Buenos Aires City Neighbourhoods Explained
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Buenos Aires is divided into a number of “barrios”, which means neighbourhoods or suburbs. Each one of them has something special to offer and has an important story that identifies the spirit and characteristics of its citizens.
To find your way around the city, you can quickly navigate the cities Map of Buenos Aires neighbourhoods.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires? Insider information of the most popular Buenos Aires neighbourhoods:
Recoleta: firmly established as the most cultured neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, most of the city’s finest hotels are located on its broad avenues, near fashionable boutiques and restaurants. The city’s most exclusive neighbourhood, La Recoleta wears a distinctly European face. Tree-lined avenues lead past fashionable restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and galleries, many housed in French-style buildings. This is a neighbourhood of plazas and parks, a place where tourists and wealthy Argentines spend their leisure time outside. Weekends bring street performances, art exhibits, craft fairs, and sports events. Advantages of staying in Recoleta: It offers the ritziest residences, most upscale neighbourhood and best services, along with being well-located near downtown and some popular tourist sights.
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Palermo: the largest and greenest Buenos Aires neighbourhood, it subdivides into several smaller but distinct units: Palermo Chico, Palermo Viejo, which further splits into Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, and Las Cañitas. With nearly 350 acres of parks, wooded areas, and lakes, designed by French landscape architect Charles Thays in 1874, Palermo provides a peaceful escape from the rush of downtown. Families flock here on weekends to picnic, suntan, bicycle, in-line skate, and jog. The polo field, where the most important polo matches in the world are held, and racetrack make this area the city’s nerve centre for equestrian activities.
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Las Cañitas: is considered to be one of the safest and peaceful neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, due to the presence of a military training base. Las Cañitas is the most fashionable gastronomic zone in Buenos Aires, it has more restaurants than any other ‘’barrio” in town. During your stroll in Las Cañitas you will find exclusive boutiques, leather goods, health and beauty spas, wine and liquors galleries and antique stores. There is also a shopping centre: “El solar de la Abadía”. Also in Las Cañitas you will find the polo field where the Argentine Open Polo Championship takes place during the months of November and December. This is the most important polo tournament of the world.
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Puerto Madero: is one of the newest Buenos Aires neighbourhoods and has become the trendiest place in town. The project refurbished formerly abandoned brick warehouses in the old port area into upscale residential apartments, restaurants, offices, and loft apartments located by picturesque canals. Porteños spend weekend afternoons strolling along the docks, riding bikes on the wide pathways, and lingering over coffee and pastries at riverfront cafes. The area attracts businessmen looking for a sunny lunch at midday and a fashionable, wealthy crowd at night. It is lined with elegant restaurants serving Argentine steaks and fresh seafood specialities, and there is a popular multi-screen cinema complex, the Argentine Catholic University campus and a private art museum.
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Plaza San Martín: or Retiro, is one of the various historical neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. This plaza is located at the base of the famous Florida Street, the most important pedestrian street of Buenos Aires. The European and rich architecture of this Buenos Aires neighbourhood gives Plaza San Martín a distinguished style. The fabulous palaces built in its vicinity mostly belonged to aristocratic families. The most beautiful and important mansions lining the Plaza house at present: the Military Circle that includes the Arms Museum, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Park Commission, among others.
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Retiro: A diverse area that is known for it Parisian like streets focused of Arroyo with art galleries and chic cafes and outstanding French architecture winding down to busy Historic Retiro railway station, a British-style landmark ringed by fast-food stands. Art deco tower Edificio Kavanagh overlooks Plaza San Martín, a sloping park where office workers take breaks among jacaranda trees and patriotic monuments. Leather boutiques, souvenir stalls and tango dancers draw tourists to pedestrianized Florida Street.
San Telmo: The bohemian San Telmo is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. This entire vicinity is considered as a National Historic Monument. San Telmo keeps the authentic old Buenos Aires: the cobblestone narrow streets, high trees, and a particular kind of public candle lights, called (faroles), still in use, make an atmosphere of special reminiscence. The meeting point is Plaza Dorrego, where a kind of “flea market” takes place every weekend. There are stores offering art pieces, antiques, furniture of previous centuries, American silver handicrafts and all kind of souvenirs. In San Telmo, you will find excellent tango performers in the open air, especially during the weekends. Tango-themed bars are all over in San Telmo, in addition to the restaurants and cafes. Most of them go back from the 1800s and they have maintained their original facades and internal decoration.
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Belgrano: is one of Buenos Aires’s most densely populated neighbourhoods. The Belgrano neighbourhood has many different subdivisions. Belgrano C, Belgrano R a residential area where old mansions and skyscrapers line together in the shady cobblestone streets, and the lowlands called Bajo Belgrano nearby the Rio de la Plata, where many football clubs, tennis, and recreation areas are located.
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La Boca: The neighbourhood of the Buenos Aires port. It has always been the door and first home for all immigrants floods. It maintains its special profile and is mainly visited by tourists on Sundays when you may enjoy tango dancers and singers exhibitions. If you are a tango fan, you can also take open lessons.
Downtown: located in the south of the metropolis. The Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada (the government seat), as well as major distinctive national buildings, are located in this Buenos Aires neighbourhood. In downtown Buenos Aires you will enjoy walking in Florida Street, the biggest and most important pedestrian street in town, full of stores of leather goods, clothes, record and books, restaurants and the exclusive shopping mall: Galeria Pacifico. On Florida Street, you will find the Kavanagh building, the first skyscraper in Buenos Aires. Also in this neighbourhood are the Colon Theater, considered one of the most important opera houses in the world, and the Obelisk, which is a symbol of Buenos Aires and Argentina’s most famous monument.
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