When travellers go to Argentina, Buenos Aires seems get a spot on their itinerary automatically. As a former expat who lived in Buenos Aires for nearly two years, I definitely understand why. I’m not here to convince you not to go to Buenos Aires, I’d just like to convince you to give Rosario, Argentina a much-deserved place on your itinerary as well. Here’s why:
Keeping it Clean in Rosario
Ask anyone who has been to Buenos Aires and they’ll tell you – it’s a beautiful city that’s covered in trash. Pollution and litter soil the gorgeous architecture and pretty parks. Rosario, on the other hand, takes great pride in its beauty. A little over a decade ago, Rosario was declared the dirtiest city in Argentina. Many cities would have just given up and accepted their fate, but Rosario went the other route. They launched a huge program to clean up the city. Now, you will have a hard time finding a piece of litter anywhere, other than in the hands of a city worker tossing it into a garbage bag. I cannot tell you how great it felt to go for a run and not have to dodge dog poop and candy wrappers on the sidewalk or worry about laying down on a cigarette butt in the park.
It’s cheaper than Buenos Aires
Many backpackers travel through Central America and parts of South America before arriving in Buenos Aires. After all those great exchange rates and low prices, Buenos Aires can be a great shock to budget travelers. Rosario, however, is not nearly as big of a hit to your budget. You’ll find lunch specials for the equivalent of $5-7USD as opposed to $8-15USD in Buenos Aires.
You’ll also find countless shops and adorable boutiques, both hidden away on unknown streets as well as in the large peotonales (pedestrian-only streets). You can buy clothing, accessories, and jewelry made by local designers and pay half as much as you’d pay for something similar in Buenos Aires. Rosario is fashionable, but still reasonably priced.
The architecture is in Rosario pretty impressive. The city passed special laws protecting any historical building so it is not uncommon to see buildings that are half modern and half historical. They make for great photographic opportunities and a beautiful backdrop for a stroll around the city. You are sure to spend a large portion of your time in Rosario with your head angled upwards, taking in all the interesting structures- just remember to watch where you are going!
It’s Argentine in the best of ways
Rosario is often referred to as the “most Argentine” city. The citizens are very proud of their city and country, but not so much that they are arrogant or unwelcoming. Rosarinos are known for being incredibly friendly and helpful. Many travelers use Porteños (Buenos Aires citizens) as their reference for what is Argentine, but Rosarinos insist that the Porteño lifestyle starts and ends in Buenos Aires. It can be compared to non-US citizens thinking that all Americans and American lifestyle is just like New Yorkers in New York City.
This city boasts both river beaches and a vibrant city center, full of shops, restaurants, museums, and monuments. The most notable monument is, of course, the Monumento de la Bandera (Flag Monument), which is an incredible, towering structure that cannot be skipped. With it’s lower prices, cleaner streets, and truly Argentine culture, it is most certainly a city worth visiting.
Author: Rease Kirchner is a multi-talented traveller with skills in freelance writing and pre-school tutoring, as well as plenty of experience in Spanish translation. Native to the US, she spent almost 2 years in Argentina before moving home to explore the states she’d left behind. Check out more of her amusing tales, tips for travelling and foodie advice from around the world on her blog Indecisive Traveler. She’s also on twitter and facebook.