Buenos Aires City Center
Growing from a colonial town into a modern metropolis, Buenos Aires city center has been at the heart of city life for over four centuries. The downtown area is a bustling hub of history, government and political activity and a center for commerce, with a frenetic mix of businesses, shops and financial institutions.
The city center encompasses the official barrios (neighborhoods) of San Nicolas, Retiro, Monserrat & Balvanera, and the unofficial barrios of the Congreso, Once & Abasto (all part of Balvanera) plus Tribunales & the Microcentro (both part of San Nicolas).
To get your head around the very heart of the city, and learn how the city came from a small colonial outpost over 400 years ago to the huge sprawling metropolis it is today, then take our private walking tour of the historical city center.
[Top photo credit: Elliot Solomon / All Rights Reserved]
City Center: San Nicolas (including Microcentro)
Constructed in the 1890’s as an elegant home to a Parisian department store, the Galerías Pacífico in Buenos Aires is a grand shopping mall whose history is entwined with that of the city itself.
The 100+ year-old Teatro Colon (or Colon Theater) is one of the architectural jewels of Buenos Aires, and a world-class opera house. It had been closed for repairs since 2006, but re-opened at last on May 25th 2010.
To enjoy the literary side of of Buenos Aires, head to Avenida Corrientes, an avenue in the City Center known for its abundant bookshops – stock up on Spanish language reads or just browse the many volumes.
The heady aromas of El Gato Negro’s spices, teas and coffees are allure enough to merit a visit to this quaint cafe on busy Avenida Corrientes. Stop by for afternoon tea, then pick up some exotic spices to go.
Enjoy that spicy burrito you’ve been craving at California Burrito Co, an American-owned, Cal-Mex spot in the City Center. Round out your combo with nachos and a cold Mexican beer to complete the experience.
City Center: Monserrat, Balvanera & Retiro
Innovative 17-man percussion outfit La Bomba de Tiempo attracts an eclectic crowd at the Konex, their Abasto venue, every Monday night. Grab a beer and boogie in the open air to the beat of the drums
Carlos Gardel is Argentina’s most adored tango singer. The King of Tango’s smooth voice continues to enchant fans 100 years since he began singing. We honor his life, death, and beloved barrio: Abasto!
The pizzas are thin crust and crunchy and the alfajores humongous at La Panaderia de Pablo, Pablo Massey’s Montserrat restaurant. Enjoy lunch, brunch or cake in modern, airy surroundings.
Looking to tango along with the locals in Buenos Aires, the tango capital of the world? Head to Chiqué Tango Milonga on a Thursday afternoon for an authentic display of tango in its natural environment.
Guerrin boasts some of the best and most traditional Argentine pizza. Enjoy a slice standing up at the counter in front, or have a seat and enjoy the complete Buenos Aires pizza experience.
Opened originally as the city’s central market, this beautiful Art Deco structure now functions as one of Buenos Aires’ liveliest shopping centers. Also a great choice for a weeknight movie or a family outing.
Shoot pool, sip cocktails or enjoy your own personal beer tap at Deep Blue, an upscale bar frequented by the after-office crowd. Located in the City Center, with other locations in Puerto Madero and Olivos.