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The cliché is that Buenos Aires, South America's premier tourist city, is the "Paris of the South." That's not totally false — its broad boulevards, grand Francophile architecture, and high culture performing arts certainly contribute to the stereotype. In reality, though, it's also a New World mosaic of ethnic communities who helped create a new country that exported the tango to European salons. Today, it offers international amenities in accommodations, dining, and entertainment at a bargain compared to European or North American prices.

It's even arguable that the best things in Buenos Aires are free, or nearly so. ...

The cliché is that Buenos Aires, South America's premier tourist city, is the "Paris of the South." That's not totally false — its broad boulevards, grand Francophile architecture, and high culture performing arts certainly contribute to the stereotype. In reality, though, it's also a New World mosaic of ethnic communities who helped create a new country that exported the tango to European salons. Today, it offers international amenities in accommodations, dining, and entertainment at a bargain compared to European or North American prices.

It's even arguable that the best things in Buenos Aires are free, or nearly so. Sights like Recoleta Cemetery — graveyard to the rich and famous, including Evita — and the famous street fair at San Telmo's Plaza Dorrego cost nothing to visit. Milongas, as participatory tango gatherings are known, carry only a token admission charge — unlike the elaborate, expensive floor shows that many tourists frequent. The Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA), one of the best in the Americas, costs only a few dollars admission and is even free for seniors, students, and teachers one day per week. Paris and New York may be beyond your budget, but Buenos Aires is not.

Wayne Bernhardson
About the Expert

Wayne Bernhardson is the author of Moon Handbooks to Argentina, Buenos Aires (including coastal Uruguay), Chile (including Easter Island), and Patagonia (including the Falkland Islands).

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Wayne Bernhardson for Triporati

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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    All year (but January and February can be hot and humid)