Buenos Aires is called the “Paris of South America,” because of it’s architecture and rich European heritage. But the city and its people, known as porteños, are a study in contrasts: European sensibilities and Latin American passion; wide boulevards and cobblestone alleys; steamy tango and romping rock and roll; sidewalk cafés and soccer fanatics; bejeweled ladies draped in fur coats and children rummaging through garbage for cardboard scraps.
Buenos Aires, which sprawls over 78 square miles (202 square kilometers) and has a population of about three million, is a patchwork of distinct, fascinating communities, from the frenetic downtown and working-class tanguero neighborhoods such as La Boca and San Telmo, to wealthy districts such as Recoleta and trendy Palermo, to middle-class barrios such as Belgrano and Caballito.
Buenos Aires is one of the 20 largest cities in the world. It is, along with Mexico City and São Paulo, one of the three Latin American cities considered an ‘alpha city’ by the study GaWC5. Argentina has the third best quality of life in Latin America. Buenos Aires’ quality of life is ranked 81st in the world, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region.
It is the most visited city in South America (ahead of Rio de Janeiro) and the second most visited city across Latin America (behind Mexico City). It is also one of the most important, largest and most populous of South American capitals, often referred to as the Paris of South America.
Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European-style architecture and rich cultural life, with the highest concentration of theatres in the world. Buenos Aires held the 1st Pan American Games in 1951 and the city also had two venues in the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Buenos Aires will host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) is an essential stopover for art lovers. The museum features the private collection of Eduardo Costanini, a real estate tycoon with an eye for iconic art. Highlights include the works of Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Antonio Berni. In addition to its temporary exhibits, the museum also hosts film and lecture series throughout the year.
Many visitors are just as impressed with the museum’s contemporary design as they are with its art. One TripAdvisor user comments, “The range of modern art, both Latin American and North American, is phenomenal and the space and book store are terrific.”
The museum welcomes visitors every day except Tuesdays from 12 to 8 p.m. Regular admission costs 25 ARS (about $5.75 USD). On Wednesdays, the MALBA stays open an extra hour and reduces ticket prices. Private guided tours are available in English or Spanish on weekdays, until 6:30 p.m. You’ll find the MALBA on Avenue Figueroa Alcorta in the trendy Palermo neighborhood, accessible via the 67, 102, 124, and 130 buses.