Five Neighbourhoods for Young People in Buenos Aires —the Best Latin American City to Study
The prestige of its universities, trendy gastronomic offers, hectic nightlife, art, and culture are some of the bases that make this city perfect for university students.
According to the QS - Quacquarelli Symonds consultant’s ranking, Buenos Aires is the best Latin American city to study and the world’s 22nd. The same classification positions the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) as Ibero-America’s best higher education institution for the seventh time in a row. The academic offer is indisputable. But what if we tell you that that’s just one of the many reasons why studying in Buenos Aires is an unmissable experience?
Vibrant energy, endless night, friendship warmth, and hedonism are the features of this urban capital that make worldwide youngsters talk about it. The university experience comprises dancing until 7 a.m., covering art galleries and contemporary museums, drinking latte in a gourmet café, or tasting signature cocktails in the most eccentric pubs.
Some areas have a desirable young vibe. From restaurants to squares, there are more than enough scenarios for student gatherings. Read about six ideal neighbourhoods for university students in the city that are perfect for them.
1. Palermo —the Coolest Neighbourhood
As we were talking about ranking, how about this one? The British magazine, Time Out, chose Palermo as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods in 2018. Designers, artists, and entrepreneurs leave their marks in the Palermo streets, which make the environment colourful, far from being related to the grey pavement. Everything carries weight in this area: urban art, the innumerable vintage and modern fashion shops, boutique hotels, bookshops, speakeasies (hidden bars), large green areas, nightclubs, universities, and gastronomy. No single paving stone lacks life.
With bohemian vibes, this is the city’s largest neighbourhood, and it has several outstanding areas. The centre is Plaza Serrano, the Soho area, the most touristic one. This place comes to life every weekend with craftwork fairs. If you are looking for classical postcard-like places, you must go to the Galileo Galilei Planetarium or the Rose Garden. Also, Paseo de la Infanta (near a huge green space, Parque Tres de Febrero, or most commonly known as Palermo Forest) is a corridor full of pubs and culinary options one next to another. It’s like a shared open-air yard that becomes even more interesting during the after-office hours.
Cañitas area doesn’t fall behind. Even though it’s not a neighbourhood, its local popularity makes it earn its own name. In less than 20 blocks, it gathers loads of beer places, restaurants, and emerging offers. Your taste buds will appreciate your going there. In Palermo Chico, you’ll see the main figures easily: the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA), one of the most important, and the beautiful Japanese Garden. Lastly, you can’t miss a walk around Palermo Hollywood to go on with this foodie tour.
2. Recoleta —a Cultural Luxury
If we tell you that the main attraction is the namesake cemetery, you may not believe us if we tell you that this is also one of the most vital areas of Buenos Aires. By the way, an elegant vitality. There are buildings with impeccable French architecture, cafés in every corner, busy squares and parks, historical bars, universities, glamorous shopping galleries, impressive luxurious hotels, hidden gardens, rooftops, and palaces. What a combination, right?
If we talk about must-see things, you can’t miss the Floralis Genérica. It’s a giant steel work of art, standing in the middle of a fountain that opens its petals with the sunlight and closes them at night, just as a real flower. Friend groups spend afternoons under this structure. Next to it, the UBA’s Law School, an outstanding architectural piece. A tip: from the bridge next to it, you’ll get a great panoramic view of the building.
Culture also plays an important role. Some places make the tour worth it. For example, the Recoleta Cultural Centre, an interactive space connecting tradition and avant-garde and inviting youngsters to explore their artistic side; or the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA), with a legacy of national and international artists’ works.
Reading is a must for young students, and as this is a good university city, the National Library meets the expectations. It is Latin America’s most significant library, thanks to 2 million books; its modern façade doesn’t go unnoticed. One of the city’s coolest bars within the library property invites you to have a gin and tonic to top off the study day. Well, a paragraph telling you about books in Recoleta can’t ignore the Ateneo Grand Splendid, the bookshop regarded as the world’s most beautiful by National Geographic in 2019. It’s an old theatre turned into a reader’s paradise.
3. San Telmo —the Tango and Vintage Spirit Mecca
There are modern and avant-garde neighbourhoods; and others are traditionalist, where walking down the streets is like going back in time and where vintage magic is intact. You may have already realised which group San Telmo belongs to. It is part of the Historical City Centre, and its DNA includes romantic vibes, tango mystic in the air, stone-paved streets, water wells, beer points, many hostels, classic restaurants called bodegones, and antiques. San Telmo has such a style! The most folkloric place of the Buenos Aires spirit.
The heart of this neighbourhood is Plaza Dorrego, the city’s second oldest square. Just as Serrano in Palermo, it has a huge fair on Sundays, passing down Humberto Primo and Defensa streets up to Parque Lezama and part of the Pasaje Giuffra. You can find loads of antiques, extravagant objects, and retro pieces.
The abundant gastronomic offer invites you to try both classic recipes and alternative ones with a twist. San Telmo Market is ideal when it comes to eating until you’re full and ticking off a “must-go” at the same time. The building keeps its original internal structure, and food stands are intertwined with relic shops inside.
To keep on listing BuenosAires’ icons, we can mention Casa Mínima (the city’s smallest house), the old hotel gallery (cradle of local art with the most beautiful yards of all), the Modern Art Museum, the instagrammable and colourful Solar de French gallery, and El Viejo Almacén (which dates back to 1789, and today it’s the favourite one to see a tango show and taste international cuisine creations).
4. Belgrano —a More Local Scene
Further away from the energetic movement of the previous coordinates, Belgrano suggests residential energy to make you feel like a true local. Its charm lies precisely in not being touristic and offering open-air gatherings, both in its countless squares and at the tables on the pavements with trendy offers. Without any doubt, one of the favourite neighbourhoods of young Argentinians.
Of course, its historicity also makes us pin iconic places on the map. For example, Chinatown (don’t forget to cross the access arc in Juramento and Arribeños); Cabildo Avenue, one of the main shopping centres; or the quaint Barrancas de Belgrano area, full of flowers, sculptures, and the gem: the bandstand, where folk and tango dancers draw crowds in during Sunday afternoons.
When it comes to toasting with friends, one of the spots that have lately gained relevance is Plaza Parques Nacionales Argentinos in the Bajo Belgrano area. Your drink, a gourmet picnic under a treetop, and there you are, the weekend plan you needed. The green space has been surrounded by food stores and super trendy bars. Naturally, it has become one of the most chosen places in the area.
5. Núñez —the Neighbourhood on Trend
Maybe you’ve heard about it because it hosts the legendary River Plate Stadium, home to one of the country’s most passionate events, Boca vs. River football superclásico. Yet, it’s not the only reason why this territory stands out. With Buenos Aires’s Zona Norte essence and the capital’s vibrant energy, it has seen enthusiastic undertakings born in its residential streets, and today they’re the most coveted of all.
Gourmet cafés, the coolest bars, signature restaurants, and wine bars are the area’s refuge, and they get filled with young people ready to be delighted by original and innovative tastes distinctive of the alternatives. What do they have in common? Far from being big chains or franchises, they are all independent places created by young entrepreneurs who came to the area to renew it and turn it into an emerging one. They’ve made it.