon and we're staying in Recoleta at the Cyan Hotel. We're thinking of maybe heading to a nice, quiet local restaurant close by for dinner. On the 23rd we want to do the free walking tour and perhaps pick up some food and supplies for the next couple of days. Obviously the 24th and 25th are where it gets hard. We both love our food so if anyone has recommendations of restaurants which will be open on those days (with transfers included or within walking distance of Recoleta). Alternatively, I've seen some advertisements for tango shows with dinner, drinks and transfers but there were so many to choose from it was hard to pick the quality from the crap.

I've seen on these forums discussions about safety and the 'blue' rate of exchange but haven't found a post where it is actually discussed! I am quite safety conscious so I don't travel with jewellery, expensive goods (apart from my phone) or large amounts of cash.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!
Rach_H is offline  
Old Oct 18th, 2015, 03:45 AM
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Christmas in BA is very very quiet with just about everything closed.
For days or a week ..
Definitely get food in for Christmas day.
You might love your food but the city really does close down for Christmas Day so you need to get whatever you can in that you can eat at the hotel. If you are staying in a hotel, they might have that covered for guests, ask them ahead of time.
Don't expect everything to be open the week between Christmas and New Years ..
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Old Oct 18th, 2015, 04:28 AM
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Welcome to the Fodor's Argentina forum, Rach_H!

There are MANY restaurants around your hotel, mostly tourist traps. I favor this place, which is always full of locals and opens early: http://tinyurl.com/9dkwudw

Expensive option: http://tinyurl.com/np6soeh

The free walking tours are a great way to know the town. You could also consider the hop-on/hop-off buses.

Since you love your food, several places in the Recoleta area will offer Xmas Eve dinner (cena de Nochebuena) and/or Xmas brunch (brunch de Navidad).

The best (and most expensive) options will be offered here: http://tinyurl.com/5p6ue6

On the 23rd, you could walk around the area, shopping for these dinner and bruch options for the 24th and 25th. Stick to the places within walking distance of your hotel.

I have posted extensively about the "blue" rate of exchange and its 40% off advantage (at this writing) on anything which can be paid with a CC. Obviously, you'd have to bring cash and you may or may not want to do that.

Keep your phone out of sight. A general safety rule: If ANYTHING strange happens near you, assume it's a trick intended to put you off guard. Do the opposite, hold firmly on to your belongings and don't allow anyone to get near you, no matter how respectable they may seem. Yell "Policía" if you feel it is required.

Have a wonderful time in my country with your boy friend, Rach_H and keep the questions coming!
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Old Oct 18th, 2015, 07:27 AM
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Rodi Bar won't be open on Christmas, that's for sure. I am not sure if they will be open Christmas Eve either.
That was our neighborhood, be sure to check with the actual restaurants when you get a chance, line up a place or places where you can go ..
Be aware that many places close for Christmas Eve, Day and often the week after ..
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Old Oct 18th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Rodi Bar is a suggestion for the 22nd of 23rd.

It will most certainly be closed Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.

Those are the days for which you will only find expensive options. Fixed menu, only one seating, that kind of thing. Walk around the Recoleta, looking at the options.

Have a great time in my town.
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Old Oct 19th, 2015, 04:32 AM
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Paul, No advertising on Fodors.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 01:07 AM
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Hi guys,

Thank you so much for your advice and recommendations! I think our plan at the moment is to check out restaurants close by to the hotel on the 23rd and get heappsssss of food and drink to tide us over if we cant find anything

We appreciate the links to the restaurants as well avrooster! Gives us an idea of where to start with our walk around on the 23rd.

Is it worth trying to contact them before we get there for a reservation or will it be easier just to do it there?

I plan on paying for pretty much everything on my Credit Card as i understand getting rid of Pesos when leaving Argentina can be a bit hard. We're Aussie's so it'll be AUD on the CC- will this still get us the discount? When I read up on the blue rate most of the articles were discussing changing cash at the more black market places so we'll definitely be much more comfortable with the credit card!

Thanks again for your time and advice- we're super excited for our visit!
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 02:37 AM
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About your questions, Rach_H:

"Is it worth trying to contact them before we get there for a reservation or will it be easier just to do it there?"

I would do it as soon as you are here. Most of the options should still be available.

"I plan on paying for pretty much everything on my Credit Card as i understand getting rid of Pesos when leaving Argentina can be a bit hard."

This is your decision, but remember that by bringing cash you can save about 40% (at this writing) on anything which can be paid with a CC, including your hotel stay. Getting rid of pesos is quite simple. I fail to understand why people do not realize that all they have to do, if they have leftover pesos, is go to the same place they got them from and change them back into their currency. Just remember the exchange broker has to make a living.

"We're Aussie's so it'll be AUD on the CC- will this still get us the discount? When I read up on the blue rate most of the articles were discussing changing cash at the more black market places so we'll definitely be much more comfortable with the credit card!"

Yes, you´ll still get the discount with AUD. But, if your bank at home changes AUD into US dollars at a decent rate, bring US dollars, because some blue exchange places only take US dollars or Euros or give a bad rate for other currencies. This hotel review http://tinyurl.com/pqpj6z3 describes a place which usually takes AUD, but I still feel American dollars (ideally 100 U$S bills in good shape) are best for this purpose.

Of course, should you decide to exchange cash foreign currency into pesos, do it on the 22nd, or 23rd.

In this thread http://www.fodors.com/community/sout...enos-aires.cfm I have a long post about exchanging currency posted on Oct 23, 15 at 12:53pm

Have a great time in my town, Rach_H and BF.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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I spent Christmas in BsAs a few years ago. Sightseeing downtown was feasible (and very quiet) on Christmas Eve morning, and I had a good lunch in Las Violetas in Castro Barros (where I was staying), but everything shut down soon after. They have their big celebration the night of Christmas Eve (with fireworks!). It starts to wake up the afternoon of Christmas day.
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Old Oct 24th, 2015, 07:05 PM
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It is a real quiet sleepy time of year .. every one who is able to, leaves town .. beaches and mountains are calling .
Many shops and places will be closed too.

The fireworks can be best enjoyed in the parks in Recoleta by Cafe Biela and the Cemetery .. We lived about a block away and had great views every holiday of the fireworks.
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