The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA), Federal Capital of the Argentine Republic, has an area of 203 km² (78.4 sq mi). It is the largest city in the country and with the largest population (3,075,646 inhabitants live here). It is divided into 48 neighborhoods, organized into 15 communes. It is bordered to the north and west by General Paz Avenue, to the south by the river called Riachuelo and to the east by the Río de la Plata (river).
Considering the average length of stay of a traveler in Buenos Aires, it will be very difficult for you to visit its 48 neighborhoods. For this reason, I have made a list of the 10 neighborhoods that you cannot miss while visiting Buenos Aires. The order in which I have listed them is not random but obeys to the geographical location of each neighbourhood; starting in the northern part of the city (Belgrano neighborhood), and ending in the extreme south (La Boca neighborhood). Obviously you could also do the route in reverse, that is, from south to north. In the event that you wish to hire a local guide certified by the local government, to accompany you to discover each of these fascinating neighborhoods, their architectural gems, their stories and secrets, you can contact us.
The 10 must-see neighborhoods in Buenos Aires are:
1 – Belgrano: This neighborhood is one of the most beautiful residential areas of the city, where many families of Buenos Aires high society decided to build their picturesque mansions towards the end of the 19th century surrounded by a lush and old grove. His name pays homage to General Manuel Belgrano, creator of the national flag. Among its attractions are: the Enrique Larreta Spanish art museum, the Parque de la Memoria (Memorial Park), the Immaculate Concepción parish, the Club Atlético River Plate football stadium, the Barrancas de Belgrano (Belgrano Hills), the Chinatown, the Tierra Santa (Holy Land) theme park, the coastal promenade and the commercial area of Cabildo Avenue.
2 – Palermo: The Palermo neighborhood concentrates one of the most important green spaces in the city. These fabulous parks are located on land that belonged towards the first half of the 19th century to the then Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, Juan Manuel de Rosas, who had built his residence there. Transformed into a public park, at the initiative of President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, towards the end of the 19th century. Among its attractions are: the Hippodrome, the Planetarium, the Evita Museum, the Rose Garden, the Fishermen’s Club, the Polo Field, the King Fahd Mosque, the National Museum of Decorative Art, the Botanical Garden, the Ecopark, the Museum of Latin American Art, the Grand Bourg square, the Italia square and the gastronomic and commercial areas of Palermo Hollywood and Soho.
3 – Recoleta: Originally a farming area, it radically changed its appearance in 1871 due to a terrible yellow fever epidemic. The families of the local aristocracy that until that moment lived in the southern part of the city decided to move to this northern sector, which was remote at that time, to escape the disease. These families built lavish mansions following the guidelines of fashionable French architecture at the time. The following attractions stand out in this neighborhood: the Recoleta Cemetery, the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Library, the Floralis Generica sculpture, the Intendente Alvear square and its weekend craft fair, the Francia square, the Recoleta Cultural Center, the monument to Eva Perón, the commercial area of Avenida Alvear and the El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore.
4 – Retiro: This neighborhood is a mix between a residential area with mansions of high architectural value, a business area with intense work activity and a very busy commercial area. It is the main entrance to the city for all travelers who arrive on cruise ships since here is the port area and its Cruise Terminal called “Benito Quinquela Martin”. Among the main attractions of this neighborhood are: the Monumental Tower also known as English Tower, the Bartolomé Mitre Railroad train station, the San Martín square, the commercial area of Florida Street, the Carlos Pellegrini square, the French and Brazilian embassies, the Álzaga Unzué mansion, the Embajada de Israel square, the monument to the Liberator José de San Martín, the Palacio Paz (palace) and the Palacio San Martín (palace).
5 – San Nicolás: It is the business center or downtown area popularly known as “microcentro” where the largest financial activity in the country is concentrated. The name of San Nicolás is reminiscent of an old church that had to be demolished when the great 9 de Julio Avenue was built. This church was located where today the monument symbol of our city, the Obelisk, is located, a place of concentration and manifestation of the different popular expressions. In this neighborhood, the following attractions stand out: the Colón Theater (opera house), Lavalle square, the central synagogue known as Libertad Temple, the commercial and gastronomic area of Corrientes Avenue, the Pacific Galleries, the Republic square, the Obelisk, the Güemes Gallery, Florida Street shopping area, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Banco de la Nación Argentina (bank), the CCK Cultural Center, the Luna Park covered stadium and the Paseo del Bajo (park).
6 – Balvanera: The name of this neighborhood is due to the Catholic church Our Lady of Balvanera. It is a middle-class residential area and has an important commercial sector known as “Once” (that means eleven) due to the train station called “Once de Septiembre” that is located nearby. In this neighborhood the following attractions stand out: the building of the Congress of the Argentine Nation, the “Confitería del Molino” building, the Abasto shopping center, the Carlos Gardel passage, the “Once” shopping area and the museum and house where used to live the tango singer Carlos Gardel.
7 – Montserrat: Historical neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where the birth of our city took place, since it was in this area where the Spanish conqueror Juan de Garay proceeded to found the city on June 11, 1580 after previous attempts failed . In the foundational area is the historic square of Argentina, the Plaza de Mayo (Mayo Square), where the most outstanding events of our national history took place. Among the many attractions of this neighborhood are: the Government House known as “Casa Rosada”, the Plaza de Mayo (May Square), the Cabildo (old city hall) and its historical museum, the Palace of the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires, the De La Estrella pharmacy , the Libertador building, the Mafalda monument, the Customs building, the Juan Domingo Perón monument, the Colón Park, the Congress Square, the Barolo Palace, the historic place called “Manzana de Las Luces” and the gastronomic and historical corridor of May Avenue.
8 – San Telmo: It is one of the oldest and most prominent neighborhoods in the southern part of our city. It was seriously affected by the yellow fever epidemic of 1871; as a result of this disease, the families of Buenos Aires high society that used to live in this sector were forced to leave. The important mansions in which these well-to-do families lived were transformed due to the epidemic and the arrival of the great wave of european immigrants into tenement houses popularly known as “conventillos”. In this neighborhood the following attractions stand out: the San Telmo gastronomic market, the commercial area of Defensa street, Dorrego square and its antiques fair on Sundays, the Canto al Trabajo monument, Lezama park, the Russian Orthodox church, the Zanjón de Granados and its mysterious tunnels , the National Historical Museum and the gastronomic area of Caseros Avenue.
9 – Puerto Madero: From its origins Buenos Aires was conceived as a port city under the rule of the Spanish crown. The port had a great importance in the lives of those of us who live here, even the name with which we are nicknamed derives from the port influence: “porteños”. At the end of the 19th century the construction of this port area began according to the plans of the engineer Eduardo Madero to whom it owes its name. Years later Puerto Madero fell into disuse and was replaced by a new project. This entire sector was abandoned until in 1989 its renovation and enhancement began to take place. It eventually became the newest neighborhood in the city. The following attractions stand out: the Puente de la Mujer (bridge), the Presidente Sarmiento Frigate, the gastronomic area in the old renovated docks, the Mujeres Argentinas and Micaela Bastidas parks, the Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection, the Las Nereidas monumental fountain, the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve and the Paseo de la Gloria (famous sports women and men sculptures).
10 – La Boca: It owes its name to the mouth of the Riachuelo river; in this place the Riachuelo river flows into the Río de la Plata (river). On the Riachuelo the first port area of Buenos Aires was installed. From the end of the 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century, the La Boca neighborhood was the destination chosen by thousands of european immigrants, especially by the large Italian community that settled in our city in search of new job opportunities. Today it is the most picturesque and colorful neighborhood in Buenos Aires thanks to the work of local artists. Among its attractions are: Caminito street, the gastronomic area of Magallanes street, the Boca Juniors Athletic Club football stadium, the De la Pasión Boquense museum, the De Los Suspiros square, the Proa Foundation art museum, the Benito Quinquela Martin Museum, the Wax Museum and the Nicolás Avellaneda Bridge.
This is a small summary of the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires that, in my opinion, deserve to be visited and their main attractions. Remember that you can always contact us if you want us to accompany you on a tour to learn in detail the fascinating history of our beloved city. We hope to see you soon!
Diego – Buenos Aires 4U
February 9, 2021