Top Ten Attractions When In Buenos Aires, Argentina

1) Recoleta Cemetary –  “Open daily from 8am to 6pm, this is the final resting place of many of the wealthiest and most important Argentine historical figures. Weather permitting, free English-language tours are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 11am. If you can’t take a tour or want to explore on your own, cemetery maps are also for sale at the gate, with proceeds going to the Friends of Recoleta Cemetery, a private group that helps with upkeep.

Once the garden of the adjoining church, the cemetery was created in 1822 and is among the oldest in the city. You can spend hours here wandering the grounds that cover 4 city blocks, full of tombs adorned with works by local and international sculptors. More than 6,400 mausoleums form an architectural free-for-all, including Greek temples and pyramids. The most popular site is the tomb of Eva “Evita” Perón, which is always heaped with flowers and letters from adoring fans.”

The area around the cemetery is beautiful to explore and has fantastic cafes and shopping. It is also well-known for its weekend market. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Recoleta_Cemetery

Booking Info & Cost: This is a nice website on the cemetery: http://www.recoletacemetery.com/

Cost: Free. 10 pesos for a map of the cemetery – optional

2) Tango Shows – Tango and Argentina are synonymous with one another and there are endless options when it comes to learning to tango and seeing a tango show. I chose to not go to one of the many large productions in B.A and instead opted for a more intimate encounter, learning from some of the best in a gorgeous and charming ambiance. There are seven (7) well-known and original “milongas” (a term for a place or an event where tango is danced) in Buenos Aires and each of them have their own night, so as avoid competing with one another. La Catedral is where I went to learn and enjoy tango and its night is Tuesday.

Others choose to go to the large productions and spectacles. Ask your concierge or hostel staff for recommendations.

Booking Info:  http://www.lacatedralclub.com/

Cost: 20 pesos without a lesson, 30 pesos with. Lessons are at 8pm and 10pm but as with Argentinean time they typically begin a little bit later. I didn’t really see a show afterwards, just watched people dance.

3) Sunday Market at San Telmo & Ricoleta Cemetary – San Telmo is a fantastic, centrally located area where many like to stay and the Sunday San Telmo market is quite popular and runs about two kilometres long. One can buy a variety of knickknacks, leather, mate cups (South American tea known for its appetite suppressant) and watch people tango, and play live music in the streets. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially when so much is closed on Sundays.

Recoleta Weekend Market – It seems there is also a market in the park outside of Recoleta Cemetary but I did not make it over as San Telmo was close to where I was staying.

 

4) La Caminito Street in Bocca Barrio 

I did not visit this street although it is popular for tourists to take the subway to Bocca Barrio, walk down this street and photograph the colourfully painted houses. My main reason for not going is that Boca isn’t a safe neighbourhood and one simply visits to see this one street. It did not seem worth my time to take a taxi or subway there, photograph it and head back downtown.

The houses were pretty on postcards. Done.

5) Two (2) Free City Tours with Buenos Aires Free Tours – Impeccably done with a ton of information. The tour at 11am begins at Argentina’s Congress and goes down Avenida de Mayo ending at the Casada de Rosa, the executive mansion of Argentina. The tour at 5pm begins at Plaza St. Martin and takes you through luxurious residential areas, spotlighting stories of Argentinean aristocracy and architecture. Tours are led by Gaston and his partner Sol and are absolutely free although many tip between 30 and 50 pesos per person. Tours typically last between 1.5-2 hours.

Booking Info/Cost: www.bafreetour.com

6) “Palacio Barolo is a landmark office building, located at 1370 Avenida de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Italian architect Mario Palanti was commissioned to design the building by the empresario Luis Barolo, an Italian immigrant who had arrived in Argentina in 1890 and had made a fortune in knitted fabrics.

The Palacio Barolo was designed in accordance with the cosmology of Dante’s Divine Comedy, motivated by the architect’s admiration for Alighieri. There are 22 floors, divided into three “sections”. The basement and ground floor represent hell, floors 1-14 are the purgatory, and 15-22 represent heaven. The building is 100 meters (328 feet) tall, one meter for each canto of the Divine Comedy. The lighthouse at the top of the building can be seen all the way in Montevideo, Uruguay.

When completed in 1923 it was the tallest building, not only in the city, but also in the whole of South America. It remained the city’s tallest building until 1935 when, on completion, the Kavanagh Building acquired this distinction. Today it is mainly lawyer offices and there is also a Spanish language school, and a store that sells Tango clothing.

This building was declared a national historic monument in 1997.”

Note: This gorgeous building was located across from the hostel where I stayed and it offers tours.

Booking Info: http://www.palaciobarolotours.com.ar/homein.html

7) Day trip on ferry to Colonia del Sacremento, Uruguay

Colonia, Uruguay is a beautiful, charming colonial town located an hour’s ferry ride from Buenos Aires. I would definitely recommend visiting it for the day or even for one night, especially if you’re part of a couple as it is romantic and quaint. “Colonia del Sacramento (formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento) is a city in southwestern Uruguay and it is the oldest town in Uruguay and capital of the Colonia Department. It has a population of around 22,000.

It is renowned for its historic quarter, a World Heritage Site. Modern Colonia del Sacramento produces textiles and has a free trade zone, in addition to a polytechnic centre and various government buildings.”

Getting There/Cost: Ferry, either with Buquebus or Sea Cat. Prices depend on how far in advance you book and level of service. I checked both sites and found a lower fare for the same ferry (boat), operated by Buquebus. It’s worth checking both. I paid 190 Argentinean pesos, approximately $45 CAD for the hour’s ride.

The ferry terminal is a 5 minute taxi ride from the main “Retiro” bus terminal in Buenos Aires. This was perfect for me when I transferred from the ferry terminal to the bus terminal for my bus to Salta in northwestern Argentina.

Buquebus Ferry: http://www.buquebus.com/cache/HomeARG.html

Seacat Ferry: http://www.seacatcolonia.com/bifurcador.php

8) Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens –

The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden (official name in SpanishJardín Botánico Carlos Thays de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires) is located in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires in Argentina. The garden, which was declared a national monument in 1996, has a total area of 751,020 sq ft, and holds approx 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs, as well as a number of sculptures, monuments and five greenhouses.

Designed by French-born Argentine architect and landscape designer Carlos Thays, the garden was inaugurated on September 7, 1898. Thays and his family lived in an English style mansion, located within the gardens, between 1892 and 1898, when he served as director of parks and walks in the city. The mansion, built in 1881, is currently the main building of the complex.

Booking Info: http://www.jardinbotanico.gov.ar/

Cost: Free entrance

9) Graffiti Tour – An exceptional tour highlighting Buenos Aires’ street art and artists. Please refer to the following posts for highlights and photos.

Part 1 – http://thetravellingmunschkin.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/buenos-aires-street-art-movement-part-1/

Part 2 – http://thetravellingmunschkin.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/buenos-aires-street-art-movement-part-2/

Booking Info: For tours and workshops: http://graffitimundo.com/

Tours may also be arranged at many hostels and hotels in Buenos Aires but it will be cheaper (by 10-15 pesos in hostel commissions)  by booking directly.

Cost: 120 pesos or $25 USD

10) Museums & Art Galleries

As many large and cultured cities do, Buenos Aires offers a plethora of choices for museums and galleries.

Museo Evita: “A museum devoted to disclosing the life, work and set of beliefs and values of María Eva Duarte de Perón.

It also promotes historical research and historiographical studies concerning Eva Perón’s actions and regarding women’s involvement in our country’s political, economic, social and cultural life, while also serving as a center for documental and bibliographic compilation.”

http://museoevita.org/en/

National Historic Museum: “The National History Museum is the perfect place to begin your Argentine adventure and makes an interesting trip for those that are really hot on their history as well as those that want it all explained from the beginning. The museum deals with every aspect of Argentina’s past, bringing us right up to date with modern day life in the country. The exhibits and artifacts are varied, well displayed and fascinating for all ages.”

http://www.mhnvirtual.cultura.gob.ar

Museo del Tango: “Located below the Academia Nacional del Tango is this tango museum – for fans of the dance only. Just a couple of large rooms are filled with tango memorabilia, from old records and photos to historic literature and posters. Tango shoes are also featured, but the highlight has to be one of Carlos Gardel’s famous fedora hats.”

http://www.anacdeltango.org.ar

ART GALLERIES

 

– Zavaleta Lab: “Zavaleta Lab / Contemporary Art is a gallery for exhibiting, promoting and reflecting upon new art. Its program is based on the search for young artists with contemporary styles and the representatives of current international trends resulting from the globalization of the artistic discourse. The gallery is located in a four-storey Italian-style building that dates back to 1907, which has been completely recycled. There are two exhibition rooms on the first floor and on the mezzanine floor. On the underground floor there is a special exhibition room where works by Zavaleta’s artists and by special guests will be exhibited.”

http://zavaletalab.com/

– Museo Fortabat: “Rivaling Palermo’s MALBA museum for cutting-edge looks is this fancy art museum. It shows off the collection of multi-millionairess Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Argentina’s wealthiest woman. The museum’s airy salons exhibit works by famous Argentine and international artists – look for Warhol’s take on Fortabat herself. Call ahead for tours in English.”

http://www.coleccionfortabat.org.ar/

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