Centro is a more general term used to describe the neighborhoods of Microcentro, San Nicolás, Montserrat and parts of Balvanera and Retiro.
La Onda (The Vibe): This is the heart of the business center of all of Argentina. Filled with busy workers rushing to offices and tourists snapping photos of historical landmarks, it’s a must to walk through the narrow streets of the centro and get a sense for bustling Buenos Aires work life. While by day the city center becomes congested (especially during rush hour 8am – 10am, 5:30pm – 7:30pm), at night it turns somewhat deserted into a ghost town.
Attractions & Highlights:
Casa Rosada, Catedral Metroplitana & Plaza de Mayo: The Casa Rosada (Pink House) is considered to be one of the most emblematic buildings in the whole country as it’s the president’s mansion and government building. It’s located on the Plaza de Mayo, the main square and political hub ever since Argentina began to fight for independence in 1810. The Catedral, or Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, is the main Catholic church which has origins dating back to the 16th century.
El Obelisco & Av. 9 de Julio: The largest and most obvious landmark is Av. 9 de Julio, an avenue which many claim to be the widest in the whole world. It spans 12 lanes (6 lanes in either direction) and has several medians in case you can’t make it all the way across in one go. Most people can’t. Located in the middle of Avenida 9 de Julio and Corrientes avenue is the Obelisco, which was built in 1936 to commemorate the 400 anniversary to founding Buenos Aires.
Teatro Colón: The Colón opera house is one of the most famous theaters in the world. Quite spectacular interiors, the theater recently underwent over 5 years of renovations, but recently reopened to the public.
Avenida Florida: This popular pedestrian street in Buenos Aires is home to many stores and restaurants. Leather, silver, computers, coffee and wine can all be conveniently purchased here. The street also attracts a wide variety of street performers and tourists.
Best Restaurants, Bars and Clubs: Full list of the best Buenos Aires Centro restaurants, bars and clubs
History: El Centro (The Center), also known as San Nicolás, was founded in 1773 by the San Nicolás Parish. This neighborhood, along with its neighboring barrio Monserrat, is home to most of the government institutions and most famous national landmarks. The development of the land in this area was rapid and was sped along by the presence of the British, who established a consulate, merchant’s society, and modern bank here during the early 1800s.
Juan Manuel Rosas donated land to the St. John the Baptist Anglican church in a good-will gesture toward the British. Nearby, the missionaries from the United States constructed a Methodist church.
Having already become the financial center of the country, this area was crowned with the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange in 1854. A domino effect of construction quickly followed and, thanks to a group of powerful British empresarios, the area soon saw the first railway station in Latin America (1857). By 1913 the area also was home to the first metro stations in the Southern Hemisphere. Many of the original trains still run on the A-line.
San Nicolás soon housed a heavy concentration of theaters and entertainment facilities including Teatro Colón and Teatro Cervantes. The present layout of the area took hold in 1936 when Av. 9 de Julio, the largest avenue in the world, was constructed.
Size (Sq Km): 2.4
Measured on a scale of 1-10 (1 = low, 10 = high)
|Safety Factor, Day: 7||Tourism: 9|
|Safety Factor, Night: 5||Traffic: 9|
|Average Prices: 7||Nightlife: 5|
Transportation: Subway: All subway lines have at least one stop in San Nicolás. Subway lines A, D and E all have their final station in San Nicolás near the Casa Rosada.
Bus: From Palermo 29, 64, 152, from San Telmo 9, 10, 29, 61
Get the low down on the centro —>