Fall in love with Latin America's most stylish and sophisticated city
Buenos Aires is the archetypal Latin American city, with a European twist, perched on the mouth of the River Plate and bordering the immense flatlands of the Pampa. Immigration from every corner of the globe has given it a diverse, cosmopolitan feel, without ever losing its passionate Latin identity. Just as the traditional San Telmo barrio of old-fashioned cafes and leafy plazas contrasts markedly with the pristine skyscrapers of the business area, so too does colourful and lively La Boca stand at the other end of the spectrum to the solemnity of Latin America's most impressive cemetery in Recoleta. Whilst crowds gather in front of Casa Rosada (that of Evita fame) in Plaza de Mayo, the upmarket district of Palermo offers peaceful green spaces and fashionable boutiques.
In La Boca, the barrio of 19th century Genoese immigrants, just about the only things that aren't painted are the streets upon which you walk. Otherwise there are benches, street lights, doors and windows of every shade of yellow, blue, red…Learn More
Buenos Aires - La Boca
Upon arrival in their new city, the Italians fashioned houses out of scrap corrugated metal and spruced them up by painting them every colour of the rainbow, a tradition which dates back to their home land when they would put leftover paint from the shipyards to good use. Since those days, the area fell into disrepair and eventually became something of a wasteland. It wasn't until the intervention of a group of Argentine artists, led by Benito Quinquela Martin in the 1960s, who took it upon themselves to restore La Boca to its former glory, creating El Camanito on a disused railway line, the small passageway at the heart of the barrio. From here, Porteños have grown the neighbourhood, winding back the clock to its heyday over a century ago.
The barrio is also home to La Bombonera, the home of Argentinian football giants Boca Juniors, and its colorful, characterful and noisy stands mirror the vibrant streets in which the stadium sits.
Cafes of San Telmo
Buenos Aires - Cafes of San Telmo
San Telmo is a district of sleepy parks, dusty antique markets and, perhaps a little out of place, a giant onion-domed Russian church. But what makes it so famous is its collection of timeless cafes. Among the best are el Británico, el Federal, La Poesía, El Hipopótamo and Bar Dorrego. The latter is an old time café with a dirty chess-board floor, terse yet immaculately dressed waiters, photos of Carles Gardel hung on every wall and hundreds of names and messages carved into the wooden bar. However, the main attraction of this place is the view from the window seats of the Plaza de Dorrego, where tango dancers effortlessly exude the class, style and passion that has made this city so famous.
Buenos Aires - Tango
One of the most typically Argentinean activities is to dance the Tango. With music and movement that harks back to Paris at the turn of the last century, its Europeanness has been wholeheartedly absorbed into Argnetine culture. Theatre shows are available for tourists to watch and admire the dance from a distance, but the real experience is to dance in one of the city's Milongas, the late night Tango clubs, where young and old alike come to dance their proud, passionate dance.
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