24 hours in Buenos Aires
Written by Sorrel Moseley-Williams Illustration by Patrick Hruby
Europe has certainly left her mark on Buenos Aires, a city founded by immigrants two centuries ago.
Deteriorating Anglo-Franco railway stations and belle-époque-mansions-turned-5-star-hotels jostle for attention with downtown skyscrapers – although the capital’s quirkiest landmark is an Ancient Egyptian-style obelisk. Many of Buenos Aires’ 48 barrios, or neighbourhoods, have their own distinctive personality: San Telmo’s cobbled streets fuse tango dancers, artisans, and antique sellers, while ever-expanding Palermo and its sub-areas house an endless stream of boho cafés, hip boutiques, and late-night watering-holes. Recoleta and its vast mausoleum-stuffed cemetery, however, is a lesson in how the other half live, in both the eternal and present senses. Set next to the River Plate – also the name of a top football club, a porteño (a resident from the puerto or port) passion – the ideal way to get a feel for the true Buenos Aires is to stroll it. Stop off for a coffee before browsing an art gallery or admiring the blooms in a park – that’s the porteño way.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Purpose-built cycle lanes were completed in 2011, and while only residents can borrow bikes for free, La Bicicleta Naranja and Biking Buenos Aires offer two-wheel tours.
The subway network is undergoing much-needed expansion. There are six colour-coordinated lines, A to E as well as H, and usually referred to by their hue.
Buses are cheap, frequent, and run 24 hours; however, they only accept coins or a SUBE electronic card as fare payment.
A flat, riverside capital, Buenos Aires is the perfect city for aimless wandering. Remember to look up to catch the best architectural gems.