Overview of countries and cities – Argentina – Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and one of the most beautiful cities in South America with a population of 2.89 million. It is located 275 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the sheltered bay of La Plata, on the right bank of the River Riachuelo. The city’s name means “passing winds”, or literally translated from Spanish “good air”. Buenos Aires is renowned for its many cultural attractions, and is also the starting point for travel throughout the country.

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Video: Buenos Aires


The people of Buenos Aires call themselves porteños, “people from the port,” implying that many are immigrants in some way. Buenos Aires is a special, open place, which allows tourists not only to explore the city, but also to have an exceptional experience walking around it. Buenos Aires consists of 48 neighborhoods. The oldest urban districts were named after Catholic parishes, while the more modern “barrios” are named after famous people who influenced the development of the Argentine capital.

As a metropolis, Buenos Aires is constantly growing. Today, the agglomeration encompassing the metropolitan area has a population of 14.6 million. The greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area includes 18 suburbs, totaling 3,646 km². The city ranks first in South America in terms of its globalization index.

Thanks to its mild climate, travelers have the opportunity to comfortably spend time in Argentina’s capital at any time of the year. Those who prefer to enjoy warmer days choose the period from September to April, when the average temperature in January, for example, is +24 ° C. Tourists who prefer the refreshing coolness of June to August come to Buenos Aires. The average temperature in July stays at +10 °C. The city receives 987 mm of rainfall per year.

Buenos Aires from the Bay of La Plata Buenos Aires from the Pampas side


Buenos Aires was founded in 1536 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Mendoza on the southern shore of the Gulf of La Plata, and included a large settlement that was later used as a stronghold for the movement of settlers inland, and a convenient harbor that allowed travel across the Atlantic. The confluence of the seaport and the nearby town merged their names into the long phrase “City of the Holy Trinity and Port of Our Lady of Good Winds. In the early 19th century it was shortened to “good winds,” or Buenos Aires. The modern inhabitants of Argentina have further shortened the historical name. Today it sounds like Byres and is spelled “BsAs.” When attacked by Indians in 1541, the city was burned, and then rebuilt in 1580. Buenos Aires was designated the central city in the Spanish colony of La Plata in 1776. In 1810 it became one of the most important strategic centers of the struggle against Spain for the independence of the American colonies.

Florida Street Buenos Aires after its founding in 1536 Buenos Aires State Constitution Day in 1854 Buenos Aires in the early 20th century (stills)

From 1816 to 1826, Buenos Aires was considered the capital of the United Provinces of La Plata. In 1880 it became the center of the Federal Republic of Argentina. In the twentieth century, Buenos Aires repeatedly became the leader in the class wars of the Argentine Republic. In 1919 the quiet life of Buenos Aires was disrupted several times by unrest among the working class. In 1930, the military came to power in the capital, supporting the infiltration of foreign capital and the formation of a new bourgeoisie. In the 1950s there were several strikes in the city. The end of World War II marked the election of President J.D. Perón, who was ousted from office during the subsequent political unrest in Buenos Aires. Decades of military rule followed for the capital and the country as a whole, leading to an economic crisis. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that Buenos Aires began to develop again at an intense pace.

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What to see in the capital of Argentina

Buenos Aires is rightly considered a city of contrasts and the most Europeanized settlement in South America. Old Spanish quarters rub shoulders with tall skyscrapers and poor slums with fashionable downtown neighbourhoods and stylish suburbs. The city is packed with green parks, boulevards, historic monuments, and architectural landmarks.

Construction of a subway station (Saenz Peña) in 1912 Streets of Buenos Aires Obelisk of Buenos Aires and passing cabs

The architecture of Buenos Aires is the story of its inhabitants. Many of them are descendants of immigrants from different cultures, which are reflected in the architecture of the city. The old part of the Argentine capital simultaneously resembles Barcelona, Paris and Madrid. And the newer sections of the city are notable for their concentration of banks, big company offices, and business centers. Nevertheless, Buenos Aires has an inherently unified layout that preserves its colonial traditions. San Martín Square, the main square in the city, faces the bay, and the streets have a rectilinear configuration.

It may seem strange, but one of the main tourist attractions of Buenos Aires is considered to be the old cemetery of Recoleta, which is located in the same district. Many famous Argentines are buried there, and some tombstones have the status of historical monuments: for example, the burial of Evita Duarte Perón, wife of the dictator Perón, which Argentines consider their national heroine.

Like Italian cemeteries, old burials in this South American country are more like an architectural exhibition: luxurious marble tombs, figures of weeping angels and grieving ancient goddesses, frescoes and mosaics. It is a place of beauty multiplied by sorrow. It is beloved by citizens, tourists, and is particularly popular with photographers. The Recoleta Cemetery is open from 7 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Buenos Aires is home to the main Catholic church in the country, the city’s Cathedral. It was built in the second half of the 18th century in the style of classicism, so the entrance to the religious building is decorated with a high portico with twelve columns. The temple is picturesque not only from the outside. Inside, the walls of the cathedral are decorated with frescoes and paintings by Italian artist Francesco Paolo Parisi, and the floor – set with Venetian mosaics. The church also has a carved tomb in which the country’s national hero, General Jose de San Martin, rests.

All visitors to the Argentine capital love to visit the colorful La Boca neighborhood, the true tourist center of Buenos Aires. Its main street, Caminito, is always full of musicians, artists and souvenir vendors. The settler colony came here as early as 1536, and this port area was where Buenos Aires began to be built.

Buenos Aires Cathedral Palace of Congress La Boca Quarter

A notable architectural monument is the Palace of Congress, which stands in the square of the same name. Externally it resembles the Capitol, but its dome is more elongated and reaches a height of 80 meters. The beautiful building began to be built in 1862 and was completed in 1906. For more than a century the majestic palace has been used for meetings of the national congress and storage of the rich library.

Of the city’s museums, the most popular among tourists are the Museum of Latin American Art, the Casa Rosada (Museum of Architecture), the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Children’s Museum and the collection of the Proa Foundation.

On Sundays, the Mataderos Fair (Av. de los Corrales, 6476) is interesting to visit. Here, a large square gathers many locals who love Argentine folk dances, music and songs. Some prefer to stay in the role of spectator, but most come here to dance and sing. And this wonderful urban tradition has lasted for more than three decades.

Museum of Latin American Art Mataderos Fair

Tango Show

Tango is considered the face of the city, a symbol of the country and an integral part of any tourist program. However, it is known that the Argentines themselves are not fans of the tango and treat this popular dance rather indifferently. Nevertheless, they have long realized that the tango is a sought-after tourist product and successfully “sell” the tango to the numerous guests of Buenos Aires.

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In the city you can find at least two dozen Tango Shows. The cost of attending them is composed of the performance itself, dinner, as well as transfer from the hotel and back. To visit the Tango Show you can pay from 50 to 200 dollars. The price depends on the dinner menu, professionalism of the performers and the level of the program. The most expensive performances show in “Tango Rojo” and “Gala”. You will have to get to the budget shows on your own. And those who want to save up to 30% can do it by buying tickets only for the performance – without dinner.

Some Tango Shows hold promotions for their visitors. When booking a performance with dinner, guests can get free tango lessons from the artists who take part in the performance.

Buenos Aires dance shows have their own specifics. Photography is not allowed in most Tango Shows. But in some places it is allowed. There is no special dress code for guests, although many people, going to the dance performance, try to dress up. If you plan to visit the Tango-Show on a particular day, the tickets are better to book in advance.

Tango in the streets of the Tango Show

Parks in Buenos Aires

Perhaps the most picturesque green area of the Argentine capital is the Roses Park, which is located in the city district of Palermo. It is loved by tourists and city residents alike. It is especially beautiful during the flowering of the local purple acacia – Jacaranda, which occurs in November. And the famous Greek bridge in a couple of roses has long been the object of pilgrimage of all those who are in love or want to tie the knot of marriage. It is believed that a photo on this bridge guarantees a speedy wedding and a successful family life.

The Tres de Febrero Park is called “Palermo Woods” by the locals. It was laid out in the mid-1970s. There are three picturesque artificial lakes in the park, and next to them there is a square of poets, where sculptural portraits of Shakespeare, Borges and other celebrities are displayed. Tres de Febrero has many exotic plants, including old giant ficus trees that are over 200 years old.

The City Zoo is located on Plaza Italia, near the metro station of the same name. It is interesting in that some of the animals and birds are completely free to roam around a large green area and are not afraid of people.

Buenos Aires Zoo Park Tres de Febrero Botanical Gardens Buenos Aires Jardin Japones

In the same area of the city is the Jardin Japones, considered one of the best Japanese gardens in the world. It is filled with bridges and buildings in Japanese style. There are also cherry trees and other plants from the land of the rising sun. And the warm local climate contributes to the fact that you can see blooming trees and shrubs here all year round.

Nearby is the city Botanical Garden, on the territory of which stands an old mansion. In this garden on the beds and in old greenhouses grow plants brought from all over the world. Interestingly, the workers of the Botanical Garden keep a lot of stray cats and even created a special canteen for them, so you can see purrs of all colors everywhere – both between the beds and near the monuments.

The theme park of Buenos Aires is located at Av. Rafael Obligado Costanera 5790, near Jorge Newbery Airport. It is called the “Holy Land” or “Jerusalem in Buenos Aires.” It is accessible by bus from the city center. All the structures of the park are like large sets – the Wailing Wall, Golgotha, several temples and numerous biblical scenes. There are very realistic, human-sized puppets everywhere in the park. The attendants also walk around in stylized historical costumes. And visitors, just like in Jerusalem, leave notes on the local Wailing Wall.

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Most Buenos Aires residents prefer to relax by the pools. However, the city has two beaches which are open from the first decade of January to early March. You can get to them all days of the week, except Monday, from 10.00 to 20.00. Entrance to these beaches is free. They have all the necessary beach activities and sports fields, and you can use umbrellas, sun loungers and showers if you wish. One beach is located in the Parque de los Niños, the other at Avenida Castañares y Avenida Escalada.

At 120 km south-east of Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata has excellent sandy beaches. You can reach them from the city by ferry or plane.

Currency exchange

Although the Argentine leadership has officially proclaimed the abolition of the black rate, in practice, the country continues to have two exchange rates. According to the official one they offer about 9.5 pesos for a dollar, and the black rate is 13-15 pesos, so guests of the Argentine capital are not profitable to pay by cards and withdraw money from ATMs.

Evening Buenos Aires Casa Rosada, the official residence of the Argentine president

It’s best to arrive in Buenos Aires with cash in $50 and $100 bills. There are many unofficial exchange offices in the city. But if you have concerns, you can exchange money at banks. However, it pays less for dollars there than on the street.

Now in some tourist spots in Buenos Aires to pay not only the local currency, but also dollars. You can do this, for example, in the Tango Show, in some restaurants and souvenir stores.


If you come to Buenos Aires for a short time, it is most convenient to move around this city by cab. These trips are not expensive. However, when using a cab there may be some problems. To protect yourself from scammers, it is best to order cars from your hotel (or by phone) and never hail a cab on the street.

If you plan to take public transportation, buy a plastic SUBE card for $2. It can be used for the subway and buses. And when traveling by bus with such a card you can save twice.

In addition, you can pay for bus travel with coins from special coin machines. One trip costs about $0.5. It is important to know that only coins are accepted for payment – drivers do not accept paper bills.

Cab Bus Metro Buenos Aires

The Metro (“Subte”) is the faster form of public transport. The subway is very convenient, but unfortunately it only covers part of Buenos Aires. The trains are small, the lines are shallow, the distances between stations are short, and the intervals between trains are quite long. The underground stations sell soda water, candy, magazines, and newspapers.

Interestingly, the capital’s subway continues to use trains that were built about 100 years ago. Most often such old trains can be seen on the blue line “A”. They are made of wood and clad with metal on the outside.

Hotels in Buenos Aires

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How to get there

Eceisa International Airport (official name Ministeriale Pistarini International Airport) is located 35 km southwest of Buenos Aires. It is served by flights from North and South America, Australia and countries in Europe.

Buses and cabs can easily be taken from the airport to Buenos Aires. A bus ride is less expensive than a cab ride, but takes much longer. Buses run from 4:00 to 21:00 every half hour. Take bus number 502 to Ezeiza City, number 51 to Constitución via Monte Grande and number 86 to the city center (Plaza de Mayo).

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Buenos Aires Airport Floralis Generica (Floralis Generica) – sculpture of a huge flower in the Park of National Unity of Buenos Aires

The transportation company Manuel Tienda Leon takes tourists from the airport to the city in shuttles, which are luxury buses. Their counter is located inside the airport. The trip usually takes 40 minutes to 1.5 hours and costs $18.

Private companies Aerobus Ezeiza and Minibus Ezeiza offer travelers comfortable minibuses to reach the center of Buenos Aires. They cost half as much as the shuttles. But there is one inconvenience: these minibuses run only on weekdays.

Cabs depart from all airport terminals. The cost of the trip consists of boarding ($2) and a fare for each 200 meters ($0.22). All in all, a cab ride into town costs an average of $47-$65.

In addition, there is a bus express route to another airport, Jorge Newbery (Aeroparque), which is located in the city itself. This airport is suitable for domestic flights within the country, as well as flights to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile.

If coming to Buenos Aires from other cities in Argentina, it is easiest to do it by bus. And from the capital of neighboring Uruguay, Montevideo, you can get to Buenos Aires by ferry.

City of Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – reviews

What about City of Buenos Aires (Argentina, Buenos Aires)

I’ve been dreaming to visit Argentina for a long time. Finally, after a long planning I was in the capital of Argentina. In general, as usually happens, the discussion of the trip and approval of the regulations took a disproportionately longer time than the trip itself. The latter.

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Buenos Aires translates as “Good Winds.” And these winds bring a huge number of immigrants every year. Due to this the capital of Argentina is constantly growing. The city is a lively place with lots of singing, dancing, and juggling activity happening every block and in every street.

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