Buenos Aires - Argentina
Buenos Aires has everything you expect from a large cosmopolitan city, including fabulous round-the-clock entertainment options.
Art galleries are found scattered throughout the capital. In Recoleta, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes displays a permanent exhibition of Argentine works. The Centro Cultural Recoleta houses art from all over the world. Modern paintings and sculptures can be found across the street in the Palais de Glace. Towards the north end of the city, the Palermo neighborhood boasts the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, the Museo de Arte Popular José Hernández, and the Museo de Artes Plásticas. Further north, in the charming Belgrano district, there is the Museo de Arte Español. All of these museums and galleries display both permanent and temporary exhibits, in addition to hosting conferences, classes, musical and theatrical performances, and guided tours.
Two streets, Corrientes and Lavalle, have the majority of the city's traditional movie theaters, although there are many U.S.-style theater complexes inside malls and shopping centers like the Alto Palermo Shopping and the Abasto de Buenos Aires. All but children's movies are shown in their original languages with subtitles. Certain venues show uncommon and alternative films, including the Sala Leopoldo Lugones. Check the local newspapers or their Internet movie listings to get the current schedules.
The sultry cadence and moves of the tango can be seen in many of the bars located in the San Telmo district, including El Viejo Almacén, the Bar Sur and Tango Taconeando. For those wishing to learn a few a steps, there are many dance halls spread around the city, such as the La Viruta Tango Bar in Palermo. Downtown there is La Academia Nacional del Tango.
In addition, Buenos Aires has flamenco, folk music, salsa, merengue, samba, rock & roll and hip-hop classes or dance halls spread around the city.
Historic and theme museums abound throughout the city. These include the Museo Histórico Nacional, on the Parque Lezama; and the Museo del Cabildo in front of the presidential palace, which has its own museum, the Museo de la Casa de Gobierno. Other museums of interest include the Museo Etnográfico, the Carlos Gardel Museum, the Museo Judío de Buenos Aires, the Natural Sciences Museum, the Puppet Museum, the Film Museum, the Museo de Cera, and a recent addition, the National Museum of Man. Caminito in La Boca neighborhood is clearly an open-air museum of its own. Lastly, visit the floating Fragata Sarmiento Museum, moored in Dock 3 by the promenade in the chic San Telmo district.
All year round, Buenos Aires tango music thrives at Viejo Almacén, La Ventana, Señor Tango and Tango Taconeando, all in the San Telmo district. Brazilian music prevails at Maluco Beleza on Sarmiento. Government-sponsored open-air shows take place at different plazas throughout the city. The San Martín Cultural Center hosts musical performances, including classical, opera and national music. Rock concerts featuring famous international artists are often held in the River Plate Stadium and the Bombonera and the famous Luna Park. Café Tortoni is famous for its tango and jazz shows held in the café's cellar.
Dozens of theaters can be found throughout Buenos Aires offering a little taste of everything. The Gran Rex hosts top musical shows. The Teatro Cervantes is an architectural masterpiece, while the Teatro Municipal General San Martín is more modern and avant garde in its presentations. Cultural centers include the Centro Ricardo Rojas, the Centro Cultural Recoleta and the Teatro de la Ribera in La Boca. Others of interest include the Teatro Maipo, along with alternative theaters like La Trastienda.
Cafes, Bars & Nightlife
As legendary as Prague's café society, Buenos Aires is a paradise for Bohemian lifestyles. The whole city seems to enjoy the burst of creativity a demitasse of espresso can provide. Here too, coffeehouses have been meeting points for famous poets, politicians and even revolutionaries. Las Violetas is a historic cafe and Café Tortoni has preserved its original style.
In the administrative district, foreigners popularized Happy Hour, especially in the Irish and English pubs around Retiro district. This includes the The Shamrock.
Hot nightlife defines the city, and most establishments stay open until the wee hours. Some of the hotspots include La Trastienda in San Telmo; La Ideal in downtown; Caix and Pizza Banana around the Costanera area. Tango is found in the districts of San Telmo and La Boca, flamenco in Palermo, and salsa throughout the city. As in Spain, people start hitting the dance floors after midnight. Most clubs and bars stay open until daybreak, as do some restaurants and pizzerias.