Buenos Aires: La Boca

La Boca is a picturesque neighbourhood of Capital Federal in the border with Greater Buenos Aires and it's the place most linked to Tango in the world.

 

Boca Juniors' Stadium is located here.

There are no subway stations in this area, you can only take local buses and it's very convenient that you ask the bus driver to tell you where to get off.

He will probably leave you about 2 blocks away or maybe closer, which will give you a good opportunity to see what the area is like.

About La Boca

La Boca was always a low class neighbourhood. First a port, then an immigrants' spot, and now simply low class but touristy.

Houses in La Boca
Houses in La Boca

The coulourful houses you find here are not currently inhabited, they're just real size monuments of past times. Although some are used as shops or museums.

 

These houses were built on high pillars due to the common floods, and one house could be shared by many families at the same time. This time of buildings were called "Conventillos".

Why the different colours?

Conventillos were hand painted with remains of boat paintings that sailors would bring home. This gave La Boca its distinctive atmosphere that still remains for artistic and touristic pourposes.

What's in La Boca?

Picture by Quinquela
Picture by Quinquela

The most famous person that represents La Boca is painter Benito Quinquela Martín whose pictures describe the port life of the neighbourhood in the early 1900's.


A block or so away from Boca Juniors Stadium and right in front of the river, there's Quinquela Martín's museum.

 

His pictures are unique.

 

Internal shop in La Boca
Internal shop in La Boca

La Boca is full of touristy shops, cafes and restaurants, which tend to have touristy prices as well, what in Argentina means double price.

 

In La Boca everyone shouts at people who walk past, advertising their shop. Here you can find, clothes' shops, souvenirs' stores, restaurants, cafes, cd stores, neighbourhood-dedicated museums...Many of these are inside the colourful buildings.

"Tango dancers" in La Boca
"Tango dancers" in La Boca

There are also many "tango dancers" in the streets of La Boca. 

 

This people generally just stand there asking people if they'd like to a picture with them (which of course you have to pay for) but they're hardly ever dancing though.

The streets of La Boca are only for pedestrians. Cars are not allowed, so you can walk freely all along and across La Boca enjoying the view without worrying. 

Boca Juniors stadium offers guided tours on certain days 

If walking randomly down its characteristic colourful streets leads you up a dangerous area, the neighbours of La Boca will warn you and barely let you keep going any further.