Buenos Aires and around

Shutterstock/22312123/Eduardo RiveroDownload a free mini-guide to your first 24 hours in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires is one of the world's great cities: grand baroque buildings to rival Paris, theatres and cinemas to rival London, and restaurants, shops and bars to rival New York. But the atmosphere is uniquely Argentine, from the steak sizzling on your plate in a crowded
parrilla
to the tango being danced in the streets.

The city seethes with life and history. Once you've marvelled at the grand Casa Rosada (government house) where Perón addressed his people in Plaza de Mayo, and sipped espresso at Borges' old haunt, Café Tortoni, head to the cemetery in swish Recoleta where Evita is buried amid stunning art galleries and buzzing cafés. Take a long stroll around charming Palermo Viejo, with its enticing cobbled streets full of chic bars and little designer shops. Or explore beautifully crumbling San Telmo, the oldest part of the city, for its Sunday antique market where tango dancers passionately entwine among the fading crystal and 1920s tea sets.

Buenos Aires' nightlife is legendary and starts late. You'll have time for your first tango class at a
milonga
, before tucking into
piquant empanadas
, a huge steak and a glass of fine Argentina Malbec at around 2300. Superb restaurants abound; wander around the renovated docks at Puerto Madero, try the trendy eateries of Las Cañitas or the hip hangouts of Palermo Viejo. Or combine the pleasures of fine food and a dazzling tango show.

But if the city's thrills become too intense, take a train up the coast to the pretty colonial suburb of San Isidro or take a boat through the lush jungly delta, where you can hide away in a cabin, or retreat to a luxury
estancia
until you're ready for your next round of shopping, eating and dancing.

While there's plenty to keep you entertained in Buenos Aires for a week at least, there are great places to escape to for a day or two within easy striking distance. These include the calm rural
estancias
, the Tigre (river delta) and the cowboy towns.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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