- Cityscape Bundle of barrios
- City life Gauchos, gringos and tango
This sultry southern city has been igniting the passions of tango dancers, gringos and steak fans since South America’s colonial days…
The birthplace of seductive dance moves (and the hand of God) is a homage to the great Continental capitals – Paris, Madrid and Rome have all contributed to this sexy city, and not only by sending over various ex-pats to settle. As well as the influx of French, Spanish and Italian people, Europe has made its mark on the food, fashion and elegant architecture of the Argentine capital. To see gauchos in their garb at work on the pampas, you’ll have to venture into rural parts, but you won’t have to go far to taste their fare – in this city, you’re never far from a juicy steak. Sprawling Buenos Aires on the banks of the River Plate is a heavyweight on the continent, with only São Paulo in Brazil rivalling its metropolitan credentials. For high fashion, hit Palermo Viejo; for a cutting edge, contemporary vibe, try Palermo Hollywood. See bohemian Buenos Aires in historic San Telmo, a grittier quarter famed for antiques and authentic restaurants. The well heeled will find their Buenos Aires barrio is Recoleta, filled with fine galleries, museums and parks.
Do go/Don’t go
The city is mild enough all year round, but May–September is generally on the cooler side. The other, warmer months are busier and more expensive. Between January and March, temperatures can get as hot as 40˚C.
- Planes The main international airport in Buenos Aires is Ezeiza, which is around 30km from the centre of town. The drive should take 40 minutes, but allow up to 90 minutes in rush hour. There are licensed cabs at official stands at the airport or book a radio taxi (+54 11 4931 1200); expect to spend US$25 each way. There's a domestic airport (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery) nearer the city centre.
- Boats Sail across to Buenos Aires from Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay with Buquebus (www.buquebus.com).
- Trains The central hub for trains is Consitución station; Ferrobaires (www.gba.gov.ar) and TBA (www.tbanet.com.ar) operate services out of here, bound for cities including Miramar and Santa Fe. Buenos Aires also has a five-line metro system, known as the subte (www.metrovias.com.ar).
- Automobiles You’ll be able to get around the city easily enough using the metro, your legs and buses, but if you prefer to have a car, pick one up from the Avis (www.avis.com) desk in town at Cerrito 1535 (+54 (0)11 4326 5542) or from Ezeiza Airport (+54 (0)11 4480 9387).
- Taxis Taxis are visible all over the place, and you’ll be able to flag one down with as much ease as if you were in London or New York. Try to have small notes and change for cab rides if you don’t want to be met with an angry driver. Be sure to know the cross street for where you’re headed – roads and avenues can stretch for miles. It’s unlikely your driver will be fluent in English.