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Buenos Aires
 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 
Why take your children to one of Latin America's largest cities? Three reasons might tempt you. First, Buenos Aires is cosmopolitan. It has the face and flavor of Europe - elegant cafés, beautiful architecture and approximately one hundred museums - yet its' heart and soul beats to the Latin rhythm. That is, lively and frenetic. Second, kids reign in Argentina. They are welcome everywhere except nightclubs. Even the most sophisticated restaurants have highchairs. Finally, thanks to the sharp devaluation of Argentina's currency, the peso, what was once one of Latin America's most expensive cities is today one of the continent's best bargains.... Read More

Argentina has emerged from the political and economic collapse of 2001 and tourists have been quick to take advantage. Attracted by an exchange rate of approximately 3 pesos to 1 U.S. dollar, foreigners are flocking to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, delighted to spend US$ 5 on a steak dinner.

While demonstrations can still occur, social unrest has abated and the city is considered relatively safe. Porteños, as locals are called, are returning from abroad -- a clear sign that the situation has improved. And streets are packed again. More than five million tourists visited Buenos Aires in 2004, a 38% increase over 2003, according to the city's Secretary of Tourism. Maria Candelaria de la Sota, a journalist from the influential daily newspaper Clarín, witnessed the change:

“Before, a cup of coffee cost US$ 3. People would say: beautiful city, but too expensive. It was sad to see Calle Florida, a popular place for shopping, empty. Today the city is bustling once again. Not only are we are seeing European and American tourists, but many Chinese and Koreans”, she says.

Located on the shore of the Rio de la Plata or the river of silver, Buenos Aires was founded twice by Spanish explorers in 1536 and again in 1580. Yet the city's growth and regional prominence coincided with European migration in the 19th and 20th century and its European heritage is visible throughout.

Set out like a grid with wide avenues and boulevards, Buenos Aires is an easy city to navigate and it is a great place for walking. Spectacular views of prominent landmarks including the Casa Rosada, Cabildo and Obelisco, can be seen from just about anywhere downtown. The city's five Subte lines and numerous Colectivos offer an inexpensive and adventurous alternative to taxis should the little ones tire of strolling.

Families interested in experiencing the city will want to spend a few days exploring. From brightly colored barrios to swanky neighborhoods a trip to Buenos Aires provides children with first hand knowledge of the city's past as well as Argentine tradition. Head to the Plaza de Mayo and Recoleta for history, San Telmo and Abasto for culture, and La Boca for a bit of sociology. When the kids get tired head to Palermo and take time out in one of city's parks, gardens or zoo.

Buenos Aires is in the midst of a cultural boom. Attractions abound from museums to theatre and amusement parks to river cruises. Take a self-guided or guided tour on foot, bike or boat. Or participate in one of the many thematic tours and discover more about Evita, Borges or Gardel.

Don't forget to set aside time for shopping. Families in search of arts and crafts should head to the Feria di San Telmo or Calle Caminito in La Boca. Clothing and leather goods abound and will satisfy nearly every taste and budget. Bargains can be found in the stalls along Calle Florida, the latest trends in the shops in Palermo Viejo. Head to Recoleta if you are looking for haute couture.

In Buenos Aires, you won't have to search far for something to eat. The city offers everything from street vendors to trendy restaurants. Empanadas or meat filled pies can be found at most cafés and are a quick and nutritious alternative to a long meal in a restaurant. Asado or barbecued meat is more than a meal: it is a national tradition. You may want to try it with a glass of tinto or red wine. In need of a snack? Make a quick stop at one of the hundreds of kiosks and treat yourself to alfajores, best when filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate. The city also claims to have South America's best ice-creams parlors.

Whether you are in search of a city slightly off the beaten path or a destination with rhythm and soul Buenos Aires offers families an opportunity to experience and explore.
Buenos Aires Photo Gallery

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Palermonline

Buenos Aires Photo Gallery

Avenida 9 Julio, Buenos Aires

City of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Photo Gallery

Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

City of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Photo Gallery

Catalinas Norte Towers

Robert Wright,
courtesy of Recoleta Cemetery Blog

Buenos Aires hotels and accommodation
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Avenida Leandro N. Alem 770

Buenos Aires C1106BKG

Argentina

+54 (11) 4311 5200

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The Holiday Inn Express is the hotel of choice for families in search of budget accommodation with 3 star amenities. Located in the stylish neighborhood of Puerto Madero, the hotel is within walking distance of many Buenos Aires attractions.
 
 
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Vincente Lopez 1955

Buenos Aires C1128ACC

Argentina

+54 (11) 5777 8950

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The Loi Suites Hotel in Recoleta may not be luxurious or recently renovated but it is comfortable, clean and conveniently located. The spacious rooms are equipped with a small kitchenette, including a microwave. The staff is welcoming and friendly. The breakfast buffet is abundant and offers variety. The hotel is round the corner from Recoleta Cemetery and within walking distan ... Read More
The Loi Suites Hotel in Recoleta may not be luxurious or recently renovated but it is comfortable, clean and conveniently located. The spacious rooms are equipped with a small kitchenette, including a microwave. The staff is welcoming and friendly. The breakfast buffet is abundant and offers variety. The hotel is round the corner from Recoleta Cemetery and within walking distance of restaurants and museums. Family Travel Tips: The rooms are more dated than the pictures suggest.
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Emilio Zola 5185

Buenos Aires C1425GHA

Argentina

+54 (11) 4772 0289

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Che Lulu is more hostel than hotel. Yet this 8-room guesthouse in stylish Soho is hard to beat if your primary criterion is price. For those in search of extra room, Che Lulu also rents flats. Family Travel Tip: Don't book here expecting the Ritz but rather small rooms and friendly staff.
Che Lulu Trendy Hotel Photo Gallery

Che Lulu Guesthouse

Che Lulu

 
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Chacabuco 679

Buenos Aires C1069AAM

Argentina

+54 (11) 4361 5808

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Located in the San Telmo district in central Buenos Aires, the Telmotango offers a Bed & Breakfast service at the price of a Youth Hostel. Telmotango offers sightseeing tours for budget conscious travelers intent on exploring the city to its fullest.
 
 
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Macacha Guemes 351

Buenos Aires C1106BKG

Argentina

+54 (11) 4891 0000

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The Hilton Buenos Aires, located in stylish Puerto Madero, is one of the city's most fashionable hotels. The Hilton's kid-friendly standards apply here: cribs, highchairs, children's menu, family videos and babysitting service are available.

Hilton Buenos Aires

Hilton Buenos Aires

 
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Martha Salotti 445

Buenos Aires C1107BDA

Argentina

+54 (11) 4010 9000

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Conceived by French designer Philippe Starck and Argentine fashion designer Alan Faena, the Faena Hotel & Universe is ideal for families looking to make a statement in style. The Faena is just a short walk from San Telmo and its attractions.
 
 
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Florida 1005

Buenos Aires C1005AAU

Argentina

+54 (11) 4318 3000

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Built by German Architect Alfred Zucker in 1909 and last renovated in 2006, the Marriott Plaza Hotel is a Buenos Aires landmark. Located in the heart of the financial district and opposite Plaza San Martin, the Marriott Plaza is ideal for families combining business and pleasure.
 
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Av Alvear 1891

Buenos Aires C1129AAA

Argentina

+54 (11) 4808 2100

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The Alvear Palace Hotel, built in 1932 and fully renovated in 1984, is a symbol of Argentina's Belle Époque. Not only do the guest rooms at this luxury hotel boast antiques, chandelier and enormous bathroom, all rooms come with a personal butler service. What's more this member of the Leading Hotels of the World is home to one of the best restaurants in BA, La Bourgogne, an ... Read More
The Alvear Palace Hotel, built in 1932 and fully renovated in 1984, is a symbol of Argentina's Belle Époque. Not only do the guest rooms at this luxury hotel boast antiques, chandelier and enormous bathroom, all rooms come with a personal butler service. What's more this member of the Leading Hotels of the World is home to one of the best restaurants in BA, La Bourgogne, and is situated in Recoleta, one of the city's most upscale neighborhoods. Family Travel Tip: The hotel staff don't always say hello. Some consider that snooty, others find it unassuming. The attire is formal; no shorts even at breakfast.
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Alvear Palace

Alvear Palace

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