Buenos Aires may be one of the most culturally distinct cities on planet Earth, where European style and Latin American flare meld into an atmosphere that is equal parts architectural beauty, artistic sensuality and ethnic diversity. A coastal capital, BA is no stranger to immigration, and takes great pride in the 40+ neighborhoods that coexist harmoniously within its city limits. But through its heterogeneity, the city has achieved a pulsating rhythm all its own, and well worth a hearty exploration.
The great Jorge Luis Borges once wrote, “without the streets or dusks of Buenos Aires, a Tango cannot be written.” While the capable Tango writers here at Embark.org may beg to differ, a trip to the San Telmo district in the south, with its resident population of bohemian artists and myriad cafes and exquisite tango halls, does tend to drive home the good poet’s point. More of a “must see architecture” kinda traveler, huh? Then you may want to stick close to the city center, where attractions like the Plaza de Mayo and Teatro Colon will undoubtedly fill up your scrapbook with pictures of beautiful buildings and nationally recognized landmarks. Recoleta, with its famous cemetery, should also be included in such an exploration of the city’s cultural highlights.
And what’s a coastal city without a cool harbor district? Follow weekend Portenos (locals) to Puerto Madero for a glimpse of modern BA renovation along the South Atlantic, with its scenic boardwalk strolls and fashionable shops and cafes, or head up north to Palermo for some natural beauty by day (parks, gardens, lakes and the like) and raucous nightlife by night. With so many options to choose from, we can’t even begin to scratch the surface here. But take some time to investigate both before you go and while you’re in town, and you’ll understand why this amazing South American city has such a magnetic cultural appeal.