Buenos Aires is one of those cities that has something for everyone! So when I spent a week there during my South America trip, it wasn’t long until I had found myself completely captivated by the city and everything it had to offer. I learnt a lot about the city while I was there, and there were many reasons why I instantly fell in love with the capital. Unfortunately my time there had to come to an end but it wasn’t without its highlights, and these were some of them…
Here are 8 reasons to fall in love with Buenos Aires!
1. The Diverse Neighbourhoods
Like every big city, there are a number of distinct neighbourhoods. I tried to make the most of my short time in Buenos Aires by exploring the different neighbourhoods – and in Buenos Aires every single neighbour is completely unique. The barrios are so diverse that there truly is something for everyone.
The colourful streets of La Boca delight the many tourists that visit with its art, tango and football; the political hub of the city El Microcentro houses the main historic buildings and tourist attractions; San Telmo and Monserrat charm with their historic Spanish colonial buildings, old cobble streets and bohemian and antique stores; Palermo enchants with its tranquil, green parks and its fashionable shopping boutique and buzzing hip cafe scene; the alluring Recoleta is home to the affluent areas of the city with its striking European-style buildings; and Puerto Madero impresses with its modern and open-air docks.
2. The Architecture
With its large open boulevards and distinctive European architecture, it’s no surprise that Buenos Aires is nicknamed ‘Paris of the South’. In fact, the more time I spent exploring the city, the more I started to wonder whether I was in fact wandering the streets of an exclusive, beautiful French city. We joined a free walking tour one morning, which took us through the heavily European-influenced neighbourhoods of Recoleta and Retiro.
3. The Café Scene
For someone who comes from the self-proclaimed coffee capital of the world Melbourne, I was pretty impressed with the café scene in Buenos Aires. There were plenty of little cafés around the city, most notably in the affluent Palermo neighbourhood.
4. The Gardens
Amongst the cityscape, there are plenty of places to sit back and relax in the sunshine. Buenos Aires is such a green city!
5. The Street Art
Both locals and foreigners treat the city walls as a canvas and it’s fantastic! There are very few restrictions on street art in Buenos Aires. That’s why you will come across many murals and artistic works throughout the city – it’s basically an outdoor museum! Most of the artworks share history, political views, football and pop culture.
6. The Tango
The intense, passionate dance is the symbol of Argentina. Let me tell you, the sultry tango is well and truly alive in Buenos Aires. You can catch a glimpse of the traditional dance in restaurant performances (especially in the La Boca neighbourhood) and in tango bars. You can also join in the fun and take part in one of the tango classes that are offered throughout the city.
7. The Markets
I’m a sucker for a good market and Buenos Aires definitely delivered on this front. On the weekends there were many open-air markets scattered throughout the city – for food, antiques, art, handicrafts, and more. One of the most notable markets is the San Telmo Street Market held every Sunday.
8. The Food
Argentina is the ultimate food-lovers paradise. Seriously, the food is THAT good. From empanadas, pizza, steak to choripán…there are so many delicious foods to indulge on when in Buenos Aires. With a sweet tooth like myself, I have to mention the various sweets that tickled my fancy as well – including the sweet medialunas, the alfojores, the ice cream and most importantly, the dulce de leche flavoured everything!
Of course, every great city doesn’t come without its flaws – and crime is something that Buenos Aires is quite renowned for. But don’t worry, I’ve put together some helpful safety and travel tips to help you navigate your way through this intriguing city.
Have you been to Buenos Aires? What did you love about the city?