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Buenos Aires: Top 10 Important Things to Know Before You Visit

Argentina Flag.
Argentina Flag.

Before you visit Buenos Aires, you need to understand a few important facts about the city. Portenos do not walk around with their cell phones out, and this can be dangerous. Although most places have wifi, it’s important to use a password to log in. Most restaurants will provide you with a password upon request. Unless you’re looking for a good time, do not tell anyone you’re from the U.S. This is offensive to Portenos, as it implies that “America” is only in the U.S.

1. Buenos Aires is a political center

Buenos Aires is the federal capital of Argentina. The city’s demographics are diverse. While the country was once primarily a Spanish colony, many immigrants migrated to the city during the nineteenth century. By 1914, nearly one-third of the portenos were of foreign origin. The majority were Italian and Spanish. The city also had a substantial Jewish population, largely from Russia and Eastern Europe. Smaller groups were from Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire.

Buenos Aires is the largest province in Argentina and has the largest concentration of voters. The city has played host to some of the country’s most important political events in the nation’s history, ranging from street rallies during democratic election campaigns to military takeovers between 1930 and 1976. It has also been the site of popular protests associated with the “Dirty War” in the 1970s to the economic crisis of 2001-2002.

2. It is hot

It is extremely hot in Argentina, with parts of the country experiencing temperatures 25 degrees higher than normal. Other countries, such as Chile and Bolivia, are also experiencing unusually warm temperatures. Because of the heat dome over Argentina, the lower atmosphere has expanded vertically. The heat dome has lifted the atmosphere’s “halfway” density mark to 415 feet higher than normal. The heat wave could have serious implications for agriculture, as Argentina is one of the world’s biggest exporters of soybeans. Heat waves kill more people than hurricanes and tornadoes, especially elderly and vulnerable populations.

The temperature in Buenos Aires varies according to the time of year. The hottest month is February when temperatures are usually around 30 degrees Celsius and the minimum temperature rarely falls below 20 degrees. There are often Pampero storms in the city, which help cool the atmosphere. February temperatures register between 25 and 30 degrees C, which is very hot and uncomfortable. The rainy months are September and October, while June has the least rain.

3. It is humid

The weather in Buenos Aires is generally temperate. The temperature can reach up to 40o C during the summer. The relative humidity rises in the afternoons. The climate in Buenos Aires is subtropical, with a humid subtropical climate. The humidity is low in winter and moderates during the rest of the year. However, the summers can be very humid. To avoid being overwhelmed by the heat and humidity, make your trip in the fall or winter.

Buenos Aires receives a lot of rain. At least 100 days a year, the city experiences rain. Despite its proximity to countries with snow, the city seldom experiences snowfall. Buenos Aires’ climate is influenced by several factors, including the semi-permanent anticyclone of the South Atlantic. The rainy season is accompanied by cold fronts during winter. Also in autumn, cyclogenesis occurs.

4. It is a soccer city

It is easy to meet people in Buenos Aires if you are interested in soccer. It is the most popular spectator sport in Argentina, and there are many top-level soccer teams based in the city. Boca Juniors, River Plate, and All Boys are just a few of the famous teams. Other popular teams include Racing Club, San Lorenzo, and Velez Sarsfield, the first club of Diego Maradona. If you are a fan, you can rent a soccer field at a local club and join a match. There is a long-standing group of soccer enthusiasts in Buenos Aires called Buenos Aires Futbol Amigos, and they are a great way to meet fellow soccer enthusiasts and make new friends.

Maradona Grafitti.
Maradona Grafitti.

Besides playing soccer, you can also watch the matches of the biggest teams in the city. Boca and River are two of the most famous teams in the world, with a total of 10 Copa Libertadores and four Intercontinental Cups among their titles. But besides the big teams, Buenos Aires is home to dozens of other top soccer teams. The second-most popular team in the city is Velez Sarsfield, and the third-largest is Argentinos Juniors. Another popular team is Huracan.

5. It is a cultural center

Buenos Aires is an international destination and a cultural center. The new Kirchner Cultural Center is an impressive eight-story structure that houses multiple galleries and event spaces. One of its most impressive attractions is the Blue Whale, a replica of the Blue Whale that swam in the Atlantic Ocean. The building features world-class acoustics. It is a great place to catch a performance or watch a concert.

Kirchner Cultural Center, Buenos Aires.
Kirchner Cultural Center.

In 1980, the Cultural Center underwent a massive renovation, with the work of Jacques Bedel and Luis Benedict. Twenty-five years later, the Cultural Center underwent another renewal, which doubled its attendance from 700,000 to 1.3 million visitors per year. In 2005, the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Infrastructure launched a comprehensive revamp Master Plan for the center. The architects and city planners worked with international experts to create the new Cultural Center.

6. It is a place for the rich

Argentinean society is divided into the poor and rich, with the poor having a growing share of the population. In 2001, Argentina defaulted on $100 billion in foreign debt, triggering massive capital flight, economic chaos, and a gap between rich and poor. After the default, crime soared and the middle class joined the poor in violent protests. Despite this, Argentine’s economy has since profited from high commodity prices and debt restructuring. Growth has accelerated to 9% in the past two years. However, the city’s poor make up 40 percent of the population, with confidence in the middle class fragile and fearful of crime.

A beautiful boutique in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires.
A beautiful boutique in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires.

There are a variety of shopping options in Buenos Aires. Shopping in the upscale neighborhood of Palermo Soho is a popular option. Much like the trendy SoHo district of New York, Palermo Soho features cobblestone streets, oak trees, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. For the rich, the upscale shops are not the only things to do in Buenos Aires.

7. It is a place for street art

Argentinean streets are adorned with colorful murals and other works of street art, making Buenos Aires one of the world’s best destinations for street art. The country’s relaxed laws regarding street art encourage the development of this genre of art, and artists from all over the world come to this vibrant, urban city to express their creativity. The relaxed laws create an enviable atmosphere for the street artists and provide a great opportunity for locals to do their own art on the walls of their neighborhood.

Some street artists have a more political purpose. Others, like Celine Hitier, have painted scenes from Alice in Wonderland. You can even find 3-D works by Mexican street artist Juandres Vera, which were made for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. These large-scale paintings are a bit worn, so you should keep your eye out for the latest pieces. Alternatively, you could enjoy a colorful mural by Argentine street artist Josefina di Nucci.

8. Buenos Aires is a safe city

Although Buenos Aires is a relatively safe city, you should be vigilant and careful with your valuables. Although public transport in Buenos Aires is safe, you should never flash your valuables, especially cash, on the street. Avoid flashy jewelry and avoid carrying large amounts of cash, especially if you are alone. You should also keep important documents in the hotel safe. You can avoid pickpockets and thieves by doing some research on the city.

One way to stay safe in Buenos Aires is to avoid looking too foreign. This is because the local currency is worth much less than the US dollar or Euros. Some Argentines may consider you to be a money maker, so try to keep this in mind. Don’t let your appearance attract unwanted attention. Avoid being alone if possible, as many people in Buenos Aires are oblivious to foreigners.

9. It is a hub for learning Spanish in South America

With more than 50 universities and language schools in the city, Buenos Aires is a prime location to study Spanish in South America. Founded in 1873, the University of Buenos Aires is regarded as one of the finest learning institutions in South America and is the birthplace of five Nobel Prize winners. It also serves as a major center of learning in medicine, business, and psychoanalysis.

The city also has a vast street railway system, which consisted of eight 57 km of track, but was dismantled in the 1960s. However, surface rail transport has made a comeback in some parts of the city. Currently, there is a 7.4 km light rail line, known as the metro, which connects with Underground Line E at the Plaza de Los Virreyes station. There is also a modern tramway, the Tranvia del Este, which opened in the Puerto Madero district in 2007.

10. It is a city of night owls

If you love to party, Buenos Aires is a perfect destination for you. The city has a booming nightlife. Its nightclubs and clubs are buzzing by 4 or 5 am, and the streets are filled with people scampering out of their apartments and flats. The dense city is filled with plenty of nightlife options, so you’re sure to find the perfect place to enjoy a drink, dance the night away, and meet new people.

A group cheering with their cocktails.
A group cheering with their cocktails.

Unlike most cities, Buenos Aires doesn’t close its clubs until the early morning. Clubs stay open until 6 am, and after-parties can last until the early hours of the morning. You’ll be able to get a great view of the city during the early morning hours when the city is still relatively quiet. You can also try a classic cocktail at Doppelganger, a bar known for its classic cocktails. Another popular bar is Napoles Bar, an old storage unit used by an antique collector. You’ll see lots of antiques and a well-stocked bar.

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