With its wide, European-style boulevards, incredible food, raucous nightlift, Buenos Aires is a city unlike any other.
And while Argentina once again finds itself in economic limbo, its capital remains a vibrant place to visit. The current exchange rate makes it relatively inexpensive for foreign tourists, too.
Here are 21 reasons to make Buenos Aires your next vacation destination.
1. It’s not uncommon to run into an impromptu tango show on the street. And most pros are happy to take a newbie for a spin.
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2. You can get lost among the ornate mausoleums at Recoleta Cemetery, where Evita and other famous Argentines are laid to rest.
3. You can cross the world’s widest avenue. Avenida 9 de Julio has seven lanes in each direction.
4. The steak really is the best in the world. Order a bife de chorizo (New York strip), or a parrillada mixta (mixed grill with various cuts of beef and offal) if you’re feeling adventurous.
5. The President’s office, nicknamed the Casa Rosada, really is bright pink.
6. Fútbol really is a way of life. Decide whether you’ll root for Buenos Aires rivals Boca Junior or River Plate ahead of time.
7. The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA) has one of the best collections of modern Latin American art in the world.
8. The ice cream is even creamier and more delicious than Italian gelato. Try the dulce de leche at Un’ Altra Volta — you won’t regret it.
9. You can spend a day boating in Tigre, a nearby town on the Paraná Delta that’s filled with canals.
10. There are tons of weekend flea markets for bargain and antiques shoppers. The weekly Feria de San Telmo is one of the best.
11. The wine is cheap and plentiful. Malbec, a popular varietal in Argentina, pairs great with beef.
12. You can spend get lost on the shady streets of Palermo Soho, a shop-filled neighbourhood named after New York’s SoHo, but with much lower prices.
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Inside a store in Palermo, a hip residential neighbourhood of tree-lined streets and intersections packed with restaurants and bars.
13. The soaring Teatro Colón is considered to be one of the best opera houses in the world.
14. They serve an amazing version of a croissant called a medialuna — a smaller, sweeter version of the French classic.
15. The nightlife is wild: Young people rarely go out until after midnight, or return home before sunrise.
16. You can buy beautiful and inexpensive leather goods. Stippled carpincho leather is especially popular.
17. People are seriously obsessed with the Rolling Stones, and hardcore fan call themselves “los rolingas.” So if you love Mick Jagger, you’ll feel right at home.
18. You can find a tasty, homemade empanada on almost any street corner.
19. The public bus system is so big that it has its own guide book, called the Guia T. Buy once you decipher it, you’ll be able to go anywhere.
20. You can spend hours wandering the city’s Jardín Botánico (botanical garden), which has become a strangely popular destination for abandoned cats.
21. You can skip the coffee and get your caffeine fix from yerba mate, a tea drink that’s often shared among friends.
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