Buenos Aires – Paris of the South
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina is the land of tango and food. Heavily laced with culture, it is one of the most accepting cities, in terms of tourism. Buenos Aires is a sight for sore eyes and carries a tune for those who wish to hear. It has managed to restore and preserve its history in the forms of buildings and streets. The city is made of hub for tourists and places to eat and roam about.
10 Key Things about Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. History of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has been the main venue for liberal, free-trade and foreign ideas for the whole of Argentina. Since historical times, trade has been the backbone of the city, and its history promotes the same. Buenos Aires has waded through waters full of pirates and has fought hard to make sure that it is made a free port for all to access for trade. However, it became a fully functional autonomous city in the year 1994.
2. Night Life at Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is very much night life friendly. It is common culture to start drinking in the evenings and well into the shades of sunrise. Though they do not particularly drink in the day time, it is popular for people t grab after-work drinks. Apart from cold drinks, the pubs and clubs offer a wide range of live performances ranging from Jazz to DJs. Plasma, San Telmo is one such place. Avenida Cordoba is a spot where you’ll have to split your time between the bar and the stage area. The drinks are cheap and the music is a live wire. MULA, Palermo, is a lounge club style which is home to live bands and DJs. However, this spot is open only from Wednesday to Saturday.
3. Safety in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a tourist friendly destination. With a special helpline for tourists alone, they make sure information is readily available. They have a strict policy of seat belt use, blood alcohol content tests and traffic order. The local police is always found on the streets and is enabled to offer quick and objective information to the tourists. They also patrol heavily around tourist establishments to ensure safety.
4. Living Expenses in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires offers a wide range of villas and hotels, ranging from one star to 5 stars. There are main hubs of tourist establishments, hotels that price from USD 20 to USD 475. The main areas to be bookmarked for stay and accommodation are San Telmo, Cordoba and Palermo. You can also find little establishments tucked into walls and cross junctions. Malabia House is one such establishment near Palermo Viejo. The great thing about these hubs are that they are a stones’ throw away from the art, music and cultural hubs which are the tourist hotspots.
5. Cuisines of Buenos Aires
A melting pot of blending cuisines of indigenous and a dash of Mediterranean food, borrowed from Spanish and Italian styles of cooking, Buenos Aires has scrumptious food and avid eaters. Asado, a particular style of barbeque, is the national identity of Argentine itself. Carne, which translates to meat, is commonly acquired in the form of beef over here. So if you avoid beef, watch out for the meat! Apart from food, they also drink mate, a social ritual of a drink which is passed around at the table until you say “thank you”, which states that you’ve had your fill for the day. Empanadas, a local dish filled with meat and/or veggies is found at every tucked corner of the city and is definitely a must! A mid range meal costs about USD 6, you can find budget meals a bit away from Recoleta as it is a bit heavy on the pocket. Palermo Soho and San Telmo has food establishments where you can smack your lips.
6. Statistics of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has been rated the second most desirable city to visit by Travel+Leisure Magazine in the year 2008. It is also home to the largest mosque in South America and is the largest city of Argentina. It has the 81st best quality of life in the world and the best in Latin America. It is the most visited city in South America and second most visited in Latin America.
7. Public Transport in Buenos Aires
The International Airport is commonly called, Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Apart from the airport, the city offers links between cities and also, the local spots are connected. Cities are commonly connected by ferries that are accompanied by a beautiful view as well. The locals can be accessed by commuter rails, underground trains, tramways, buses and of course, taxis. The transportation is pocket friendly and of course, accompanied by maps and easy go-to guides that will help you along the way.
Pollution in Buenos Aires: Though the city’s atmosphere can get a bit overwhelming during peak traffic hours, it has been trying to improve its pollution levels. The plain terrain allows the smog to drift away with the wind. However, empty roads are easier to breathe in as vehicle pollutants are termed the main cause of pollution is Buenos Aires.
8. Weather of Buenos Aires
Though the sun isn’t particularly harsh, it does touch a splendid 23°C in the summer. The city has a humid subtropical climate with rain spells and probable thunder storms that could turn out to be rather severe.
Summer: January to April. Average low: 15°C; Average high: 29°C.
Winter: May to August. Average low: 10°C; Average high: 19°C; one can spot fog ranging from moderate to heavy. The air has a bit of a bite to it at 10°C.
Spring: The flowers can be spotted from October till December. The temperature is still moderate. Month of December is home to thunderstorms.
The rest of the year ranges from humidity to moderate fog and slight rain spells. The tourist definitely needs to be weather friendly and check the report daily!
9. Culture of Buenos Aires
A wide cultural background of locals also mixed with immigrants from Asia, Europe and Latin America, who are now part of the local scenario. The city is popularly referred to as the Paris of South America because it’s flourishing live theatre industry. It is home to symphony orchestras and choral societies who usually perform at the famous Opera House. Buenos Aires is world famous for its tango. UNESCO has declared Tango as a part of the world’s cultural heritage, and this city is the host of the world famous tango annual festival and tournament. It also gave birth to Argentine roc which has been popularized since Tango. The local lower class ends of the city is also a theatre production house of talent showcasing plays that sing about crime and drug lords. However, the city is also a host of famous Electric Dance Music (EDM).
10. Places to Visit in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires calls for a night of tango and drinks! If you’re visiting the city for the first time, it should top your to-do list.
Things to do in Buenos Aires: Corrientes Avenue is your tango street, Liberator Avenue is your lane of tourist spots, Avenida 9 de Julio is the street which commemorates their Independence Day with their walls and buildings that have been preserved. Palermo is the area where you can answer to the growls of a hungry stomach.
Things to do for kids in Buenos Aires: Apart from these generic spots of Argentine beauty, one can also visit the world renowned Zoo for its wide collection and also, Hindu Revival Elephant House. Botanical Gardens are also nearby from where you can catch a beautiful sunset.
Museums and Galleries: Teatro Colon, well-known opera house, is a must visit. The largest library in Argentina is also found in Buenos Aires called, “National Library”. Historical documents have been preserved and offices recreated for the refreshing sight of history in the National Museum of History.
Off Beat: Though most of the tourists tour around the wide rivers of the city, one should definitely explore the narrower waterways of the city. El Tigre, a city not far from the Parana River Delta, roughly an hour away from Buenos Aires is a modern day water city that can be accessed by boat rides. Though tourists usually go by the water taxis and cover the broad waterways, take the liberty of booking with a smaller tourist group and exploring the actual narrow and shallow depths of these waterways. However, the deeper you go, the more notorious the city. Delve as deep as the 1st or 2nd level of the delta and stay safe!
Nearby Places: About 100 km away from the heart of the city of Buenos Aires, you can find yourself in Saavedra. Saavedra is technically a residential area. However, it is also home to two of the best recreational parks that the province has to offer. Away from the calm and the serene, one can also find the bright lights of the largest shopping centre in the Buenos Aires province, in this city. DOT Baires is a must visit if you plan on touching this little residential hub.
Author’s Conclusion: Buenos Aires is a spot for all kinds and age groups to visit. While the beauty of the city makes it one of the most desirable destinations, the history of the city adds depth to the beauty. The authentic food and the dazzling dance moves really adds to the charm of this city. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and practice some moves; Buenos Aires awaits you!
|Demonym||Porteno / Portena|
|Languages||Spanish, Cocoliche (local dialect)|
|Currency||Argentine Peso (1 ARS = 0.069 USD as on 26-03-2016)|
|Time Zone||UTC -3|
|Driving||Right Hand Traffic, Left Hand Driven vehicles|
|Helpline||General (911), Police (101), Medical (107), Fire (100), Tourist Helpline (0800-999-5000)|
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