Passionate, and alive with an infectious crackling energy, the Argentine capital is a breathlessly romantic city, which blends old-world colonial architecture with a down-to-earth Latin American clamour. Famed for steamy tango interplays, and expertly seared steak slabs, a visit to Buenos Aires is a fiery fiesta for the senses.
Parque Tres de Febrero is a 400-hectare oasis where 18,000 rose bushes bloom, and skyscrapers give way to still lakes and pretty paths of rollerblading locals. Mighty palm trees - that look like exploding fireworks - stand tall in Plaza de Mayo, the heart of this sprawling cosmopolitan capital of 48 barrios. The square has served as the stage for many fundamental events in this country’s history, and the location where the seeds of independence were sewn continues to serve as the city’s gathering point - and is a place for solidarity, rebellion and revolution. The presidential Casa Rosada’s salmon-hued Palatial Palace borders the plaza, while nearby Museum Nacional de Bellas Artes houses the largest collection of public art in Latin America. Teatro Colón, the opulent 1908 opera house, is one of the world’s finest venues - musical performance here take on an ethereal quality, with the exceptional acoustics transferring every quiver of bow, and tremor of vocal cord, to the audience in spine-tingling clarity.
The gargantuan, precipitous terraces of Bombonera Stadium form another of Buenos Aires’s incredible venues, and a wall of noise emanates from it when Boca Juniors take to the field. Juicy steak and punchy Malbec flow in the city’s parrillas – steakhouses - while glitzy bars and thumping nightclubs welcome revellers late into the night. It’s not just the meat that sizzles here either - tango dancers fill milongas - dance halls - to strut passionately until the early hours. Sip steaming mate, the country’s national drink, shop in covered markets, and explore Cementerio de la Recoleta - a city of grand graves and intricate memorials honouring presidents, politicians and notable Argentine heroes from history.