Buenos Aires is a singular, open and integrating destination that allows the visitor not only to view the city but also to live an exceptional urban adventure. Because Buenos Aires combines varied experiences and this variety may suit all tastes – Bue is really close to any visitor.
This section offers information for all those who want to live the experience of Buenos Aires: what a person invited to have a meal at a porteño’s house should know, the most usual expressions, the basic phrases needed to walk around the city, what precautions should be taken, the maximum and minimum temperatures in each month, and much more.
The City of Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic and is located in the southern hemisphere, latitude 34º 36’ and longitude 58º 26’. The city extends on a plain and has 202 square kilometers (78.3 sq miles). Approximately 3 million people live in this city. Including the metropolitan area, the total population of Buenos Aires is above ten millions, making it one of the 10 most populated urban centers in the world.
The Río de la Plata and the Riachuelo are the natural borders of the city on the east and south, respectively. The rest of the metropolitan perimeter is surrounded by the General Paz Avenue from north to west. This avenue provides a fast connection between the city and the Greater Buenos Aires, a densely populated area with important business and industrial activity.
The climate of Buenos Aires is mild all year round. The mean annual temperature is 18º C (64.4º F), making extremely hot and cold days very infrequent. Thus, visitors can enjoy walking around the city in any season.July is the coldest month. Although frosts are rare, a woollen coat, a jacket or an overcoat and a scarf will be required when going out. In winter, cold is moderate during the day, but temperature considerably drops at night. In summer, the weather is hot and humid. Mornings are warm and during midday and the first hours of the afternoon, the temperature rises. At night, temperature goes down slightly, so people may wear light clothes; coats are not needed.
Rains are more frequent in autumn and spring (from March to June and from September to December, respectively). They are mild or last a short time, thus activities are not hampered and people usually go out with an umbrella or a raincoat.
In the sunny days of autumn and spring, mornings are slightly cold; the temperature rises at midday and drops again at night.
Buenos Aires was founded twice:
The first foundation was in 1536. Don Pedro de Mendoza, a Spanish colonizer, established the first settlement. He named it Ciudad del Espíritu Santo y Puerto Santa María del Buen Ayre. The second, and final, foundation was in 1580. Juan de Garay called the site Ciudad de Trinidad.
In the 19th. century, the port was the arrival point for the great migratory wave promoted by the Argentine State to populate the nation. Spanish, Italian, Syrian-Lebanese, Polish and Russian immigrants provided Buenos Aires with the cultural eclecticism that is so characteristic of the city. During the 20th. century, successive immigrations - from the provinces, other Latin American countries and Eastern countries – completed the picture of Buenos Aires as a cosmopolitan city in which people with different cultures and religions live together.
The official language is Spanish. Something to note is the use of vos (you) instead of the Spanish tú for informal treatment, and the use of che to address a person.
Currently, Buenos Aires receives tourists from varied nationalities that come for different purposes. Some come to shop, others to enjoy the night life and some others to taste the porteños bohemian lifestyle. Also, there are those who engage in an educational tour and want to study the Spanish language.
Several entities, academies, institutions and universities (among them the language Laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires) teach Spanish to foreign people, from beginner to advanced levels, or provide specialization on a specific field.
The porteños easily understand persons who speak Italian and Portuguese. Most people involved in tourist activities speak English.
Buenos Aires is a safe city, but as in any other big city in the world, the tourist should take some precautions. For example, avoid leaving your purse or bag hanging from chairs in public places, as well as walking at night along poorly lit areas.
If, during your visit, suffer some kind of abuse or discrimination, communicate whit the Tourist Ombudsman, phone number: 4302 7816. To contact personally, can go to Ave. Pedro de Mendoza 1835 ("Benito Quinquela Martin" Museum) in the neighborhood of La Boca. From Monday to Sunday, from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Tourist Police Station
This police station headquarters receives any formal complaints from tourists in cases of offenses, thefts, petty steal, losses, whereabouts and failed meetings. It also works on crime prevention. You can here also receive help in the case of extraordinary procedures before embassies or consulates.
You will get information from people speaking in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Japanese.
Address: Avenida Corrientes 436
telephone: 0800 999 5000 / 4346 5748