Buenos Aires is like an Argentinian tango: passionate, intense and heartfelt. The words of “My Beloved Buenos Aires” by Carlos Gardel include the couplet, "there are no disappointments under your protection; the years fly by and sorrow is forgotten", and it's true that the city pulsates with energy, boasting fine cuisine, avant-garde design and a wide range of cultural events and activities.
Set on the western banks of the estuary of Rio de la Plata (the 'river of silver') – a waterway so wide that many visitors mistake it for the sea - Buenos Aires is a romantic and vigorous city where life is lived to the full with all five senses. In the bustling neighbourhood of San Telmo, street musicians play the bandoneon – a type of concertina – and loose-limbed couples dance to the melancholy and sensual flow of the tango; top quality Argentine beef sizzles on the barbecue grill waiting to delight the taste buds, and the rich aroma of coffee drifts from legendary cafes. The atmosphere of political protest and football celebration flood the Plaza de Mayo, and the colourful facades of the tenement buildings of La Boca brighten the scene. Here, in the capital of the Argentine Republic, images of the city's colonial past blend perfectly with the most avant-garde and innovative elements to be expected of such a vast and cosmopolitan city.
Argentina's president governs from the Casa Rosada – 'the pink house' – opposite the famous Plaza de Mayo; the building houses a museum with a permanent collection of presidential items as well as temporary exhibitions
The residents of La Boca used left-over paint from the nearby port area to decorate their zinc houses
The literary heritage of Buenos Aires is world famous, and El Ateneo is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Located in the former Grand Splendid Theatre, the building conserves many of the original features, including the domed ceiling and theatre boxes
Set on the western bank of the Rio de la Plata, the city of Buenos Aires is the second largest metropolitan area in South America and home to over three million people. The vast Greater Buenos Aires conurbation has a population of around 13 million