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Buenos Aires Barrios: Recoleta, San Telmo, Palermo - Indian Chief Travel
ARGENTINA  |  Buenos Aires, Argentina Travel Guide
Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Buenos Aires Barrios: Recoleta, San Telmo, Palermo

Buenos Aires Barrios

Much like New York, Chicago and Vancouver, Buenos Aires is a melting pot created by millions of immigrants, who, while Argentine to the core, have remained sentimentally attached to their ethnic origins. The city has approximately 50 barrios. Some, built around a plaza and church, reflect a specific ethnic group, while others are fashionable or working class residential neighborhoods. The barrios are a jumble of old and new, with modern apartment buildings adjacent to older ones whose glass-lined French doors open onto plant-filled wrought iron balconies. Recoleta, San Telmo, La Boca and Palermo are most representative of the city’s charm and character.


Located in the northern part of the city, Recoleta is the city’s most fashionable residential area, home to elegant restaurants, deluxe hotels and fine shops, as well as several interesting museums. Key streets are Avenida Alvear and Avenida Quintana. One of its best known attractions, the Recoleta Cemetery, is the resting site of Eva Perón and other well-known Argentineans.

Not far from Recoleta at the end of Avenida 9 de Julio, is a cul-de-sac known as La Recova de Posadas (The Marketplace). This upscale outdoor shopping gallery is home to outdoor cafés, posh boutiques and some of the city’s finest restaurants. The Hyatt Hotel is also here.

San Telmo

When San Telmo was established in the 16th century, it was the heart of the city. An outbreak of yellow fever caused the wealthy residents to flee this southern barrio. Immigrants moved in, turning the grand homes and villas of the wealthy into tenement houses. Once badly rundown, San Telmo underwent a major refurbishing and is thriving once again. Its colonial buildings now house art galleries and antique stores. The city’s best flea market is held in Plaza Dorrego on Sundays year-round. The tango clubs clustered here are key to the neighborhood’s popularity in the evenings. Calle Defensa is the area’s main street, while Carlos Calvo is restaurant row.

A picturesque area, populated by working class Italians, La Boca has the feel and mouthwatering aroma of a Southern Italian village. Cobblestoned streets are lined with colorfully painted small homes that have remained unchanged for a century. Inexpensive restaurants and lively clubs that open late and close early in the morning have made La Boca popular after dark. Necochea is the main street here.


While the other barrios we’ve mentioned are urban, Palermo, a large barrio north of the city, has a suburban flavor. It can be reached by commuter railroad. It is home to Los Bosques de Palermo, a huge park which is a popular weekend destination for bikers, joggers and small boat enthusiasts. The City Zoo, Botanical Gardens and Planetarium are also here, as are the hipódromo (race track) and National Polo Fields.

Last updated June 13, 2008
Posted in   Argentina  |  Buenos Aires
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