Here you’ll find wide, tree-lined avenues, period houses and green plazas sprinkled around town, all built at a time when BA was one of the wealthiest cities in the world. The cemetery in the well-off residential area of Recoleta is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Here you’ll find the tomb of actress turned first lady Eva Peron, along with a number of other historically interesting figures.
But despite the city’s graceful beauty, it has fire at its heart fuelled by the tenderest of bloody steaks, deep red wine and the sultry steps of the tango danced at one of the many events known as milongas found in areas across town such as San Telmo – the city’s oldest barrio.
Of course, there is much more to the city than these well-known characteristics. The city is on the move with large areas such as Puerto Madero undergoing significant redevelopment.
And for those not too keen to tango, the nightlife is about much more than just milongas. Here you’ll hear hybrid electro-tango beats and come across some of the world’s most exciting DJs. Percussion ensemble La Bomba del Tiempo pulls in crowds of around 1500 each week while the bohemian barrio of Palermo has a number of cool bars tucked between its impressive selection of boutique shops.
The colourful neighbourhood of La Boca is home La Bombonera, the home stadium of football team Boca Juniors. Try and catch a game if you can, but avoid sitting beneath the rival team and be on your guard in certain parts of this neighbourhood.
Places to Visit in Buenos Aires
- San Telmo
- La Boca
Unique Things to See and Do in Buenos Aires
- Dance tango at one of the city’s many milongas
- Visit the world’s first religious theme park at Tierra Santa
- Catch a football game in La Boca
- Wander the hauntingly beautiful Cementerio de la Recoleta
- Visit the presidential palace Casa Rosada, where the Peron’s made their famous address
The Birthplace of Tango
Ever wondered what making love in the vertical position looks like? Well, apparently it looks a lot like the tango – the steamy dance that was born in Buenos Aires at the turn of the last century.
The exact origins of the dance are much disputed, but it is generally believed to be a fusion of European dance forms such as the polka and the waltz mixed with rhythms brought to Argentina with African slaves, such as habanera and candombe.
The wave of immigration to Argentina in the later part of the 1800s and the early 1900s saw this mixing continue, although increasingly fused with a sense of longing for the people and places left behind by the new settlers. The dance was considered a dance for the poor people from the barrios and made it way to the brothels.
But by the start of the 20th century it had become more mainstream, integrating into the Argentine culture, and in the 1900s it was introduced to the world by the sons of wealthy Argentine families as they made their way to Paris, fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
However, the dance fell out of grace once again in the 1950s as difficult economic conditions saw tango lyrics become more subversive, being pushed underground as a result. It was forgotten amid the onslaught of rock n roll, only to step back onto centre stage in the 1980s when Parisian stage show Tango Argentino reignited the world’s passion for this sultriest of dances.
Getting Around Buenos Aires
The fastest and cheapest way to get around town is to use the city’s metro service which is called the subte. The network extends across town with trains running until 11pm. Tourists can easily navigate the subte with the aid of a map which can be obtained at one of the stations.
Buses called collectivos are also plentiful and run 24/7. Taxis too are in no short supply, although be sure to use the black and yellow taxis which run on a meter to avoid getting scammed
Did you know…?
Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest street in the world at a whopping 16 lanes. It typically takes at least two traffic light rotations to cross it.
Did you ALSO know…?
People from Buenos Aires refer to themselves as Porteños because many of them originally arrived by boat from Europe and settled in the port area.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Buenos Aires
Situated at sea level on the River Plate, Buenos Aires’ seasons are heightened by the city’s location. As a result, summers are intense and winters very chilly. Temperatures can often feel higher or lower than they actually are. The best times to visit are spring and autumn. Although be prepared, the rains can come during any season of the year, and when they come they can be quite heavy.
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