Things To Do In Buenos Aires
The Buenos Aires waterfront is lined with skyscrapers. Originally founded as a port, the name of the city means “favorable winds”. Most buildings are heavily influenced by European architectural design. The Congress Building of the city is built in French style and Buenos Aires is often referred to as the “Paris of South America”. La Boca is the artists’ quarter of Buenos Aires and was settled by the Italians from Genoa in the 1800’s.
The colorful houses are a reminder of Mediterranean origins. And -- tango is not just considered a national dance, but a fascinating spectacle of life, love, and passion.
When To Go:
The high seasons of Buenos Aires run from the month of April up to June (fall season) and from September to December (springtime). Gentle temperatures, less crowds, and brilliant foliage characterize these moderate seasons. Fall and spring additionally bring sensible lodging costs. Throughout January and February—Buenos Aires' mid-year and top visitor season— there is a heavy influx of tourists and room rates will increase.
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While this season remains a preferred time to visit, temperatures frequently climb into the 90s and a high humidity is more present. The off-season begins in June and ends in August and is generally loaded with stormy days, icy winter temps, and few sightseers.
Here is a list of things to do when in the city of Buenos Aires.
In Buenos Aires you cannot miss a visit to the Teatro Colon. The guides are very professional and describe the theater and its history with passionate attention to detail during the guided tour that lasts about 50 minutes. The theater is fascinating and full of history. The Colon Theater, both as a structure and in terms of programming is at the level of any well-known European theater. It is located in a central position, and the prices for the local population are quite expensive -- but the acoustics are excellent and the performances mesmerizing.
The famous theatre hosts many famous artists from around the world. At an affordable price, you can take a guided tour (in Spanish or English) and it is really worth it to see the beauty and majesty of the interior of the theater. Taking pictures with flash is not allowed. This was the largest classical theater in the world when it was constructed at the beginning of the 1900’s. It has 2700 seats and was designed in by two Italian architects in succession. If possible book a visit in advance to choose the most convenient time.
The Puerto Madero is a trendy neighborhood full of wonderful restaurants and one of the most chic places in Buenos Aires. The environment of this neighborhood facing the riverfront area, and the juxtapoition of old and new elements there, are both very interesting. The old cranes, vessel museums, boardwalks, and the restaurant overlooking the river all make this place a location that everyone should visit when in the city. The Bridge of La Mujer is an obligatory photo stop for every visitor.
You will find a very peaceful atmosphere for your morning stroll, and in the evening there are great places to eat the edge of the harbor -- with romantic scenery to enjoy. You can take beautiful photos, or give yourself a tour of the great cafes and bars that are a little more expensive but worth it. This is the most "modern" part of the city, and it has an interesting level of elegance and grandeur. Normally, you can even visit a boat anchored in the harbor. When illuminated at night the entire neighborhood looks even more glamorous, and is filled with curious tourists.
The park of Recoleta is one of the most interesting cemeteries in the world. Located here are the tombs and family vaults of the most famous and wealthy Argentine families. The cemetery is like a city within a city with fascinating gravestones, sculptures, and rich history. Without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. People really come here and regard this place as a museum where one can walk and take pictures for hours. The family vault of the Peron family is one of the most beautiful and visited tombs in the cemetery. The famous Evita Peron rests here (Duarte family mausoleum), and you can visit the crypt of the former president Juan Peron.
Wander among the monuments, and learn the stories of the dead and their descendants by reading interesting headstones and epitaphs. There are many very curious and peculiar crypts; some were recently updated while others have existed for more than a hundred years. Be sure to get a map in order not to get lost inside the park. Admission is free but donations will be asked at the entrance; if you wish, you can also book a guide who will conduct the tour and share with you the details of every famous Argentine buried here in Recoleta.
Bosques de Palermo
When the weather is nice, it is very pleasant to walk in the Bosques de Palermo even if it’s a bit far from the main city center. Known as the “green lung “of Buenos Aires, it offers numerous statues, purple jacaranda, a lovely lake and many ancient trees. It is a perfect place to relax on weekends with its very calm atmosphere; there are great plazas for sitting, paths for walking, skateboarding and biking, and everywhere one can simply admire its serene beauty and tranquility.
This park is always clean, well maintained and safe. A tour of the magnificent woods of Palermo should include a visit to the Japanese Garden, the botanical garden and the green zoo. Also, here is where you will find some of the best places to eat --the row of restaurants offers varied cuisine and dining options.
Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA)
This is a noteworthy place to visit: the building itself is of great interest and the exhibits of the permanent collection are worth attention. For example, there is a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo, and paintings by artists from Argentina, but also Brazil, Mexico, etc. On the top floor there is an exhibition by fashion photographer Mario Testino that every visitor will find interesting and appealing. The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA) is located in the Palermo / Recoleta area. Look for the paintings by Fernando Botero and Diego Rivera -- and some interesting contemporary works by South American artists.
The museum is free of charge. The collections are arranged over 3 floors and even include the works of modern Latin-American writers. There is a cinema, a terrace with a beautiful view of the nearby park and exhibition spaces for temporary works. Check out the shop that shows special gadgets. The museum space is excellent, with perfect lighting, and above all highlights the great works of Latin American art from 900 to today. It is a splendid museum both architecturally and in terms of the organization. It has nice cozy rooms; art works are well exposed and explained adequately with some masterpiece of great interest. A visit is a must to discover another fascinating aspect of Buenos Aires.
Plaza de Mayo
If one knows the political history of Buenos Aires, they cannot help but get excited to see this large square called Plaza de Mayo. On one side you get to explore the park and on the other side are the Cabildo and the Casa Rosada, the famous house where Evita spoke from the balcony to appeal to her workers and fellowmen.
This square is the landmark site of the most important political events in Argentina, and the surrounding buildings such as the Banco de la Nación and the Cathedral depict the history of the city and the country. The famous plaza is not only beautiful in itself, but surrounded by beauty and grandeur. Rather large, it is accessed from the impressive Avenida de Mayo, and features a beautiful fountain as well as the Piramide de Mayo. The Cabildo and the Cathedral Metropolitana complete what is already a majestic picture. The plaza is full of flowers and a lot of people from morning until late at night.
The Casa Rosada is the symbol of Argentina and its political history. Located just across the Plaza de Mayo, it is well worth a visit if you want to understand the institutional history of the country. You should put it among your top things to do in Buenos Aires! The tours are guided and organized groups must be arranged and booked ahead for this site. Admission is free and the house is open even on Sundays. The building looks majestic and the rooms are very well preserved, giving a good sense of how they functioned at the time of Evita. The tour lasts about two hours and the guides give a fine glimpse of history in a factual and entertaining approach. From the balcony to the left of the arch is where Peron spoke to the masses of workers. The pink color of the façade dates from 1868 and is said to have been chosen because warring political parties at that time used red and white as their respective colors. (An alternate, less-appealing theory suggests that the palace was painted with cow blood that dried pink in the sun.) Currently it is still the executive mansion of the government.
The residential city suburb of Palermo has its highest expression in the nightlife. If you go before 10:00 in the morning you will see a sleepy town. The central government offices and embassies are busy (and there is so much movement of people by car) during the daytime.
But -- when the workday is over the place really comes alive with its vibrant nightlife and a lot less traffic. It is best to go in the late afternoon and stay for dinner.
Palermo is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and it is a pleasure to see how many French-style buildings are kept preserved and give luster to the neighborhood and the city. There are lots of embassies, including that of the Vatican state, but also more recent and less luxurious mansions inhabited by ordinary citizens, albeit wealthy, because certainly the apartments have to cost a lot. It's also quite green and there are several parks and gardens.
The Obelisk or Obelisco is one of the most important symbols of the city and the place from which many official and unofficial events (especially parades) usually start. For the locals, Buenos Aires begins here, it is a central point of reference from which one can branch off to the major attractions of the city. By night it is illuminated and becomes a favorite photo opportunity for locals and tourists. It is on the largest avenue that goes straight to the airport.
Located in the Plaza of the Republic and in the middle of the Avenida 9 de Julio (and Corrientes), this national symbol opened in 1936, and is a concrete structure 220 feet high that is surrounded by bars. It has no internal lift and one can only accesses the dome with its 4 windows by an interior staircase. However, the interior is not open to the public.
Buenos Aires is characterized by lots of notable cafes but this is one of the oldest in the city and is worth visiting. At Café Tortoni, everything is preserved in its original condition since being established in 1858. The furniture, decorations, stained glass, chandeliers, and porcelain cups show a great sample of its exquisite history. It is still the official meeting place of poets and legends of culture, national and international politicians, and all kinds of celebrities. It is also a favorite site for making movies in Buenos Aires.
The wall paintings are an excellent complement to the nearby Casco Historico and the Avenida de Mayo, which is in itself, a beauty that superbly highlights the Spanish heritage. The desserts are the best (chocolate with churros) and the food prices are very reasonable even with a glass of wine. Visit the basement and watch young couples dance the tango. It’s like travelling back in time to a place that is so beguiling and captivating that you feel you have always wanted to be there.
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