Buenos Aires: Argentina’s Capital – the Top 10 Places of Interest
Buenos Aires, a.k.a. “The Paris of South America”, is Argentina’s capital as well as the country’s political, economic, cultural and industrial hub. UNESCO designated it as a City of Design in 2005. One third of Argentina’s population lives in the surrounding area, and there’s no shortage of soccer stadiums either – there are 14 in total. Amazing, right?
If you want to learn more about Buenos Aires or its top 10 sights, then continue reading as we guide you through the Argentine capital. Let’s go!
Buenos Aires in a Nutshell
Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere and spans the entire southeast of South America, where it also borders the Atlantic Ocean. It’s no surprise that it’s the world’s eighth-largest country. If you tried to fit Argentina onto a map of Europe, you could go from Porto to Minsk without even leaving the country.
Buenos Aires is located on the Rio de Plata – a confluence of two rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean – in the country’s east. Modern buildings and skyscrapers make up the cityscape. Due to the influence of the European immigrants that shaped the city, only a few buildings from the Spanish colonial period remain.
Since Argentina is in the subtropical climate zone, the months of June and July are the coldest. The period between October and December is ideal for a visit to the city. You can count on pleasantly warm temperatures, allowing you to get the most out of your trip. We don’t recommend traveling during the warmer months of January and February as the Argentines themselves are on vacation during this time – the city will be crowded, and flights and hotels will be very expensive.
The locals love food very much. As a result, you’ll almost certainly come into contact with several traditional dishes during your trip. One of them is asado (barbecue) or parrilla (grilled meat). Barbecues are held almost every weekend, so you’re likely to encounter this culinary delight fairly quickly. Perfect for on-the-go, however, are empanadas. The dumplings are a South American specialty, traditionally filled with meat, spring onions, eggs, or potatoes. Don’t miss out on these delicacies!
Within Buenos Aires, the transportation connections are excellent. The well-developed subway lines take you to numerous locations, but buses or taxis are also great options. Of course, you can also get around the many neighborhoods on foot.
As far as festivals and events are concerned, Buenos Aires also has a lot to offer. For example, the Pepsi Music Festival takes place in the second half of the year, where hundreds of national and international artists and bands perform. The city is well-known for its Tango Festival. The classic Tango Argentino is celebrated and danced extensively all over the city during the first months of the year.
The Top 10 Places of Interest in Buenos Aires
Hopefully, you got a good first impression of Buenos Aires. However, you still haven’t seen some of the city’s most beautiful sights. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 for you.
Plaza de Mayo: The Cradle of Buenos Aires
Let’s start with the city’s most famous square. Buenos Aires was founded in the Plaza de Mayo. If you stand in this historical square, you’ll see many important buildings, such as the seat of the National Government or the National Bank. As you walk along the Plaza de Mayo, you will find yourself on ground that has already produced many significant changes. It’s an experience that will bring you closer to Argentina’s history, and help you understand the city’s origins. A must-see during any trip to Buenos Aires!
Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, is right on the Plaza de Mayo. The name translates to “pink house,” and the outer building lives up to this name. On the inside, you can visit some of the current Argentine president’s offices and reception rooms during a free tour! In just half an hour, you’ll gain deep insight into the Argentine political system. The accompanying museum is also worth a visit, and provides fascinating background information. It even has some of the president’s personal belongings on display. The Casa Rosada is also worth viewing from the outside, as it is architecturally unique – certainly a wonderful photo motif.
Right next to the Presidential Palace on the Plaza de Mayo lies the Catedral Metropolitana. It was declared the main Catholic church when Buenos Aires was founded in the 16th century.
From the outside, the building looks more like an ancient Greek temple than a Roman Catholic church. That’s because of the many exterior columns and the triangular pediment. It’s definitely worth having a peek inside as well. The magnificent decorations are inspired by different architectural styles. If you are a fan of the cathedral’s history, visit the small church museum on the church’s grounds.
Welcome to Buenos Aires’ bustling pedestrian zone! You can reach Avenida Florida from Plaza de Mayo. It has a varied program to offer. In addition to large shopping centers with well-known brands, you’ll also come across street vendors, artists, and smaller stores.
Of course, there is also tango dancing in the streets! Fun and passion are at the forefront here, resulting in a very special atmosphere. You can recharge at one of the numerous restaurants located around the pedestrian zone. In any case, a stroll is worthwhile, and you can get a genuine taste of Argentine life.
La Boca: The Most Famous Neighborhood in Buenos Aires
This Buenos Aires neighborhood is a must-see! Here, you can marvel at a lot of corrugated iron houses in a variety of colors. Italian immigrants influenced the creation of La Boca at the end of the 19th century. Today, the neighborhood is quite popular among travelers. There’s a distinct atmosphere here, with numerous restaurants, cafés, and the soccer stadium, La Bombonera.
When you’re in La Boca, you have to see tango – it’s the birthplace of Argentine dancing, and people dance in the streets day and night. Don’t miss out on this typical Argentine experience! But we recommend avoiding the neighborhood after dark – it’s one of the poorer parts of Buenos Aires, and therefore the crime rate is a bit higher. However, if you leave your things at the hostel and visit La Boca during the day, you will be safe.
Avenida 9 de Julio
We present to you Avenida 9 de Julio, the Argentine Broadway. This street is considered Buenos Aires’ principal traffic artery. There are many sites to see along the way. Among them are theaters and architectural masterpieces, such as embassies of different countries. By the way, Avenida 9 de Julio is named after Argentina’s Independence Day.
At the end of Avenida 9 Julio is the Plaza de la Républica. On it stands a gigantic obelisk, a landmark of Buenos Aires. Take the opportunity to climb up its 206 steps! You’ll get a breathtaking view of the city. From up there, you can see the hustle and bustle of the capital from a different perspective – it’s definitely worth it!
This Buenos Aires theater is undoubtedly a must-see for everybody, even the most uncultured. The Teatro Colón on Avenida 9 de Julio is the most famous theater in the capital, and it has hosted many world-famous artists. With 2,500 seats and another 1,000 standing places, people have been enjoying various performances since 1908. These include various operas, ballets, plays, and concerts. The theater’s schedule is available online, and from time-to-time plays are also offered in English. Perhaps you too will enjoy a production at the Teatro Colón – it is an unforgettable experience!
If the metropolis is too much for you, we recommend a trip to the Botanical Garden. This green spot in the middle of the city’s hustle and bustle is perfect for some relaxation. You’ll find many sculptures, plants, a small museum, and even a library here. So, if you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend a few hours in Buenos Aires, pay a visit to the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays.
Parque Tres de Febrero
Finally, we’d like to introduce you to another, somewhat quieter, place in Buenos Aires. Parque Tres de Febrero is a beautifully landscaped park, ideal for having a picnic or relaxing a bit. There’s also a lake nearby where you can go on a boat ride. Another amazing sight are the more than 14,000 rose bushes. They’re just stunning! So, if you’re longing for nature, we recommend Parque Tres de Febrero.
We hope that this article gave you a good impression of Buenos Aires. Argentina’s capital has something for everyone. If you’re interested in history and culture, visit the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, or Catedral Metropolitana.
Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to attend a performance at the famous Teatro Colón – a truly unique experience! If you want to mingle with the people and experience authentic Argentine life, we recommend La Boca and Avenida Florida. Or climb the obelisk at Plaza de la Républica and enjoy the view of the city. After a long day in Buenos Aires, visit the Botanical Garden and Parque 3 de Febrero for some peace and quiet.
As you can see, Buenos Aires offers a wide range of possibilities, and it’d be a shame if you missed them. So, what are you waiting for? Have a good trip!