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When in Buenos Aires | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Buenos Aires
Cultural Currents

Community, especially family, is a priority in Buenos Aires. This impacts the layout of apartments in the city, where bedrooms are usually small and communal living spaces are proportionally much larger. Through adulthood, most people spend all the holidays with their families, including national days off, and even New Year’s Eve!

Soccer (football in Argentina) is a huge deal and rallying around the national team is probably the biggest unifier – even in times of extreme economic hardship and political polarisation. When people aren’t cheering for the National team, they’re fanatically supporting either Boca Juniors or River Plate – teams that they’re usually born into. There’s a saying in Buenos Aires, "you can change your religion, but you can’t change your soccer team". This is sometimes even a factor that people consider when deciding to get married!

Yerba Mate, a strong loose-leaf tea-like drink consumed through a stainless-steel straw called a Bombilla, is the drink of choice. Often, instead of going out for coffee or meeting for wine/beer/cocktails, people meet to drink Mate socially, either at home (a good thing they have big communal spaces) or in a plaza or park.

 
 
 
 

Community, especially family, is a priority in Buenos Aires. This impacts the layout of apartments in the city, where bedrooms are usually small and communal living spaces are proportionally much larger. Through adulthood, most people spend all the holidays with their families, including national days off, and even New Year’s Eve!

Soccer (football in Argentina) is a huge deal and rallying around the national team is probably the biggest unifier – even in times of extreme economic hardship and political polarisation. When people aren’t cheering for the National team, they’re fanatically supporting either Boca Juniors or River Plate – teams that they’re usually born into. There’s a saying in Buenos Aires, "you can change your religion, but you can’t change your soccer team". This is sometimes even a factor that people consider when deciding to get married!

Yerba Mate, a strong loose-leaf tea-like drink consumed through a stainless-steel straw called a Bombilla, is the drink of choice. Often, instead of going out for coffee or meeting for wine/beer/cocktails, people meet to drink Mate socially, either at home (a good thing they have big communal spaces) or in a plaza or park.

an interesting thing to do

For an authentic Buenos Aires experience, go and see a Boca Juniors soccer game at their home stadium, La Bombonera, located in the La Boca district of the city. Be aware of your surroundings – the fans can get quite rowdy and you don’t want to end up at the wrong side of the stadium – and be careful who you buy tickets from to make sure that you don’t get ripped off. La Boca is also known for its colourful houses and a pedestrian street, Caminito, where you can buy souvenirs from local artists and see tango dancers perform in the street.


For an authentic Buenos Aires experience, go and see a Boca Juniors soccer game at their home stadium, La Bombonera, located in the La Boca district of the city. Be aware of your surroundings – the fans can get quite rowdy and you don’t want to end up at the wrong side of the stadium – and be careful who you buy tickets from to make sure that you don’t get ripped off. La Boca is also known for its colourful houses and a pedestrian street, Caminito, where you can buy souvenirs from local artists and see tango dancers perform in the street.

One local brand

Cruz de Malta is an Argentinian brand of Yerba Mate that you can find all over Buenos Aires. Cruz de Malta is a good ‘starter brand’ for first-time Mate drinkers, as it contains a little less bitterness and a little more sweetness than other brands. If you buy this when in Buenos Aires, be sure to leave your Yerba Mate in the original packaging – otherwise, the customs agents may give you a difficult time when it’s time to travel home. And if you don’t have a trip planned to Buenos Aires soon, you can always buy Cruz de Malta on Amazon.

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With thanks to Abi Aufgang for her unique, cultural insights.