The Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral is a splendid church with soaring ceilings, beautiful stained glass, marble columns and frescoes on the walls. The Rococo style altarpiece features the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity, and the large German organ dates from 1871. Look down to appreciate the Italian-style mosaics that cover the cathedral floor. In the cathedral you will also find the Mausoleum of General San Martin, a national hero in Argentina for his part in the nation's independence. Today the cathedral is known as the Pope's church. Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013, the year he was elected and became known as Pope Francis.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This heavenly building will make you think of wedding bells.
Sarah's expert tip: Don't miss the grand Mausoleum of General San Martin, where Argentines pay their respects to the man most often credited with liberating the nation from the Spanish.
Looking for a bit of nature in the big city? Though there are many parks in Buenos Aires, the Reserva Ecol�gica is the city's favorite and most rugged green lung. At this 350 hectare park you can enjoy walking, running and cycling along the paths while taking in the trees and natural landscape. If you sit quietly, however, you can observe some of the birds that live in the park. The Reserva Ecol�gica is normally open from 8 am to 5 pm, but the park also hosts a monthly full moon guided walk on the Friday closest to the full moon. The four hour walk has to be booked in advance.
A landmark in the Puerto Madero neighborhood, the Puente de la Mujer (meaning Women's Bridge in Spanish) is a white, asymmetrically-shaped footbridge designed by Spaniard Santiago Calatrava and said to resemble a couple dancing tango. Pedestrians use the bridge to cross from one area of Puerto Madero to another, or simply to enjoy the views from the bridge. Built in 2001, the bridge was not originally part of the Puerto Madero neighborhood's urban renewal project, to convert the old port zone into an area of expensive shops, restaurants and homes; however, the bridge quickly became the most recognizable symbol of modern Puerto Madero.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Puente de la Mujer is a perfect stretch for a stroll.
Sarah's expert tip: While the Women's Bridge makes a great pedestrian path, the bridge was designed to swing open in case there are ships that need to pass through.
The work of French landscape architect Carlos Thays, this Palermo park, which dates back to the late 19th century, is still a glorious oasis in the modern city. The gardens are dotted with sculptures, fountains and busts, and the green-minded will find plenty of interest among the thousands of plants and trees. Popular with locals searching for peace and quiet (or a place to read or sunbathe), Buenos Aires' Botanical Garden is also inhabited by a huge population of stray cats. Try popping in for a daytime stroll when you need a break from all the shopping and socializing in nearby Palermo Soho.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Botanical Garden is a popular and pretty local slice of green in cool Palermo.
Sarah's expert tip: The Botanical Garden closes on the days that it rains, so if you suspect inclement weather, it's best to have a backup plan handy. Luckily, there's plenty to do in the area.
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 Sivori, 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.
Buenos Aires' Japanese Garden gracefully transports you to the Nation of the Rising Sun with its tranquil complex of gardens, cultural center, restaurant, tea house, bonsai greenhouse and gift shop. The Zen-like garden areas include beautiful plants like cherry blossom trees as well as stone statues, a red bridge and a network of footpaths over the lake. (You can feed the fish.) In the tea house you can observe the Japanese tea ceremony and drink green tea. Then in the restaurant, you can watch the sushi chefs prepare different dishes and enjoy the views of the garden and the water.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This slice of Japan is a great place to discover with your romantic partner.
Sarah's expert tip: There is always an admission fee to enter; however, if you eat at the restaurant the admission price is deducted from the cost of your bill.
Considered one of the finest opera houses in the world and an impressive sight even from the outside, the Colon 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.
It figures that Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango, stages the world's most important tango festival, called Tango Buenos Aires Festival y Mundial. It is, quite simply, tango heaven for dancers of all levels and experience. The two-week festival offers a lot of classes, performances, concerts and films, nearly all of which are free, as the festival is state-organized. The festival is followed by the World Tango Championships where the best tangueros compete in stage tango and salon tango styles as well as participate in exhibitions. A relatively recent rule change allows couples of the same gender to compete if they so choose.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This Buenos Aires festival is a fun homage to the city's most famous and most passionate dance.
Sarah's expert tip: You don't have to be a tango dancer to enjoy the festival. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy listening to tango music and watch great tango dancing.
While gondolas are forever associated with Venice's charms, Buenos Aires has joined mother Italy in offering visitors a most romantic type of boat ride. Gondoliers navigate the calm waterways of Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero, including under the city's emblematic Women's Bridge, giving passengers a unique perspective from which to enjoy the area's sights. Rides last for about an hour. The company has a small fleet of gondolas, one them named after Pope Francis. If you want to kick the romance up a notch though, they have special packages for serenading your love interest, full moons, marriage proposals, weddings and vow renewals.
In a noisy metropolis like Buenos Aires, the romantic and fairy-tale setting that is the Rose Garden with its boating lake (with pedal boats and row boats for hire) and pretty white trellises (usually occupied by courting couples) is a much-treasured gem. Stroll the manicured paths or sit on the benches to admire all the beautiful roses as well as statues and fountains. Nestled in a corner of the garden, you can find the Patio Andaluz with its painted tile from Sevilla. Part of Palermo's extensive Parque Tres de Febrero (also known as Bosques de Palermo), it was, like the Botanical Garden, the design of Frenchman Carlos Thays.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: An ocean of calm, the Rosedal is an extremely beautiful oasis in Buenos Aires.
Sarah's expert tip: The Rose Garden is open year round and it is lovely at any time of the year. Also, there are restrooms on site when nature calls.