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Buenos Aires Hostels

Culture and please to stay

BUENOS AIRES
Culture
This complex, energetic, and seductive port city, which stretches south-to-north along the Rio de la Plata, has been the gateway to Argentina for centuries. Portenos, as the multinational people of Buenos Aires are known, possess an elaborate and rich cultural identity. They value their European heritage highly--Italian and German names outnumber Spanish, and the lifestyle and architecture are markedly more European than any other in South America. One of the world's finest opera houses, the Teatro Colon, flourishes here on the plains alongside the river. Portenos are intensely involved in the life and culture of their city, and they will gladly share the secrets of Buenos Aires if you lend an ear and relate your own stories in return.

Buenos Aires' physical structure is a mosaic as varied and diverse as its culture. The city has no dominating monument, no natural monolith that serves as its focal point. Instead, Buenos Aires is composed of many small places, intimate details, and tiny events and interactions, each with a slightly different shade, shape, and character. Glass-sheathed skyscrapers cast their slender shadows on 19th century Victorian houses; tango bars hazed with the piquant tang of cigar smoke face dusty, treasure-filled antique shops across the way.

The city's neighbourhoods are small and highly individualized, each with its own characteristic colors and forms. In the San Telmo district, the city's multinational heritage is embodied in a varied and cosmopolitan architecture - Spanish Colonial design couples with Italian detailing and graceful French Classicism. La Boca's pressed tin houses are painted a rainbow of colors, and muralists have turned the district's side-streets into avenues of color.

For all its diversity, the elusive spirit of Argentina as a country is present everywhere in Buenos Aires. The national dance, the tango, is perhaps the best expression of that spirit--practiced in dance halls, parks, open plazas, and ballrooms, it is a dance of intimate separation and common rhythm, combining both an elegant reserve and an exuberant passion.

Strongly influenced by European culture, Buenos Aires is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of South America".

Buenos Aires is the site of the Teatro Colón, one of the world's greatest opera houses. It is closed for renovations until at least 2010. There are several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city has numerous museums related to history, fine arts, modern arts, decorative arts, popular arts, sacred art, arts and crafts, theatre and popular music, as well as the preserved homes of noted art collectors, writers, composers and artists. There are plenty of sculptures from famous sculptors like Auguste Rodin and Antoine Bourdelle. It has many public libraries and cultural associations as well as the largest concentration of active theatres in Latin America. It has a world-famous zoo and Botanical Garden, a large number of landscaped parks and squares, as well as churches and places of worship of many denominations, many of which are architecturally noteworthy.


Tango History

Tango music was born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, notably in the brothels of the Junín y Lavalle district and in the arrabales (poorer suburbs). Its sensual dance moves were not seen as respectable until adopted by the Parisian high society in the 1920s, and then all over the world. In Buenos Aires, tango-dancing schools (known as academias) were usually men-only establishments.

Buenos Aires Nightlife

The streets around the Recoleta cemetery are a traditional entertainment area. Nowadays, it has lost some of its appeal, and has become a bit more of a tourist zone. Nevertheless, there are enough restaurants, bars, and clubs that there should be something for any taste.

Arcos del ferrocarril (from Libertador y Infanta Isabel to Av. Sarmiento y Casares) is one of the hot spots of Buenos Aires. About a dozen bars and clubs are tucked underneath a long railway embankment. The main evenings are Thursdays to Saturdays, but occasionally, there's also something going on on Wednesdays or Sundays.

Costanera Norte (Av. Costanera Rafael Obligado, from J. Salguero to Pampa) is another stretch with lots of restaurants, bars, and dance clubs, some of the restaurants turning into discos at 2 o'clock.

Palermo Vijeo (around Plaza J. Cortazar) is a more recently developed entertainment area with a bit of a neighborhood ambiance. Again, lots of restaurants, bars/cafes, and a few dance clubs. There are also some very interesting clubs and bars scattered over the area called "Palermo Hollywood", west of Plaza Cortazar, reaching into Colegiales and Belgrano.

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