Five things to know about Buenos Aires, home of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games

From Boca to beef: Here’s the low down on Argentina’s capital city

The 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires will be so much more than a festival of first-class sport.

The Argentine capital is often known as the ‘Paris of South America’ due to its diverse culture, culinary delight and European history.

Here are the top five things to know about Buenos Aires, the home YOG 2018.

1 – Tango’s birthplace

In Buenos Aries tango is seen as a lifestyle, not a hobby.

Tango was born in the working-class, immigrant neighborhoods of La Boca and San Telmo in the late 19th century and is a fusion of European, African and gaucho styles.

Fast-forward to modern times and the seductive dance enjoys global popularity with every race and class.

The original areas have stayed true to their routes and tango dancers can be seen entertaining and taking photos with tourists on the streets today.

For something a little more authentic, you can visit a milonga and enjoy some live music while watching or partaking in the tango with a local dancer.

2- Football and polo

You can’t mention Buenos Aires without acknowledging its love of football.

The city has produced one of the game’s greatest ever players in Diego Maradona, who wore the famous blue and yellow of Boca Juniors and led Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in 1986.

Boca’s iconic La Bombonera stadium is famous for its electric atmosphere, especially when arch rivals River Plate are in town for the Superclásico.

Intense football rivalries are a mainstay of the Argentinian top division, where 8 of the top 20 teams hail from the capital.

Despite not being as popular as football, polo is also a highly-revered sport in Buenos Aires with a rich history – demonstrating perfectly the cosmopolitan nature of the city.

Fun fact: Argentina won polo Olympic gold at Paris 1924 and Berlin 1936!

3 - Eva Perón, the Casa Rosada and La Recoleta Cemetery

Eva Perón’s story was given worldwide recognition when Madonna played her character in the Hollywood film Evita.

The Argentinian First Lady was the nation’s spiritual leader, working tirelessly for women’s rights and helping sick and poor Argentinians.

Maybe this is part of the reason why the streets and monuments of Buenos AiresPuerto Madero neighbourhood are almost exclusively named after women.

She famously addressed the nation from the presidential headquarters in Buenos Aires, the Casa Rosada, which still retains its distinct pink colour today.

Her grave can be seen in the opulent La Recoleta Cemetery, which features hundreds of hand-carved mansion tombs.

Eva Peron addresses a Buenos Aires crowd
Eva Peron addresses a Buenos Aires crowdEva Peron addresses a Buenos Aires crowd

4 – A foodie’s dream

Parillas or barbeque grill restaurants are everywhere in Buenos Aires, where cooking steak is an art form.

If you like your beef slow cooked in coals, served with minimal seasoning and washed down with affordable, first-class red wine… you’re in luck.

If steak is too much for your pallet, why not try a tasty empanada or two. These are small, baked pastries with a variety of different fillings and are available on most street corners.

And for pudding? Buenos Aires shows its strong Italian influence with his many gelatos serving delicious ice cream by the kilo!

5 – A capital full of culture

Buenos Aires has more bookstores per capita than any other city in the world.

There are at least 734 shops, providing the ideal escape from the city's bright lights.

Elsewhere there are approximately 300 theatres catering to every taste: From popular musicals to independent underground shows.

Buenos Aires has also become a global hub for some of the world’s best street art.

A mix of international and local artists have turned the streets of Palermo, Colegiales, Barracas, Montserrat and La Boca into colourful open-air galleries.

Boca street art
Boca street artBoca street art

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