Belgrano itself is very large and covers quite a large mass of land towards the north of Buenos Aires. Belgrano R is really a small section of Belgrano as a whole. It’s known for it’s large homes and mansions, cobblestones, and green canopies of trees.
Belgrano near Avenida Cabildo is commercial and in constant movement; but walking up La Pampa it feels calmer as you reach the more residential streets of Belgrano R.
I believe without a doubt that the most beautiful street in Buenos Aires is the stretch of Melian between La Pampa and Olazabal. It’s a cobblestoned street, lined with impressive homes and covered by a canopy of trees. Turning right onto Melian off of La Pampa you are immediately engulfed into a tunnel of endless green.
It’s a great alternative to see the “real” Buenos Aires, at least one version of it. It’s a great option to take a break from the bustling city center, away from the tourists; a place for a stroll and an ice cream. From here just walk down Melian and enjoy the view.
The homes seem to represent a Buenos Aires that doesn’t exist any more, a romantic view of the past. When Buenos Aires may have really been the “Paris of the South.” There are mansions that could serve as small hotels, and a few have been converted to embassies.
There are also some large apartment buildings dotting the street that seem very out of place, more so towards Olazabal Avenue. The government didn’t have any zoning regulations or official urban planning until the 1970’s. Historic homes were torn down in favor of eyesore apartment towers. But even they don’t ruin the ambiance and the trees seem to do their best to hide the offenders. The sidewalks are wider here too, by a few meters, and it adds a sense of luxury with their large gardens.
There aren’t really any commercial locations, no shops or restaurants, but Frapole on the corner of Juramento and Melian is a must stop on a hot day. They offer a delicious ice cream in a city already famous for it’s ice cream.
Even on a cold winter day most of the neighborhoods trees are still green, mixed in with just enough brown, red and orange leaves to be charming yet not depressing.
How to get there?
Subte Line D – You can get off at the Jose Hernandez stop and walk up from there.
Train – You can take the Mitre train – either the Mitre or Suarez line – from Retiro to the Belgrano R station. You can also connect to the Mitre/Suarez train with subte Line D at Carranza station.
The train will drop you off in Plaza Castelli, right in the heart of Belgrano R. This plaza is the most active area of Belgrano R, with a dog park and playground, surrounded by restaurants and cafes. If you take the subway you’ll be let out on Avenida Cabildo: the artery of the northern barrios.