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A Guide to Neighborhoods in Buenos Aires

If you are planning on coming to Buenos Aires, one of the most important things you have to arrange is housing. Buenos Aires is a very big city with many neighborhoods and if you have never been to this city, it might be difficult to choose a particular neighborhood. I have experienced this myself before coming to Buenos Aires and I was really puzzled by the many neighborhoods and the many different opinions of people on these different neighborhoods. Hopefully it will help you in your search for the perfect place to live in Buenos Aires!

Palermo

By far the most trendy, best known and largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires is Palermo. Many tourists and foreigners choose to stay in Palermo during their time in Buenos Aires, as it is also considered one of the safest neighborhoods. Palermo is characterized by its buzzing nature and youthful vibe; it is the neighborhood that never sleeps. It has many clubs, bars, restaurants and it has much more entertainment to offer. It is a fashionable neighborhood, with a European touch to it. If you want to escape the busy heart of Palermo, you can go to the beautiful parks which Palermo has to offer such as; Bosques de Palermo, the Botanical Garden and the Polo Fields. If you like to live in a trendy neighborhood with much entertainment, than Palermo definitely is a great choice.

Recoleta

This neighbourhood is best known for the famous Cemetery of Recoleta, which gives Recoleta an historic and architectural interest. The neighbourhood is the cultural heart of the city and it has many historical buildings and museums, for example: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, The Recoleta Cultural Center and the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano. So, if you like culture, architecture and history, then this neighborhood might be the perfect fit for you!

Belgrano

This neighborhood is characterized by its tall buildings, chique residential homes and many shops. In Belgrano you will also find Barrio Chino, the Chinese neighborhood, which is a must-go for sushi lovers. Walking around in Belgrano is never boring as the streets are always busy and filled with people. Belgrano is quite new and because of its many tall buildings, it gives a business district feeling. If you like new neighborhoods, with tall buildings and many shops, than Belgrano will make you feel at home.

San Telmo

San Telmo has a real, local Argentinean feel with a true soul. It has beautiful, old streets, people dancing tango on the streets and local bars and restaurants where you can have typical Argentinean food and drinks. The neighborhood is old and you can notice this by the worn down buildings and cobbled streets. It has a rough exterior because of (political) graffiti and at times you might feel a bit unsafe in this neighborhood because of the sketchy streets. In San Telmo you will find “Feria de San Telmo”, which is a huge market with typical souvenirs of Argentina, which is a must-go for every traveler coming to Buenos Aires. If you like to live in a real Argentinean neighborhood, with a true soul, than San Telmo is your best pick.

Microcentro

This neighborhood is situated in the city center of Buenos Aires and is the main business district. Microcentro has a lot of shops and sightseeing hotspots such as the Obelisk, Avenida 9 de Julio, La Casa Rosada and the Congress. It is a busy neighborhood and in the nighttime it might get a bit unsafe, so be sure to take care. The city center of Buenos Aires is not, unlike almost any other city, the place to be where everything happens. Although Microcentro has a lot to offer, other neighborhoods in Buenos Aires are considered “centers” as well. If you like the busy life and business atmosphere, while also having access to the city´s sightseeing hotspots, than Microcentro is a great option for you. Wherever you might end up, just make sure that you will enjoy it! Finally an insider´s tip: if you want to know what the area looks like, you can always do a street view in Google Maps.

Traditions and Customs in Argentina

Another country means other traditions and customs. If you want to understand the Argentinean people better, then continue reading and find out!

Customs

• The standard greeting in Argentina is one kiss on the cheek. Note that everyone does this; women kiss men, men kiss men and women kiss women. Also, it is common to greet people with a kiss on the cheek when you are meeting for the first time.
• When leaving you should say goodbye to everyone individually (this means giving another kiss on the cheek to everyone).
• When it comes to tipping, people usually give 10% of the amount of the dining check in restaurants. Doormen, porters and ushers in cinemas usually receive a tip as well.
• If you are invited to dinner at an Argentinean home then it would be a good idea to bring a small gift for the host(ess), such as a bottle of red wine.
• Gifts are opened immediately.
• Do not give knives or scissors as a gift, as they indicate a desire to severe the relationship.
• Arrive 30 to 45 minutes late to a dinner party. Showing up on time is not the norm.
• Expect to have dinner around 9 p.m. or later.
• When in Buenos Aires, do not head to a club before 1 or2 a.m. as it will be completely empty.

Traditions

• Argentinean Spanish is heavily influenced by the Italian language because of the immigrants that settled in Argentina. You will hear lots of words from the Italian language, as well as people who “sound” like they are speaking Italian because of the intonation. Lunfardo is the slang of Argentina, which contains about 5,000 words and is derived from the era of the tango.
• Soccer is the most popular sport in Argentina and the two favorite teams are the arch-enemies Boca Juniors and River Plate.
• The traditional dance of Argentina is the tango. You will see people dancing this in the streets, for example in La Boca, Buenos Aires.
• Meat is the primary Argentinean dish, in particular beef. The Argentinean barbecue is called asado, which is beef grilled on an open fire pit.
• Mate is the traditional drink of Argentina. It is tea which is commonly shared among family and friends. Whenever mate is offered to you, you should accept it. People express their trust in you when offering you their mate, therefore refusing to drink it will be considered as rude.