Buenos Aires from a Local's Point of View-Downtown

February 15, 2019

by Santiago Comes

Buenos Aires is Argentina’s huge cosmopolitan capital city. Holding more than 15 million people, this city has varieties of cultures, people, traditions, and more. There is more than one reason why Buenos Aires is also known as the “Paris of South America”, for example, the European architecture that stands on every corner of the city. The moment you get off the plane you will immediately breathe in the traditions, the passion, the culture, and the astonishing urban buzz that Buenos Aires emanates. It has times, places, and activities for everyone. It is a vibrant city that never sleeps, and even if you are the laziest couch potato in humankind, you will not want to leave until you see it all; and to see it all, you won’t have time to sleep.

Plaza de Mayo and Congress Square

Plaza de Mayo is the most important square in the city. Tons of historical events took place here, and it is a very frequent meeting point for locals. It is surrounded by the Pink House, the Cathedral (a wonderful church) and the Cabildo, a historical building. A total of 11 streets emerge from the enormous square, 2 being the biggest avenues, that lead to the Congress square and the Plaza de la Republica

The Pink House

The pink house is where the executive power works. Unlike in America, the presidents only work here and live in another residence. It is said that its pink colour is that way because it was painted with a mixture of ox blood and lime. It is an architectural gem due to its mix of Italianate-Ecclesiastic-Neoclassical styles of architecture. The guided tours are a must since the history and beauty of this place is simply stunning. You can check all the information here.

Avenida de Mayo

Buenos Aires is a city In which you will frequently forget you are still in South America, and not wandering in the streets of Europe. Avenida de Mayo is a clear example that shows how much Buenos Aires looks like the old continent. You will find many attractions in this avenue, from typical coffee houses to Mazon architecture. Avenida de Mayo connects the Plaza de Mayo and the Congress square. The legislative power and the executive power buildings face each other. The Congress building is probably one of the most beautiful buildings in Buenos Aires, and visits are totally free! You can find all the information on the Government website.

Avenida de Mayo leading to the Congress square

Café Tortoni

This historic Café was founded by a French immigrant in 1858. It was inspired by various coffeehouses in Paris, and it was selected by UCityGuides as one of the 10 most beautiful cafes in the world. It was and is a frequent meeting point for various national and international artists, celebrities, politicians and scientists. Some of these characters include Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Einstein, Juan Carlos de Borbon, Hillary Clinton, and Robert Duvall.

Palacio Barolo

Mario Palanti was commissioned to design a palace in accordance with the cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy. There are 22 floors, divided into three sections. The basement and ground floor represent hell, floors 1-14 are the purgatory, and 15-22 represent heaven. The building is 100 meters tall, one meter for each canto of the Divine Comedy. A lighted beacon at the top represents nine choirs of angels, and it is topped by a spire with an ornament depicting the southern cross constellation. Mazon and Illuminati symbols were designed on the floor and walls. The palace was originally built by Luis Barolo, an Italian immigrant who believed that “Europe was drifting towards collapse”. For this reason, He commanded Mario Palatini to build a palace where Dante’s ashes would remain, far away from Europe. The lobby receives you with Latin inscriptions, monstrous statues, and nine vaulted archways, representing the nine circles of hell. The guided tours are impressive. You can book them here.


Of the 48 ‘barrios’ of Buenos Aires, Recoleta is the most visited one, and in my opinion, the most alluring one. Its streets plagued with European architecture give Buenos Aires the title of “Paris of South America”. It is a neighbourhood with an identity of its own; incomparable to any other neighbourhood. There are touristic attractions everywhere, and no corner of Recoleta looks like less than a 9.

Plaza Francia

Plaza Francia or the ‘French square’ is one of the most dazzling squares in the city. Gigantic trees have stood on this square for decades, making it a stunning photography location. It is a perfect place to enjoy some mates and biscochitos like a true Argentinian. The square is flooded with local artisans that sell handcrafts you can buy as a souvenir for the family. The plaza is surrounded by many attractions. For example, the Iglesia del Pilar (a nice church) or the Centro Cultural Recoleta,  which is a cultural centre that has fun activities for all ages all year long. If you’ve been walking too much you can stop for a break at La Panera Rosa. In the unlikely situation of a rainy day, you can spend some time at the Museo Bellas Artes, an Arts museum across the street where famous artists’ masterpieces are exhibited.

Cementerio de la Recoleta

You have probably never thought of visiting a cemetery while travelling. Surprisingly, in Buenos Aires, tons of tourists choose this location. This cemetery has all kinds of politicians, artists and celebrities buried in it, including various presidents of Argentina, Eva Perón, the granddaughter of Napoleon. There are a lot of urban legends about this place; from assassins to ghosts. So, if crime and mystery are your things, you must go. And even if you are not that much into it, this labyrinth city of the dead is 100% worth the visit.

Cementerio de la Recoleta passageway

Teatro Colón

The Colón theatre was named after Christopher Columbus; in Spanish, Cristóbal Colón. Its inauguration date -October 12th 1892- was the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. It was inaugurated with Guiseppe Verdi’s ‘Aida’. Nowadays, Teatro Colón regarded as one of the finest theatres in the world, renowned for its exceptional acoustics, architectural features, and the artistic value of its construction. It is ranked among theatres such as Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera House, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Guided tours are strongly recommended to learn more about the history and mystery this theatre holds. The webpage of Teatro Colon contains more information about the theatre itself and the guided tours. The government of the city also provides tours to the theatre.

Ateneo Grand Splendid

Ranked as the best bookstore in the world by multiple sources such as National Geographic, The Guardian and Huffington Post, the Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires shows off all its unique character in the shape of a theatre. It was inaugurated as a theatre in 1919, and in the year 2000, it was turned into a magnificent bookstore containing more than 120.000 books, divided into 3 floors and a basement. The place has a bar in the stage of the theatre, in which you can grab a coffee while you read. Browsing books here is a real pleasure, given the fact that there are comfy chairs all around the shop. The bookstore preserves the splendour and elegance of the former Gran Splendid theatre/cinema, which was designed by architects Peró and Torres Armengol. It is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 am to 10 pm;  Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am till midnight, and Sundays from 12 noon till 10 pm.

Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore-Recoleta, Buenos Aires



Santiago Comes

By Santiago Comes

My name is Santiago, and I am a teenager living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. My city is everything to me. Still, my heart belongs to three passions. Travelling, writing and photography. Despite the fact that my mother language is spanish, I can speak and write fluent english. Something I really enjoy doing is reasearching and learning everything about every corner of the world. The phrase "knowledge is power" describes me and my knowledge hunger the most!

Read more at santiagocomes.com

Leave a Comment...


February 16, 2019



February 16, 2019

It’s an amazing article! Santiago is an amazing writer. I want to read even more!


February 16, 2019

Great! Thank you for transmitting so many images and emotions. Very interesting and complete.


February 16, 2019

Ateneo Grand Slendid, still pending! Thanks for you comments, I’ll try to visit shortly!

Veronica Attas

February 16, 2019

Excellent article!!! Everything I needed to know before my next trip to Buenos Aires!!!


February 16, 2019

Me encanto el artículo! Amo la librería del ateneo! Es hermosa! Puedo quedarme horas disfrutándola. La visita al teatro Colón es algo q tambien es excelente. Y el café tortoni es divino! Excelentes recomendaciones!

Mariano Palacios

February 16, 2019

Muy buena descripcion de los principales hitos de la ciudad. Breve, y al punto. Para completar, un comentario del eje La Boca /Barracas/ San Telmo hubiese sido conveniente! Tal vez, para la proxima, junto con otras atracciones en las comunas que rodean el downtown!

Jackie Claisse

February 16, 2019

Very clear!!!!


February 16, 2019

Very good article, Santiago. I would like to continue reading your recommendations about other places as well. Regards


February 16, 2019

A very interesting description of Buenos Aires! I love your descriptions and recommendations, especially the guided tours of Teatro Colón and the creepy stories of Recoleta Cemetery.


February 16, 2019

Very good job, Santi!!!
We are living in a lovely city!!

Rosario Bernasconi

February 16, 2019

Great article! I live in Argentina and never been to Palacio Barolo! Thanks for info!


February 16, 2019

Exelent! Santi!


February 16, 2019

Beautiful research! Beautiful city!

Agus Urda

February 16, 2019

I am a \"porteña de pura cepa\" an this kid describes my \"Buenos Aires querido\" better than anyone else I\'ve heard ir read before!!

Gustavo Gasparini

February 16, 2019

Gran trabajo Santiago!!
Keep going


February 16, 2019

Great review of my wonderful city


February 16, 2019

Great explanation about Buenos Aires!!!

Paula Rivero

February 16, 2019

Que buen artículo!! Lindo leer de mi país con tu mirada Santiago! Felicitaciones!


February 16, 2019

Excellent review! I would like to read more from santiago! Congrats!!!!


February 16, 2019

Great Santiago!! I read your Buenos Aires description and it was wonderful. Please let me advise when you launch the Mendoza description, I”ll be waiting for it. Thank you.


February 16, 2019

Great work and very passionate descriptions. Pictures are yours.? Let me know when you write again. Congrats!!


February 16, 2019

Excelente resumen de nuestra magnífica ciudad!!! Los porteños deberíamos disfrutarla más!!! Gracias por recordarnos!


February 16, 2019

Readinh your article made me want to be a tourist in my own city.

Maria Larghi

February 16, 2019

Muy buena información sobre los lugares turusticos de Buenos Aires. Dan ganas de recorrerlos!!!!


February 22, 2019

Cuanta info de Buenos Aires! Cada lugar mencionado por Santiago Comes es imperdible!


February 22, 2019

Great Reviews. I would love to visit the spots i never been in my city!


February 22, 2019

Muy buena descripción.


February 22, 2019

Me encanta como describía lo que te gusta hacer y tu amor por Buenos Aires


February 22, 2019

Good review! Keep on posting

Maria Florencia Diaz

February 22, 2019

Thanks for the tips Santiago!!!
I usually have friends from abroad who visit the city, and believe it or not I dont know as much of it as I would like to, in order to make good suggestions.
Your article comes very handy ?


February 22, 2019

Amazing description !
Hope to recieve more in the near future of more neighbourhoods in BS AS.
The detailed information of hours of visit and recomendations are definetely a PLUS!


February 22, 2019

Excelente artículo!!!

Alejandra Cardone

February 22, 2019

Santi, excelente lo que escribiste de Buenos Aires es un ciudad inmensa con muchos lugares para conocer. Gracias!!!

Romina Matera

February 22, 2019

Felicitaciones!!!!! Excelente artículo que inspira recorrer cada rincón!

Horacio brener

February 22, 2019

I like it , me gustan mucho los lugares que elegiste y la descripción que pusiste de cada uno incluido las fotos

María Ana

February 22, 2019

Sigue alimentando esta pasión. Felicidades!


February 22, 2019

Claro y conciso, invita a conocer la ciudad. Espero descripción de nuevos lugares para conocer con futuras publicaciones

Claudia B.

February 22, 2019

Felicitaciones Santiago! Compartimos la pasion por los viajes y vivencias enriquecedoras que nos regalan las experiencias por el mundo! Como Lic. en turismo, valoro mucho este tipo de informacion , y mas aun viniendo de vos, transmitis esa energia y juventud ! Adelante y esperare ansiosa tu proximo articulo! Excelente inicio el haber comenzado por nuestra querida Buenos Aires! Clap clap clap!!!!

Ezequiel Sily

February 22, 2019

Muy buen artículo felicitaciones


February 22, 2019

Excelente artículo! Súper descriptivo y útil para todos aquellos que busquen información sobre nuestro Buenos Aires querido!
Santiago felicitaciones por la calidad de tu narrativa.


February 22, 2019

You are an amazing writer! I loved your description of all these iconic places of this beautiful city. Looking forward to your next piece!