If any city represents South America’s rise as the world’s most vibrant continent, Buenos Aires is it. A passionate Latin American capital with all the airs and graces of a European city, BA is a fusion of street corner tango and Spanish colonial architecture, colossal steaks and stunning Mendoza Malbecs.
From colourful La Boca to the upscale sweep of Recoleta, Argentina’s largest city is a concoction of contrasts. Spend the day exploring world-class art galleries, lounging in perfectly manicured parks and sipping wine in pretty squares, before taking a siesta and seeing the whole place come alive after the sun goes down.
The city’s nightlife is legendary. It moves to the rhythm of the tango, with milongas (tango clubs) bustling well into the small hours. Fuelled by succulent, oversized steaks that come fresh from the surrounding estancias (ranches), the city’s sizzling parrillas (grills) are an essential BA experience themselves.
Although sometimes crumbling, Buenos Aires’ buildings are beautiful and worth a closer look too. The majestic Plaza de Mayo, with the presidential offices and surrounding churches, should wow, as will a stroll down Avenida Cordoba and Avenida de 9 Julio, especially if you find Teatro Colon.
Even BA’s graveyards are architectural marvels: the Recoleta Cemetery is a masterpiece of towering tombstones and monuments to the city’s dearly departed.
Shoppers will find paradise in the hip area of Palermo, where the streets are filled with unique boutiques, excellent record stores and sleek coffee shops.
Culture is never far away either. The excellent Museo de Arte Latin Americano De Buenos Aires (MALBA) has an amazing collection of 20th-century art from the continent’s finest artists, while Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is chock full of works by European masters.
But perhaps the best thing about Buenos Aires is the porteños (locals). The people of this thrumming metropolis are always willing to point out a great new bar or an off the beaten track experience.
Buenos Aires is one of the most exciting places to be on the planet right now, so pack your dancing shoes and get ready for an adventure.