Buenos Aires is probably the most cosmopolitan metropolis in South America. Certainly it has more of a European appearance than any other capital with wide boulevards, monumental architecture, art deco cafeterias and designer-label shops. This seductive city oozes historical atmosphere and nostalgia, with its colonial buildings, antique markets, shady squares and tango halls. That's not to say Buenos Aires is just stuck in its past - it's equally vital and contemporary with a vibrant arts scene, cutting edge top-drawer restaurants, ultra-chic boutique hotels and a pulsating nightlife.
Looking to the Old World for inspiration, leading families sought to replicate the graceful architecture of belle époque France, covering the upmarket residential areas of Retiro and Recoleta with palatial façades lining shady cobbled boulevard
Your guided walking tour takes you to former palaces and mansions which now have much more practical functions including the Military Society and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Academicist-style Retiro station, built according to British design and with British materials, was nevertheless inspired by the ornate French gares. Later, follow meandering Arroyo street distinguished by its art galleries before strolling down illustrious Alvear Avenue in Recoleta, historically the most prosperous and elegant neighbourhood in the capital, home of aristocratic French Belle Epoque-style mansions and classy boutiques.