Buenos Aires - AttractionGuide

Buenos Aires

Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of Buenos Aires-area attractions. The Greater Buenos Aires area is full of attractions for all ages. Birthplace for the tango and often called the Paris of the South, despite lack of an Eiffel Tower equivalent, cosmopolitan Buenos Aires has a sultry appeal made all the more alluring by its European heritage intertwined with a role as gateway to all things Argentine. As capital, Buenos Aires lies upon the Rio de la Plata (or River Plate), not a river but rather an estuary or great basin into which flow the Rios Parana and Uruguay and their tributaries. Buenos Aires has been virtually rebuilt since 1900 and few of the old buildings remain, although the original city center layout has been retained, with narrow, often one-way passages. In the heart, just as in Colonial days, lies the Plaza de Mayo, with the historic Cabildo (Town Hall), where independence from Spain was first plotted. Also here are the pink Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace), the Municipalidad (City Hall) and the Cathedral where San Martin is buried. Surrounding blocks host main banks and businesses. Buenos Aires has some 48 barrios, each with individual character. Upscale Palermo and Belgrano have boulevards lined with mansions and luxury high-rises. Other neighborhoods such as San Telmo and La Boca have working-class Italian personalities teeming with inviting warmth.

Below is a list of some suggested things to do in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, with links to more details when available.

Avenida 9 del Julio
Billed as the world's widest, this north/south thoroughfare also ranks as decidedly pedestrian-unfriendly. A good place to cross is underneath, at the Obelisk, erected in 1936 as the symbol of Buenos Aires to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city's founding.
Casa de Gobierno
Also called the Casa Rosada because of its pink overtones, this Argentine “White House” contains offices of the President of the Republic and is notable for statuary and rich furnishings of its halls and libraries. In the basement, visitors find the Museo de los Presidentes, with historical memorabilia from former leaders. It was from a lofty balcony here that Juan and Eva Peron addressed throngs below.
East side of Plaza de Mayo.
The Colon Theatre
Opened in 1908 and one of the world's most important lyrical theaters, this famed 2,500-seat opera house has hosted the greats, from Maria Callas and Enrico Caruso to Luciano Pavarotti. Musical activity covers all genres, especially the tango. Guided tours of the theater and museum provide backstage glimpses.
Toscanini 1180. (11) 4382-6632
Galerias Pacifico
This shopping mall in the city's center was built to look like Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan with fine murals and architecture, and apart from exclusive shops has fast food restaurants in the basement and free lunchtime concerts on the lower ground floor.
On Florida, between Cordoba and Viamonte.
Iglesia del Pilar
Skulls and bones at the entryway lead to a silver altar, intriguing tile work and chapels at this church, dating from 1732 and considered one of the best-preserved examples of Argentine colonial architecture.
Junin 1904.
Kavanagh Building
This 32-floor Art Deco apartment building, constructed of reinforced concrete on a hillside above the clock tower in the Retiro neighborhood, was the tallest in South America when completed in 1936.
Plaza San Martin.
Museo de Armas
Featuring all kinds of weaponry related to Argentine history, included are exhibits on the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict and Oriental weapons.
Av Santa Fe 750.
Museo de la Policia Federal
Not for the squeamish, the fascinating if gruesome forensic section of this Museum and Historical Research Division of the Federal Police is closed to visitors under age 15. Established by Dr. Julian Beazley in 1899 during General Roca's presidency, it was not opened to the public until 1967. Its 20 galleries recreate institution history, including technical and crime-related aspects through mannequins, photographs, and a collection of firearms, sabers, shields and emblems. Other exhibits highlight efforts to thwart drug addiction and the fingerprinting system invented by Juan Vucetich.
San Martin.
National Gallery
Also known as the Museo de Bellas Arts, this gallery has a fine collection of European art, particularly strong in the 19th century French school. Argentine works include 19th and 20th century exhibits and wood carvings from the country's hinterlands.
Av del Libertador.
Nightlife Around Town
As birthplace of the tango, Buenos Aires tango bars, parlors and stage shows are flourishing these days, with CD remixes of tango greats like Carlos Gardel – adoring fans flock to his Cemetery Buenos Aires burial site – selling at a fast clip. This passionate dance that was the toast of Paris between the two World Wars and took New York by storm during the Flapper era is again sizzling, with events like the annual Buenos Aires Tango Festival in March creating a stir in international tourism and causing one Buenos Aires portenos (local) to observe that any visitor who “comes to Buenos Aires and hasn't seen the tango hasn't been to Buenos Aires at all.” Nightlife, running throughout the week, peaks Thursday through Saturday. Possibilities go on and on, with Café Tortoni, among the city's most famed cafes, offering live tango and jazz in La Bodega downstairs.
Avenida De Mayo 825.
Palermo Parks
Officially known as the Parque Tres de Febrero with magnificent avenues are the city's Bois de Boulogne. This major recreational drawing card for all portenos has many treats for visitors as well, including the rose garden, Andalusian Patio, Japanese garden and the Hipodromo Argentino, the Palermo race course with seats for 45,000.
At the entrance are several large meteorites from Campo del Cielo.
In Palermo Park, just off Belisario.
Recoleta Cemetery
Home of the who's who among the departed, visitors encounter family vaults of Argentine patricians in virtually every imaginable architectural style from Greek temples to pyramids and miniaturized versions of family homes. To find the embalmed body of Eva Duarte de Peron in the Duarte family tomb, go to the main plaza from the entrance, turn left and where this avenue meets a main avenue (about 13 blocks), turn right, and take the second or third passage on the left.
Junin 1822.
Recoleta Cultural Center
A wide range of activity unfolds here from plastic art displays and exhibits to concerts, theater and dance productions, poetry recitals, dramatic performances and electro-acoustic computer-generated music, and video-graphic shows. Adjacent to the auditorium, the Buenos Aires Summer Amphitheater holds rock, jazz and fusion concerts, parades, and dance spectacles.
Junin 1930.
Teresita's Culinary Tour
Learn to cook with Teresita as you explore the culinary tapestry of Argentina. Classes are offered which highlight each of the South American and Latin American cuisines, as well as a one-day tour of local grocers, butchers and pastry shops.
Spiro 456, Adrogue, Buenos Aires.
54 1 4293-5992
Torre de los Ingleses
Presented to the city by British residents in 1916, the square where this clock tower stands was renamed Plaza de la Fuerza Aerea (Air Force Square) after the Falkland Islands war. Although an attempt was made to rename the tower as well, it is still called Englishmen's Tower. Guided tours are free.
Plaza de la Fuerza Aerea.
El Zoo
Located on Plaza Mitre, one of the city's five plazas, this zoo is complemented by a museum of natural sciences, children's games, and parks.
Calle 44 y 24.
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