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The hedonistic metropolis on the banks of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires is a place of sensual dance, legendary nightlife, and passionate soccer fans. Its European architecture and cafe culture have earned Argentina’s capital renown as the “Paris of South America”—but the glass skyscrapers of Puerto Madero and the markets of San Telmo make this port city something entirely singular. Sip mate in Plaza del Mayo like e a true Porteño, and don’t miss the sizzling asadas to get your fill of the traditional steak barbeque.
Plaza de Mayo
Cemetery La Recoleta
A bohemian neighborhood hugging the banks of the South Darsena River, San Telmo is known for its colorful street art, pop-up galleries, and weekly market—featuring rare books and ornamental antiques. Join locals as they hunt and haggle for the perfect piece, or watch from a sidewalk cafe. Take coffee with a dulce de leche Alfajore, cookie sandwich, as you admire the colonial architecture.
Constructed in 1884, this micro-center has been alternately a place of protest and celebration. See the famous balcony of Casa Rosada where the Peróns famously gave speeches to the people and walk under the Pirámide de Mayo, Buenos Aires’ oldest national monument. Make sure to peek inside the Metropolitan Cathedral whose main giltwood altar dates back to colonial times.
On Rio de la Plata riverbank, this skyscraper district provides much more than towering glass. Cross Puente de la Mujer, “the women's bridge,” designed to evoke a couple dancing the Tango. Board either the Sarmiento or Uruguay, Navy vessels turned interactive nautical museums. Take a respite from the busy city with a stroll or cycle through the lagoons and marshes of the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve.
Visit the La Boca neighborhood, “the mouth” of the city and home of the Boca Juniors soccer club. If you can snag tickets to see them play at La Bombonera Stadium, seize the opportunity. Take El Caminito the cobblestone path where the colorful street art is punctuated by roadside Tango performances and sip a Fernet in the passionate ambiance.
Journey into the elegant Recoleta neighborhood, where the architecture is Beaux-Arts and dinner isn’t served ‘til after 10 pm. Independent boutiques, charming cafes, and upscale cocktail bars line the leafy streets of this affluent residential area. El Ateneo bookstore is a must-see, this former theater on the border of Recoleta and Palermo puts literature center stage with an ornate gold interior unchanged from its days as an opera house.
The Recoleta cemetery is unlike any other gravesite. Here you’ll find elaborately carved stone mausoleums—all above ground. This is the resting place of some of the country’s most iconic figures including Eva Perón and writer, José Hernández. While you’re there, visit the city’s second-oldest church, Our Lady of Pilar whose quaint exterior houses a dazzling baroque altar.
Palermo is the city’s largest neighborhood so there’s a lot to explore. Tour the Botanical Gardens and spy the population domestic cats that live there. Shop local wares at the outdoor markets of Plaza Serrano and Plaza Armenia. Indulge in a submarino, hot milk served with a block of chocolate to be stirred in as you people watch.
Take a 45-minute jaunt from the city to explore this little “Venice” on the Paraná river delta. Named for the jaguars who once hunted there, Tigre is a peaceful island formed by river backchannels. Take a boat ride around town stopping off at Puerto Frutos, the waterfront market that once sold fruit, to peruse the wares of local artisans and birdwatch at the Delta Terra Natural Reserve.
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