For many years Buenos Aries has been known as “The Paris of South America” But over the last few years people have been saying Buenos Aries is so much more and should be recognized not enlight of Paris!
” We think it’s time to stop calling Buenos Aires the “Paris of South America.” As anyone who’s been there will tell you, this city has a spirit all its own”
We had a 3 day long weekend to fly to Buenos Aries, Argentina and hit the highlights of this fabulous city…with a side trip to Uruguay thrown in the mix too!
Argentina is the eighth largest country in the world and the name Argentina derives from argentinos, the Ancient Greek diminutive (tinos) form for silver (argentos), which is what early Spanish explorers sought when they first reached the region in the sixteenth century.
Buenos Aries is a port city, which stretches south-to-north along the Rio de la Plata, and has been the gateway to Argentina for centuries. Portenos, as the multinational people of Buenos Aires are called, possess an elaborate and rich cultural identity. They value their European heritage highly–Italian and German names outnumber Spanish, and the lifestyle and architecture are markedly more European than any other in South America.
The city’s districts are small and highly individualized, each with its own characteristic colors and forms. We tried to see as many different areas as we had time. We stayed in downtown Centro. The district is the financial, corporate, and cultural hub of Buenos Aires, and of Argentina. We also enjoyed exploring San Telmo, Recoleta, Puerto Madero and La Bocca districts each fascinating in their own respect.
We took the 3am flight from Sao Paulo and arrived bright and early in Buenos Aries at 5am to see the sun come up. We were so thankful to be able to have an early check in at our hotel and a few hours sleep and a great breakfast before hitting the streets of Buenos Aries to explore!
Centro — downtown, an ideal location for visitors to be near to the main historical spots of the Argentinean capital. It is probably one of the largest areas and where we spent most of our time. Florida Street is located downtown and is a famous pedestrian street of the city, where visitors can do window shopping and buy leather and other usual city goods. Avenue 9 de Julio is the widest avenue in the world. The avenue has up to seven lanes in each direction and is flanked on either side by parallel streets of two lanes each.
Plaza de Mayo where Casa Rosada and parliament buildings are located
Galerias Pacifico~ In 1896 part of the building was transformed into the first home for the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes and in 1908 the British-owned Buenos Aries and Pacific railway company acquired part of the building for offices. The company’s name derived from the fact that its intention was to operate a train service linking Buenos Aries and Valparaiso in Chile, giving access to the Pacific Ocean. In 1945 the building was remodeled and the offices were separated from the rest of the building. A large central cupola was constructed and decorated with 12 frescos. The building was used later used as a torture center by the military that ruled Argentina from 1976 through 1983 and in 1989 was declared a National Historic Monument. In 1991 it was opened as a high end mall with shops by top designers. It was absolutely beautiful!
Like I said we spent most of our time downtown in Centro, but also saw a few other areas…
Puerto Madero just like the London docklands, the antique port of Buenos Aires has been renewed and now represents the latest architectural trends of the city. It has a mixture of restaurants, ranging from high end to U.S.A. chains and also has apartment buildings and a few expensive hotels.
Recoleta is one of the finest and most expensive areas of the city. It boasts many French style buildings, large green spaces, museums, cafes, and first class restaurants. It is also where many consulates are located. The famous Recoleta Cemetery is there and you could spend hours exploring the cemetery alone(at least I could)
Recoleta is such a beautiful area.
La Boca is considered Buenos Aires’s most colorful neighborhood with a very outgoing personality. Tourists favor this picturesque district, especially Caminito for its rich history and vibrant colors. This neighborhood is home to Bombonera stadium where Argentina’s legend soccer players Messi ( current captain of Argentina National team) and Maradona ( the greatest FIFA soccer player of the 20th century (an honor he shares with Brazilian’s soccer legend Pelé) are held in high regard!
Unfortunately we didn’t get to tour the Museum and Stadium, it was an hour wait for the next tour and we really had to keep moving to see everything.
San Telmo is the district that preserves colonial-style houses along narrow cobblestone lanes, illuminated with pretty wrought iron lanterns. In San Telmo, one breathes the history of Buenos Aires. There is also a very exciting, underground nightlife scene ( which we were too tired to check out) and also the Sunday Antique Market. The Market goes for block after block along Defensa street with lots of Antiques, local crafts and leather,and Sunday afternoon and evening when the market closes is the perfect place to sit at a little cafe and enjoy the musical entertainment and tango dancing.
It was quite a whirlwind weekend! So much jam packed in 3 short days. We enjoyed lots of great food, fresh warm croissants and baguettes for breakfast, empanadas, delicious steak, and pizza!
Here’s to a FABULOUS weekend!