Take ten Buenos Aires

What’s new, Buenos Aires? sang Elaine Page as Evita in the musical of the same name in 1978. And it’s a great question. The “Paris” of South America seems to continually reinvent itself to the delight of tourists from around the globe. Here we take ten as we explore the neighbourhoods of this idiosyncratic capital.

Take one
The Italian and Spanish influence on the architecture of Buenos Aires is everywhere – most notably in the elegant wrought iron on doors, windows and balconies. Stroll Avenida Alvear in La Recoleta for some first class examples.

Take two
In the streets and in the clubs, tango is the dance of the people. Enjoy it in neighbourhood milongas, shopping malls and markets or at a dinner performance such as El Querandi in San Telmo.

Take three
Still revered by the people of Argentina, a visit to the Museo Evita in Calle Lafinur, Palermo, will confirm why. Hear her speeches, view her dresses and jewellery, and read how this small-town girl captured the hearts of millions when she introduced real reforms for working class women.

Take four
Designed and funded by architect Eduardo Catalano, this giant 23-metre, 18-tonne steel flower closes its petals 361 nights of the year, glowing red until the dawn. During the day it reflects the colours of the landcape surrounding it in Plaza Naciones Unidas, Recoleta.

Take five
Door lovers will have a ball in BA where European heritage combines with the vibrant colours of South America resulting in a happy collision of style and joie de vivre.

Take six
From Recoleta Cemetery through the parks and gardens to the main square of Plaza de Mayo, the statues of Buenos Aires share the stories of the rich, poor, famous and notorious.

Take seven
Not just confined to universities or poorer neighbourhoods, street art is a constant reminder of ongoing political struggles. BA residents are highly tolerant of the graffitists’ rights to share their views and artists’ rights to decorate the streets.

Take eight
They’re everywhere – a unique porteño innovation. Apartment dwellers pay many pesos each month to a dogwalker to take their pooch (along with 10 to 15 other canine buddies) for a long walk through the neighbourhoods of BA. Sometimes it’s hard to know who’s walking who?

Take nine
The dirty war in the 70s and 80s resulted in the disappearance of tens of thousands of academics, students, unionists and activists. The madres (mothers) of the disappeared will never forget their missing sons and daughters. See them speak out every Thursday afternoon in front of the Casa Rosada.

Take ten
These Sunday markets are popular with locals and tourists alike as artists, antique dealers, food hawkers and street performers strut their stuff up and down the Calle Defensa. An inexpensive and energetic introduction to life in BA.

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