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Buenos Aires see + do

Buenos Aires, Argentina's elegant capital, attracts four million visitors each year, all drawn by the allure of the tango, Evita's complex legacy, inky Malbec wines, and world-class dining (especially if you like steak). Yet Buenos Aires's paradox is that, while the city is assuredly attractive, it boasts little in the way of an established tourist trail. Sure, there's Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón lies among the ornate sepulchres and catacombs of Argentina's great and not-so-good. There's the exuberant color and diversity of Latin American art, best displayed at the outstanding Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. And there are the milongas, where visitors can learn, dance, or just watch the famous tango. But it's the Buenos Aires you'll see along the way that will lodge in your memory. It's the aroma of sizzling steak and choripan (spicy sausage sandwiches) that emanates from the city's ubiquitous parrillas, and the leafy neighborhoods of ornate townhouses, lazy cafés, and quirky boutiques.

Although several travel agencies offer tailor-made walking tours of Buenos Aires, it's also fun just to wander. Don't miss the fin de sičcle edifices on Avenida de Mayo or the pink facade of the Casa Rosada, where Juan and Eva Perón appeared in triumph before their adoring masses. Sip a cortado coffee amid the faded splendor of Café Tortoni, where worldly waiters have served Buenos Aires's residents since 1858. Schedule time for a raucously passionate superclásico a soccer derby between the city's most fanatically supported sides. If you've got time, retreat to an estancia on the pancake-flat Pampas that laps at the city's limits, or just grab a taste of the countryside at the Feria de Mataderos, a Sunday morning gaucho-fest on the edge of the capital.

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La Boca, Buenos Aires

The salty old harbor of La Boca—with its working-class swagger, old-school cantinas, and copious graffiti—is thought to be the barrio where...more

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Malba, Buenos Aires

This sleek modernist slab on the edge of Palermo Chico—the choice address of B.A.'s television personalities and diplomats—was designed by a...more

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Maté, Buenos Aires

Popularized by Argentina's gauchos, the hard-living cowboys of the fertile Pampas, yerba maté has become an Argentine obsession. The bitter infusion is...more

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Museo Evita, Buenos Aires

Great controversy still surrounds the life of Eva Duarte, who rose from humble beginnings to become a star actress and wife of the populist dictator Juan...more

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Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, Buenos Aires

Since 1937, this stunning neoclassical mansion, formerly the Palacio Errázuriz, has operated as a museum devoted to the decorative arts. (It was declared...more

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Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires

The terra-cotta-colored Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, a former pump house in the city's waterworks system, opened its doors in 1933 and remains Argentina's...more

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Palermo, Buenos Aires

Palermo is B.A.'s largest barrio, and, with its numerous sub-barrios and 350 acres of parkland, it feels like a city unto itself. There's the wonderful...more

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Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires

The grassy Plaza de Mayo is B.A.'s village green. Originally laid out in 1580, the plaza was the site of the important uprising against Spanish rule that blew...more

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Plaza Dorrego, Buenos Aires

The heart of San Telmo, formerly the playground of B.A.'s 19th-century elite, is this Spanish-style plaza, the site of several busy open-air cafés and the...more

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Plaza San Martín, Buenos Aires

Perched on a high bluff, the picturesque Plaza San Martín is one of B.A.'s most recognizable landmarks and a popular rendezvous point. Laid out by the...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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