Things to see in Buenos Aires

Tourist information

Centro de Información Turística (Tourist Information Centre)
Tel: 0800 999 2838.
Website: www.bue.gov.ar

The main tourist information centres are at Florida 100, Florida; Dock 4, Puerto Madero; Terminal De Ómnibus, Avenida Antártida Argentina, Retiro; Quintana 596, Recoleta; Defensa 1250, San Telmo.

Secretaría de Turismo de la Nación (National Tourism Office)
Avenida Santa Fe 883
Tel: 0800 555 0016.
Website: www.turismo.gov.ar

There are also National Tourism Information stands at the international and domestic airports.

Cementerio de Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery)

Recoleta’s cemetery is a veritable village of the dead, with rows and rows of towering tombs housing the remains of many of Argentina’s most revered – the most famous being the country’s infamous First Lady, Maria Eva Duarte Perón, or Evita. Evita’s burial site can easily be located by following the guided tour groups or by seeking out the mass of bouquets. The cemetery was founded in 1822 and also contains the tombs of writers, scientists, national heroes and former presidents, exhibiting a variety of architectural styles. Entry is free, although a map priced at a few pesos is a useful purchase. There are also usually tour guides on hand, offering inexpensive guided tours.

Opening Times: Daily 0800-1800. Free English language tours at 1100 Tues and Thurs (in fine weather only).
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Calle Junín 1790, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4804 7040.
Jardín Japonés (Japanese Garden)

The Jardín Japonés in Palermo Park is one of the most pleasant open spaces in Buenos Aires, and is the perfect antidote to the noise and bustle of the city. Created in 1967 as a gift from the Emperor of Japan, the garden is a tranquil park of Asiatic shrubs and trees beautifully landscaped around a small lake bubbling with huge carp. The garden is something of a hub for the city's sizeable Japanese community and the Japanese restaurant is well worth a visit for lunch.

Opening Times: Daily 1000-1800.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: No
Unesco: No
Address: Avenida Casares 2966, near Avenida Figueroa Alcorta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4804 4922.
La Boca

This colourful barrio (neighbourhood) is best known for its football team, Boca Juniors, for whom the legendary Diego Maradona played. Multi-coloured, corrugated-iron houses characterise the touristic section of La Boca, with bustling Calle Caminito the main street. The simple houses were built by Italian immigrants, who decorated them with paint nicked from the local docks where they worked. Caminito and the immediate streets are continually lively, with street performers, artists and tango dancers all eager to win tourists’ affections. Visitors should, however, avoid straying too far from Caminito. Catching a game at the Boca Juniors football team’s stadium, La Bombonera, is certainly a passionate experience.

Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)

This ultra-modern building was built to house the Costantini collection of Latin American art and is a welcome addition to Buenos Aires's cultural landscape. The museum promotes appreciation of Latin American art from the early 20th century to the present day. Many Argentine artists are represented, including Xul Solar, Benito Quinquela Martín and Antonio Berni. Brazilian and Uruguayan works are also shown and a famous self-portrait by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. This light, airy gallery also has spaces for temporary exhibits, an outdoor sculpture balcony, gift shop, library and a smart café.

Opening Times: Thurs-Mon 1200-2000, Wed 1200-2100.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Avenida Figueroa Alcorta 3415, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4808 6500.
Museo Evita

Inaugurated on the 50th anniversary of Evita's death (on 26 July 2002), the Museo Evita tells the life story of Eva Perón using a moving mixture of personal artefacts, dresses, photographs and compelling audiovisual displays. Already a famous radio and theatre actress in her own right, Eva Duarte became one of the most revered and reviled figures in Argentine history when she married Colonel Juan Domingo Perón (who was elected president in 1946) and used her position to further the rights and conditions of the working class. Her life came to an abrupt end in 1952 when she died of cancer, aged 33.

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 1100-1900.
Admission Fees: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Calle Lafinur 2988, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4807 0306.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Housed in a red-brick, neoclassical building in the Recoleta district, Buenos Aires's airy National Fine Arts Museum contains European paintings and sculpture along with a complete collection of Argentine art. Downstairs, there are galleries devoted to Impressionists, such as Renoir, Monet, Degas, Pissarro and Sisley. Rubens, Rothko, Pollock and an assortment of other renowned artists also feature, along with internationally famous Argentine artist, Lucio Fontana. Visitors can also see the works of other Argentine artists and temporary exhibits on loan from international museums.

Opening Times: Tues-Fri 1230-2030, Sat-Sun 0930-2030.
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Avenida del Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 5288 9900.
Website: www.mnba.org.ar
Plaza de Mayo

The dusty-pink Casa Rosada is the focal point of the Plaza de Mayo. From the balcony of this Presidential Palace, located at the historic heart of Buenos Aires, prominent figures, from Evita to Diego Maradona, have addressed the crowds at various stages in Argentina's history. Originally a fortress, the Casa Rosada was remodelled when Buenos Aires became the Capital of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata in 1776. Today, it looks out across a pigeon-filled plaza that features gardens, fountains and statues. Opposite, find the only surviving government building from colonial times – the Cabildo – constructed in 1748. Every Thursday, the Mothers of those who went missing during Argentina’s late 20th-century military dictatorship march around the Plaza.

Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Plaza de Mayo (Eastern end of Avenida de Mayo), Buenos Aires, Argentina
Puerto Madero

An ambitious regeneration project has turned this former working dock into a lively and popular area for a stroll, a drink or a bite to eat. The old, red-brick warehouses now house galleries, bars and restaurants, the grandest of which is the Faena Hotel and Universe, which encompasses a design hotel and cutting-edge eatery El Bistro. Old docking cranes line either side of the dock, which is spanned by the Puente de la Mujer (‘Bridge of the Woman’). The area does feel a little sterile, but Puerto Madero is evolving an increasingly vibrant atmosphere as more projects are completed.

Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Docks 3 and 4, Avenida Alicia Moreau de Justo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

Built on land reclaimed from the River Plate, this 360-hectare (890-acre) ecological reserve has become a verdant park packed with plants and creatures typical of the region. Paths for walkers and cyclists (bikes are for hire at the entrance) crisscross the park where there are many viewing platforms from which you can spot numerous species of birds. It is advisable to avoid the park on severely hot days, as there is little opportunity to escape the beating Buenos Aires sun.

Opening Times: Tues-Sun 0800-1800 (April-Oct); 0800-1900 (Nov-Mar).
Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: Avenida Tristan Achával Rodríguez 1550, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4315 1320.
San Telmo

Broken-down beauty is the essence of San Telmo; narrow and cobbled streets lined with crumbing buildings make this, one of Buenos Aires’s oldest neighbourhoods, an intriguing and romantic wander. The labyrinth of streets – lined with cafés, book stores, antique shops and artist studios – leads to Plaza Dorrego, which becomes an outdoor antiques and bric-a-brac market on Sunday afternoons, and a platform for tango dancers and musicians on many Sunday evenings. Attractions include the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, which houses experimental artwork in an old tobacco warehouse.

Admission Fees: No
Disabled Access: Yes
Unesco: No
Address: San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
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