As a world city home to an extensive history and, consequently, a long artistic legacy, Buenos Aires has a cultural resumé a mile long. Lovers of the fine arts will delight in what the city has to offer; we’ve come up with a list of our favorite art-inspired sights and activities that connect the past and the present of this metropolis.
Walk the street that never sleeps: Avenida Corrientes
Theater in Argentina really took off at the beginning of the 19th century, when it became more accessible to the masses. Avenida Corrientes served as the center for this boom, and continues to be the city’s main theatrical hub, home to a number of performance houses and cinemas. Visitors can catch all types of live shows here, but the most well-known type of entertainment is teatro de revista, revues that mix comedy, music and dance. Many entertainers aspire to perform on Corrientes, and the most illustrious get to place their name on the Walk of Fame.
Discover the Buenos Aires of the movies
Buenos Aires has made plenty of appearances on the silver screen: the famous balcony scene from Evita (1996) was filmed at the Casa Rosada, while scenes from El secreto de sus ojos (2009) were shot at the Tribunales court house. The city also serves as the heart of the Argentine film industry; if you visit in April, head to the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Film to catch cutting-edge films in cinemas around the city.
Revel in the splendor of Teatro Colón
This opera house technically opened in 1857, though its current (quite magnificent) building was constructed 1908, and it’s served as the heartbeat of Buenos Aires’ art scene ever since. The theater is ranked as one of the top concert halls in the world, and it hosts a variety of Argentine and international performers. The sumptuous interior harkens back to an era when the theater was the place to see and be seen. Snag a ticket to a performance, or take the backstage tour to learn about the building’s interesting history.
Learn about tango’s underground history
Of course, tango is deeply ingrained in the city’s cultural heritage, a tradition originating in the cafes and dancehalls of its poorer barrios in 1880s, where many European immigrants were settling in. This dance quickly became a revolution, its sensuality and technical skill appealing to wealthier creole hipsters of the time. Today, San Telmo acts as the center for the tango community, and a trip to Buenos Aires is not complete without a visit to one of its milongas (tango dance halls). Head to Maldita Milonga to catch the best of the city’s tango dance scene.
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Take an art tour with Gallery
Art walks are a great way to explore a city, guiding visitors to hidden corners full of local art. Gallery organizes a free guided circuit through Buenos Aires’ artistic corridors a few times a year; participants can choose from itineraries that explore different parts of the city, passing through some of its coolest galleries and museums.
Create your own urban art itinerary
Urban art takes many forms, and Buenos Aires’ graffiti and murals are increasingly becoming attractions in their own right. Inspired by the graffiti and street art of the Bronx, artists have created sprawling pieces that decorate walls around the city, specifically in the neighborhoods of Palermo and Colegiales. Hit the neighborhood streets and find the best of this larger-than-life art.