Argentina's third-largest city and a major port, Rosario is also the birthplace of Che Guevara. This bustling metropolis has a 20km riverfront area packed with bars and restaurants where the laid-back inhabitants hang out. You can also find sandy beaches to the north and unspoilt areas on the series of delta islands (a short boat ride away). There's also an abundance of museums and a thriving contemporary arts scene – it's said the city's lively ambience is a draw for Argentine artists and musicians.
Most Rosario hostels offer free breakfast and Wi-Fi, and some have roof terraces where you can socialise or simply gaze at the bright sky of stars. You can soak up political history in a former senator's house, or choose a hostel with an on-site bar set in a 102-year-old building in downtown. There's also a Rosario hostel just a few blocks from the Rosario River, featuring a games room where you can play foosball and ping pong.
In terms of neighbourhoods, La Costanera – the riverfront area of Rosario – is a great place to take a stroll. Here you'll see all sorts of birdlife, along with lively waterside bars and even the odd cargo ship. The city centre consists of impressive early 20th-century buildings, including Spanish modernist styles and English chalets, surrounded by tree-lined cobbled streets. To catch locals playing football and sipping mate tea (the Argentinian national drink), head south of the city to the open space of Parque Independencia.
Rosario's sights include the Monumento a la Bandera, a 78-metre-high monument that celebrates the creation of the Argentine flag. For European and Argentinian art, head to Museo Municipal de Bellas Artes Juan B. Castagnino. Or, to admire indigenous works, there's a renowned collection at the Museo Histórico Provincial Dr. Julio Marc. For those who are up for a spot of Latin dancing, many of the city's clubs are found in the Rambla de Catalunya.
The flight into Aeropuerto Internacional de Rosario Islas Malvinas from Buenos Aires takes just under an hour. The airport is 8km from the city centre and the easiest way to get there is to take a 30-minute taxi ride. If you're coming from Buenos Aires by train, you'll reach Rosario Norte Train Station in approximately seven hours. To get around Rosario, there's a public bike scheme (Mi Bici Tu Bici), or you can just jump on a local bus.