Buenos Aires, regarded as the “Paris of South America”, offers elegant architecture, exquisite cuisine, a legendary nightlife, and fashionable shopping. The most popular tourist sites are found in the historic core of the city, in the *Montserrat (map) and *San Telmo (map) neighborhoods. Buenos Aires was conceived around the Plaza de Mayo (map), the colony’s administrative center.
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A block, or two, south of the Plaza de Mayo, the older section of Monserrat begins. This is Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhood and even today, very little of the cityscape there is less than a hundred years old (except along Belgrano Avenue), thereby making a nearly seamless transition to the likewise historic San Telmo district, to the south.
Avenida de Mayo (map) links the Casa Rosada (map) with the Argentine National Congress (map). On this avenue there are several buildings of cultural, architectural, and historical importance, such as *Casa de la Cultura (map), the Palacio Barolo (map) and Café Tortoni (map).
In the San Telmo neighborhood of, Plaza Dorrego (map) hosts an antiques fair on Sundays, complete with tango shows. They also have tango shows daily at the famous plaza. On weekends they involve many tourists to learn how to dance.
The National Historical Museum in Parque Lezama (map) is a few blocks south. The Ayres Porteños Hostel is a very famous hostel as it is also a tourist attraction, it is decorated and painted by artists from La Boca and possesses a unique collection of local paintings among its walls.
The borough of *Recoleta (map) is home to a number of places of interest, including the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (map), the Biblioteca Nacional (map), the Centro Cultural Recoleta (map), the Basílica Nuestra Señora de Pilar (map), the *Palais de Glace (map), the Café La Biela (map) and the *Cementerio de la Recoleta (map).
Florida Street (map) and Lavalle Street (from 500 up to 1000) are for pedestrians only and is the place to find the majority of tourist’s shops in the centro. At the intersection of these two pedestrian streets, there is often some sort of interesting street performance going on, especially at night.