City Guide: Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a huge city and as such there is a lot to see. In this city guide I’ll give you a brief overview of what we managed to see during our two day stay.
Blessed with ideal sightseeing weather, we started off our visit of the city in the Puerto Madero area as this is where the Hilton Buenos Aires is located.
From there on we took the metro Plaza de la República. There, we checked out the Obelisk (perfect for the ideal tourist picture) and the Teatro Colón. When you walk past the Teatro, you will find a few more interesting buildings surrounding the Plaza Lavalle.
Many places and buildings, however, are under construction at the moment. This seems to be part of a large restructuring programme under the headline “Juntos vamos a hacer de Buenos Aires un lugar mejor para vivir” (Together we make Buenos Aires a better place to live in).
Torre Monumental and Plaza San Martín
After a long search for an open metro entrance, we went to the train station Retiro. From there on, we decided to walk past the Torre Monumental towards the Plaza San Martín.
We then walked for about half an hour or more towards Recoleta. On the way we passed quite a few interesting buildings, including some impressive foreign embassies, hotels and old palaces, some nice shopping streets and few restaurants.
Recoleta in Buenos Aires
Recoleta is a residential neighborhood in Buenos Aires and in my opinion one of the most interesting areas. It is of historical and architectural interest both because of the European influence that can be found here as well as the unique Recoleta Cemetery. In the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas you can find the so called Floralis Genérica, a sculpture made out of steel and aluminium. Depending on the time of day you can see it being open or closed due to an electronic mechanism.
The Recoleta Cemetery which you can see above is a unique cemetery with huge and prosperous graves. Many notable people have been buried here, and walking around it is a bit like a walk through the past.
Planetario Galileo Galilei and Japanese Garden
When you follow the Avenida del Libertador from the Floralis Genérica for about half an hour, you will reach the Japanese Garden. With our International Student Cards (ISIC) the entry fee was quite cheap, so we decided to have a little look inside. While you can still hear the noisy big streets that are around the Garden, the garden itself feels like a little green oasis in the middle of a big city.
Upon leaving the Japanese Garden, you will soon encounter the Planetary. We then continued our way to Plaza Italia, but as it was also covered by fences, we couldn’t take a nice picture there. As restaurants didn’t open until the late evening, we decided to go back, but if you are looking for a place to eat, the area behind the Plaza Italia is supposed to be quite good.
On the next day we decided to check out the Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo. The office of the Argentinian president is located in the Casa Rosada as well as a museum related to previous presidents.
Palacio Barolo and Palace of the Argentine National Congress
For our last and final stop, we took the metro to the Palace of the national congress. It is located at the end of the avenida de mayo (the other end is that at the Casa Rosada). Construction for the stunning building was completed in 1906.
Another interesting sight, which we hadn’t originally planned to see, was the Palacio Barolo. When the palace was built, it was considered the highest building in South America. It later got a “twin” palace in Montevideo, called Palacio Salvo. This one, however, is taller.
Our overall impression of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a bustling city. Tons of people, locals and tourists alike, are walking around, but it doesn’t take away the traditional and historic charm of the city. The city is dotted with lush greenery and the architecture of some buildings is breathtakingly beautiful. Although it is a huge city, I really enjoyed that we could visit many sights by walking.