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Coming to a new city can be really overwhelming for the first time. You need to figure out where to live, and how to get around, often before you have even seen the city with your own eyes. I put together this Buenos Aires neighborhood guide to help you get a bit more acquainted with the area, and hopefully make your transition a bit easier. Also, make sure to check out these TIPS for moving to Buenos Aires.
Check out these other Buenos Aires neighborhoods:
Guide to the Best Neighborhoods of Buenos Aires
Almagro & Caballito
SUMMARY IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
San Nicolas and Monserrat are two neighborhoods located in the city center of Buenos Aires. San Nicolas is known for its lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and entertainment options. However, Monserrat, on the other hand, is known for its government buildings, cultural institutions, and historic architecture.
Both neighborhoods are considered more traditional and are home to a mix of government workers, students, and young professionals. They are also home to many traditional Argentine restaurants and cafes, and both are known for their street vendors selling traditional Argentine snacks (garrapiñadas).
VIBE IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
These two neighborhoods make up what is considered the “micro-centro,” or the main city center. Therefore, on the weekdays, you’ll find the streets busy and full of people going to work. On the weekends, they are definitely less busy as people stay home or leave the city on the weekends. That said, certain areas of the neighborhoods are very lively on weekends and weekend nights (Avenida Corrientes). Rents tend to be a bit lower in these neighborhoods as the buildings are older and less trendy.
TRANSPORTATION IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
The transportation is fantastic. You have bus stops and subte stops galore. All the subte stops converge here in the center, angling towards La Casa Rosada. You can find Catedral (green line D), Bolívar (purple line E), and Plaza de Mayo (blue line A) within a few minutes walking from La Casa Rosada. There are several bus stops all along Paseo Colon and Leandro Alem as well. This neighborhood is the easiest and best for getting public transport.
SHOPPING IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
San Nicolas and Monserrat are neighborhoods in Buenos Aires known for their traditional markets and local shops. These areas offer a variety of items such as clothing, jewelry, and crafts, as well as traditional Argentine food and souvenirs. Visitors can also find street vendors selling handmade items and local produce.
The neighborhoods are also known for their historical and cultural significance, and offer a unique shopping experience with a mix of traditional and modern products. Calle Florida is one of the main shopping streets in the area.
PARKS IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
The neighborhoods of San Nicolas and Monserrat in Buenos Aires, Argentina have several plazas that offer a variety of recreational activities. The main park of these neighborhoods would be the Plaza Lavalle, located just behind the Teatro Colon. Here you can find people walking dogs, resting, or even having group dance practices.
EATING & DRINKING IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
San Nicolas and Monserrat neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina offer a diverse selection of restaurants that serve traditional Argentine cuisine, as well as international options. Visitors can find traditional parrilla (grill) restaurants, pizzerias and cafes that serve traditional Argentine dishes such as empanadas and asado.
Plaza Mayo is a traditional restaurant in Buenos Aires that serves pasta and fish dishes at very fair prices. It’s quite a local place and would be uncommon to see other tourists here. Good lunch specials.
Celta Bar is one of Buenos Aires’ ‘Bares Notables,’ and is a great place to eat traditional Argentine cuisine in a location that has remained virtually unchanged in the last 80 years.
Pizzera Guerrin is the most famous pizza restaurant in the entire city of Buenos Aires. It serves thick slices which can be eaten in the back of the restaurant at a table, or you can stand in line for a slice to be eaten around a counter top shared with several other eaters. I also suggest getting the faina, which is made of chickpeas. Another famous pizzeria is El Cuartito.
Saigon Noodle Bar
The absolute best Vietnamese food in the city is found at Saigon Noodle Bar. I can’t recommend this place enough when you’re craving a warm bowl of pho on a cold day.
The Guemes Gallery and Trade Sky Bar are two excellent rooftop bar/restaurants. The former is much more casual, and the latter much more hip. Reservations are required at Trade Sky Bar.
WHAT TO DO IN MONSERRAT & SAN NICOLÁS
There is so much to do in the micro-centro, and luckily it’s all within walking distance (if you like walking).
Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo is a historic square located in the center of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the main political and social center of the city, and has been the site of many important events in Argentine history. The square is best known for being the location of the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, the Cathedral Metropolitana, the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires, and the Cabildo, a museum of Argentina’s past.
Avendia 9 de Julio
Avenida 9 de Julio is a major avenue located in the center of Buenos Aires. It is one of the most famous streets in Argentina and is named after the country’s Independence Day, July 9th. The avenue is also home to several notable landmarks such as the Obelisk, a monument that commemorates the city’s founding, and the Teatro Colon, one of the most famous opera houses in South America. There are 16 lanes of traffic, making it the widest avenue in South America.
Teatro Colon is a historic opera house located in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 9 de Julio avenue. It is considered one of the most important opera houses in South America and one of the ten best opera venues in the world. The theater was opened in 1908 and has undergone several renovations, the most recent one was finished in 2010. It has a capacity of 2,487 seats and it’s known for its acoustics and beautiful architecture. There are daily tours in English (at 3pm).
The Obelisk is a monument located in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 9 de Julio avenue. It was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city. It is also a symbol of Buenos Aires and a popular tourist attraction. The obelisk is 67.5 meters tall and stands on the spot where the original city was founded in 1536 by Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza. You may recognize this obelisk from the many videos that were shown after Argentina won the World Cup in 2022.
Avenida Corrientes is a major avenue located in Buenos Aires. It is known for its cultural and entertainment offerings, it’s often referred to as the “Broadway of Buenos Aires” due to its many theaters and live performance venues. The avenue is also home to several notable landmarks such as the Teatro Colon and the Obelisk.
It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, as it offers a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as a lively nightlife scene. The avenue shuts down to cars on weekend evenings and is great for a nighttime stroll to see street performers and theatre goers.
Centro Cultural Kirchner
The Centro Cultural Kirchner, also known as CCK, is a cultural center located in Buenos Aires, which is free to enter. It was inaugurated in 2015, and it is named after former President Néstor Kirchner. The CCK is dedicated to promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of Argentina, it has exhibitions and spaces for concerts, theater performances, and art shows. It also houses a library, a cinema, and a research center.
Ateneo Grand Splendid
The Ateneo Grand Splendid is a cultural center located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is housed in an opulent former theater and bookstore from 1919, it has been restored to its original splendor and used as a cultural center. It is known for its grand architecture and beautiful interior design. The Ateneo Grand Splendid is a popular spot to browse books and attend literary events, concerts, and art shows.
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