Things to do in Buenos Aires

Meaning 'fair winds' in Spanish, Buenos Aires has several enthralling attractions. Most sightseeing is best done by day, for aesthetic and safety purposes, and walking is the best but by no means only mode of transport in this intriguing city.

Visit the Cementerio de la Recoleta, home to the tomb of Eva Perón, the actress married to Argentina's President Juan Perón and subject of the musical Evita, or wander under the magnificent facades of the downtown area, particularly enjoyed for its marvellous old European buildings. Enthusiastic sightseers can take a paddleboat from the promenade in Palermo and stroll through the beautiful flower garden.

An absolute must for those refined travellers of culture is a trip to the Palermo Viejo district, with its charming cobblestone streets, bookstores, bars and boutiques. Another must would be an afternoon spent exploring the Caminito pedestrian street's arts and crafts in La Boca or a visit to the National Immigration Museum for a taste of history. Enjoy watching tango dancers in the cobblestone streets and take a tour of the La Bombonera Stadium.

Visitors wanting to catch a show can do so at the Recoleta Cultural Center. Built in 1732, it was originally a convent connected to the Basílica del Pilar. Today it is a cultural centre hosting concerts, live performances and screenings. The historical building also houses sculptures, paintings and photographs in different exhibitions, providing a fantastic sightseeing experience for any visitor to this exciting city.

Cabildo photo

Cabildo

Sitting opposite the Casa Rosada on the Plaza de Mayo, the Cabildo is an old colonial building fronted by rows of breathtaking arches. Construction began in 1610 and ended in 1894,…

Cabildo

Sitting opposite the Casa Rosada on the Plaza de Mayo, the Cabildo is an old colonial building fronted by rows of breathtaking arches. Construction began in 1610 and ended in 1894, with the interior housing museums dedicated to its illustrious past and boasting relics, religious icons and paintings by Enrique Pellegrini. The changing of the guard is a popular attraction, with the troops being members of the revered Regimiento de Patricios and dressed in traditional uniforms unchanged for nearly 200 years. Lastly, craft markets are hosted on the back patio on Thursdays and Fridays, from 11am to 6pm.

Address Calle Bolivar 65

Opens Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm.

Casa Rosada photo

Casa Rosada

The famous Casa Rosada is iconic, rousing images of fiery political rallies or the tragic romance of Eva Peron. The Italianate-style mansion is front by palm trees and fountains, i…

Casa Rosada

The famous Casa Rosada is iconic, rousing images of fiery political rallies or the tragic romance of Eva Peron. The Italianate-style mansion is front by palm trees and fountains, its edifice painted pink when it was converted into a presidential palace. The building has since been declared a National Historic Monument of Argentina. Today, the building houses a small basement museum, and each evening, a small platoon of mounted grenadiers emerges from the guardhouse to lower the flag on the plaza, adding a touch of pomp and ceremony to the striking building.

Address Hipolito Yrigoyen 219, Plaza de Mayo

Opens Museum: Monday to Friday 10am-6pm, Sundays 2pm-6pm. Guided tours are available.

Admission

Free

Cathedral Metropolitana photo

Cathedral Metropolitana

Situated in the Plaza de Mayo, the neoclassical Cathedral Metropolitana houses the tomb of General José de San Martin, the revered hero who liberated Argentina from the Spanish. T…

Cathedral Metropolitana

Situated in the Plaza de Mayo, the neoclassical Cathedral Metropolitana houses the tomb of General José de San Martin, the revered hero who liberated Argentina from the Spanish. The mausoleum is guarded by three sculptures, each a life-size female figure representing Argentina, Chile and Peru. It also contains the remains of General Las Heras, General Tomas Guido and the Unknown Soldier of the Independence. The cathedral has been periodically rebuilt and renovated since the 16th century, its gilded columns, Venetian mosaic floors and silver-plated altar in pristine condition. Some interesting things to see in the cathedral are the two pulpits, a wide variety of colonial sculptures and paintings, and the 1871 Walcker Organ, one of the finest examples of its kind.

Address San Martin and Rivadavia streets, Plaza de Mayo

Admission

Free

La Recoleta Cemetery photo

La Recoleta Cemetery

An unlikely tourist attraction, La Recoleta Cemetery is well worth visiting to see its magnificent display of monuments and the ostentatious tombs of Argentina's rich and famous. T…

La Recoleta Cemetery

An unlikely tourist attraction, La Recoleta Cemetery is well worth visiting to see its magnificent display of monuments and the ostentatious tombs of Argentina's rich and famous. The cemetery is the second largest in the world, covering more than five hectares and filled with more than 4,700 vaults. Each vault has the family name carved over its entrance, while a collection of brass plaques next to the entrance displays the names of all the family members buried inside the vault. One of the more modest but most celebrated is the grave of Eva Peron where thousands leave flowers. Another famous cemetery inhabitant is the supposed daughter of Earl Alexander Walewski, Isabel, who died in Buenos Aires when just a baby. The superstitious say that on some nights, you can hear the baby crying from her godmother's arms.

Address Calle Junín, Plaza Francesa

Opens Open daily. Guided tours are available.

Admission

Free

Plaza Dorrego photo

Plaza Dorrego

Plaza Dorrego lies in San Telmo, the bohemian artists' quarter of Buenos Aires and the birthplace of tango. The tiny square is surrounded by elegant houses, now mostly converted in…

Plaza Dorrego

Plaza Dorrego lies in San Telmo, the bohemian artists' quarter of Buenos Aires and the birthplace of tango. The tiny square is surrounded by elegant houses, now mostly converted into antique shops and bars whose tables overflow onto the street. There are numerous excellent museums nearby, including the Museo Histórico Nacional and the Museo de Arte Moderno. On Sundays, the plaza hosts the Feria de San Telmo. You won't find too many bargains, but you may find an interesting souvenir or two. Once the stallholders pack up their wares, the square becomes a stage for informal tango dancing, popular with locals and tourists alike.

Teatro Colon photo

Teatro Colon

The Teatro Colón opened in 1908 and is one of the largest performing arts theatres in the southern hemisphere, second only to the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It was designed …

Teatro Colon

The Teatro Colón opened in 1908 and is one of the largest performing arts theatres in the southern hemisphere, second only to the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It was designed by Italian architect Francisco Tamburri and is an Italian Renaissance-style building with seating for 2,500. Richly decorated in scarlet and gold with frescoes lining the cupola, the theatre has hosted many international performers including Nijinsky, Pavarotti and Domingo, and is considered to be among the top five venues for acoustics in the world, an opinion voiced by Pavarotti amongst others. The theatre is also home to the Superior Arts Institution of the Teatro Colón, and guided tours take visitors to the theatre's workshops, rehearsal rooms, auditorium and stage.

Address Cerrito 618

Website www.teatrocolon.org.ar

La Boca photo

La Boca

Situated in the south-east of Buenos Aires at the mouth of the Riachuelo River, La Boca is the most colourful neighbourhood or barrio in Buenos Aires, original home of both footbal…

La Boca

Situated in the south-east of Buenos Aires at the mouth of the Riachuelo River, La Boca is the most colourful neighbourhood or barrio in Buenos Aires, original home of both football legend Maradona and the tango. An assortment of brightly-painted houses made of wood and metal line streets of artisans, painters, street performers, cantinas and open-air tango shows. Originally settled by Genoese immigrants, it's now a veritable melting pot of cultures and people. Today it is frequented by crowds of tourists who come to soak up the lively atmosphere and sit in picturesque cafes sipping coffee and beer. Some places of particular interest in La Boca are La Ribera theatre, and La Bombonera, the home of the famous Boca Juniors football club.

Floralis Generica photo

Floralis Generica

Floralis Generica is a working metal sculpture located in the United Nations square in Recoleta, composed of stainless steel, weighing 18 tons and measuring 76 feet (23m) high. It …

Floralis Generica

Floralis Generica is a working metal sculpture located in the United Nations square in Recoleta, composed of stainless steel, weighing 18 tons and measuring 76 feet (23m) high. It was offered to the city by Argentine architect Eduardo Fernando Catalano, who described it as an 'environmental structure'. Its metallic petals open and close based on the incidence of solar rays and visitors to the site will find the giant metal sculpture in full bloom beneath the sun and closed at night. The sculpture sits above a reflecting pond, and the area around it has been landscaped to resemble woodlands. The sheer genius and technical artistry of the giant flower makes it a sight worth seeing.

Address United Nations Park, Recoleta

Nueve de Julio Avenue photo

Nueve de Julio Avenue

At 416 feet (127m) wide, spanning the width of an entire city block, Avenida 9 de Julio is claimed to be the widest avenue in the world. Named for Argentina's Independence Day whic…

Nueve de Julio Avenue

At 416 feet (127m) wide, spanning the width of an entire city block, Avenida 9 de Julio is claimed to be the widest avenue in the world. Named for Argentina's Independence Day which falls on 9 July, the avenue was only completed in the 1960s, some 70 years after its original planning. The avenue runs from the Retiro district in the north to Constitucion station in the south, roughly one kilometre to the west of the Rio de la Plata waterfront, and consists of 18 lanes of traffic, nine on each side. In the middle of the street stands the impressive 67-metre-tall obelisk marking the heart of Buenos Aires.

Address Avenida 9 de Julio, Buenos Aires

Galileo Galilei Planetarium photo

Galileo Galilei Planetarium

The Galileo Galilei Planetarium is located inside the Bosques de Palermo, its massive dome making it almost impossible to miss for those who love the stars. The building is made up…

Galileo Galilei Planetarium

The Galileo Galilei Planetarium is located inside the Bosques de Palermo, its massive dome making it almost impossible to miss for those who love the stars. The building is made up of six floors, five staircases and a main room with a 60-foot (20m) diameter, filled with 360 seats. On any given day, this planetarium is abuzz with the chatter of children enjoying a spot of stargazing. The planetarium regularly changes its shows and displays, including First Man in Space, A Blue Planet, and Super Moons. In addition to the main show, there is also a small museum containing a lunar rock, a collection of 100-million-year-old sea life fossils and a metallic meteorite from Chaco Province.

Address Av. Sarmiento y Figueroa Alcorta, Palermo

Opens Open Tuesday to Friday 9:30am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 11:30am-7pm.

Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens photo

Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens

Lined with trees, flowers and other indigenous plants, the Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens are a great place to take the kids. Open since 1898, the grounds contain a symmetric Roman…

Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens

Lined with trees, flowers and other indigenous plants, the Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens are a great place to take the kids. Open since 1898, the grounds contain a symmetric Roman garden, a picturesque Oriental garden and a mixed French garden. With plenty of open space, hundreds of stray yet friendly cats and a fascinating greenhouse for inquisitive kids, it's the ideal location to relax with a picnic or take a leisurely walk with the family. Its 33 sculptures and monuments, along with a botanical library, are also open to the public.

Address Av. Las Heras at Plaza Italia

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