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Study Abroad: 10 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Buenos Aires

Nov 18, 2014 8:18:41 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

You look out the window in the morning and it's raining. You're studying abroad in Buenos Aires and still want to make the most of the day ahead. Our local staff have a few suggestions:

1. GO TO A PLAY AT TEATRO COLÓN. When you walk into the amazing Colón Theater, it is impossible not to feel the mystic and magic of this luxurious space. National Geographic listed the “Teatro Colón” as number 3 on their list of 10 top opera houses in the world. It is acknowledged for its acoustics and the beauty and artistic value of the building itself. The theater was inaugurated in 1908 and today is 107 years old. It's a wonderful place to pass a rainy day - a place full of history where each corner keeps a secret that can be discovered through the guided tours. It even has its own departments to construct scenery and create elaborate stage costumes. Don’t miss it!

Photo: Teatro Colón by Roger Schultz

2. VISIT EL MUSEO DE LOS TÚNELES SANTA FELICITAS - MUSEUM OF TUNNELS. Getting wet? Put away the umbrella and head underground. “El Museo de los Tuneles Santa Felicitas” is a great place to explore a different side of Buenos Aires. The Museum is located in the neighborhood of Barracas, in the South of the city, and usually explored by Argentines, especially major history buffs. The tunnels were used as a refugee camp for the immigrant population at the end of the 19th century, so you'll be in the midst of history here as well. It's linked to the neo-gothic church of Santa Felicitas. Before you go, learn a bit about the story of a young girl called Felicitas Guerrero.

Photo: El Museo de los Tuneles Santa Felicitas website

3. ADMIRE ARTISTIC TALEN AT MALBA MUSEUM. Art lovers will happily while a rainy hour or two within the creative hub of the MALBA museum - Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires - a cultural center that promotes Latin American art from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day. It's small compared some of the large art museums you'll find in Europe, but impressive nonetheless. The 220 or more permanent pieces come from Eduardo Constantini's personal collection and temporary exhibitions are brought in a few times per year. Check the basement for work by Argentines that can be pretty cutting edge.

Photo: MALBA exhibition by IOE London

4. SEE LA BOMBA DEL TIEMPO. On a rainy evening, it can be fun to treat yourself to a night at the Konex Cultural Center to see a La Bomba del Tiempo ("The Time Bomb") performance. It's improvised, with 16 musicians on stage playing drums at the same time, creating a rhythm that keeps the crowd (many of them regulars) dancing for two hours straight. Go with plenty of energy! You'll see the musicians communicate amongst themselves through signs and there are no two shows alike. They've been playing in the same venue weekly for about four years now. The Konex Cultural Center itself is interesting in that it is housed in an old cooking oil factory!

Photo: La Bomba del Tiempo by Ministerio de Cultura de la Nacion

5. ATTEND LA VIRUTA TANGO SHOW. If you enjoy a live performance, attend La Viruta Tango show, one of our favorite ways to spend a rainy day in Buenos Aires. It's one of the biggest milongas in the city, a typical place where go to dance Tango. It's also the most cosmopolitan milonga around, bringing together many nationalities from around the world. Alongside other expats, study abroad students and tourists, you'll join the local Argentines to learn their traditional dance. They have classes before the main dancing event kicks off so even if you're a beginner you'll know a few basic moves and learn more as the night wears on.

Photo: Tango night at La Viruta by Ed Porras

6. ENJOY A TYPICAL ARGENTINE PEÑA - LA PEÑA DEL COLORADO. If you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere in which to pass that rainy day, round up some friends and head over to “La Peña Del Colorado”. This is a welcoming, rustic place to hang out with exposed brick walls covered in folk memorabilia. You can settle in and unwind with typical Argentine food like empanadas and tamales and chipá, listen to folklore bands and watch their traditional dances that are connected to Argentine roots. It's not specifically aimed at tourists, so you'll find mainly locals there with a few curious foreigners joining in the mix.

Photo: Typical Argentine Tamale by La Peña del Colorado.

7. HAVE A DRINK AT THE NOTABLE BARS (BARES NOTABLES) OF BUENOS AIRES. Cafe culture is of huge importance in Argentine society. You'll find the typical chains, but there's also a select number of places (more than 70) referred to as "barres notables". These are important cultural heritage sites protected by the government from gentrification. They are recognized for their link to living history of Argentine people or historical celebrity customers and preserved for architectural character and design. A few of our suggestions include Café Tortoni, El Café de Los Angelitos, Café Las Violetas, El Ideal, La Biela, El Gato Negro between others. Local CAPA staff will be happy to advise!

Photo: Cafe Tortoni by Beatrice Murch

8. SHOP AT MERCADO DE LAS PULGAS (FLEA MARKET). Between the neighborhoods of Palermo and Colegiales, you'll find "Las Pulgas" (the flea), an old-fashioned flea market that has been around since 1988. On a rainy day, take cover under this market with 143 shops that stock a variety of products from tattered antiques to retro jewelry to modern second hand items. There's mirrors, restored furniture, Atari video games, unusual lamps silver tropheys and crystal chandeliers, but on any given day, you never know what you'll find. Rummage to find some bargains or have a contest to see who can find the most unusual item for sale.

Photo: Mercado de las Pulgas by José María Pérez Nuñez

9. BRUSH UP ON YOUR HISTORY AT CASA ROSADA (PINK HOUSE). One of the most interesting landmarks in Buenos Aires is the famous La Casa Rosada. You can't miss it, standing in front of the historical Plaza de Mayo, a fortress turned into the pale pink Argentinean Presidential Palace in in 1894 and a historical monument in 1942. It is said that the walls of the fortress were painted with ox blood which is why the color was chosen. On a rainy day, you can go inside for a bilingual tour to see some of the rooms and collection of artwork. If you're a fan of the musical "Evita", you might find yourself imagining Eva Peron addressing the crowds from the balcony.

Photo: Casa Rosada by Yeraze

10. SIGN UP FOR A GUIDED TOUR OF THE MUSEUM OF HUMOR. Like Casa Rosada, the Museum of humor (MuHu) colored pink, but is a much less serious place. You'll find an escape from the rain and a few laughs here in the old Munich Brewery if you visit the neighbor of Puerto Madero. It's definitely one of the more unusual museums in Buenos Aires. There's animation art, cartoons, comic strips featuring everything from children's illustrations that are great for a chuckle to some heavier hitting political cartoons. It represents the importance of graphic humor in this CAPA city and offers a heartfelt tribute to those who help bring a smile to the faces of the public.

Photo: MuHu - Museo del Humor by Museo del Humor

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Topics: Buenos Aires, Argentina