10 Neighborhoods to Explore in Buenos Aires

1 Retiro: Full of movement and busy commuters going to and fro the central train station and bus terminals, this lively neighborhood is great for people watching and has wonderful sites too. The San Martin Park with its Malvinas monument, the Torre Monumental, The Kavanagh Building, the stunning Military Palace with its museum of arms, the Fernandez Blanco Hispanic art museum and the art galleries around calle Arroyo, make Retiro a great place to visit.

(Retiro train station by carlosoliveirareis)

2 San Nicolas: Next to Retiro, often know as downtown, this emblematic neighborhood is known for its many notable bars such as La Giralda and Confiteria Ideal, for the famous Obelisco and Corrientes Avenue where you can find Broadway like theatres, bookstores galore and the best pizzerias in town, and for its architectural landmarks such as Tribunales, the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, and the stunning Colon Theatre.

(9 de Julio Avenue by puroticorico)

3 Puerto Madero: On the other side of San Nicolas, crossing the Leando Alem Avenue is Puerto Madero. This area, which is pierced by the river, is lined with renovated warehouses which were turned into hip restaurants. Modern and upscale, it is a great place to walk through, and lunch in. The elegant Puente de la Mujer, the Fragata de Libertad (a ship turned into a museum) and the Ecological Reserve through which you can get one of the best views of the city, are worth checking out whilst in the area.

(Puerto Madero by matt.hintsa)

4 La Boca: A well-known neighborhood in the turistic circuit because of its colorful houses and its historic relevance in the unique migratory patterns that defined the city’s identity in the early 20th century. Places worth checking out are Caminito, fundacion PROA (great art exhibits), the Quinquela Martin museum and the Boca stadium.

(La Boca by Paula Soler-Moya)

5 Barracas: This historic off the beaten path neighborhood was originally occupied by the emblematic families of the city who built beautiful palaces, houses and churches. An outbreak of yellow fever however scared these families out of their homes at the end of the 19th century and working class later populated it. A textile factory, and a chocolate factory amongst other were opened attracting more workers. These factories however closed in the eighties, and the construction of nearby highways impoverished the once rich neighborhood even more. This coexistence of classes and structures with interesting places such as churches, factories, pasaje lanin, and an underground meeting spot for secret societies make Barracas a very interesting place to visit. We do insist that you go with someone who knows the area as there are parts of the neighborhood that are very unsafe. Eternautas, for example offers a great tour of this area.

(Pasaje Lanin by jafsegal)

6 San Telmo: Another favorite on the turistic circuit, San Telmo is a colorful and lively neighborhood known for its antique fair on Sundays. Apart from its antique shops, it has many lovely traditional bars (El Federal, Bar Seddon, Bar Dorrego), a buzzing modern art and design scene (check out the MAMBA museum) and a lot of tango shows both on and off the streets.

(San Telmo antique fair by Paula Soler-Moya)

7 Monserrat: The historical and “political” neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Monserrat is where Congress and the government house (Casa Rosada) are set. Also in the area is Plaza de Mayo, Palacio Barolo, the subway line, which still keeps the charming old-fashioned wagons, Cafe Tortoni and Los 36 Billares and La Manzana de las Luces, an old jesuit residence dating back to the 1700’s.

(Cabildo by loco085)

8 Abasto and Almagro: (They’re really two neighborhoods but since they’re next to each other and have so much in common we decided to join them.) These buzzing cultural neighborhoods are considered to be tango epicenters as none other than Carlos Gardel was raised there. Consequently, the Carlos Gardel museum is in this neighborhood, as well as many tango bars and milongas such as La Catedral and El Bar de Roberto. Other places to visit are Confiteria Las Violetas, one of the most beautiful teahouses in the city, and the Centro Cultural Konex where original and lively shows are often staged.

(Pasaje Zelaya by mccopa)

9 Recoleta: the rich families of the city populated this luxurious emblematic neighborhood when they fled from Barracas due to the yellow fever outbreak. The lush parks and elaborate French architecture come to mind when Buenos Aires is referred to as the Paris of South America. The famous Recoleta cemetery is a must visit in the area, as well as the two art museums (MALBA and MNBA), the Duhau Palace, the Floralis Generica sculpture next to the national school of law and La Biela cafe.

(Floralis Generica by Evelyn Proimos)

10 Palermo: This extensive neighborhood has become the it place for dining, shopping and going out. Its lovely corners, gourmet restaurants, boutique hotels, unique design stores make it fun and lively. Its gorgeous 3 de Febrero parks with its rose garden, Japanese garden, Botanical garden and Zoo, and the racetracks complete this bustling areas appeal.

(Rosedal by claudioruiz)

The Hidden Passages of the City

Sometimes, mistakes can result in wonderful surprises. Such is the case with some of the cities hidden passages, consequence of urban miscalculations. These narrow streets are charm filled corners to stumble upon whilst losing oneself in the city maze.

Pasaje Rivarola

Mirrored buildings and an eighty-year-old man who fixes antique clocks make walking into this passage almost like walking into a story. Additionally, the art bookstore and small independent gallery ‘Asunto Impreso’ makes for an interesting visit in the historic neighborhood of San Nicolas.

Pasaje Rivarola- Bartolomé Mitre 1300, between Talcahuano and Uruguay.

Pasaje Bollini

A historic passage in the Palermo neighborhood which housed immigrants and working class in the early nineteen hundreds. The cobblestones and low houses survived the real estate boom and now coexist with the neighboring streets full of high-rise buildings. This passage, which Jorge Luis Borges wrote a poem about (La Cortada Bollini), is now home of the Bollini foundation  and of La Dama de Bollini, an elegant cultural cafe in which poetry readings, live jazz and exhibitions take place.

Pasaje Bollini- Between Austria, Sanchez de Bustamante, French and Pacheco de Melo in Palermo

Pasaje Corina Kavanagh

The Kavanagh building in the Retiro area is said to have been commissioned by Corina Kavanagh to avenge the rejection of the Anchorena family of the romance between Mrs. Kavanagh´s daughter  (who wasn’t considered aristocratic enough) and one of the Anchorenas.  The instructions the architects received were to block the view from the Anchorena palace to the Santisimo Sacramento church they had built (which they were very proud of) with the Kavanagh building. From then on the only frontal view of the church that remains is through the passage.

Pasaje Corina Kavanagh- Between Florida, San Martín and Marcelo T. de Alvear.

Pasaje del Correo/Pasaje Suizo


A quaint passage in the Recoleta area with antique French style constructions and balconies. Once residential, it is now a place to stop for something to eat. We recommend brunch at Sirop Folie.

Pasaje del Correo- On Vicente Lopez between Rodriguez Peña and Montevideo.

Pasaje Zelaya

Tango and the Abasto market characterize the Abasto neighborhood, where Carlos Gardel grew up. In the neighborhood is a colorful passage of painted houses where cultural activities abound.

Pasaje Zelaya- Between Aguero, Jean Jaures, Tucuman and Lavalle.

Pasaje Lanin

Way of the beaten path, in the neighborhood of Barracas, is a beautiful passage that was intercepted by artist Marino Santa Maria who not only painted the facades of the houses but also decorated them with mosaics and pieces of glass.  The historical neighborhood, although somewhat unsafe, is also lined with grandiose houses of early rich immigrants who abandoned the neighborhood after an outbreak of yellow fever.

Pasaje Lanin- Between Branden, Suarez Jose Aaron Salun Feijoo and Dr. Ramon Carrillo.