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Buenos Aires, the ninth-largest city in the world, rises from the Río de la Plata and stretches more than 200 square km (75 square mi) to the surrounding Argentine plains. This sprawling city is best explored one neighborhood at a time on foot, by public transportation-colectivó (bus), subte (subway), or by hailing one of the relatively inexpensive taxis. Streets are basically laid out in a grid, though a few streets-diagonals-transverse the grid diagonally.
 
Buenos Aires is cache of about 75 square miles of old worldly 19th-century homes, lush parks, and tiny cafes with a charming ancient character. It is the cultural, economic, and political capital of Argentina, and owing to its strategic location and stature, it remains the gateway to the entire country. Owing to an identity crisis, since several of the early settlers here came from Europe, there are more psychoanalysts in the city per square mile than any other place in the world.
 
Buenos Aires is more than just breathtaking edifices reminiscent of an erstwhile era, affable locals and thoroughbred local eats. It is also about an impromptu tango under the night sky, walking through a verdant park, digging into a scrumptious steak, or  simply strolling through the city and appreciating the architecture and culture.
 
Docking & Local Transportation -- Most cruise ships dock at the Port of Buenos Aires. From there, you can reach downtown Buenos Aires either via a short walk or via taxis or buses.
 
The public buses of Buenos Aires, known as the Collectivos, can transport you all around the city at very economical prices. Or, you can opt to rent a car during your stay, but keep in mind that the drivers in this city are known for their aggressiveness.
 
Contact Express (11/4326-0338) or Budget (11/4311-4555) for more information. Buenos Aires has a small subway system as well, with all lines radiating from El Centro. Finally, you can take a taxi service to your destination
 
Things To See and Do
 
Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada
Buenos Aire's Belle Époque is evident in the splendid old colonial buildings found in Plaza de Mayo. Established in the 16th century, this delightful two-block-long plaza has been the stage for many important events in the city's history, from the uprising against Spain in 1810 to the continuing vigils held by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (Mothers of Plaza de Mayo) whose children "disappeared" during the military junta's reign from 1976 to 1983. Much of the area is pedestrianized, including popular Florida and Lavalle Streets, and numerous attractions can easily be included in a fun walking tour of the area that will take in such important landmarks as Casa Rosada, the pale pink Presidential Palace from which Eva Perón would address the enormous crowds eager to see her. Also worth exploring is the splendid Avenida de Mayo, famous for its fine buildings with their attractive façades and domes, along with such landmarks as the famous Café Tortoni, established in 1880 and considered the heart of tango (the National Tango Academy is next door and continues to welcome visitors).
 
The Recoleta Cemetery and Museums
Fashionable Recoleta takes its name from the Franciscan convent that was built here around 1716, but is perhaps best known for its astonishing burial ground. The Recoleta Cemetery (Cementerio de la Recoleta) has long been popular among locals and tourists alike, drawn here for the many elaborate mausoleums that serve as final resting places for a veritable Who's Who of famous Argentines, including such illustrious souls as Eva Perón, now embalmed in the Duarte family tomb. Although somewhat ostentatious, these beautiful crypts are a testament to the national interest in death, something so important that Argentinians continue to honor their family members' birthdays and death-days alike. Afterwards, be sure to explore the rest of Recoleta with its many public gardens, cafés, and craft shops, as well as other attractions, including the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano Isaac Fernández Blanco with its extensive collection of colonial silver, wood carvings, paintings, and costumes, and the National Library where literary great Jorge Luis Borges served as director in the 1950s. Address: Junín 1760, 1113 Buenos Aires
 
La Boca and the Caminito Street Museum
Undoubtedly Buenos Aires' most colorful neighborhood, La Boca is a favorite haunt for artistic and creative types, many of whom take their art outside and onto the streets, decorating balconies and patios with amusing sculptures of tango dancers and other characters. Much of the fun here for visitors is exploring the Caminito Street Museum, a colorful pedestrian-friendly zone that has functioned as an open-air museum and art market since 1959. Painted a patchwork of colors, this string of bright and extremely photogenic buildings offer quality crafts and souvenirs, sculptures, and, for the footloose, free open-air tango demonstrations (the area is in fact named after a tango). A little more formal is the Museum of Decorative Arts of Quinquela Martín with its excellent collection of works by notable 20th-century Argentinian artists.
 
Buenos Aires Cabildo
In Plaza de Mayo, the beautiful Cabildo served as the seat of the colonial government and was at the epicenter of the May 1810 revolution against Spanish rule. It dates back to 1610 and was later expanded throughout the 18th century. These days this splendid building houses the National Museum of the Cabildo with its numerous exhibits relating to the city during the 18th century, including a replica of the city's first printing press, an exhibit of Jesuit and colonial art, and numerous old maps and photos of the city. Another museum of interest in Plaza de Mayo is the Museo de la Casa de Gobierno inside the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace, providing a chronology of Argentinian presidents up to 1966 along with related artifacts and memorabilia.Address: Bolívar 65, 1066 Buenos Aires
 
San Telmo and the National Historical Museum
San Telmo is well known as one of Buenos Aires' more colorful districts, its narrow cobblestone streets and old colonial style buildings home to numerous art studios and interesting galleries. The area is also popular for its cafés, tango parlors, and boutique shops and is a delight to explore, particularly during the San Telmo Sunday Fair (Feria de San Telmo), an antiques fair that draws crowds of eager shoppers and sightseers alike. The biggest attraction in San Telmo, though, is the excellent National Historical Museum (Museo Histórico Nacional) with its displays relating to the history of Argentina. All told, the museum houses more than 50,000 artifacts, the most important being its collection of paintings by Cándido López, a forerunner of contemporary primitive painting. Another museum of interest is the Bernardino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum, opened in 1826 and now boasting 13 exhibition halls bursting with displays of Argentinian flora and fauna, along with an on-site aquarium. Address: Defensa 1600, 1143 Buenos Aires
 
The San Telmo Antiques Fair is a fun family destination, and is held every Sunday from 10am to 5pm at the Plaza Dorrego venue. During the week the plaza is a nice place for people watching.
San Telmo. Bohemian San Telmo's cobblestone streets teem with early-19th-century colonial buildings, antiques shops, galleries, and tango halls.
 
The town's busiest market is the classic Feria de San Pedro Telmo,which packs a small San Telmo square every Sunday. Plaza Dorrego, Humberto I y Defensa, San Telmo.
 
The Metropolitan Cathedral
While construction of its Neoclassical façade wasn't initiated until 1822, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana) overlooks Plaza de Mayo and can trace its roots back to the early 16th century when the Spanish established one of the country's first churches here. Despite its rather plain exterior, this catholic church boasts a lovely Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque interior along with numerous important artworks, including 18th-century altarpieces and statues, as well as a Walcker organ dating from 1871 that includes an impressive 3,500 pipes and is regarded as one of the finest of its kind. Also of interest here is the tomb of one of Argentina's most revered revolutionary heroes, General José de San Martín. Another religious site worth seeing is the Block of Enlightenment (Manzana de las Luces), a city block traditionally regarded as the historical center of learning and high culture in Buenos Aires. It includes the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires and San Ignacio Church, the city's oldest surviving church, famous for its tunnels and artwork. Address: Calle Rivadavia s/n, 1004 Buenos Aires
 
A City of Theaters: The Colón Theater
No lover of great theater (or, for that matter, great theaters) should pass up the chance to visit Buenos Aires' many fine performance halls. Perhaps the best known is the stunning Colón Theater (Teatro Colón), a world-class opera, ballet, and classical music facility opened in 1908 that has hosted the likes of Callas, Toscanini, Stravinsky, Caruso, and Pavarotti. Guided tours of the theater, considered to boast some of the world's best acoustics, provide a fascinating glimpse into the building's inner workings, from set-building to costume making (even wig-making), an experience that can only be topped by enjoying a performance in its sumptuous auditorium. Other places of entertainment to visit include Teatro Gran Rex, a lovely Art Deco cinema opened in 1937, and Teatro Cervantes, home to the Buenos Aires National Theatre Museum with its displays relating to theater, film, and musical productions. Address: Cerrito 628, Buenos Aires
Official site: www.teatrocolon.org.ar/en/

Art Galleries Old and New
Buenos Aires has long had a reputation as one of South America's most significant centers for art. One of the newest and most impressive galleries is the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA). Housed in a superb modern building resembling a number of interlocking cubes, this world-class museum has numerous works by modern artists from across Latin America and serves as a cultural center showcasing the country's film and visual arts. Also of importance to the art world is the splendid Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, housed in a former tobacco warehouse and home to a collection of exhibits by local painters and sculptors along with permanent exhibits of local and international artists including Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Other galleries of note include the Museum of the Spanish Art of Enrique Larreta, with its impressive collection gathered by the famous writer, and the Fortabat Art Collection, a fine art gallery opened in 2008. Be sure to also find time to visit the city's most interesting outdoor sculpture, Floralis Genérica, a massive steel and aluminum flower in the midst of Plaza de las Naciones Unidas that even closes at night and emanates a pleasing red glow. Address: Avenida Pres Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Buenos Aires

Palermo and Jardín Botánico
Palermo, the major recreational spot for Porteños (as residents of Buenos Aires are known), is where many of the city's largest and most popular parks lie. Once part of the estate of dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas, these days the area is home to a plethora of fine ethnic restaurants and Avant-garde fashion establishments. It's here, too, that you'll find Jardín Botánico, the city's excellent botanic gardens with its numerous lakes, bridges, and sculptures spread across 20 acres of paradise. Established in 1898, the gardens boast some 5,000 flower species from around the world, including many from Argentina. Highlights include such exquisite areas as the French and Italian Gardens, along with a herb museum and horticultural school. Also worth a visit are the Buenos Aires Japanese Gardens, the largest such garden in South America and popular for its bonsai collection, displays of traditional arts and crafts, and cultural center. Address: 1425 Buenos Aires
 
The National Museum of Decorative Art
Opened in 1911 in the stunning Palacio Errázuriz, a landmark Classical French-style building in the heart of the Recoleta district, the excellent National Museum of Decorative Art (Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo) is a must for art enthusiasts as well as those who enjoy great architecture. Highlights of the museum's collection include paintings by Spanish mannerists and French Impressionists plus Renaissance and Baroque furniture, tapestries, porcelain, and silver. Also of interest and sharing the same building is the Oriental Art Museum (Museo de Arte Oriental) with its many fine displays of artwork from across Asia. Finally, art lovers should also check out the National Museum of Fine Arts with works by such European masters as Rodin, Renoir, Monet, and van Gogh, along with many important Argentinian artists.
Address: Avenida del Libertador 1902, 1425 Buenos Aires. Official site: www.mnad.org/index.php?subP=ingles
 
La Boca. The vibrant working-class neighborhood of La Boca, just south of San Telmo, served as the first port of Buenos Aires. Many who settled here were immigrants from Genoa, Italy, and the district retains much of its Italian heritage although time as a tourist center is taking its toll on La Boca's authenticity. Cobblestones, tango dancers, and haphazardly constructed, vividly painted conventillos (rooming houses) have made Calle Museo Caminito the darling of Buenos Aires's postcard manufacturers since this pedestrian-street and open-air museum & art market opened in 1959. Artists fill the block-long street with works depicting port life and tango, which is said to have been born in La Boca. Caminito between Av. Pedro de Mendoza (La Vuelta de Rocha promenade) and Olivarría, La Boca.

 

Plaza de Mayo
Many of the country's most significant historical events transpired around the axis of Plaza de Mayo. Once the home of the city council, the Cabildo dates from 1765 and is the only colonial building on Plaza de Mayo. The epicenter of the May Revolution of 1810, where patriotic citizens gathered to vote against Spanish rule, the hall is one of Argentina's national shrines. However, this hasn't stopped successive renovations to its detriment, including the demolition of the whole right end of the structure to make way for the new Avenida de Mayo in 1894. Inside, a small museum exhibits artifacts and documents pertaining to the events of the May Revolution as well as a jail cell. Thursday and Friday from 11 to 6, an artisan fair takes place on the Patio del Cabildo. Bolívar 65, Plaza de Mayo. Admission charged.

Plaza de Mayo was where Buenos Aires started: it once sat right on the river and, in keeping the traditions of Spanish colonies, was home to the city's central institutions, both governmental and religious. The Plaza de Mayo is not technically a district, but few people use the area's official handle, Monserrat. Regardless, the square has enough worthy offerings for you to treat it as a neighborhood for the purpose of sightseeing.

The eclectic Casa de Gobierno, better known as the Casa Rosada, or Pink House, houses the government's executive branch-the president works here but lives elsewhere. Built as a customhouse and fortress in the 19th century, it has undergone numerous modifications, which accounts for the odd mix of styles. Its curious hue dates from the presidency of Domingo Sarmiento, who ordered it painted pink as a symbol of unification between two warring political factions, the federales (whose color was red) and the unitarios (represented by white). Hipólito Yrigoyen 219, Plaza de Mayo.

El Centro. If you haven't visited the urban flux of El Centro, you haven't visited Buenos Aires. Towering over the city at 221½ feet, the Obelisco (Obelisk) is one of Buenos Aires's most prominent landmarks. During elections or major soccer matches, crowds of Porteños converge here.Av. 9 de Julio and Corrientes. The 865-acre Reserva Ecológica was built over a landfill and is home to more than 500 species of bird and a variety of flora and fauna. On weekends thousands of porteños vie for a spot on the grass, so come midweek if you want to bird-watch and sunbathe in peace or use the jogging and cycling tracks. A monthly guided "Walking under the Full Moon" tour begins at 8:30 PM; otherwise avoid the area at night. It's just a short walk across any bridge from Puerto Madero. Av. Tristán Achával Rodríguez 1550, Puerto Madero.

La Recoleta. Open green spaces border this elegant residential and shopping district, replete with boutiques, cafés, old apartment buildings, mansions, and cultural centers.Ominous gates and labyrinthine pathways mark the Cementerio de La Recoleta, the oldest cemetery in Buenos Aires (1822). The final resting place for the nation's most illustrious covers 13½ acres that are rumored to be the most expensive real estate in town. The cemetery has more than 6,400 elaborate vaulted tombs and majestic mausoleums, 70 of which have been declared historic monuments.

Palermo. With nearly 350 acres of parks, wooded areas, and lakes, Palermo provides a peaceful escape from the rush of downtown.With 18 acres of gardens and 5,500 varieties of exotic and local flora, theJardín Botánico Carlos Thays is a green haven. Different sections re-create the environments of Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas.Among the treasures is the Chinese "tree of gold," purportedly the only one of its kind. Winding paths lead to hidden statues, a brook, and past the resident cats and dragonflies. The central area contains a beautiful greenhouse, brought from France in 1900, and the exposed-brick botanical school and library. Av. Santa Fe 3951, Palermo. The sleek, modern Museo MALBA (Museo de Arte de Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) is home to one of the largest collections of Latin American art in the world. The museum also features lectures, movies, and live music. Av. Presidente Figueroa Alcorta 3415. Admission charged.

Where To Eat
If there is one reason to visit Buenos Aires, it is the sheer choice of restaurants and snack places. Obrero is the place to head to if you want to dig into some fine local cuisine. El Obrero, located at Augustin R. Caffarena 64 (11/4362-9912 features a laidback vibe and a charmingly no fuss ambiance where the focus is completely only the delicious food. The best entrees to order here are the steak and potatoes and succulent grilled chicken complemented by a sweetbread. Cabaña las Lilas, which is located at Alicia Moreau in Dique, is another local rage. The amiable service and extensive wines list is nothing short of spectacular. This is where you will get probably the best steaks in town. The owners raise their own cattle in a private ranch, and the result is the most lips-smacking steaks you’ve ever tried. Ideal, located at Suipacha 384, is a nice place for some peaceful coffee time and sinful post dinner desserts.

Travelers who collect dining experiences may want to visit Café Tortoni, Argentina’s oldest and most famous café. Started by a Frenchman in 1858 who modeled it after a Parisian café, the Tortoni remains a popular place to enjoy coffee or snacks with friends as well as hobnob with writers, painters and other artists. It’s also a good place to see the tango performed on stage by professional dancers. Located on Avenida de Mayo, the Cafe Tortoni entices the hungry with sandwiches, steaks and desserts that look too good to eat.

Nightlife ---Mundo Bizarro is located at Guatemala 4802 (11/4773-1967)  buzzes with life post sundown. This is one of the city’s most happening night party spots. The bar is polished looking and contemporary, and the seating area is relaxed and stylish. You can hobnob with amiable locals here and strike up a good conversation. The city’s favourite jazz place is Notorious at Avenida Callao 966 (11/4815-8473). Live music is played almost every evening here. Shopping

Patio Bullrich is located at Avenida del Libertador 750, and is a mall full of interesting shops and boutiques. There’s a multiplex in addition to, antique shops. The place has features a lovely auction house for prized catch hunters. Pullman is housed in the Galerías Pacífico and offers a nice assortment of leather buys.
 
Porteños take shopping seriously, and they dress for the occasion. You should, too. Sloppily dressed customers usually get sloppy service. There are lots of good-value local brands on offer, and many items-particularly leather goods-are cheaper here than abroad. Pay particular attention to seams and hems; local stitching isn't always superlative. Open-air markets are the best places for deals on souvenir-quality crafts and jewelry. For top-quality items, though, head to specialty stores. Prices may be higher, but the quality is more reliable.
 
Vuelta de Rocha handicraft market (Caminito; Av. Pedro de Mendoza and Caminito, La Boca) has a good selection of work from local artists. You can find attractive port-scenes in watercolors, as well as stylish photographs of the neighborhood's old houses. Prices tend to be overambitious-sometimes irritatingly so.
 
The business conducted in hip Feria de Plaza Serrano (Plazoleta Cortázar at Honduras and Serrano, Palermo Viejo) rivals that done in the neighborhood's trendy boutiques. In a small square-which is actually round-artisans sell wooden toys, ceramics, and funky jewelry made of stained glass or vintage buttons. This is also a great place to buy art: the railings around a playground here act as an open-air gallery for Palermo artists, and organizers control the quality of art on display. The feria continues unofficially at many nearby bars, which push their tables and chairs aside to make room for clothing and accessory designers: expect to find anything from cute cotton underwear and one-off T-shirts to clubbing dresses. Quality is often low, but so are prices.
 
For original designs and beautiful finishes, try Zapatos de María (Libertad 1661, Recoleta C1016ABG). María Conorti was one of the first young designers to set up shop in the area, and she's going strong. Wedge heels, satin ankle-ties, and abundant use of patent leather are the trademark touches of her quirky designs.
 
Puerto Madero -- By day, this riverfront area is a booming business and shopping district and by night, a hip neighbourhood with pricey restaurants and fashionable clubs. Wooden ferries will take you further into the tree-lined delta.
 
Tango
You will not complete visiting Buenos Aires cruise without seeing a tango show Vero that the Borges Center has really good, short and non-touristy shows.at the Borges Cultural Center : http://www.ccborges.org.ar/indexi.htm
For many the tango experience begins and ends with the flashy cena-shows in expensive clubs. These usually include drinks and a three-course dinner. Expect sequined costumes, gelled hairdos and high-kicking moves, known as tango de fantasia. Opening days and times vary greatly.
 
Perhaps the glitziest place in town is Señor Tango (Vieytes 1655, Barraca), whose daily shows are aimed at tourists.But tango is much more than just a spectator sport, and if you want to take to the floor yourself, there are plenty of neighborhood milongas (dance halls) to choose from. It's a complex cultural scene and not for the fainthearted, since getting a partner could be hard at first.
 
Behind the unmarked doors of La Catedral (Sarmiento 4006, Almagro) is a hip club where the tango tends toward rock. Also try dancing at La Viruta (Armenia 1366, Palermo), which mixes tango with rock, salsa, and cumbiaor at La Nacional (Alsina 1465, Congreso), which is a Wednesday night favorite with locals.
 
Shopping
It's no joke: Buenos Aires is a shopper's paradise. The city is laced with shopping streets lined with heaps of clothing and shoe stores, leather shops and nearly everything else you can think of. Large shopping malls are modern and family-friendly, offering designer goods, food courts and even children's play areas. But perhaps the city's best shopping is in Palermo Viejo, where countless upscale boutiques live; these offer avant-garde clothing, unique housewares and fun souvenirs. And let's not forget San Telmo, where antiques aficionados flock; the Sunday fair here is famous and entertaining, and will easily fill up a long afternoon.

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