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 Tours and Excursions because: You can learn more about the plants with a guided tour.
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.
Designed by French architect Ren� Sargent for the wealthy Err�zuriz-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 caf� (Caf� Croque Madame).
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The museum tour is a gorgeous trip back in time that highlights 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.
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 Tours and Excursions because: The tour sheds more light on one of Argentina's most important historical figures.
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.
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 Tours and Excursions 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.
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 S�vori, 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.
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The tour brings you closer to Argentina's finest art collections.
Sarah's expert tip: Entrance to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is always free. To get a different perspective on the art, take one of the guided tours, which are free too and available in both English and 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.
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The Reserve's full moon tour is a very special experience.
Sarah's expert tip: There are free guided bird tours on the second Friday of each month. Guides will point out some of the 307 bird species found in the park.
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 Tours and Excursions because: Even if you are not Catholic, the tour is interesting for the history and art.
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.
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 caf�, 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).
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The museum offers thematic guided tours. No reservations needed.
Sarah's expert tip: At MALBA you'll soon see why Buenos Aires is known as a cultural destination. Leave yourself plenty of time to explore and don't forget to stop by the shop to pick up some colorful postcards.
Located on one end of the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada (in English, the Pink House) was once a beautiful post office, but today it is Argentina's presidential palace. It is where the Argentine president works, but not lives. Some of the interesting places you can visit in the palace include: the White Room, which is a stunning formal hall where the most important state events are held; the President's office; the Hall of Busts, containing statues of former presidents; the Hall of Bicentennial Thinkers and Writers, where the president gives many speeches; as well as the pleasant Palm Tree Patio.
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: A tour of the Casa Rosada is an interesting look into the country's past and present.
Sarah's expert tip: There are regular group tours in English, Spanish and other languages when the presidential palace is not being used – on the weekends and holidays.
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.
Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The stories the tour guides tell really bring the theater to life.
Sarah's expert tip: During Sunday performances, guided tours are temporarily suspended, so if you would like a tour on Sunday, it's best to check the performance schedule on the Teatro Colon website beforehand.