Downtown Buenos Aires is one of the older areas of the city, yet has been kept modern, efficient, and up-to-date due to the high number of people infiltrating the streets, business’s, and buildings at every moment of the day and night. It is a fact that downtown is a mix of hurried traffic, bike riders on route, business professionals in between meetings and lunches, fashionistas trying to find the best stores, foreigners exploring city sites, locals enjoying mid-day coffee breaks, the hip and trendy frequenting restaurants and bars, and everything else imaginable.
Laid out like a grid map, the major avenues that run through downtown are Avenida 9 de Julio (one block from Expanish Spanish School), Avenida Callo, Avenida Libertador, Avendia Florida (Pedestrian street), Avenida Corrientes, and Avenida Santa Fe, Avenida 5 de Mayo. There are many streets that run every way in between these avenues, easy to navigate whether on foot, bus, taxi, or subway. Use the Buenos Aires map you receive at Expanish to get yourself around downtown Buenos Aires!
There are a few big sites to see downtown, besides just walking the historical streets and admiring the cobblestone, gorgeous architecture, larger than life buildings, and age-old plazas.
Florida Avenue – This pedestrian only avenue is THE place to go shopping in Buenos Aires (and people watching). Hundreds of people are walking down this avenue all day long, shopping, eating, and commuting, a must-see in Buenos Aires.
Plaza de Mayo – At the end of Avenida Florida is the very famous Plaza de Mayo, which includes the Casa Rosada, the Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the May Pyramid, the current city hall, and the headquarters of the Nación Bank.
Obelisk – Built in 1936, this structure (height: 67 meters, base area:49 square meters) is the icon of the city of Buenos Aires and in the past and today is where many events and activities have taken place.
Avenida Corrientes – The historical ‘Broadway’ of Buenos Aires is scattered with theatres, cinemas, tango shows, traditional and modern restaurants, shopping, cafes, and more.
Is Downtown Buenos Aires Safe?
Students studying Spanish in Buenos Aires should feel completely confident exploring the areas of downtown Buenos Aires. Like any big city, there are regular precautions that should always be taken. Keep your belongings close to you, do not walk with large amounts of money, and avoid looking like a ‘rich’ tourist. In saying that, students should have no problem exploring the exciting centre of Buenos Aires, enjoying the shopping, and dine in one of the city’s traditional cafes.