Argentina: Travel Like a Local in 5 Steps

Argentina Travel Posted on 03/11/2020

There always seems to be a big difference between tourists who simply visit a new country and those who travel like a local. While there is nothing wrong with visiting a new place and playing tourist, there is something more profound and rewarding about getting to know a new culture from the inside out.

Updated to April 2024

When you travel like a local, you get to know people, places, customs and culture from a whole new perspective. You are not an outsider looking in, but truly assimilating into the culture from its core. Each country and city has its own quirks, those that just scream, “I’m from here!”

None is more true than in Argentina, where by simply looking at a person you can tell that they are so Argentine. Begin your journey ready to travel like a local Argentine, and you will find yourself lost in a beautiful world of passion, friendship, and tradition.

Here’s our trip to travel like a local Argentine in 5 easy steps:

1. Buy a SUBE card and travel like a local

In big cities like Buenos Aires, the majority of Porteños take public transportation everywhere. With the subway, train, and bus systems across the city, it’s incredibly easy to get from one place to another while experiencing local life. Purchase a SUBE card, which is an electronic card that you can charge money and pay for each ride electronically. Don’t be afraid to ask Porteños for direction, they almost always know how to get to where you need to go. Enjoy the ride!

2. Drink Mate all day, every day

Mate is the highly caffeinated tea leaf that most Argentines drink daily. There is mate culture all over Argentina, where there is never a wrong moment to drink a mate. Head to a park or plaza and notice all of the couples, friends, and families drinking mate together. Don’t be afraid to go and introduce yourself and ask to try some. Argentines drink mate groups, so this is a good way to meet new friends and bond over your first time drinking mate!

Man drinking mate, a very well known drink of Argentina

3. Eat meat and drink wine

The meat in Argentina is some of the best in the world and Argentines are very proud of it! Meat is served at most group gatherings including the popular asado, an Argentine barbecue. Malbec red wine goes perfectly paired with all cuts of meat, so make sure to fill up a glass. Attending an asado is a chance to see the true Argentine spirit  Friends and family coming together to share memories and laughs with good food and good wine. If you can score an invite to an authentic asado, this may be the highlight of your entire trip.

Gauchos cooking asado in a argentinean estancia

4. Ditch the Morning Bird routine

Social events in Argentina happen every single day of the week. These include include birthday parties, after-office with coworkers, end of the year parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and casual get-togethers. Many of these events are for many hours and usually begin late in the evening. Learning to stay out late all nights of the week is a key to surviving in Argentina (hint: this is where the magic of mate comes in). Just make sure to fit in your mid-afternoon siesta to get some rest.

5. Keep a sense of humor

Show up for dinner and the line is out the door? No pasa nada. You can’t plan everything in Argentina and it’s much better to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey. Grab a drink while you wait, talk to other people in line, and practice a bit of Spanish. If you are running late to a scheduled appointment, don’t worry about it. Everyone else is too!

Street artist playing guitar for a family

Don’t forget a very obvious step of traveling like a local: dressing like a local!

Let Say Hueque help you travel like a local during your trip to Argentina!

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