uenos Aires is a popular port city on the Rio de la Plata, an estuary on the border between Argentina
and Uruguay. It’s an autonomous city that is not part of the outer Buenos Aires province, and yet it acts as a kind of gateway to Argentina.
Visitors enjoy Buenos Aires in the spring (September to November), although its sub-tropical climate has generally pleasant conditions year round. Also in the spring-summer months, the city hosts festivals and sporting events that are popular among tourists, for which a variety of airlines allow you to organise your next cheap holidays.
People from Buenos Aires are known as “porteños”, or people of the port, with European roots that date back to the 16th Century. A variety of Spanish, German, Greek and Italian influences can be seen in the local architecture. Hence, there are no dominating monuments, but a variety of touches and details that hail from across the world, and can be seen in beautifully preserved 19th Century houses, majestic churches and opera houses.
Similarly, the city neighbourhoods are unique, with emphasis on local flavour following Argentinian independence in the early 19th Century. An exception is the Buenos Aires Cabildo, a public building that was once the seat of the colonial council and which now houses a museum. The Palacio de Las Aguas Corrientes, Palace of Running Water, was the city’s water works, built with myriad terracotta tiles and which today houses a museum with antique equipment. The neo-Gothic Palacia Barolo rises up 22 floors and was built as a tribute to Dante’s Divine Comedy, each floor supposedly representing a verse in the Italian poet-philosopher’s masterpiece.
Buenos Aires has a world renowned party atmosphere, not least because of its national dance, the tango. Perhaps best exhibited in the city’s dance halls, plazas, glittering ballrooms and outdoor parks, the tango is both elegant and passionate, combining discreet separation between participants that achieves lasting intimacy. Interestingly, in Buenos Aires, tango-dancing schools were traditionally men-only places called academias, and the dance was only popularised in Paris in the 1920s.
The city hosts the bi-annual Buenos Aires Fashion Week, which displays both national and international designers’ collections, and garners plenty of exposure. It’s held at the La Rural Fairgrounds in February, for fall and winter collections, and in August for spring and summer clothes. In addition to high fashion, Buenos Aires has a reputation as a party city, with bars and clubs of all sizes opening their doors late in the evening and remaining open all night.
Energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to recreate itself; Buenos Aires continues to earn the accolade of the ‘Paris of South America’. Buenos Aires flights are affordable particularly between October and January, when the weather is warm and the mate, or traditional infused drink, is readily served.