Located on the Rio de le Plata (River Plate) estuary on the Atlantic Ocean coast, Buenos Aries is Argentina’s capital and the South American continent’s most popular tourist destination. European architecture, upscale shops, vibrant nightlife, being the birthplace of Tango and a very energetic population all foster a growing number of tourists. Buenos Aires in Spanish means “Good Air” or “Fresh Winds”, and is sometimes called “Latin America’s Culture Capital” or “Paris of the South.
Ezeiza International Airport lies about 35km south of Buenos Aires. Downtown Buenos Aires can be reached by the Manuel Tienda Leon Shuttle Service, Ezeiza Taxi, or by public buses. Buses depart from in front of Terminal B and the trip takes about 1-1.5 hours to arrive at Plaza de Mayo. The Jorge Newbery Airport, which serves local routes, is a short distance from downtown. The best way to discover Buenos Aires is on foot but because taxis are more reasonably priced than in other large metropolitan cities of the world, during non-rush hours when traffic is lighter they are preferred by some travellers. If you like public transportation, use the subway or public bus system. You will have an advantage with a SUBE transportation card and a Guia T and/or LUMI map in hand. The subway is called “Subte” and has six routes that cover most of the touristic locations if not the whole city. Public buses (called “Colectivos”) are widespread and cover a lot of area.
Buenos Aires has a selection of lodging for all budgets. Downtown or the Puerto Madero Distict are the preferred areas for tourists. San Telmo stands out for budget hotels and hostels. Palermo boasts Botique Hotels and the Downtown Recoleta area is densely packed with 4-5 star hotels. If you don’t want to miss out on the luxurious accomodations the city has to offer, The Alvear Palace Hotel, Algodon Mansion, Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt, Miravida Soho Hotel, Faena Hotel, Four Seasons, Sofitel Buenos Aires Arroyo, NH Latino, NH City and Tower, Panamericano, Palermitano Hotel, Regal Pacific Hotel, Mio, Hilton, Broadway Hotel and Suites and Glu Hotel are known as some of the most outstanding hotels. If you are looking for mid-range accomodations check out the Tango Lodge, Alma del Plata Hotel, Centuria or Alpino Hotel. If you are on a budget, Hostel Sol, Circus Hostel and Hotel, Bisonte Palace or Hotel Odeon are good choices.
Casa Rosada (Government Building also known as The Pink House), the often protest crowded Plaza de Mayo. La Boca’s colorful and vibrant Caminito Street. The Recoleta district which includes Eva Peron’s final resting place in Cementerio de Retacoleta, San Telmo attracts the interest of visitors with its Colonial Style homes and cobblestone streets. The of sights to see is long: El Zanjon de Granados, the port district Puerto Madero and Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge) by famous Spanish architect Calatrava, Florida and Lavalle pedestrian streets. Avenida 9 de Julio with 16 lanes holds the title of the world’s widest. The town symbol is the Obelisco de Buenos Aries (Obelisk). Teatro Colon (Theater Colon), Palermo and its parks (Paseo del Rosedal, Carlos Thays Botanical Gardens), Feria de Mataderos, San Martin Square, Corrientes Street, Santa Fe and Mayo Boulevards, Palazzo Barolo (Barolo Palace), Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Congress Palace are places that you shouldn’t skip! Football fanatics may enjoy seeng La Bombonera Stadium, where Diego Madrona played with the Boca Juniors. For museum lovers shouldn’t miss the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires - MALBA, Museo Evita, Casa Museo Carlos Gardel ve Museo Nacional De Arte Decoratvo. About 30km from Buenos Aries lies the countryside tourist town of Tigre set on the Parana Delta. There are many attractions in Argentina outside of Buenos Aires. The most popular are the Iguazu Waterfalls which are some of the world’s most beautiful. Ushuaia is the closest settlement to Antarctica in South America. You can see the beautiful Moreno Glacier about a two hour bus ride from El Calafate. The quaint Uruguay town of Colonia del Sacramento can be reached from Buenos Aires by fast ferryboat in about an hour. Enjoyable places to spend time closer to Buenos Aires including San Clemente del Tuyú and Mar del Plata beaches, Carhué, Pedro Luro and/or Los Gauchos thermal spas.
You can find a lot of things to buy here. Hand crafts and leather goods top the list but many special gifts such as Mate equipment and supplies, gaucho clothing, and all kinds of football related t-shirts are also found in abundance. One of the outstanding shopping and main commercial areas is in the Microcentro district, especially Florida Street and the surrounding area. The upscale Galerias Pacifico Shopping Mall is worth a visit just to see. On Santa Fe Boulevard you will find reasonable prices in the shops and boutiques along with the tourist popular El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore. Recolate has very chic and upmarket boutiques. Palermo has some vibrant local markets; in particular ‘Palermo Soho’ where shopping truly is heaven! San Telmo has many antique shops and Villa Crespo is known for its leather products. Alto Palermo Shopping Mall, Paseo Alcorta and Mercado de Abasto are some other notable places to shop that you should check out. The city’s most popular flea market takes place on Sundays in San Telmo. Weekly markets are also held on Thursdays and Sundays in La Boca. On weekends you can also visit markets in Recoleta (in front of the cemetery) and Balgrano square. If you are in town between December and April you shouldn’t miss the Feria de Mataderos (Mataderos Fair) that takes place on Sundays. South America’s largest shopping mall ‘Unicenter’ is located between Buenos Aires and the town of Tigre.
It isn’t for nothing that Tango comes to mind when you say ‘Argentina’. Tango was born in the La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires and you are in the homeland ‘the dance of passion and love’. On the touristic streets and squares (in San Telmo’s Dorrego Square on Sundays there are free performances) or at dinner theaters (e.g. La Ventana Tango Show, Senor Tango, El Querandi, Esquina Carlos Gardel, El Viejo Almacen) you can see some powerful performances. In Argentina it is said ‘Football isn’t just football’ and this is the home city of football legends Dego Maradona and Lionel Andres Messi. One of the most exciting activities in Buenos Aires is watching a match and the very football passionate fans. If you are lucky enough to be in the city when the “Super Clasico” match between fierce local rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate takes place be sure not to miss it as it’s guaranteed to be an experience you will never forget! Listening to a concert at the world’s most prestigious opera house Teatro Colon is also one of the most special things you can do here. Let’s remember that Buenos Aires has the highest density of theaters in the world. Listening to people debate politics and football in the city cafes (e.g. historic Café Tortoni), at the parks, on the busy streets and podiums, is another type of entertainment. In Argentina, cowboys are called “Gauchos” and you can take part in a gaucho party here if you desire. You can see Buenos Aires with a bird’s eye view by skydiving from 3000m or take in the horse races at the Hippodrome. You can also watch polo being played at Campo Argentino. At Rio de la Plata you can also participate in all types of water sports. Finally, for enjoying nightlife go to Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo SoHo, Palermo Hollywood, The Palermo Viejo and/or San Telmo. In the city you can find music that appeals to many tastes, e.g. Latin, salsa, flamenco, folk, jazz, rock and blues.