Buenos Aires City: Puentes Destination Guide

Called the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is one of the most cosmopolitan cities of South America and has cultural offerings for everyone, ranging from myriad restaurants and historical sites to dance houses and expansive city parks.  It has enough entertainment options to keep you satisfied for a lifetime, and indeed, many who visit end up staying forever. The city has a population of 3.5 million people, with a metro area containing 12 million more, so it is the bustling hub of the country and offers a fast-paced backdrop to work and life. 

On the streets of “Capital Federal,” as it is known by the “porteños” (the residents of the city), you’ll hear every language under the sun being spoken, you’ll try different types of international cuisine, and you’ll find pockets of “barrios” (neighborhoods) that are made of people of different ethnicities. In this sense, Buenos Aires truly is a global city. But at its core, its principal protagonists are the “porteños” - a proud and friendly people who will welcome you into their city and share with you its splendor. They might also heavily debate the pros and cons of the government and politicians, but they’ll also be the first to proudly tell you that Buenos Aires is the finest city in the world.



BARRIOS (NEIGHBORHOODS) AND MUST SEE SIGHTS

Buenos Aires Capital Federal is spread out over various “barrios:” Microcentro, San Telmo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo, Belgrano, Las Cañitas, and others. Click on each teal icon in the map below for more information on each neighborhood and its must-see sights or open the full view map here.


ARTS AND MUSIC

Museums

There are over 130 museums in Buenos Aires, both private and public.  Some highlights follow:

Puentes Pista: It is always good to check the museum’s website for opening hours before visiting.

Theater

There are many theater offerings in BA, such as the below, and you can also search for tickets on Ticketek (the Argentine version of Ticketmaster) or on Alternativa Teatral.

Tango and Music

Buenos Aires has a vibrant and eclectic music scene.  Don’t miss seeing (and doing!) the tango, as well as checking out other music venues throughout the city.

Cultural Centers

These cultural centers often offer art exhibitions, music shows, classes, and other engaging cultural activities.


NATURE

Buenos Aires has quite a bit of green within the city.  The Costanera Norte is located along Avenida Rafael Obligado and has recreational complexes that offer tennis, swimming, golf, basketball, soccer, windsurfing, sailing, and others sports.  There is also the Bosque de Palermo, which extends east from Palermo to Belgrano and has tons of jogging and biking trails.  Within the park, there are a planetarium, several lakes, the “Rosedal” (rose garden), the Jardín Japonés, and the horse racetrack.  There is also a span of green space east of Palermo heading toward Recoleta, near the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and don’t miss the amazing “Reserva Ecologica” in Puerto Madero.   


SPORTS

Argentines are an active bunch, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to both watch and participate in a wide variety of sports. 

Running

  • Running Routes: Guide to the city’s best running routes: Bosques de Palermo, Puerto Madero, Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

  • Urban Running Tours: Tours in Bosques de Palermo, Recoleta, San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Palermo Soho, and Belgrano. 

Soccer

Argentina has twenty first division clubs, eight of which are located in Buenos Aires.  The local soccer championship is ranked among the five most important events of its kind in the world.  You can check schedules and details here, or purchase tickets to watch soccer games here.

Rugby

  • Club Ciudad is a well-know rugby club (Av. del Libertador 5683, Núñez), which training two or three times a week.

Horse Racing

  • The Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo (Av. del Libertador 4101, Palermo) is Argentina’s main racetrack. Beautiful architecture and free entrance. Check the schedule of races. 

Rock Climbing

  • Rustik (Pasaje Rufino 3086, Villa Urquiza) and Punto Cumbre (Riobamba 165, Congreso) are great places for indoor climbing.

Tennis and Paddle

  • Complejo El Circulo (Av. Sarmiento 4040, Palermo) has tennis and paddle courts. You can rent racquets here as well.

Golf

Yoga

  • Buena Onda Yoga for English-speaking yoga classes to find your inner “tranquilidad.”


SHOPPING

The city has several shopping circuits, each offering different items: antiques in San Telmo, books on Corrientes Avenue, leather items in Retiro neighborhood, and souvenirs in La Boca.  The avant-garde in objects, clothes, and decorative elements is in the Palermo Soho neighborhood.  Be sure not to miss the “ferias (markets) in San Telmo on Sundays, in Recoleta on Saturdays and Sundays, and for a real taste of the Gaucho culture, the Feria de Mataderos on Sundays and public holidays, 11am - 8pm   Buenos Aires also offers extended shopping hours, with the main malls staying open until 10pm.  Some top malls are Galería Pacifico off Florida Avenue, Paseo Alcorta in Palermo, Alto Palermo in Palermo, and Patio Bullrich in Recoleta.


GOINGS ON

A great and easy option to meet locals is going to Mundo LingoThese are gatherings of people from every language background that happen every week. The idea is to practice any language you want, not just English and Spanish! Most porteños are looking forward to practicing English. It is a free activity, so you can enjoy a good drink, while meeting new people in a laid back and informal environment.

A great bar where you can play some fun board games is called Jobs, in Palermo, where you can play board games, ping-pong, mini football, darts, and practice archery. There is always a good excuse to play with people from other tables, and maybe they can teach you games you don’t know and the other way around.

If you want to watch “fútbol” and check out how passionate porteños can get while watching it, you can go to Locos X el FútbolChicken Bros, and El Álamo bars. If you are looking for something more traditional, you can go to El Banderín (Barrio Almagro) where you can smell a perfect blend of coffee and fútbol; what’s more, it’s a traditional and historic bar that has been open since 1929.

During the day but also at night, there are some other trendy plazas to visit, such as Plaza SerranoPlaza Armenia (both in Palermo), and Plaza Dorrego (San Telmo), which are surrounded by bars and restaurants, and there is a great young atmosphere. They are good places to bar hop and meet locals. These areas are also good for After Offices: porteños hang their suits and ties and go to after offices (like happy hours) as soon as they leave work. Some hotspots to try for these Happy Hour occasions are La Cigale in Microcentro and Gibraltar in San Telmo.  Find a porteño to take advantage of 2x1 specials!


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