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Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic. The name means fair winds, or literally good airs in Spanish. It is one of the largest cities in Latin America, with a lot of cultural offerings, and is the point of departure for travelling to the rest of the country.
The different Districts
The City of Buenos Aires has 48 districts called barrios (neighborhoods).
Travellers from many countries, including all EU/EEA citizens, as well as (amongst others) citizens of New Zealand, Japan, and the United States of America may enter Argentina for up to 90 days without a visa.
Citizens from Australia and Canada must register prior to travel at and must pay a "reciprocity fee". Since December 2012 this also applies for arrivals overland.
Buenos Aires is Argentina’s international gateway and easily accessible from North America, Europe, and Australasia, as well as other capital cities in South America.
The main airport used for international flights to travel to and from Buenos Aires is Ezeiza International Airport, about 35 km (20 mi) south of Buenos Aires. Most domestic flights, as well as many flights to and from neighboring countries (Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay) use the smaller but more convenient Aeroparque Jorge Newbery airport, a short distance from downtown Buenos Aires.
Flights from Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina are usually more expensive for foreigners. This can pose a problem for short-term travellers who do not have time to take a bus to places like Iguazu Falls, Bariloche, Ushuaia, etc. These travellers are often advised to find smaller travel companies/agents that can help them find lower prices on lower flights, deals that larger online travel sites would not have access to.
From the airport, there are taxis, private cars (remises), buses, and minibuses.
There is also a railway station near Ezeiza International Airport named Ezeiza Station. Unfortunately, due the location of Ezeiza International Airport's main entrance and exit, getting to and from the station itself would at least take around a third of the trip between Ezeiza International Airport and Buenos Aires itself. It is not advisable to go there if your final destination is central Buenos Aires.
You can get to Buenos Aires from any of the neighboring countries by car, but it is far away from most of the borders. It is really common to travel there only from Uruguay and southern Brazil.
There are four main highways entering the city which connect to suburban areas and other national routes. As with the trains, the bigger and more frequented routes are centered in Buenos Aires, so you will have no problem driving to and from the rest of the country.
Taxis are not the quickest way to move around the more congested parts of the city, especially during rush hour, as traffic jams are common. Still, you will find that taxis are usually rather inexpensive, convenient, and exciting.
By commuter train
Commuter trains connect Buenos Aires’ center to its suburbs and nearby provinces. They are mostly catered for local commuters and not tourists. The terminal stations are the same from suburban transportation. From Retiro station you can take the train to the Tigre Delta. There you can do a boat cruise and see the wetland and recreational area of the porteños.
You must use a card called SUBE to pay. Incredibly, you cannot buy this card at the stations and you cannot buy single tickets. You must find a place that sells the cards. You can recharge the card at the stations.
The Spanish in Buenos Aires is pronounced differently from elsewhere. "Calle" and "pollo" sound very different and the ll sound like English sh instead of Spanish y or h. The difference in pronunciation probably reflects the influence of Italian traders in the port in the 19th century--many of the words that Porteños pronounce differently from the rest of the Spanish-speaking world are pronounced identically to a Italian word for the same thing.
Much has been written on Spanish language in Buenos Aires. It was influenced by the many nationalities that immigrated here as well.
There is a lot to see:
If you are a fan of walking in green open spaces and parks in big cities like Buenos Aires, be sure not to miss a promenade in Palermo, a beautiful area in the northern part of the city. Here you will find not only open spaces to walk in but also a large lake where you can rent paddle boats and an huge flower garden that is free to enter!
Although the Japanese and the botanical gardens and the surroundings are very nice, they are also very noisy as several major roads traverse the area. For a quiet, shady walk or jog head to the golf course north of the railway tracks.
Another great place to walk along and experience Argentine street life is El Puerto de Buenos Aires. Its personality however is quite contrasting during the day and during the night.
La Boca has the Caminito pedestrian street with arts and crafts. There is also a river cruise you can take from there where you can see a huge picturesque metal structure across the river.
The prices for almost everything in La Boca tend to be 2 to 3 times higher compared to the rest of the city. It's very touristy since it is an enjoyable place with some authentic Argentine sights. La Boca is probably best to be enjoyed during the day when the streets are crowded and there are other tourists around, it is generally advised to be avoided at night.
There is no Subte to La Boca, but many buses go there.
The Cementerio de la Recoleta: This is where all the rich families in Buenos Aires have their final resting places. Expect to see big ornate tombs. Be sure to visit the tomb of Eva Perón, the daughter of an aristocrat and beloved First Lady who, despite having the most visited tomb in the cemetery, is considered by many to be too close toward the people for eternal interment in Recoleta.
The Palermo Viejo district: This is a trendy neighborhood with charming cobblestone streets, bookstores, bars, and boutiques; definitely better than the touristic San Telmo area for a nighttime excursion. The Palermo station, on D line, is the closest metro stop.
San Telmo: Best visited on Sundays when tourists and locals alike flood in to attend the weekly street fair and flea market. Be watchful for good deals, and bring in your own water, as it's quite expensive here. On Sunday nights, there is a tango performance in the lovely plaza, which is specifically for tourists. (Visit an underground tango club for the most amateur experience. If there is advertising, or disco ball, then it's not an amateur)
A trip to Buenos Aires is not complete without some sort of experience of the Tango, the national dance of Argentina. A good place to go and watch some authentic Tango is at the Confiteria Idéal Suipacha 384 (just off of Corrientes, near Calle Florida. However Tango is best experienced not in La Boca and on Calle Florida, but in the Milongas. A milonga is both a place where a Tango dance will take place, as well as a specific type of tango dance.
Buenos Aires is quickly becoming a haven for urban cycling. The city government has installed over 150 km of cycle lanes in the last 5 years. The city is very flat, which makes navigating by bike very easy for any level of cyclist. Biking Buenos Aires organizes daily bike tours for those travelers looking to learn more about the city. There are also numerous bike rental shop places in BA.
Buenos Aires has a reputation as one of the street art capitals of the world with huge murals covering tall buildings. The best street artists in the world come to Buenos Aires to paint due to the freedom the city offers.Buenos Aires Street Art Tours leads tours to see the biggest murals in the city in some of its lesser-known neighborhoods. Tours are in small groups with expert guides.
Spend a night seeing what it is like to be a real gaucho. Live the life of an Argentine cowboy; ride horses, eat traditional gaucho foods, drink traditional gaucho wines, and dance like they used to do back in the day. A great way to get out of the city for a day and see another side of Argentine culture. Great for adults, kids, or anybody who ever wanted to be a cowboy when they were younger.
Buenos Aires hosts exhilarating skydiving activities within its clear blue skies. You can experience a 20 minute flight, followed by a 35 seconds freefall, and a slow descent of nearly 7 minutes to enjoy a breathtaking view. Discover a unique bird's-eye view of Buenos Aires and its expansive pampas as you dive through 3,000 meters (9,000 feet) of open air. There is no better place to feel the adrenaline of a Tandem Skydiving Jump.
Argentina is well known for having one of the best polo teams and players in the world. The largest tournament of the year takes place in december at the polo fields in Las Cañitas (Buenos Aires). Smaller tournaments and matches can also be seen here at other times of the year. For news on tournaments and where to buy tickets for polo matches, check Asociación Argentina de Polo.
In recent years, Buenos Aires has become a popular destination for gay travelers. For international gay travelers, the "Paris of the South" has also become the gay capital of South America. Same sex marriage is legal in the country and you will find the people helpful and amiable. There are many gay oriented services to help you make the best of your stay.
The city of Buenos Aires and its suburban surroundings cover a tremendous expanse of land that cannot be easily and quickly walked, biked, or driven. That is what helicopter rides are for. You can discover Buenos Aires from a unique perspective: see the skyline of Puerto Madero's skyscrapers, the grid of concrete streets filled with taxis and colectivos or buses, the tourist attractions including the Obelisco, Casa Rosada, and Cementario Recoleta. Tour the skies above the human traffic on an exciting helicopter ride, a different way to explore the city.