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Overview to Buenos Aires: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Buenos Aires

Very few visitors to Buenos Aires fail to fall under its spell. The third largest city in South America, it is an enticing blend of quiet cobbled squares, bustling boulevards, quaint cafés and pulsing bars and restaurants.

The European feel of much of the city's architecture was provided by the large-scale development project of the 1930s; in an attempt to bring some European ‘sophistication’ to Buenos Aires, elegant boulevards replaced the ancient network of narrow streets in many places.

The city is broken up into several ‘barrios’ or neighborhoods, each with its own distinct feel. To the north of the city, the Recoleta is glamour personified, where smart boutiques sit alongside the city’s museums and galleries. A little further northwest, the leafy Palermo Viejo is a haven for designer clothes and classy home furnishing shops.

The Plaza de Mayo, the city’s fine central square, is home to the bold pink Casa de Gobierno and the imposing Catedral Metropolitana. It has also witnessed some of the most important events in the country’s long and sometimes checkered history.

Down towards the south of the city, things are a little less gentrified. But, as is often the case with big metropolises, it’s also arguably more interesting, from the antique markets of San Telmo to the scruffy port area of La Boca, which is full of characteristically colorful ‘conventillos’ (large houses).

Buenos Aires is a wonderfully romantic place, but one experience still stands out; sit on a bench next to the Cathedral and watch the river, the Rio de la Plata, drift slowly out to sea. In years gone by when the young men went off on their European cities tour, it was here that they used to say goodbye to their girlfriends.

The young ladies used to follow the ships from the balconies next to the river, waving forlornly with their handkerchiefs as they sailed off into the distance. And while this custom stopped many years ago, Buenos Aires still retains more than just a touch of this air of nostalgia and romance.