Argentina's capital is larger than life: gregarious, stylish, busy and filled with layers of history. Buenos Aires is a living, breathing city—you can see its vibrant heart at a soccer match at La Bombonera where Diego Maradona played, watch tango in street markets and even visiting the the immense cemetery, the resting place where the nation's rich and powerful lie. Take your time to explore charismatic neighborhood of Le Boca with its multicultural history, and the smart, gentrified waterfront at Puerto Madero. Then of course there's the shopping: once you've sashayed the stylish boutiques of Palermo, enter the fun in lively street markets – you never know what to expect!
According to Luciano Pavarotti, this theater and huge stage is one of the world's top five for opera. The salons, dressing rooms and banquet halls are equally sumptuous, adorned with Italian marble and French stained glass. After huge renovation completed in 2010, it's more impressive than ever – take a guided tour to see why.
Most visitors head only for Eva Peron’s tomb, always heaped with flowers and fan letters. But there are thousands more of the rich and famous created by local and international sculptors, including Greek temples and pyramids – buy a map to find your way around. There's a weekend craft market in the park outside, with street performances.
Gentrified over the years, this fascinating neighborhood has a long history of immigration, from Irish and Poles to freed African slaves. We love to explore its cobbled streets – it can be grubby and chaotic but full of life, with kids playing football. Safety has improved over the years, although we’d advise caution in the evenings.
This imposing hall is a good example of Argentina’s ability to take global architectural influences; this bears a strong resemblance to the US Capitol. Take a tour in English or Spanish to see the 2-ton bronze and silver chandelier decorated with figures representing all provinces of the country, plus Corinthian columns and French marble.
Since 1977 this huge square, the city's historic heart, has been the regular spot for demonstrations. These include the Mothers of the ‘desaparecidos’, the children who went missing during the military dictatorship (1976-1983). The women gather and march each Thursday afternoon, placing a circle of signed headscarves on the ground.
For many years this was the home of its designer Charles ‘Carlos’ Thays, when he was responsible for the city’s parks. We love the five art nouveau glass and iron greenhouses, housing thousands of tropical plants. The gardens are dotted with sculptures – look out for a small bronze statue of Thays, plus a nymph by the circular lily pond.
This is home to Boca Juniors, one of the world’s most famous clubs, where Diego Maradona played his last two seasons. Try for a match ticket (a tour agency might be the easiest route) for a high-octane experience; the stadium actually vibrates when 50,000 fans leap up and down. If you can’t get to a game, see the trophies in the museum.
This famous milonga (tango hall) puts on a varied programme showcasing impressive Argentine talent, often mixing musical genres. There are regular performances (Wed-Sat) nights, and milonga nights on Sundays where you can venture onto the dance floor to experience tango for yourself. Be aware of strong etiquette between men and women!
This museum is a must to see Latin American art, especially the works of the 20th-century ‘big hitters’: Frida Kahloe, Diego Rivera and Antonio Berni. There are also temporary exhibitions. More than art, it’s also a renowned cultural centre with a good library, arthouse cinema, shop, an elegant café-restaurant and gorgeous gardens.
Like many of the city's open-air markets, shopping meets entertainment here. The colorful Sunday street market is always packed, where almost 300 street vendors set up their huge varieties of wares, from silver to porcelain and crystal. Musicians perform on the sidewalk, plus tango sessions which carry on long after the stalls close.
Explore this renovated docklands area with historic naval vessels and sleek bridge. Then visit the Reserva Ecologica Constanera Sur – a superb example of how natural beauty can emerge from desolation, where you can enjoy bird-watching tours among the river beds and grasslands. It’s busier at weekends with joggers and cyclists.
Over its history the cathedral has gone through changes. In the 19th-century it had a new façade with carvings depicting the story of Jacob and Joseph, in Greek revival style. Inside, the tomb of the Liberator, General José de San Martín is guarded by uniformed soldiers, plus an eternal flame dedicated to tomb of the unknown soldier.