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10 Best Places for Sightseeing in Buenos Aires



The beautiful and fascinating capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is full of interesting monuments and breathtaking sights that showcase its colorful history and personality. Sightseeing here is equally fun by yourself as with a group.

The city’s two most recognizable sights are the Obelisco, a towering white stone obelisk that keeps watch over the widest avenue in the world (9 de Julio), and Caminito, a pedestrian alley and open-air museum chronicling the city’s hard-luck port origins. However, just as the city of Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower, Buenos Aires has a lot more to offer the visitor, such as monumental public squares, attractive gardens and historic sites.

The fairytale-like Rose Garden is easily the most beautiful spot in Buenos Aires. Amongst the roses, pergolas and fountains you will see local lovers embracing and families enjoying their slice of paradise. The nearby Evita Museum provides a charming look at the personal and political sides of Argentina’s most revered figure, Evita Peron, while the museum’s leafy terrace café is a hit as well.

Another Buenos Aires must is the city’s main opera house. The Colon Theater is as stunning on the outside as it is on the inside. You can go for theater tours or to attend operas and concerts. Or read on for more recommendations on Buenos Aires’ best sightseeing. 


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This "little street" (as its name means) in the working-class barrio of La Boca is just a couple of blocks long, but, curiously, has the touristic pulling power of an attraction ten times its size. Its ramshackle, colored corrugated zinc shacks (or "conventillos") are a throwback to a time when the area's impoverished residents, mainly European immigrants, managed to procure paint from incoming ships to brighten up their houses. Hundreds of camera-laden tourists parade the short street every day, stopping to purchase souvenirs or have their photo taken with a tango dancer. Though tacky, it's worth the hike to this little-strolled part of town to catch a glimpse of the port-side origins of Buenos Aires; before the docks moved farther north, all goods entered the city via Boca (meaning "the mouth").

Recommended for Sightseeing because: Caminito is a Buenos Aires icon that shines some light on the city's port origins.

Sarah's expert tip: You might want to take a tour that drops you at Caminito for a while or at least a taxi, as outside of the tourist strip, the Boca neighborhood is a bit of a tough one for foreigners.

Read more about Caminito →


9
Palermo

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 Sightseeing 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.

Read more about Rosedal →




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 Sightseeing 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.

Read more about Jardín Botánico →


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7
Puerto Madero


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 Sightseeing because: This bridge is a beautiful and modern Buenos Aires landmark.

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.

Read more about Puente de la Mujer →


This delightful, city-center park stretches from the grand, British-built Retiro station at the bottom of the hill up to shady, tree-lined walkways at the top, which is the northern end of the pedestrian shopping street, Calle Florida. The park is surrounded on all sides by historic, iconic buildings: the art deco skyscraper Edificio Kavanagh, once the tallest building in South America; the Bas�lica del Sant�simo Sacramento, an ornate church; the early 20th century Palacio San Mart�n, the palace once owned by the wealthy Anchorena family; and the Palacio Paz (now the C�rculo Militar), built as the residence of wealthy newspaper founder, Jos� C Paz. You can't miss the park's giant ombu tree, a native herb of the Pampas renowned for its tremendously wide trunk and canopy-like branches. Near Retiro station is the black marble monument to the soldiers who lost their lives in the Falklands War. With an irony not overlooked by the authorities, it stands opposite the Torre Monumental (more commonly known by its previous name, Torre de los Ingleses), which looks like Big Ben and was a gift from Anglo-Argentines to Argentina for the centennial celebrations.

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A central square has existed on this site since the 16th century, but the current name, Plaza de Mayo, commemorates May 25, 1810, the day the Argentine Congress declared independence from Spain. Many of the dramas of Argentina's history (and there have been plenty) have played out on this stage, the political heart of the city. At one end stands the Casa Rosada, the pink-hued seat of the executive branch of government; at the other, the Cabildo, the government building until 1821; and on the northern flank, the imposing Cathedral. The Madres de Plaza de Mayo, mothers of those who "disappeared" during the military dictatorship of 1976 and 1983, still demonstrate here on Thursday afternoons at 3:30 pm.

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Built in 1936 from white stone to commemorate the city's founding, the Obelisk, or Obelisco, is one of Buenos Aires' most important monuments and an icon of the city itself. The Obelisk stands 67.5 meters tall at the intersection of 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue in the world, and Corrientes Avenue. The 9 de Julio subway (subte) stations are nearby. On special occasions the Obelisk is wrapped with decorations or illuminated with colored lights. The Obelisk's architect, Alberto Prebisch, also designed the Teatro Gran Rex, an Art Deco theater modeled after Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Recommended for Sightseeing because: The Obelisk has become an icon representing the city of Buenos Aires.

Sarah's expert tip: The Obelisk stands at a very large and busy intersection, but as a pedestrian, there is space to sit and gaze up at the monument.

Read more about Obelisco →




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: Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, 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 Sightseeing 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.

Read more about Museo Evita →


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 Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, or Evita, whose grave is surrounded by a crowd of camera-wielding tourists at all times.

Read more about Cementerio de la Recoleta →


Teatro Colón

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.

Read more about Teatro Colón →


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Meet Sarah Rogers

Born and raised in northern California, Sarah grew up to become an expat, traveler and wordsmith. She spent seven years in Madrid, Spain and now calls Buenos Aires, Argentina home. She has had...  More About Sarah

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