Buenos Aires Compared in Size to Other Cities

Buenos Aires is often compared to other cities around the world. Many a guidebook waxes lyrical about the “Paris of the South”. Puerto Madero is Manhattan (at least to those who have never been to Manhattan) and the leafy parks of Palermo have reminded more than one visitor to the large open space of Central Park. I like a good comparison and today I began wondering how did Buenos Aires stack up to other world cities in terms of size. I know it’s 80 square miles with a population of a shade under 3 million, but what does that mean, when comparing to another city I know well, such as London? I decided to find out.

London vs Buenos Aires

London vs Buenos Aires (click for full size)


Above is a map of London, taken from Google maps with the outline of Buenos Aires at the same scale overlaid. I’ve highlighted some of the well-known spots in the city to make it easier to gauge the size. The Plaza de Mayo is roughly where the London Bridge is, which puts Plaza Dorrego round about Waterloo, Caminito in Peckham and Plaza Italia the other side of Regents Park on Primrose Hill and Congreso de Tucuman way out in Hendon.
Paris vs Buenos Aires

Paris vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)


Paris is a much smaller city and the Péripherique fits nicely inside Capital Federal. Travel from Recoleta to Mataderos and you cross the entire Buenos Aires of the North. There might be architectural influences, but there’s a whole load more of it here than up there.
New York vs Buenos Aires

New York vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)


Moving to New York and the scale seems much more in line with each other. The 5 boroughs dwarf Capital Federal with Mataderos down on Governor’s Island and Plaza de Mayo up near Jackson Heights and La Guardia.
San Francisco vs Buenos Aires

San Francisco vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)


San Francisco fits quite nicely into the Argentine capital. If Recoleta is downtown, then you have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to get to Congreso de Tucuman, and buy a boat to get to the market at Liniers.
Geneva vs Buenos Aires

Geneva vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)


Here we have my old hometown of Geneva, totally swamped by my new place of residence. The city itself is about one tenth of Buenos Aires and both Caminito and the end of the D Line both find themselves in France either side of the town where one of Buenos Aires’ most famous sons, Jorge Luis Borges is buried.

These images are not the most precise maps in the world (and I make no guarantee of their complete accuracy), but are a bit of fun and help put the size of Buenos Aires, and the journeys we take here every day into perspective. I’ll keep adding more over the next few days – if there is a city you would like me to add, let me know in the comments.

Rome vs Buenos Aires

Rome vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)

Sydney vs Buenos Aires

Sydney vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)

**UPDATE**

As requested by Beatrice, here is the clash of the sprawls – Buenos Aires takes on Los Angeles

Los Angeles vs Buenos Aires

Los Angeles vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)

And especially for my friend Daniel here is Stockport masquerading as Plaza Once

Stockport vs Buenos Aires

Stockport vs Buenos Aires (Click for full size)

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14 Comments

  1. Daniel says:

    But how does it stack up against Stockport, “The Once of the North”? Bet Stockport’s bigger.

  2. Beatrice says:

    This is fab! Thanks for this – helps explain to my friends and loved ones across the globe just *how* big this city is. Would be good to include Los Angeles, because that isn’t even a city, it’s just a sprawl.

  3. I have often made a few of those general comparisons myself. Leave it to a techie to bring the reality check 🙂

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  5. German says:

    But you are comparing against Buenos Aires city without the suburbanation, which is ten times bigger.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi German,

      Yes, Gran Buenos Aires is much bigger but given that Capital Federal is the area I know the best, that’s what I’ve used! I hope you still found the comparison interesting!

      Jonathan

  6. Cass says:

    This really helped me with my homework!!!

  7. tatiana says:

    Compare to sao paulo and u’ll see hehehe

    • Daniel says:

      Tatiana the comparison is only the city with all his historical european architectural !! san paulo probably is bigger but is a new architecture with a lot spaces to build !! you have to check bahia blanca has the same architectural but less bigger than buenos aires !!

  8. Dan says:

    A comparison to NYC that makes the scale rather interesting is that BA and Brooklyn are virtually the exact same size and population (77 versus 74 square miles, 3.1 versus 3.0 million).

  9. Inallin says:

    Paris is just as big as Osaka, Japan in the scale of urban areas.

  10. Tom says:

    Awesome post. I kept being tempted to do this myself when I go around new cities. The other thing that I think would be really helpful in understanding cities is a set graphs comparing ‘population versus area’ for cities.

    For example, I’ve come to the conclusion that the comparison of London having 8.5 million and paris having 2 is an utter lie, since the density of those 8.5 million is pretty low (half the density of new york, a quarter of the density of new york).

    It’s an utter pain to produce of course, though I think census data exists for most places (in completely different formats for each and often rendered less useful so the government can sell data that is produced through the coercive power of law with public money ☹)

  11. Mark Geiger says:

    Hello,, this is quite interesting for me. I have my wife and daughter in Buenos Aires now. They are both from Resistencia Chaco in the north of Argentina and I am US from Atlanta, Ga. USA. I have spent quite a bit of time in Argentina. Could you show comparison of Buenos Aires and Atlanta?