Famous for its tango, football and black coffee, Buenos Aires is the largest and the capital city of Argentina located on the east coast of South America. Its architecture, culture and international vibe give the city a strikingly European feel, earning it the nickname ‘the Paris of South America’. The city is divided into many districts: La Boca, La Recoleta, Puerto Madero, Palermo y el Centro and the oldest San Telmo, each with its own cultural and each deserving a visit (if you can!). Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, exquisite cuisine or nightlife that doesn’t stop, this vibrant metropolis leaves little room for disappointment.
Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), commonly known as Ezeiza, is the city’s largest located 21 miles (33km) south of the city centre serving international and domestic flights. Travelling to and from the airport is best done using one of the many mini bus services or public buses which take around 30 minutes and drop passengers off in downtown Buenos Aires. Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) is a smaller airport but the most convenient to access the city (2.5m / 4km away) and tends to handle mostly domestic flights from neighbouring countries such as Uruguay.
The city’s metro system, (www.subte.com.ar) locally known as ‘the Subte’, is by far the best way to get out and about in Buenos Aires and as well as being fast and cheap, it runs from early in the morning until late at night, seven days a week. A flat fare is 1.10pesos (or try a Subte pass for 11 pesos which is valid for 10 trips) and every station has a staffed ticket window who can help you find your way. If you prefer to stay above ground, there’s frequent buses and trains available.
Where to stay
Visitors on all budgets are spoilt for choice in Buenos Aires. For those looking for a touch of luxury then try the Hilton, Madero or Mine Boutique hotels, or head to the upmarket Recoleta district. Many hotels, such as the Hotel Cristoforo Colombo and the Buenos Aires Grand Hotel, are also known for their green credentials. Alternatively, many cheap hotels and hostels can be found near Avenida Cordoba.
What to do
Tours & attractions – With so much to do it’s difficult to know where to start but we recommend beginning with a stroll through Plaza Dorrego, the city’s largest antiques market, and Plaza de Mayo which contains an array of historical monuments. To soak up some local culture try Palermo Viejo, La Boca, Recoleta, Puerto Madero and San Telmo. You can keep the family entertained with a visit to the Buenos Aires Zoo, the Luna Park or perhaps a sporting event at the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (stadium).
Concert & Theatre – When it comes to the arts you simply have to immerse yourself in the city’s famous dance, the tango. Some of the most popular tango shows include Boca Tango, Señor Tango or La Ventana. You can even try it yourself with dancing lessons at Complejo.
Shopping – From handcraft antiques to designer clothes, Buenos Aires caters for all tastes when it comes to shopping ensuring you won’t leave empty handed. Head to Gallerias Pacifico or Avenida Alvear just outside the city for some great fashion boutiques.
Art & culture – A must see is the city’s fine-art museum the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. There’s also the Cementerio de la Recoleta, the Museo de Arte Lationoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) and the Museo Evita. You can visit the colourful Caminito and Casa Rosada which is the Presidential Palace. For those with children there’s even a museum dedicated to them!
Eating out / Night life
As a typical Latino country, Buenos Aires boasts a busy nightlife with many glamorous restaurants, bars and clubs open until late into the morning. Try heading to the Palermo and bars such as Bangalore or Acabar, or try the San Telmo and Centro areas. There’s a wide choice of local and international cuisine on offer to satisfy all taste buds with some of the most popular places being Las Cabras, Christophe and Almacen Secret. End the evening with drinks at Origen and Club Grice or dance the night away at Fiesta Bubamara, Asia de Cuba and Jet nightclubs.
Buenos Aires boasts a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters, making it always a good time to visit the city with an average yearly temperature of 18°C/65°F.