So you’re coming to Buenos Aires for Christmas and New Year’s. What to do? First, pack shorts, a bathing suit and sandals cause it’s hot. Second, beat the heat by taking siestas so you can stay out late like the porteños (Buenos Aires residents) do. And third, visit Tierra Santa.
Here’s what we’ll be doing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’m heading to the market before noon (as most stores will close at noon) to buy the supplies for the Christmas Eve asado (barbecue). On our list are several kilos of beef, several bottles of red wine, salad fixings, appetizer tidbits, champagne to uncork at midnight and pan dulce.
Pan dulce is the Argentine Christmas desert. The best ones in the city come from Sugar and Spice. I’m hoping we’ll have some left over to dip in my coffee on Christmas morning. If you want to have a go at making your own pan dulce, try Katie’s recipe.
What You Should Know about Christmas Eve in Buenos Aires
- Most of the city will close around noon on Dec. 24. Lots of restaurants will be open for lunch and some of the smaller supermarkets will stay open until around 7pm.
- Transportation will be the biggest challenge. Until 10pm the buses should run on their regular schedule. Then on Christmas day starting at 2pm, they’ll be back on a regular Sunday schedule (fewer buses). Taxis will also be challenging. If you need a taxi, try calling one of the Radio Taxi numbers below though the line will likely be busy for quite a while. Taxi Premium – 4374-6666 or 5238-0000 or City Taxi – 4585-5544. The best advice I can give is to stay close enough to home to be able to walk back.
- Argentines will likely have dinner with the family and pop some champagne at midnight before heading out to watch the fireworks around the city or to a private party until the sun comes up. You may find some street parties in San Telmo. Join in if you do!
- Have a big lunch and then buy some food to tie you over until bars and pubs open up after midnight. Nearly all restaurants will be closed for dinner.
Christmas Day in Buenos Aires
On Christmas Day we’re going to Tierra Santa. We can’t resist the temptation. Tierra Santa is a religious theme park in the northern part of Buenos Aires. You can watch the story of the creation, see depictions of Jesus’ life in full size, and watch performances of dancers doing something I can’t really place, but it’s still impressive.
More places will be open on Christmas Day than on Dec. 24. There will also be more fireworks. After all, we’re marking the beginning of the summer here and in just a few days the city will empty out as people head to the beach. Ah, January. Light traffic makes for great photography.
Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous, happy and healthy New Year.