La Boca Buenos Aires is the oldest of the many neighborhoods of the city. Other than the historic center of the city that is concentrated around the main Plaza de Mayo, the heart of cosmopolitan, lively, and sophisticated Buenos Aires lies in its many different neighborhoods (barrios). Recoleta is considered the most cultured of them, with elegant avenues lined with many of the city’s finest hotels, stylish luxury apartments, chic boutiques, galleries, and gourmet restaurants rivaling those of Paris and Milan. Here is Recoleta Cemetery, where beloved former First Lady Eva Peron was laid to rest. Palermo is the green part of the city and its largest neighborhood, filled with nearly 350 acres of parks. Here are the beautiful Botanical Gardens, the venerable Buenos Aires Zoo (not to be confused with the Temaiken Zoo outside of the city), the Galileo Galilei Planetarium, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and a number of serene lakes. The Downtown neighborhood contains many of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Alcarta Palace, the MALBA Museum of Latin American Art, Museum of Decorative Art, the famous Tortoni Café founded in 1858, the city’s best shopping street, and the Casa Rosada (Pink House) made famous by Eva Peron.
Retiro (or Plaza San Martin) is another historic district, and is graced with ornate palaces and mansions built in the European style. Head to Las Canitas (which is often considered a part of Palermo) for the very best restaurants in Buenos Aires. Puerto Madero is one of the city’s newer neighborhoods, made up of wonderfully restored and refurbished brick warehouses around the old port. San Telmo is an older, bohemian part of the city, boasting unique architecture, including the neo-Gothic Iglesia Dinamarquesa; La Casa Minima, a little townhouse only seven feet wide; the 18th century Nuestra Senora de Belen Church; and the fantastic Italianate San Telmo Market.
All of these neighborhoods are great destinations with much to offer visitors, but La Boca Buenos Aires is perhaps the most colorful and authentic.
Colored Houses of La Boca
Tourists and locals alike flock to the La Boca’s Caminito (“little path”) Street on Sundays when soulful tango dancers and singers perform on the street corners. Many tango parlors offer lessons, and there is plenty of nightlife. It is this street that so often appears on postcards showing off the picturesque multi-colored houses. Caminto is a living art museum. The rail line that ran through here was closed in 1954 and the area became blighted, drawing the attention of native artist Benito Quinquela. He spent several years carefully resurfacing the walls of the buildings along the street and painting them in vibrant colors, finally finishing in 1960. You can book guided walking tours of the neighborhood or explore on your own.
Football (American soccer) is a passion throughout Latin America, and no more so than in La Boca Buenos Aires where the local team is beloved. The Boca Juniors are considered one of the country’s best soccer teams. It is only fitting that the stadium is located in this working class neighborhood. If you’re not in town for a game, it’s also possible to book guided tours of this iconic stadium.