Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital and the second-largest city in South America, is often described as a European city in the heart of Latin America. And indeed, its classical architecture and numerous, sprawling parks give much the same leisurely atmosphere that one finds in Florence or Barcelona. The city also has a renowned shopping district with countless small boutiques and some of the best restaurants in the country. The steakhouses are particularly good in Buenos Aires, although European and American travelers should be aware that Argentine steak is usually cooked for a long time, and rare steak is not very popular – order it azul if you want to get something a little more like what they’d serve at home!

Buenos Aires’ most famous contribution to world culture is indisputably the tango. This sultry variation on European ballroom dances was born in the seedier districts of Buenos Aires, where working-class people cobbled it together from a variety of European and African influences. It exploded into popularity in the early 20th century, and today the tango is one of the most recognizable dance styles in the world. There’s simply no mistaking the close embrace of the dancers, their lithe movements, and the sumptuous staccato of the music. Buenos Aires continues to be the world capital of tango, and there’s no better place to see, learn, and appreciate this unique dance.

When it comes to dancing, the tango is certainly not the end of the story in Buenos Aires. B.A. also has a storied nightlife, with most of its clubs open through the night. DJs and electronic music are as popular here as they are in any European city, but Argentines have broad musical tastes – other clubs serve up jazz, blues, folk, rock, and even heavy metal.


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