If the giant leafy neighborhood of Palermo are the lungs of Buenos Aires, then its next-door neighbor Belgrano comprises the rest of the pulmonary system.
This substantial barrio contains a nice mix of bustling commercial streets and quiet tree-lined residential avenues. Named for Argentine forefather and creator of the Argentine flag, Manuel Belgrano, this neighborhood has a refreshing mix of city life within a family-oriented urban community.
Out for a Stroll
Belgrano’s cobbled sidewalks, shaded by enormous trees, are a pleasure to stroll, especially with the plethora of cafés, confiterías (pastry shops), and restaurants found along well-established streets such as Juramento and Luis Maria Campos.
It is nearly impossible to walk more than five Belgrano blocks without running into a beautiful plaza or a stretch of green alongside a busy road. Many fancier but not quite ostentatious locales are tucked away on less-traveled streets, between apartments, schools and an abundance of supermarkets.
Main plazas and parks include Manuel Belgrano Plaza on Juramento, Parque San Benito and Las Barrancas de Belgrano, where three plazas meet along a terraced green area. The well–traveled Avenida del Libertador is also a lovely pathway that includes a bike trail.
Belgrano is located north of Palermo alongside the River Plate. It encompasses the major streets of Juramento, Cramer, Libertador, Luis Maria Campos, and Cabildo, and is bordered by Avenida Congresso and Avenida de los Incas.
Three subte (subway) stops are located within Belgrano all along Avenido Cabildo: José Hernandez, Juramento, and Congresso De Túcuman. Bus access is good throughout the neighborhood, and several bike paths exist with the promise of more to come.
Belgrano is divided into four sub-sections.’Belgrano C’ is the commercial district.’Belgrano R’ is a wealthy residential area with lovely ivy-strewn mansions. ‘Bajo Belgrano’ or ‘Belgrano Chico’ contains Ciudad Universitaria, part of the university of Buenos Aires, and Chinatown. The 37-block area of ‘Barrio River’ is so-called because it contains the stadium for the River Plate soccer team.
Since the 19th century Belgrano, along with neighboring Coghlan, was home to upper-middle class British immigrants. The influence is seen in Victorian-era homes and schools such as the Belgrano Day School and the Buenos Aires English High School. The once-strong Irish presence is revered with Irish pubs and the Fahy Club, known for its Irish step-dancing troupe, Celtic Argentina.
A lingering German presence in Belgrano is noted with a yearly Oktoberfest celebration and the barrio’s own dying dialect known as ‘Belgrano-Deutsch,’ a WWII-era mix of German and Spanish.
Places of Interest
Along with the many supermarkets, vegetable and fruit stands in Belgrano, health food stores are commonplace. Belgrano’s most popular attraction is its ultimate alternative food destination, Barrio Chino.
For athletic attire and mid-range to pricier clothing, Avenida Cabildo is a one-stop shopping destination, particularly between Jose Hernandez and Juramento subway stations. Independent artisans display their wares daily along the sidewalks around Juramento and Cabildo.
Several private universities are in Belgrano, along with multiple private language learning centers.
Belgrano’s cultural offerings include the Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta, a Spanish art museum located in the writer and art collector’s former home.
Museo Casa de Yrutia is found in the turn of the 19th century home of sculpture Rogelio Yrurtia and displays a number of his works.
The historic Saramiento Museum in the former Belgrano townhall contains a collection of objects dating to the presidency of Domingo Saramiento.