We have to be honest—you’re going to fall in love with Buenos Aires. You’ll swoon over the eclectic architecture, inspired by cities like Paris and Madrid. You may even learn to tango in the birthplace of this sensual dance. Don’t wait any longer—find out why this is a love affair to last a lifetime.
The city of Buenos Aires is the political, economic, and cultural capital of Argentina, with one-third of the country’s 40 million people concentrated in its environs. As the seat of the national government, it is the locus of the public’s most vocal and visible opposition to government policies. The weekly Mothers’ March at Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada, political posters and graffiti, and well-organized street demonstrations are familiar sites. Such events serve as reminders that Argentine’s sense of democracy has been growing stronger since the 1980s. Buenos Aires is an ideal place to study the evolution of a developing country.
As you might expect, Buenos Aires has been home to a gifted vanguard of artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians in Latin America. The Café Tortoni, meeting place for Jorge Luis Borges and his friends, remains one of the most popular cafes in downtown Buenos Aires and hums with music and conversation day and night. The new Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), designed by two young Argentine architects, is a bold experiment in private ownership of an art museum.
If music is your preference, you will find plenty of choices—jazz, tango, opera, and clubs.
Constructed in the 17th century, the Cabildo is the former Town Hall of Buenos Aires. In the 1800s, Argentines gathered at the Cabildo and declared their independence from Spain. This spurred the May Revolution and the removal of Viceroy Cisneros, the Spanish head of government. Today, there is a museum in the Cabildo dedicated to the cause.
Avenue 9 del Julio, the busiest street in Buenos Aires, is named after the Argentine independence day, July 9th. Along the street are numerous landmarks, businesses, retail stores, and restaurants, including the famous Obelisk. The Obelisk is the magnificent monument located in Plaza de la Repulica that was built as a commeration the 400th year of Argentina.
"[Avenida] 9 de Julio amazed me everyday, even though I saw it more than anything else in the city. I also loved going to Plaza de Mayo and people watching." -Danielle M., Santa Clara University
A trip to Buenos Aires would not be complete without attending a tango performance. In the late 1800s, tango was a dance for the people in the poorest barrios, or neighborhoods. Today, tango is a phenomenon throughout Argentina and the world. La Boca, a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, is well-known for its outdoor tango performances.
This famous cemetery is located in the charming Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. French engineer Próspero Catelin designed the layout of the cemetery but it was remodeled in 1881 by Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo.The Cemetery includes graves of some of the most important and influential Argentinians, including presidents, scientists, and other wealthy public figures. Eva Perón and Raúl Alfonsín are the best-known people buried there.
Inaugurated in 1940 as "Coliseo de la Boca," La Bombonera was nicknamed as such due to its chocolate-box shape. The stadium is owned by Boca Juniors, one of Argentina's most famous football clubs and holds over 60,000 people. But futbol is not the only spectator occasion held in the stadium. Famous musical artists including Lenny Kravitz, Elton John, James Blunt, Bee Gees, Backstreet Boys have performed there!
La Casa Rosada is the official seat of the executive branch of the government of Argentina, located at the most important plaza, called Plaza de Mayo. The building is painted a pink color it is said that this color scheme in order to defuse political tension by fusing the red and white colors of the country's opposing political parties. An alternative explanation points to the fact that the original paint used contained cow blood to prevent damage from humidity. Its balcony has served as a podium by many figures, including Eva Perón and the Pope John Paul II.
The Colón Theatre is one of the most famous opera houses in the world and it is located on 9 de Julio Avenue, in the heart of the city. With perfect acoustics and modern stage areas, this interior design featured a rich scarlet and gold decor. The cupola was painted in 1966 by the renowned 20th century artist Raúl Soldi during renovation work. It opened in May 1908 with a performance of Verdi’s Aida and it quickly became a world-famous operatic centre.
Puerto Madero is a trendy new neighborhood along the Río de la Plata riverbank featuring outstanding modern architecture. It is a recycle area with restaurants, hotels, office buildings, cinemas, theaters, and shops, and a marina. Currently more buildings are under construction in the east side. The Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge), is the newest link between the east and west sides of Puerto Madero.
Bosque de Palermo is a green zone of 25 hectares located in Palermo. It is known for its groves, lakes, and rose gardens (El Rosedal). Many people use the park every day, both on foot and bicycle, and this number increases greatly at the weekends. Boat rides are available on the three artificial lakes within the park. Close to the boating lake is the Poets' Garden, with stone and bronze busts of major poets, including Borges and Shakespeare.
San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city and also one of the best preserved areas of that constantly changing Argentine metropolis, with a number of colonial houses and streets still paved with the original cobblestones (adoquines).
San Telmo's many attractions include many old churches, museums, antique stores, antique fair (Feria de Antiguedades) during the weekends in the main public square, Plaza Dorrego. Tango-related activities for both locals and tourists also abound in the area.
What is it really like to live in Buenos Aires? Check out our virtual tour of all the places you’ll come to know and love when you study abroad there—GO!