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Buenos Aires areas or "barrios"

Updated on December 14, 2016

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the second largest metropolitan area of South America and it possess central barrios that all have their own unique attributes. Newcomers to Buenos Aires often struggle with the differences between each area in the Argentine capital.


The Centre

The central part of Buenos Aires has the Microcentre or Downtown. This is a popular area for tourists as it possesses all the major sites. You can visit Congreso and Casa Rosada, some of Argentina's great architectural sites. Also, standing in Plaza de Mayo and envisioning Eva Peron speaking to the public. Avenida 9 Julio is very impressive given the grand scale that it was built on. Avenida Corrientes is great to see for all the theatres, very much Argentina's version of the West End in London. Teatro Colon, one of the world's most famous theatres, is in the Obelisco area as well. Finally, you must walk down the famous Avenida de Mayo and take in all the government buildings.


Buenos Aires Barrios. Video courtesy of geobeats

Regenerated and Traditional

If you were to venture South of this area, you can walk into San Telmo. This area is very Porteno and is a tourist hot spot. San Telmo was traditionally poor, but has been revitalised. The old buildings offer great character, as they have been transformed into artistic shops and cafes. There is a famous Viejo Almacen in La Brigada, which offers a more traditional Tango Show. On Sundays, a market will line the long street of La Defensa and is great to visit. There is a lot of bands in the streets playing music on Sunday evening which is entertaining. Plaza Dorrego also has an outdoor Milonga, where young and old dance Tango in the street.

In the port of Buenos Aires, is the true modernity of the city. Puerto Madero has sprung up with numerous luxurious apartments and modern high rises. This is a new economic centre for the city and rather reminiscent of Paris' La Defense or many other modern redevelopments that host the financial services industry.


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Old Money and further a field

In the North, we first reach the traditional old money barrios of Retiro, Recoleta and Barrio Norte. These barrios are very grand architecturally and built in a French style. The expensive 19th buildings are similar to the types of buildings that you would find in Paris, Madrid or Rome.

Recoleta possesses some great art galleries, embassy building and shopping. There are also numerous restaurants of every type. You are still within a short cab ride to the centre and there is excellent links on the subte or colectivo (underground or bus).

The more northerly barrios of Belgrano, Villa Crespo, Palermo, Colegiales, Villa Urquiza, Almagro, Caballito and Flores. Some of these are now the most fashionable barrios and popular in Buenos Aires. In particular, Palermo is the most commonly visited by foreigners.

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