It’s no secret that Argentines are major soccer fans. This is, after all, the birthplace of Maradona and Messi. Buenos Aires, in particular, is the site of a legendary rivalry between two teams, River Plate and Boca Juniors, each boasting its own massive stadium and museum. Even if you’re not a football fan, taking in these sights will help you understand the porteño psyche.
Estadio de Boca Juniors
Blue and yellow are the colors of the Boca Juniors stadium, one of BA’s most fabled monuments. A match at La Bombonera — as it’s known because its shape resembles that of a chocolate box — is an exercise in pure energy, with 50,000 maniac fans screaming their devotion. If you can’t make it to a game, book a tour of the stadium and museum in La Boca, not far from El Caminito.
Brandsen 805, bocajuniors.com.ar
Estadio River Plate
Red and white are the emblematic colors of Boca’s eternal rival, River Plate. The team’s stadium, Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti, is known simply as El Monumental (The Monumental One), and for good reason: With a capacity of 70,000, it’s Argentina’s biggest stadium, the home of the national team (the Albiceleste), and the host of the 1978 World Cup Final. Open since 1938, it offers daily tours.
Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 7597, cariverplate.com.ar
Locos X El Fútbol
Everything revolves around soccer at this sports bar on the ground floor of a stately corner building in Recoleta. The food is standard pub fare, but there are plenty of TVs and, let’s be honest, you’re here for the atmosphere, which is appropriately enthusiastic.
Av. Gral. Las Heras 2101, locosxelfutbol.com.ar
While it’s known primarily for being one of BA’s favorite pizza joints, this unassuming downtown spot, which has been open since 1934, doubles as an awesome place to watch a game. The Argentina-blue walls are blanketed in jerseys and other memorabilia, and the veteran waiters will cheer on the Albiceleste right along with you.
This Almagro Notable Bar’s slogan is “Living history since 1929” — but living soccer history is probably more like it. El Banderín, is adorned with jerseys, some autographed, and every Monday night Radio Belgrano broadcasts a football show from a corner table.
Guardia Vieja 3601, elbanderin.com.ar