Plaza de Mayo

Buenos Aires


The “Autonomous City of Buenos Aires” is Argentina's capital and one of the metropolises in South America. The country's political, commercial and cultural life is concentrated in the megacity located on the Rio de la Plata bay. According to the May 2022 census, the city is home to more than 3,1 million residents and approximately 17,5 million people live in the province. That's 38 percent of the entire Argentine population.

Buenos Aires article overview

 Above the roofs of Buenos Aires

Above the roofs of Buenos Aires


City foundation and further development

The bay of Rio de la Plata was discovered by Spanish sailors in 1516. However, the Indians who lived there prevented the land seizure. However, twenty years later, in February 1536, a 1.600-strong Spanish commando managed to establish itself on land. The occupation lasted just five years, then the settlers were forced to leave after Indian attacks.

In 1580 another attempt to found a city began. This time the effort was successful. Almost 200 years later, the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata was founded under Spanish sovereignty in 1776. Buenos Aires became a residential city. On July 9, 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata declared themselves independent from the mother country. Buenos Aires has been the capital of Argentina since 1880.

Tower of the Cabildo - former seat of government

Tower of the Cabildo - former seat of government


Buenos Aires - Economy and Transport

Argentina is the second largest economy in Latin America after Brazil. The key role is played by the agricultural and food industries. Both areas are extremely export-oriented. Other important segments include the automotive industry, petroleum refineries and the chemical industry. Many companies have their headquarters in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The city is also Argentina's most important seaport and the country's commercial center. The natural gas pipelines coming from Patagonia end in the metropolis. Buenos Aires is also a banking center and location for multinational companies.

High-rise buildings in the Madero district

High-rise buildings in the Madero district


The city has an international and a national airport as well as a well-developed motorway network. There are three ferry connections to Uruguay. The railway network, on the other hand, is poorly developed. Long-distance transport is mainly carried out by buses.

Retiro train station

Retiro train station


Buenos Aires - Education, Science and the Arts

Argentina operates tuition-free state schools and universities. The University of Buenos Aires was founded in 1821. More than 300.000 students are enrolled at Latin America's second largest university. Other educational institutions include the National College of Fine Arts, the National Conservatory of Music and the National Technological University. In 1992, the Universidad Nacional de San Martín was established as a reform university.

The “Capital of Tango” hosts high-level cultural festivals. The Teatro Colón is one of the most respected opera houses in the world. There is also a diverse museum landscape and various cultural centers.

CCK - Centro Cultural Kirchner

CCK - Centro Cultural Kirchner


Buenos Aires – the interesting cruise destination

In the 2022/2023 cruise season, 127 ships visited Buenos Aires. The Buenos Aires Times newspaper spoke of around 348.000 passengers in this context. In the peak season of 2012/2013, the number of visitors arriving by ship was more than half a million passengers. The last season probably still shows effects of the corona pandemic. It can be assumed that there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of passenger numbers and the city's attractiveness.

In the Buenos Aires cruise terminal

In the Buenos Aires cruise terminal


Cruise ships with destinations Cape Horn, Ushuaia or Antarctica often make a stopover in Buenos Aires. The stays are often only of short duration. Those visitors who start or end their cruise from Argentina's capital and who have some time for the many sights can count themselves lucky. You can read more about it in our article: Buenos Aires sightseeing.

Update February 2024