Photograph by SamyStClair, Getty Images

 

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The main square on the Camanito in the La Boca neighborhood features brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets.

Photograph by SamyStClair, Getty Images

 

Discover the Best of Buenos Aires

The top ten things to do in Argentina's capital city.

Natural Wonder

Parque Tres de Febrero, a park more commonly known as the Bosques de Palermo offers a beautiful burst of nature in the middle of a bustling concrete city. In the spring, the purple Jacaranda trees are in bloom and their purple petals float to the ground, creating truly picturesque purple pathways with flowering branches that create an archway overhead.

Cultural Experience

See or even participate in a live Tango show in the colorful La Boca neighborhood. The Argentine Tango originated in Buenos Aires and the music and dance style is still very prominent today. You can catch passionate performers dancing to the sad yet romantic music in the streets of La Boca neighborhood. Some street performers will even grab volunteers and teach them a few steps.

Best Day Trip

The town of Tigre is a favorite weekend destination for tourists and locals alike. Tigre lies along several interconnecting rivers and streams and even has small "islands" that can only be reached by small passenger boats. Relaxing by the water is a great way to escape the city for the day, but there are also quite a few things to do in Tigre, such as perusing the Puerto de Frutos craft fair, visiting the Naval Museum or Argentine Rowing club, or riding rollercoasters at the Parque de la Costa amusement park.

Off the Beaten Path

Puerta Cerrada (closed door) restaurants serve meals at private residences and often use communal tables to encourage conversation amongst the guests. While the "closed door" concept can seem intimidating and exclusive, all it takes is a reservation to get into one. A quick online search will bring up recent reviews and contact information. Puertas Cerradas offer some unique alternatives to typical Argentine fare and allow guests to get to know the chef behind the food.

Most Iconic Place

Teatro Colón is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. The building has been around since 1908 and boasts a stunning interior with excellent acoustics. You can catch a variety of famous singers, dancers and conductors performing on the stage or you can simply take a guided tour.

Late Night

If you want to party like a Buenos Aires local, take a nap in the afternoon and get ready to stay out all night. On a weekend, it's not uncommon to grab dinner around 10 or 11 p.m., head to a bar for drinks around midnight, and then roll into a boliche or local dance club at 2 a.m. When it comes to choosing an area, the main contenders would be the Palermo and San Telmo neighborhoods. Palermo, which has subsections known as Hollywood and Soho is generally known as a fashionable and trendy area, while San Telmo offers a slightly grungier or more bohemian feel.

Historic Site

El Cementerio de la Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery) contains the graves of many famous Argentines. The cemetery was built in the early eighteenth century and the impressive tombs have been well-preserved. There you will find the graves of notable historic figures such as former presidents, famous writers, and the beloved Eva Perón. Eva (Evita) Perón was a First Lady of Argentina, but her roots in a poor rural village and dedication to labor rights and women's suffrage, amongst many other things, made her a national treasure and her grave remains one of the most visited decades after her death in 1952.

Local Quirk

Argentines speak a unique form of Spanish that the locals refer to as Castellano. The Argentine accent is marked by the pronunciation of the double L. In neutral Spanish, the double L is pronounced like an English Y, so "yo me llamo" (my name is) would be "yo may YA-mo." However, in Argentina you'll hear something closer to "shyo me SHYA-mo." Castellano also favors the informal "vos" form, so instead of "tú eres" (you are) you will hear "vos sos."

Neighborhood to Explore

Spend some time in San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood in Buenos Aires. San Telmo is a great mix of the old and the new, with cobbled streets, colonial architecture, and antique shops as well as great bars full of rock music or people dancing Tango.

Wine

Argentina is one of the top wine producers in the world. While Buenos Aires is not one of the grape-growing regions, you can still enjoy some incredible Argentine wines, some of which are not exported. Argentina is best known for its Malbec wines, which are smooth, with dark fruit flavors such as blackberries, black cherry, or plum, and have a finish that is slightly smoky.