Buenos Aires is a pulsating, passionate, cosmopolitan city. The combination of rich architectural and cultural heritage, modern creative energy, electric nightlife, unique traditions, a vibrant arts scene, extensive parks, and warm, friendly hosts makes it one of the world’s most exciting capitals.
There are dozens of reasons to visit, hence why the city has repeatedly been voted the best in Latin America by users of TripAdvisor, but here are just ten of the big ones.
1. You can dance the world’s most romantic dance in its birthplace
Sensual, nostalgic, and fiendishly difficult to learn, tango emerged in the city’s portside neighbourhoods in the mid-19th century and has since conquered the world. Today, Buenos Aires is a place of pilgrimage for tango dancers from all over, and the dance is still very much alive – danced by the young and young-at-heart well into the early hours every night of the week. As well as witnessing traditional social dancing and learning some steps at a milonga, you can treat yourself to sumptuous dinner-shows with spectacularly choreographed performances, and see live orchestras playing everywhere from cosy neighbourhood bars to grand symphony halls.
2. You can enjoy nightlife that goes on well into the morning
Buenos Aires is a city that never sleeps, famous for its phenomenal nightlife, which ranges from traditional neighbourhood taverns to award-winning cocktail bars, big clubs, hidden gig venues, and underground nightspots catering to every niche. The city’s incredible openness and diversity also make it the top destination in Latin America for LGBT visitors. Just be prepared to stay out late! We eat late, party late and sleep late, if at all!
3. You’ll experience sporting passion like never before
Buenos Aires is a city that lives and breathes football (soccer), and the passion can be felt in the stadiums, the neighbourhood cafes and the goal celebrations of a local amateur team. The atmosphere at the city’s stadiums has to be experienced to be believed, and the Boca vs River derby has been described as the most intense sporting event in the world.
4. You’ll find yourself in a historic melting pot of cultures
The city’s cosmopolitan, multicultural identity was forged in a melting pot of cultures, from native American and colonial Spanish roots, to the influences of immigration from Italy, France, Great Britain, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. You’ll see this eclectic mix of influences in the city’s architecture, food and in the character of its people. And while Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city always looking towards the latest trends, we also have passionate pride for our history and tradition. Feel the nostalgia in the cobbled streets of neighbourhoods like San Telmo, visit old cafes where poets used to gather, witness traditional gaucho displays of horsemanship and folk dancing at the Feria de Mataderos, and explore the political history of the Plaza de Mayo, where huge crowds turned out to see Eva Perón speak.
5. You can enjoy a wealth of culture
Long seen as Latin America’s capital of culture, Buenos Aires has almost 300 theatres, 380 bookstores and 160 museums, and some of them will take your breath away. The Teatro Colón is one of the world’s best opera houses, with outstanding acoustics and beautiful interiors, the Ateneo Grand Spendid is considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, and you’ll find creative, artistic expression not only in the many galleries and cultural centres, but in the streets themselves. The city has its own traditional form of folk art known as fileteado, recognised as cultural heritage by UNESCO, and you can find incredible street art on every corner (pay a visit to the incredible 2000m² mural El regreso de Quinquela in Barracas).
6. Festivals and events
A guide to what’s happening in Buenos Aires throughout the year.
• 125th Argentine Open Polo Tournament: One of the world’s greatest polo tournament every November – December.
• International Tango Festival and World Cup: (Every August. 2018 edition: August 9 – 22) Two weeks of concerts, shows, classes and milongas every August. Come to watch, listen or dance!
• BA International Jazz Festival: (November 14 – 19, 2018) Everything from Bebop to jazz fusion at this international festival every November.Click here for more
7. You can eat like a king
Designated Ibero-American capital of Gastronomic Culture 2017, the city boasts outstanding culinary options, from elegant 19th and early 20th century “bares notables” to some of Latin America’s most acclaimed contemporary restaurants and bars. Dining is important in Buenos Aires, and you can enjoy the world’s best steaks, Argentina’s famous malbec wines, and hearty Andean fare, plus there’s pizza, pasta and ice cream on every corner thanks to the city’s Italian heritage. Buenos Aires boasts several restaurants recognised in Latin America’s 50 Best. Local treats to look out for include the traditional infusion mate and addictive alfajores – chocolate-covered double-deck cookies filled with caramel-like dulce de leche.