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Buenos Aires - "La Reina Del Plata"
The Queen of the Plata Region (La Reina Del Plata), Buenos Aires is a beautiful city of Argentina. Buenos Aires, meaning Fair Winds, was originally called "Ciudad de la Santísima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Aires" (City of the Most Holy Trinity and Port of Saint Mary of the Fair Winds).

Located in the East-Central Argentina, on an estuary of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. Situated about 150 mi (240 km) from the Atlantic Ocean, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent, Buenos Aires is a major port of Argentina.

Buenos Aires is one of the World's busiest ports. Buenos Aires was first founded in 1536 by a Spanish gold-seeking expedition under Pedro de Mendoza. It became the national capital in 1862. The city of Buenos Aires is now one of the largest cities of Latin America, and financial, industrial, commercial, and social center of Argentina. The city is linked with Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil by a great inland river system.

The city is divided into 48 districts (barrios); some of the important barrios include San Telmo, La Boca, Palermo, Recoleta, Belgrano, Boedo, Caballito, San Cristobal, Puerto Madero, and Retiro. The citizens of Buenos Aires call themselves porteños (people of the port). The city is melting pot of races. Most of porteños have European origins; the city is inhabited mostly by people of Spanish and Italian origin, but the city also has French, British, German, Eastern European, Syrian, Paraguayan, and Latin American people living in it. The city also has many immigrants from Romania and Ukraine, and many migrants for Bolivia, Perú and Paraguay. Religion wise, the porteños are Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. The city has the largest Jewish community in Latin America.

Buenos Aires is one of the very popular tourist destinations of the Latin America. The city attracts volumes of tourists from all over the world. The city has many parks, gardens, museums, art galleries, churches, cathedrals, lively cafés, marvelous malls, theaters and opera houses, historical buildings, hotels and a floating casino.

The city's architecture is reminiscent of Paris, and thus is often dubbed as "Paris of the South" or "Paris of South America". Major tourist attractions of the city include a promenade in Palermo (a beautiful area in the eastern part of the city), El Puerto de Buenos Aires, National Immigration Museum, La Boca, Monserrat, San Telmo, the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada, the Catedral Metropolitana, the Banco de la Nación Argentina building, the Congreso de la Nación (National Congress), that houses the Academia Nacional de la Historia (National Academy of History), Casa de la Cultura, the Palacio Barolo, Café Tortoni, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Recoleta), the Biblioteca Nacional, the Centro Cultural Recoleta, the Faculty of Law of the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the Basílica Nuestra Señora de Pilar, the Palais de Glace, the Bar La Biela and the Cementerio de la Recoleta, the Estación Retiro(Retiro), the Estación Retiro, the Guerra de Malvinas, the General San Martín, Torre de los Ingleses, the Kavanagh Building, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Palermo), the Bosques de Palermo, the Planetary, Buenos Aires Zoo, etc.

The modern city of great wealth, Buenos Aires offers a large number of cultural events, restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, and theaters. The city offers one of the most vibrant nightlifes in the Latin America. Avenida 9 de Julio is said to be the world's widest boulevard; it's the nucleus of the theaters and nightclub district, and thus often nicknamed as the Broadway of Argentina.

Buenos Aires is also home to several symphony orchestras and choral societies. The city is the site of the Teatro Colón, one of the greatest opera houses of the world. The city is famous for 'tango dance' and tango music, which is said to be born in suburbs of the city. The city holds an annual "Tango Day" each December 11. In San Telmo, Sundays are devoted to tango shows on the streets and antiques trade in the bazaars around Dorrego Square. Tango shows can be found in establishments such as Rivero's El Viejo Almacén.

The city hardly sleeps at night. Buenos Aires bars, restaurants, pubs, and clubs become extremely crowded after dark. The city offers one of the most flamboyant dance bars and discos featuring Salsa, Rock, and Tango, and superb electronic music. The pubs and bars of the city open early in evening, but the serious clubbing starts after midnight. Most of bars remain open till wee hours, but there are several bars that goes on and on until 6, 7am, or later. The city offers a feast of beauty and sensuality in nightlife. The world's best wines, meat, ice creams & of course Girls are available at the pubs, bars, and the restaurants of the city.

Buenos Aires has a liberal attitude towards gay society. The city has one of the largest homosexual communities in Latin America. Gay couples are allowed to form a legal civil partnership. In the recent times, the city has witnessed a spectacular increase in gay-friendly businesses such as real estate, apartment rental, travel agents, language classes, tango classes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses. Year 2006 witnessed arrivals of gay cruise ships, construction of a gay 5-star hotel, and a general increase in gay tourism.

The city of Buenos Aires has more than 200 fine hotels including 17 (5-star), 53 (4-star), 42 (3-star), and 64 (2 & 1-star hotels). The majority of the hotels are located in the central part of the city, within close proximity of the main tourist attractions.

Buenos Aires lies in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are the opposite of what they are in the northern hemisphere. The city enjoys a warm and benign climate during the whole year. Summers and winters are mild. Summer, autumn and spring is also great seasons to visit Buenos Aires.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing luxury holiday apartments in Argentina.
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