Seven days, Seven takeaways of Buenos Aires:

Alia McLaughlin headshot
Alia McLaughlin
March 7, 2024

It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that just a week ago, I was checking into my flight and awaiting my first step into the warmth of Buenos Aires air. Now, a little over a week into my stay in Buenos Aires, I can’t believe it’s already the beginning of March. Through the business of orientation, the contagious energy of the city, and many cultural nuances, I wanted to compile a list of seven notable points to share for this blog post. 

There. Are. So. Many. Dogs

While it is a known fact that Argentina has the most therapists per capita in the world, I firmly believe that dogs are also included in this statistic (yes I consider them to be highly effective therapists). Specifically in the city of Buenos Aires, I have experienced the joys of a meet and greet with every single type of breed, size, and personality of dog. Heaven is a place on Earth!!

Various dogs gathering at a nearby park

People love to socialize in outdoor spaces!

As someone who loves to run, ski, or relax with others in outdoor spaces, I was glad to find that many porteños share the same passion. I constantly see people gathered in parks with their dogs, working out, taking a walk, running, or biking with their friends! There are also dedicated parts in parks that are enclosed for kids to run free after school which I also thought was a neat feature of these public spaces. 

Coffee shops are meant to be places to take your time

One habit I really admire of Argentians that I would love to establish in my life is how they take their time in restaurants and cafes. For example, many restaurants require that you seat yourself and you ask to order. Additionally, asking for the check might not be as speedy as in the United States. It is common to spend several hours in a restaurant; in other words, dining spaces are an experience and a place to gather. It is very uncommon to see most people eat their meals “on the go” (although people do deliver food using services such as Rappi or they take their food back home!) My friends and I have come to love this habit of culture, as we have discovered new restaurants and have had great conversations over a drink and dishes that we happily share with others. 

A few friends and I enjoying some food


Other places take time too!

Cafes aren’t the only places that serve as places to gather, relax, and take in surroundings. On the streets, I see a range of “speeds” of walkers. Some, like me (unless I am rushing to class) take their time to stroll past various shops and restaurants, occasionally finding themselves investigating a new store, then continuing on their journey. Others walk with purpose, their heads and objectives pointed to their intended destination. However, most spaces such as park benches, stores, and sidewalks offer a place for people to stop for a conversation with a familiar face.

Buses and cars have no mercy!!

Contradictory to the note above, buses and cars do NOT stop for anyone! Many times, I have caught myself trying to catch the last few minutes of the walk signal, frantically clutching my bag as I hope a motorcycle doesn’t bulldoze me over. Buses and cars will also sometimes turn even when the walk signal is on and bikers will find every space to nudge themselves- which takes talent and guts!

Similarities and Differences

Despite the several differences, such as paying for water, the architecture, and some social differences, I also notice many similarities. For example, similar to food delivery services like door dash, porteños can be seen armored with a helmet, their bike or motorcycles delivering food with their Rappi or Pediya bags. Another similarity I notice just by observing people while walking or relaxing at the park is that in reality, Buenos Aires is a small city. People are interconnected and are always open to chatting with their friends. Just the other day, we were in a colectivo and out of all the buses, one happened to stop right next to ours and the two bus drivers knew each other. Likewise, I have always found some sort of connection in every new place I have gone to. 

Argentina is quite a special place

Everyday has gifted me with new discoveries, and I have been really enjoying what the city and the country has to offer! I am especially looking forward to traveling around the different regions and interacting with more of the locals as I become more involved in some local clubs and the university. I hope to continue to learn the culture, history, and its stories as I keep my mind open. 

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs
Alia McLaughlin headshot

Alia McLaughlin

Hi! I'm Alia and I am from Park City, UT. I love meeting new people and hearing about their stories, yummy food, running, and learning new languages. I'm psyched to study abroad and I hope to continue these hobbies and try some new ones too!

2024 Spring
Home University:
St. Olaf College
Political Science
Explore Blogs