10 Things I love about Argentina

1. Yummy Food


“Bife de Chorizo” by aprillynn77 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Although very few food items—such as dulce de leche, alfajores, sandwiches de miga and chimichurri—can be considered typically Argentinean, the country manages to have one of the best cuisines in the world.

The secret to having such delicious food is not related to the dishes per se, which often resemble Italian, Spanish and French ones. The greatness of Argentinean cuisine is linked to the quality of its ingredients—high-quality dairy products and beef— as well as to the way the food is prepared (often homemade) and cooked (meat is frequently cooked in charcoal grills).

p.s. Don’t EVER return home from a trip to Argentina without having a scoop (or a kilo! LOL) of the thick and delicious artisanal ice cream from Freddo.


2. Language


“Argentinidad” by morrissey is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You must be thinking: “it’s just Spanish, no big deal.” Well, you couldn’t be more wrong!

Argentineans have one of the most distinguished Spanish accents among native Spanish speakers—the Argentinean Spanish is even more beautiful than that of Spain (shhhh! Don’t tell my Spanish friends I’ve said that! LOL).

The Spanish spoken in Argentina sounds more like Italian and the grammar is a little different too. One of the most well known characteristics of the Argentinean Spanish is the use of the personal pronoun vos (you) instead of (you). Another notable aspect of the Argentinean accent is the “sh” sound (or “zh” in some parts of the country). The word yo (I), for instance, is usually pronounced like “sho” and pollo (chicken) like “posho.”

Some words (che, boludo, quilombo), slangs (cara rota, mira vos) and idioms (ni en pedo) are also important symbols of la argentinidad.


3. Hand Gestures

"Mirta06" by Fernando Carrizo is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Mirta06″ by Fótica / Estudio Fotográfico & Diseño is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The large number of Italians who migrated to Argentina in the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries not only influenced the way Argentineans speak, but also the way they talk with their hands. Some people jokingly argue that it’s possible to speak Italian without ever saying a word. Well, the same goes for Argentinean Spanish.

Italian and Argentinean hand gestures are actually quite similar. They can convey emphasis, certain emotions or even full thoughts!


4. Nightlife 

"Avenida de Mayo at the end of the night" by blmurch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Avenida de Mayo at the end of the night” by blmurch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As a night owl myself, I love the fact that Argentinean cities are so vibrant all night long. Most Argentineans have dinner at 9 p.m. or later. Most clubs open around midnight, get packed around 2am, and close around 7am!


5. Theater Culture

"Main Auditorium Teatro Colón" by Roger Schultz is licensed by CC BY 2.0

“Main Auditorium Teatro Colón” by Roger Schultz is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Considered one of the world’s great capitals of theater, Buenos Aires has its own (even better) version of New York’s Broadway. Avenida Corrientes is the heart of the theater district in the Argentinean capital.

The variety of theater plays and musicals one can watch in Argentina at any given time of the year is pretty impressive. Although the best theater companies offer their shows in Buenos Aires almost all year long, many of them move to Mar Del Plata for the summer season.


6. Music


“Tango” by René Mayorga is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Tango is hands down one of Argentina’s best treasures. However, Argentinean music is much more than tango. The country is also home to great ska and rock bands, such as Los Auténticos Decadentes and Los Enanitos Verdes.


7. Drinks


“Mate” by Bryan Pocius is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mate—a beverage prepared with dry leaves of yerba mate and hot water—is the national drink of Argentina. Mate is described as having “the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage.” What’s better than that?

Well, wine.

Argentina is one of the largest producers of wine in the world and its Malbec is just superb.


8. Highways

ruta 2

By Gastón Cuello licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

You may think that most roads and highways in South America are poorly maintained—and that’s true—but the main roads of Argentina are exceptions. The Ruta 2 (the national route 2), for instance, is a very well-maintained dual carriageway that connects Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. Next time you’re in Argentina, don’t hesitate to rent a car and explore other parts of the country.


9. Large Avenues

9 de julio new

“Don’t try this at home” by PhillipC licensed under CC BY 2.0

Buenos Aires has some of the widest avenues in the world. The 9 de Julio and the Libertador Avenues are two of my favorite ones. 9 de Julio has up to seven lanes in each direction. Isn’t that amazing?


10. Susana Giménez

I couldn’t end this list without mentioning one of the most prominent divas of Argentina. Susana Giménez is in Argentina what Oprah is in the United States. Her talk show is one of the highest-rated and longest-running TV shows in the history of Argentina.

When you watch her show, you literally feel like you’re sitting in her living room, not only because of the show’s set—which does look like a living room—but also because of the casual way in which she conducts her interviews. Besides being one of the funniest people on TV in Argentina, I absolutely love the way she speaks, prolonging the vowel sounds, as well as the sound of the letter R:

Diviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiino!” (Loooooooovely!)

Barrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrbaro!” (Grrrrrrrrrrrreat!)

What do you love about Argentina? Tell me in the comments section below.

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Read this post in Portuguese.

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27 responses to “10 Things I love about Argentina

  1. Another great post. I really enjoy reading this kind of blog. Argentina is another Latin American giant poised to make a difference in the future. Like, Brasil, it is under-appreciated by the colossus to the north. The day will come when we see it differently! I could listen to them speak Spanish all day because their expressions and accent are so unique. Exquisitely beautiful Spanish that has an distinctly Italian feel to it. Thank you for the post!

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for your kind comment!
      I’m really glad you enjoyed the blog and the post. :)
      I do hope that Argentina and Brazil will make a difference in the future!
      Argentinean Spanish is beautiful, isn’t it? It’s the best of both worlds; spanish words (which are easier to spell and pronounce) with the sonority of the Italian language.
      In addition, most Argentinean idioms are hilarious! hehe If you’re interested in learning some “Argentinean,” you should check this out:

      Have a wonderful week!
      ps: I’ve read some of your poems and they’re great! :)

    • Hola Daniel,
      Me encanta Argentina, así que tendría que escribir este post :)
      Si, yo sé que el mate es muchísimo más que una infusión (café+té+chocolate). El mate es un evento social, verdad?
      Gracias por tu comentario y por el link que me dejaste. Me pareció muy interesante y informativo.
      Un abrazo!

  2. As an Argentinean I have a couple of things I’d like to say that might help understand the article better.
    Our cuisine is basically Italian cuisine, we don’t have much from Spain (you won’t find authentic and decent tapas with ease), plus the beef and the regional stuff. The ice cream is a subject all on its own but Freddo is not the best of the big chains right now. I’d say Persicco is slightly better, but some tiny ice cream shops here and there (like La Gruta near the junction of Cabildo avenue and Sucre) which are a lot better. Also try to go to Rosario, national capital of artisan ice cream.
    We’re more like Italians who speak Spanish, that’s why we have the hand gestures, the accent and stuff like that.

    Come back and stay a bit longer and you might rethink one or two of these points. :)

    • Hi Ezequiel,

      Thank you for your comment!
      I know that the Argentinean cuisine is basically Italian, but there are many elements from other cuisines too, including the Spanish cuisine (but not necessarily tapas). I believe the pucheros, empanadas, chinchulines, embutidos (incluso la morcilla!) and croquetas all come from the Spanish cuisine. Medialunas (croissant) and alfajores (that sometimes are very similar to macarons) probably come from the French cuisine.
      Regarding the ice cream, I’ve had the ice cream from Persicco before and I still prefer the ice cream from Freddo, but that’s just a matter of opinion. :)
      It’s funny that you’ve mentioned the ice cream shop in the intersection of Cabildo and Sucre because that’s very close to where I usually stay in Argentina (I always stay in Belgrano). So, next time I’m there (which will be soon), I’ll definitely have some ice cream from La Gruta. Thanks for the tip! :)
      I’ve been to Argentina 8 times (always relatively long stays) and I’ve lived there for more than a month in 2009. So, I’m not sure if I’ll rethink my points, but maybe I will, who knows? :)

      Un abrazo!

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    • Hi Ignacio,
      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! :)
      I like Susana’s TV program and I think she’s hilarious!
      I haven’t included any sports because I’m not a big sports fan ;)
      Thanks for commenting!
      Un abrazo!

  4. I agree with most of your list, but I have to respectfully disagree with #1! The food in Argentina is the blandest I have ever tasted. Though I do admit that their desserts are marvelous. They do sugar well, but not spice…

    I would also add to the list their huge and famous bookstore, El Ateneo, in the heart of Buenos Aires. It is one of the most beautiful in the world!

    • Really? You’re the first person to tell me that the food in Argentina isn’t great! LOL But, I respect your opinion and you’re right about the desserts! Yummy! ;)
      I can’t believe I forgot to mention El Ateneo! I love that bookstore as well!
      Thanks for leaving your comments here! :)

  5. There are more places to know in Argentina, but of course not all places are well suited or are just some little poor than Buenos Aires.
    But for example Córdoba, the province, some towns of that province (state) are really nice towns: Río Cuarto, Jesús María are good examples of that. Río Cuarto have a bridge that is an imitation of a big suspension bridge but more small. It is a strange thing to see in a landscape with a few trees and a dry river that pass under it.

    The state of San Luis is too a nice place to know. There are the best roads of the country, search for San Luis Argentina in google and you will see.
    In San Luis run some important bicycle races. You can search for “San Luis Tour”. That is thanks to the good roads of the province.
    A landscape with a road within mountains.

    Córdoba too have some mountains.

    In Argentina we have too “Ushuahia” in “Tierra del Fuego” the most southern city of the country and of the world (being considered still a city, not a town).

    In the North of Argentina, you have Jujuy, a nice like exotic desert landscape to explore. You can search for “Jujuy Argentina” in Google.

    Mendoza have the vineyard. You can see vast landscapes of green vegetation in Mendoza. It is a nice place to know too.

    • Hi Andrés,
      Thanks for the suggestions and descriptions!
      I can’t wait to explore some of the places you’ve mentioned! :)
      There’s so much more to Argentina than Buenos Aires. I agree with you!
      Thank you so much for your comment!

  6. lovely post but as an argentinian ill have to clarify something very important: this post refers mainly to buenos aires and not to the rest of the country….where you can find different accents (from cordoba for example or jujuy) where they speak slower and less italian style. also in the north you will not hear much tango but instead folclore with charangos, quenas , bombos, etc. i hope you get the chance to go to the northwest next time you come to argentina! you will love it there!

    • Hi,
      You’re absolutely right. Some of the items refer specifically to Buenos Aires, while others are more general. In Cordoba, they use the “zh” sound instead of the “sh” sound, right? I’ve noticed that.
      I’m sure I’ll love the northwest as well! :)
      Thanks for commenting!
      Un abrazo!

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  9. Very nice post! I guess Susana Gimenez is a joke, right? Cause it cannot be one important thing about Argentina =p It´s funny you included her!! I was expecting Dulce de Leche or the social life among people, which is very close and particular, and different from many other countries!

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