The romantic city of the Tango and architecture never fails to impress...
One of the most vibrant and beautiful cities anywhere in the world. At around 12 million inhabitants, Buenos Aires features a rich array of cultures, foods, architecture and nightlife, and is a must see on any trip or honeymoon to Argentina. A few of our favourite things to do in Buenos Aires include exploring the famous Recoleta cemetery, going to see a Boca Juniors football match, wandering through one of the many weekend markets and generally gorging on the fabulous steak and wine, with the bustle flowing past.
A rough history of Buenos Aires dates back to the middle of the 15th century when it was founded by the Spanish, creating the centre of town around the Plaza de Mayo, with the fort and first church. Today the square is still very much at the centre of the city and is a great place to see some of the original architecture and the famous Pink Palace of the La Presidente. For more information on the culture of the capital please have a look at the Buenos Aires Culture page.
Buenos Aires is an interesting place to spend a few nights exploring as it features some good architecture in parts, mainly around the centre, Recoleta, Retiro and San Telmo, and some good nightlife…mainly around Palermo Soho and Palermo Viejo. On top of this it also has a fair few day trips that are possible…out to the estancias that surround the city in the Pampas, as well as Tigre and Colonia (in Uruguay).
Have a look at some of our favourite areas of the city below:
Traditionally the wealthiest region of Buenos Aires Recoletta is wide avenues and Gucci!
Just to the south of the main Avenida, Recoleta is where most of the larger and more expensive hotels are located. The streets are all tree lined and there is a very safe and expensive feel to the area with its array of high-end shops and stunning town houses.
As far as attractions to the area go, there are a few good restaurants to go and dine in, and there is also the famous Cemetario de Recoleta where most of the more famous names from Argentina were buried such as Eva Peron and numerous presidents and captains of industry. The cemetery is free to enter and is certainly worth spending an hour or so wandering around as you can actually look into the individual crypts and see the coffins that have been there for a few centuries!!
Although, being a district towards the water, it is probably not as well known or as expensive…but it is not too far off. Retiro is simple enough, but not really worth visiting unless you are staying here. The one main point of interest, however, is the small square and park that is home to the English tower, and the main railway station to the north that is also located here and is worth driving past.
Further broken down into Viejo, Soho and Hollywood. This is an interesting district with Viejo probably being the main area to go and have a good look at. Until the last 20 years or so, it was not seen as being a very good place to visit and so most of the new hotels that open in Buenos Aires are located over here…with good reason. It is an interesting mix of quiet cobbled stones and boutique shops selling designer wear. At its heart is the Serrano Square that has a few good bars and restaurants in the surrounding streets. A very good place to both stay and to go out in on a Friday or Saturday night.
La Boca (or “the mouth”) is, probably, one of the most famous areas in the city as it has a few streets that are wonderfully colourful, and it is also the home of the Boca Juniors football team…a team that is supported by pretty much everyone in Argentina…unless you are a River Plate fan! The area is certainly worth a quick visit and, quite often, it is possible to see a few tango dancers plying their trade during the day…but, be warned, it is now a big draw for tourists so it is worth coming early!
Cobbled, small streets are the overall feel to everything here with plenty of crumbling building that date back to the, 18th and 17th century. A really interesting square to go and visit is Plaza Dorrego that, along with being the oldest square in the city, is where, on Sundays, they have a great little flea market where you can buy pretty much anything you like. Another interesting site to go and have a look at, along with the many small antique shops, is El Zanjon, an original, 15th century building, that has now been turned into a museum offering a glimpse at the architecture of 5 generations in the city.
This is the last area to have been built and is made from the reclaimed land that they have taken back from the river. It is also where the most development and investment has happened in the last 10 years or so with plenty of new and modern buildings being constructed. The area feels very similar to that of Canary Wharf in London with sleek, modern high rises and expensive restaurants. While it is a small hop from the centre of town, it boasts some of the city’s best restaurants as well as one of the best views back to the skyline.
A few of the most famous buildings include the Theatro Colon (arguably one of the 4 most important theatres in the world), the government building (a strange shade of pink, that was built on the foundations of the first fort right in the centre of the city) and the Libreria Ateneo that is an old theatre that has now been converted to a bookstore and is worth a lunch visit.