Opened in 2012, Buenos Aires' Humor Museum (Museo del Humor, also referred to as MuHu) features exhibits of Argentine comics, including satire and political cartoons, from the 19th century to the mid-20th century as well as animation. The 20th century was a golden age of sorts for Argentine comics and this museum pays homage to that. In addition to exhibits, the museum hosts occasional events related to the graphic arts. The Humor Museum is located in Puerto Madero and next to the Ecological Reserve. Entrance to the museum is free and there are guided tours in Spanish every day at 3 pm.
Recommended for Museums because: The Museo del Humor is a fun museum in Puerto Madero.
Sarah's expert tip: Be sure to also check out the life-size comic statues found around the city. Inquire at the Museo del Humor and they will direct you.
The National History Museum is housed in a handsome, colonial-era mansion within Parque Lezama, a pretty, shady park in San Telmo. Chronologically arranged from the 16th to the 20th centuries, the exhibitions contain portraits, clothing and belongings from key historical figures in Argentina, as well as objects relating to the May Revolutions and the Wars of Independence. To be honest, it's a bit of a dusty, old-fashioned museum, and little is offered by way of explanation on the exhibits, but still, it's a splendid building and the collections are worth a gander to get a feel for the events that shaped Buenos Aires.
Recommended for Museums because: The National History Museum sheds light on what helped make Buenos Aires what it is today.
Sarah's expert tip: Before or after going to the National History Museum, take some time to relax in Parque Lezama. Bring some mate (yerba mate) if you want to hang out like a local.
Located in the legendary Bombonera football (soccer) stadium that is home to the Boca Juniors, the city's most popular team, this museum is a must for football fans. It features slick, informative displays and a very well-stocked, blue-and-gold-dominated gift store. You can also have your picture taken with a bronze statue of Boca's most famous player, Diego Maradona. For the fuller Boca picture, book a stadium tour with your ticket, but for the real deal, be sure to grab tickets for a match. And if they are playing against the rival team River, even better!
Recommended for Museums because: La Bombonera is a pilgrimage site for Argentine sports fans.
Sarah's expert tip: While the Boca Juniors are great, the neighborhood is not so much. If you can, come with a tour or take a remise or taxi.
Considered one of the finest opera houses in the world and an impressive sight even from the outside, the Colón opened its first season in 1908, after some 20 years of construction. Its classical horseshoe auditorium makes for great sight lines and acoustics, and it is often cited as one of the top five opera houses worldwide. During the season (meaning not January or February) you can buy tickets to see grand opera and ballet productions, as well as hear the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. Otherwise, there are guided tours throughout the day every day, even on most holidays, where you can get a closer look at this Buenos Aires jewel.
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Casa Rosada (literally the "Pink House" in Spanish) is Argentina's Presidential Palace, which occupies the eastern end of the Plaza de Mayo, the city's political epicenter. In addition to archaeological remains of old Buenos Aires and displays depicting the city's long history, the museum exhibits a selection of belongings from Argentine presidents over the decades, including portraits, clothes, cartoons, chairs, carriages, military stripes, medals and tassels. Apart from the museum, be sure to tour the Presidential Palace itself. They offer hour-long guided tours in English, Spanish and Portuguese about every ten minutes.
The MALBA is the city's leading modern art museum and one of its star cultural assets. Housed in a striking modern building, it harbors, in addition to its airy galleries of art, a chic cafe, a neat shop (selling a variety of emerging Argentinian designs, as well as postcards and art books) and a cinema screening cutting-edge international art house fare. The permanent Constantini Collection is well worth a look for Latin American contemporary art, but be sure to check out the temporary exhibitions, which could feature anything from an Argentinian design retrospective to an edgy photography show. In case you were wondering, the acronym MALBA stands for Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires).
Opened in 2002 on the 50th anniversary of the death of Evita, this Palermo museum is dedicated to the life of the most revered of Argentinian figures: María Eva Duarte de Perón, who died of cancer at the age of 33. The permanent collection, which includes film footage, books, letters, dresses (such as the Jamandreu-designed piece that she wore to meet the Pope) and photos of her childhood and trips abroad, help bring to life for the visitor the huge mythological force Evita still exerts on Argentinian society. Stop for lunch at the lovely restaurant out the back, with a terrace.
Recommended for Museums because: In Argentina, Evita is a powerful symbol as well as an important historical figure.
Sarah's expert tip: The restaurant isn't just for museum visitors. People who live in the area sometimes come to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner on the leafy terrace as well.
Designed by French architect Rene Sargent for the wealthy Errazuriz-Alvear family in the early 20th century and converted into a museum in 1937, the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo is well worth a visit for the dazzling Neoclassical building alone. Visitors are now free to roam the staggeringly spacious ballrooms, bedrooms, hallways and entrances. All feature sculptures, paintings and dazzling objets d'art, and provide a fascinating insight into life in Buenos Aires in its wealthy heyday. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum regularly has temporary exhibitions. Be sure to stop for afternoon tea in the outdoor cafe (Cafe Croque Madame).
Recommended for Museums because: The museum is a gorgeous trip back in time for enjoying the European elegance of Buenos Aires' aristocracy.
Sarah's expert tip: The museum offers free entrance on Tuesdays, but kids under 12 always get in free any time the museum is open. Note that the museum is always closed on Mondays.
One of the world's great cemeteries and one of the city's most memorable sights, Recoleta tops most tourists' Buenos Aires itineraries. A city in miniature, the cemetery, which opened to the public in 1822, is a dreamy vision of domes, pantheons and sculptures right in the heart of the city. The great and good of BA are laid to rest here – scientists, writers, presidents and the just plain rich. Most graves are well kept while others appear abandoned to time. The cemetery's most famous resident is María Eva Duarte de Perón, or Evita, whose grave is surrounded by a crowd of camera-wielding tourists at all times.
Housed in a hulk of a building (originally a pumping station) on the busy traffic artery of Avenida del Libertador, the National Museum of Fine Arts is a vast treasury of Argentinian and Latin American art and painting from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as one of the most important in Latin America. In the dozens of rooms you'll find heavyweight Argentinian artists like Antonio Berni, Eduardo Savori, Ernest de la Carcova and Xul Solar. Although the emphasis here is on Latin American art, you'll also find important collections of European art and a smattering of American and Asian art.