Buenos Aires – Tango City Culture
Buenos Aires is probably the second Great South American city, along with Rio. Capital of Argentina and home to 13 million people and of course home to Tango. The city has more of a European feel in terms of its architecture, parks and museums, but a distinctly Latin rhythm in the cafes, restaurants and tango clubs. The traditional districts of San Telmo, La Boca and Abasto are where you find the strongest Tango City Culture, and a visit to one of the tango shows in these areas is an essential part of a first trip to Buenos Aires. San Telmo also has its Sunday Antiques Market, one of the most entertaining days in the city.
Recoleta also has a Saturday market outside the famous cemetery, with the story of Evita Peron attracting many visitors to see her tomb and also the balcony of Casa Rosada (the Pink Palace) from where she waved to adoring crowds in the Plaza de Mayo. The Cathedral, Cabildo and Congress buildings are at opposite ends of Avenida de Mayo, which also crosses the enormous 9 de Julio street, with the distinctive Obelisk. The Microcentro and Congresso districts also have many of the most traditional Buenos Aires cafes such as Cafe Tortoni.
The Eva Peron Museum is found in Palermo, with this and neighbouring Recoleta being great areas to spend a day browsing museums such as MALBA (Buenos Aires Museum of Latin American Art) and the Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) Museum. Palermo also has a huge green area, home to the Botanical, Japanese and Rosedal Gardens. These areas also have excellent shopping, with leather goods being especially popular with visitors.
Nightlife in Buenos Aires can justifiably claim to be amongst the very best in the world. Cafes, bars and restaurants are on every corner and every block in the city, many at very reasonable prices, and some at very sophisticated prices. Everybody eats out in Buenos Aires, with the city’s steaks being renowned worldwide, usually accompanied by a bottle of Argentinean wine such as malbec (although you must travel to Mendoza to visit the best vineyards). Buenos Aires is one of the latest cities on earth too, with families enjoying dinner together after midnight.
Bars and clubs with all kinds of music, electronic, hip-hop, rock & roll, can also be found all over the city as well as the milongas where locals go to dance tango. Don’t be too surprised to find them empty if you arrive before midnight though. Happy Hours continue until 1am or later in some places, and clubs stay busy until daylight.
Perhaps the favourite place to spend for Brazil Adventure Tours to spend a Buenos Aires evening is Sunday in San Telmo. After the market has finished and the stalls cleared away, Plaza Dorrego becomes an open-air milonga with tango dancers twirling under the stars.
For days out of Buenos Aires, one hour upriver takes you to the Tigre Delta, with boat trips around the islands to see a completely different way of life. Across the Rio de la Plata lies Uruguay, with the tiny historical town of Colonia worth a visit if you want another stamp in the passport. The Gaucho Estancias are only an hour out of the city, with days on a ranch learning about gaucho cowboy culture being popular.
Buenos Aires is the obvious choice for those who want to visit more than one South American country as well as Brazil.
Suitable Destination For: Those who like to visit the world’s Great Cities, enjoy eating out, dancing tango, browsing boutiques, markets and museums.
Best Time to Visit: Buenos Aires has a winter season of June to August when the weather is generally cool or chilly. January and February can be hot and humid.
Essential Sights & Activities: The different city districts, San Telmo, Recoleta, Palermo and the Microcentro; the Casa Rosada; Recoleta Cemetery; a Tango Show and a Milonga; San Telmo Antiques Market.