With almost two months of winter already gone by, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that Buenos Aires doesn’t do well when the temperature drops. The humidity and lack of central heating systems and insulation in most buildings makes it hard to stay warm indoors. But don’t let the cold weather get you down. Spring is just around the corner and there’s still plenty of fun to be had in the city. Here are our tips for surviving the rest of the winter in Buenos Aires.
1. Long boozy lunches
Malbec is just the thing to cozy up with on a cold winter’s day and keep you warm inside. Make a date with some friends for a long, boozy lunch at your local parrilla and order some large hunks of juicy meat, a mountain of papas fritas, a few bottles of Malbec and maybe some flan for after. After all, it’s the season for indulgence and no one will notice if you’ve gained a few pounds under all those winter layers.
2. Camp out at the movies
Pool parties trump the movies in the summertime so the winter is the perfect time to binge on the latest movie releases. Most cinemas in Buenos Aires show international movies in their original language with Spanish subtitles or you can watch one of the latest Argentine films (if you didn’t already know, Argentina has its own booming film industry). Pick a day when the tickets are 2 for 1 at your closest cinema and double dose on two movies in one day. It’s a valuable Spanish listening exercise.
3. Buy an electric blanket
If you’re living in one of those charming PH-style houses in Buenos Aires that has little to no insulation or heating then investing in a good electric blanket is money well spent (there’s nothing worse than getting into cold bed on a chilly night). Just switch it on a few hours before bed and remember to turn it off when you go to sleep. A couple of hot water bottles also do the trick.
4. Explore Buenos Aires indoors
While Buenos Aires is a great outdoor city, there’s a whole lot to see indoors too. A tour of Palacio Barolo is one of those must-do-before-you-leave activities. The guided tour sheds light on the inspiration behind the impressive neo-gothic architecture and takes you to the top of the tower that offers one of the best views over the city (just be sure to do it on a clear day). The grandiose Teatro Colon is equally impressive on the inside and, if you’re not feeling spendthrifty enough to go see the opera there, you can take a tour of the building instead (there are daily tours in English and Spanish). The landmark Congreso building also opens its doors on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for tours. While you’re on a cultural roll, the Centro Cultural Kirchner housed in the city's former central post office is also a feat of architecture and design both inside and out and hosts various exhibitions and performances for free.
5. Organize a fake Christmas
If you’re from the northern hemisphere then you’ll agree that the winter is made easier when there’s Christmas in the middle of it. It feels weird having cold weather and no Christmas parties to look forward to so why not organize a fake Christmas with your fellow expat friends. It’s the perfect excuse to get drunk, give and receive gifts, pig out on chocolate and put on that bad jumper that you secretly love.
6. Dress in layers
By the time August comes around, the cold days are often pleasantly interrupted by a flash of bright sunshine and unexpectedly high temperatures, giving you a taste of spring to come. Some days it’s hard to know what the weather will do so the key is to dress with layers that you can add to or take off. And always have a pair of sunnies at the ready.
7. Get a taste of the Buenos Aires of yesteryear
Photo credits: Valerie Hinojoso, Flickr
The café culture has always been strong in Buenos Aires so much so that the historical cafes and bars that are still going strong have been officially recognized as bares notables. With all their original trappings and customs intact, they take you back in time to the Buenos Aires of old. Today the city has over 70 listed historic cafes so check out the list here and spend those wintry afternoons cafe hopping your way around the city, drinking submarinos (a mug of hot milk with a bar of chocolate dropped in) and eating medialunas.
Got any other tips for getting through the rest of the winter in Buenos Aires? Share them with our readers in the comments section below.