Buenos Aires, is the capital of the great South American country of Argentina. Situated in the north of the country on the Atlantic Ocean, it enjoys pleasant weather all year round, warm humid summers, lovely autumn and springs and mild winters. It is one of the biggest urban centres in the world with 15 million people. The name “Buenos Aires” means fair winds in Spanish and this is an apt description. The city is officially known as the ‘Autonomous City of Buenos Aires” or the “Capital Federal”, but no matter what moniker is used, it is one of the most unique and enjoyable cities on earth.
Buenos Aires as a travel destination has much to offer, it is untamed and cutting edge but also refined with a European splendour. With such a huge population there are many districts, some thriving and busy metropolis’s while others are quite sprawling areas with many large green spaces. Threading through it all is the all pervasive spirit of the people, the Argentinians love life and it shows, the city is full of lively bars and restaurants, it is the embodiment of it’s famous passionate – the Tango.
There are 48 districts in all that make up the city. Some of the main ones to look out for are below
Microcentro – is the central downtown area, it is close to many of the historic attractions, and has plenty of shopping, banks and tourist facilities. It is probably not the most authentic to enjoy a look at the more traditional Buenos Aires but is certainly convenient and has plenty of transport, hotels to get you out there quickly.
La Boca – a wild and richly cultural neighbourhood that is really popular with travellers, the district has a profusion of bright colours and plenty to see and do. It is an area to keep your wits about you, as it has a reputation for having a higher crime rate, but also for cheap prices and authenticity.
San Telmo – an area with well preserved colonial houses on lovely cobbled lanes, it has a hip nightlife and authentic feel and is also a great area to get a look at some Tango, better yet you can also learn or take part in some yourself. Be sure to have a look at the San Telmo market which is held in an impressive wrought iron hall.
Palermo – a large district well known for it’s hip and cutting edge style. It has some beautiful wide tree lined boulevards which are full of restaurants, bars and trendy boutiques. The area has some stunning parks and is home to many of the most wealthy of Buenos Aires. There are several sections that make up Palermo each with it’s own style, it’s a fascinating place to explore.
Recoleta and Belgrano are upmarket areas where beautiful architecture and parks can be enjoyed. Don’t miss the Recoleta cemetery with it’s ornate tombs of the most wealthy and important citizens – the tomb of Eva Perón is also here. Taking a stroll along through the parks is a lovely way to see some of Buenos Aires finest houses.
There is of course so much more to see, Tribunales with it’s theatres, the fascinating immagrant neighborhoods of Once or the revamped port area of Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires has discoveries at every turn.
Tango of course is a must – if not to try dancing yourself then at least to watch some of the best practitioners in the world. Check out a local ‘Milonga’ where you can watch or learn from the afternoon right through to the wee hours of the morning.
Another Buenos Aires treat is the excellent food and wine. Make sure you go to a Parrilla (steak restaurant), and experience some of the best beef in the world as well as a great range of local wines to wash it down.
Many who visit Buenos Aires come back again and again, and some never leave. Put it on your list of “must-sees”.