Fusing the Latin atmosphere with French design, Buenos Aires is the unique and unpretentiously chic capital of Argentina. Divided into 48 neighborhoods (‘barrios‘) each area of Buenos Aires has something special to offer.
Whether playing an important role in the history of the country or being a prime example of the Porteño spirit, the Buenos Aires neighborhoods will treat you to a new and exciting travel experience.
The following guide to the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires will give you a helping hand when visiting the stunning city of Buenos Aires.
♦ Palermo – The chic green one
As the largest and greenest neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Palermo is split up into several smaller and distinctive areas of Palermo Chico, Las Cañitas and Palermo Viejo which itself is divided into Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood. Whether browsing the boutique stores of Palermo Soho, stopping for some brunch in Palermo Hollywood or relaxing in 350 acres of parkland and lakes near Palermo Chico, this expansive neighborhood is a great way to escape the bustle of Buenos Aires.
Palermo fuses both classical and contemporary styles into one distinctive yet beautiful mix.
From the cobblestone, artistic streets of Palermo Viejo with boutique hotels, lively bars and restaurants to the parks of Palermo Chico; the Palermo neighborhood is one Buenos Aires’ most elegant and interesting.
♦ Recoleta – The cultural one
Firmly established as Buenos Aires’ most cultured neighborhood, some of the city’s finest, most luxurious hotels are located in Recoleta. With fashionable boutiques and some of Buenos Aires’ best restaurants, the wide, tree-lined avenues and buildings are distinctly European.
Recoleta is perhaps where you will see the famous saying of Buenos Aires being the Paris of South America coming to life.
Everything from the French-style architecture and beautiful plazas and parks to the fascinating Recoleta Cemetery where Buenos Aires’ elite are buried makes it a joy to explore its refined and cultured streets. While the contemporary neighborhood of Puerto Madero may now be considered the most exclusive area of the city, Recoleta has a much more classical-elegance to it. As you sit at an up-scale café under the eaves of a stunning building, you won’t be the first traveler to forget that you are in South America and not Paris.
♦ San Telmo – The bohemian one
One of the oldest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, San Telmo is considered a National Historic Monument. Keeping the authentic, old Buenos Aires intact, the neighborhood will transport you back to the 1800s in Buenos Aires.
In spite of its age, San Telmo feels somewhat timeless with its character enhancing the atmosphere found in Buenos Aires.
From antique hunting, tango dancing and street food sampling, you can enjoy perhaps the most immersive and traditional experiences of Buenos Aires. Simply walking along the century-old colonial streets and cobblestone promenades will treat you to beautifully preserved buildings and an antique atmosphere which deserves to be cherished and experienced. Redefining elegant decay, the largest attraction of San Telmo is its famous Feria San Telmo flea market that takes place every Sunday where you can find anything from hand-crafted goods to weird and wonderful collectibles.
♦ La Boca – The traditional one
The traditional port and birthplace of tango in Buenos Aires, La Boca has always been the door and first home for all immigrants flooding into Buenos Aires over the years. Settled by European immigrants, mainly from Italy and infused with the passion and flair of other, countless cultures, La Boca boasts more than just the home of the beloved Boca Juniors Football Club.
The El Caminito street is the famous focus of those visiting La Boca due to its quintessentially brightly painted houses accompanied by the sight of tango dancers passionately dancing to the sounds of live tango music.
Just off the main El Caminito Street and at the mouth (La Boca) of the Riachuelo, you can get a spectacular view of the old port and the Puente Transbordador which is one of nine known surviving, historic transporter bridges in the world.
♦ Downtown – The history-filled one
Known as Microcentro, the downtown area of Buenos Aires is a hive of activity. From the Plaza de Mayo Square, the government building of the Casa Rosada and other major national buildings, the Microcentro is one of the best places to explore the interesting history of Argentina.
Aside from exploring the governmental buildings, you can enjoy walking down Florida Street, the biggest and most important pedestrian street in Buenos Aires full of stores selling quality leather goods.
Downtown Buenos Aires also has one of Argentina’s most famous monuments, the Obelisco which is surrounded by the widest street in the world, Avenida 9 de Julio. A symbol of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk stands proudly near to the world famous Colon Theater & Opera House where Pavarotti performed and declared it as having the best acoustics in the world.
♦ Puerto Madero – The new, upscale one
Buenos Aires’ new and exclusive neighborhood of Puerto Madero has become the most fashionable and private area in the city. Its formerly derelict brick warehouse and old port area have been converted and refurbished into upscale residential apartments, restaurants, offices and bars overlooking picturesque canals. Strolling along the docks, lingering over a coffee and pastry at a riverfront café or walking through the nearby Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve are the main forms of activity in the area.
A sleek, well-polished and architecturally stunning area epitomized by the elegant Puente de la Mujer Bridge; Puerto Madero can feel like a completely different city within itself.
Despite the rapid redevelopment of Puerto Madero, it still pays homage to its riverside roots with large docked sailing ships and other nautical themes found along the docks.