Downtown of Buenos Aires

Argentina Travel Posted on 08/14/2013

A tour in Buenos Aires begins and probably ends in this important, monumental area. It is bustling and a little frantic, as any great city’s center should be, but definitely touring through Buenos Aires is an unforgettable experience. Although all attractions count like “unmissable” ones, let’s see some of the most important ones in downtown Buenos Aires!

Downtown Buenos Aires

1. Casa Rosada “Pink House”

Just as in the past, this is the political, spiritual, and cultural ‘center’ of Buenos Aires. The Plaza de Mayo, where the Casa Rosada (a pink-hued Argentinian equivalent of the ‘White House’) looks across a palm-treed expanse to the Cabildo, the early colony’s fortress and town hall. Behind this, the tree-studded boulevard goes all the way to the Congress building.

A little bit of history…

History looms large over Buenos Aires’ signature central area. The Plaza de Mayo is the center of much of Argentina’s turbulent history. Here took place key events from independence to several invasions by the British, to the social turmoil of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in which the Perons featured so prominently, all the way through to today where you can see lots of signs concerning the Islas Malvinas, amongst other domestic issues.

Known descriptively as the ‘Casa Rosada’ or ‘Pink House’, it is the seat of the executive branch of the Republic of Argentina. From this window, first lady Eva Peron addressed the crowds; from here every incoming president takes his or her oath and does work (but does not live, like the USA’s White House). Enjoy the sumptuous rooms and see the presidential office, inauguration hall and press room. The guide (in English) will point out all the relevant details.

  • On the weekends, it is free to take a tour, and it proves to be a very enjoyable walk!

Buenos Aires - City

2. Townhall: Cabildo & Avenida de Mayo

Across from the Pink House, see the Cabildo, the old townhall and key building in the arched colonial construction. This museum is a quick and interesting walk through Argentine independence, the colonial period, as well as the early British invasions during the Napoleanic era. Next door is the Cathedral, which houses the remains of General San Martin, one of the fighters for independence. His tomb is honored by a guard.

Stretching behind this core is the Avenida de Mayo. Walking along this peaceful central street is a very enjoyable experience. Make sure to stop by the Café Tortoni, the haunt of many Buenos Aires intellectuals and artists, including the estimable Jorge Luis Borges. 

  • There are numerous other shops, cafes and restaurants all the way to the towering, vaguely Montezuma-esque form of the Congreso—the home of the legislative branch.


3. Florida Street & 9 de Julio Avenue

Following this avenue, one crosses several ways worthy of diversion. The first is the Calle Florida, a great shopping district replete with offers to Tango shows and high-end local articles. Soon one gets to the widest street in the world, the 9 de Julio, an open boulevard that suddenly shows the sky, and an impressive array of advertising. On the left, in the middle, is the Buenos Aires landmark, the Obelisk. Built to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city, it certainly presents a challenge and an opportunity for a good photograph.

Following 9 de Julio to the other side of the Obelisk, one can see opposite the Teatro Colon, the premiere opera house of Latin America and at one time the entire Southern Hemisphere. This classic building, designed in an Italian and later French (after the architect died) fashion, is deliberately meant to conjure up thoughts of Europe.

  •  Inside, its gilt and sumptuous Old World interior add to what is considered a superior acoustic to make it a worthy visit for both opera buffs and the newly initiated.

downtown buenos aires

Now you can stroll down downtown Buenos Aires as a true local! Get your luggage done and discover the capital city of the Land of Sylver.

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