Buenos Aires, the city of revolutions and strong passions will take a hold of your heart with its contradictions and its indissoluble bond with a past that it celebrates in its streets or palaces, named after the days or people who helped make Argentina independent.
Buenos Aires not just as a metropolis, but also as the perfect centre to savour the scents, flavours and spirit of Argentina. A city that does not forget its colonial origins, still evident in many palaces, or its immigrants, who arrived from all over the world to seek fortune, ready to contribute with their tastes and their passions to its evolution as you will see in the Caminito or in the La Boca district. Buenos Aires, Argentina, will welcome you to its parks, such as the Parque 3 Febrero, or its streets such as Avenida 9 de Julio or Avenida Florida.
You can visit the world-famous sports or music centres of excellence, such as the world-famous stadium called La Bombonera, the Colon Theatre which has hosted the biggest names in music and opera, or you can choose to take a trip out of the city, discovering Tigre and the Parnà Delta or the city of La Plata. You can also dance Tango, another Argentinian excellence, in the streets or in historic venues such as the Seaor Tango.
Buenos Aires will open before your eyes like its colourful flowers even in the Plaza de Mayo, the heart of the city, known for the revolutions, but also for the Casa Rosada. And it will be with your eyes still full of the pink colour that characterises this building that is a symbol of Argentina as a whole, that you can return to the blue of the sea, ready for the next stop on your Costa cruise, in the knowledge that you have visited an unforgettable place.
What to see and what to do in Buenos Aires with Costa excursions? Here are our tips :
- Plaza Mayor
- Casa Rosada
- Cabildo Nacional
- Metropolitan Cathedral
- Avenida 9 de Julio
- La Boca district
- Caminito and the colourful houses
- La Bombonera Stadium
- Barrio Recoleta
- Palermo District
- Senor Tango
- Botanical garden
- Parque 3 Febrero
- Colon Theatre
- San Telmo
- Avenida Florida
- Around Buenos Aires: Tigre and Delta del Paranà
- Around Buenos Aires: Biopark Temaikèn
- Around Buenos Aires: La Plata
The story of Buenos Aires, and of all Argentina, has a symbolic place: Plaza de Mayo. Visiting the district of Monserrat, in Buenos Aires, you can enter the place where the Revolution took place on May 25, 1810 that led to the creation of a local government. A first step for the country's independence. Not only that, Plaza de Mayo was also the place where, In 1580, Juan de Garay founded the city for the second time with the name of Ciudad de la Santìsima Trinidad y Puerto de Santa Maria del Buen Ayre.
Plaza de Mayo contains some of Argentina's most important historic and government buildings, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Casa Rosada, the seat of the national government, Cabildo, Argentina’s national bank.
Plaza de Mayo is also home to the Pyramid de Mayo in memory of the revolutionaries of independence and the equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano, creator of the Argentine Flag. Strolling through this square, which has been the scene of a number of revolutions, both silent and not, will bring you into touch with the spirit of Argentina itself, which lives in the present while never forgetting its past.
There are buildings that become symbols, able to go far beyond their actual function. The Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires is one of these.
Currently the seat of executive power in the Republic of Argentina, Casa Rosada also hosts the President of the Republic’s offices. It overlooks Plaza de Mayo. Built in 1594 by the Governor of Buenos Aires, it was initially the royal fortress for Don Juan Baltazar of Austria, even having a drawbridge. After a reconstruction in 1713, it was used as the seat of the city's governors and later viceroys, before hosting independent governments in 1810. In the 1820s, President Bernadino Rivadavia had a portico created to take the place of the drawbridge.
The Casa Rosada, as the name says, is painted a pinkish colour and since 1957 it has hosted the Museo de la Casa de Gobierno, which exhibits objects and portraits of Presidents. However, for many, the Casa Rosada is the building where Eva "Evita" Peron, stood, immortalised with her arms raised in so many vintage photos and in many films.
Argentina was a colony and was part of the Spanish Empire. At that time, numerous buildings were built, and one of these in Buenos Aires, undoubtedly necessary, was the ayuntamiento, known as the Cabildo Nacional, from where the municipality council ruled. The proposal was formulated in 1608 and two years later the building was ready, but was not functional.
It was extended in 1725 but the work could not be completed. Towards the end of the 1800s, changes were made until 1938, when architect Mario Buschiazzo was asked to renovate the building to its colonial appearance. The interiors were restored to their original beauty, while for the exterior it was necessary to resort to more modern materials. The Cabildo was inaugurated in 1940.
When visiting Buenos Aires, it is also a good idea to go to the National Museum of Cabildo and the May Revolution with paintings, documents and memorabilia from the period when the revolution of 1810 took place in Plaza De Mayo that it overlooks.
Buenos Aires keeps up with the time and it has recently set up a museum in one of its historic buildings. That would not be strange if it were any building, but this innovation concerns the Metropolitan Cathedral, which now also houses a museum dedicated to Pope Francis, with some of the objects he used when he was still Cardinal Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The Metropolitan Cathedral arose from an idea by Juan de Garay, the conquistador who participated in the second founding of the city in 1580 (the first had been destroyed by the natives), who immediately also wanted a church in the city that was being built, and wanted it in front of Plaza de Mayo, near Casa Rosada and Cabildo. Fires, floods and subsidence led the Cathedral to be rebuilt several times and has only been in its current form since 1852, officially completed with decorations in 1911.
The inside of the Metropolitan Cathedral has a floor of Venetian mosaics, preserves confessionals from the Jesuit missions and a wooden crucifix by Manuel de Coyto from 1671 entitled "Holy Christ of Buenos Aires".
Avenida 9 de Julio
You will feel like you are looking at a Californian highway in the city centre. Instead, you are in Buenos Aires, along Avenida 9 de Julio. Seven passable lanes, reduced to accommodate fast lanes for Metrobuses, which extend to140 metres wide. Avenida 9 de Julio is one of the widest roads in the world, and runs through the central part of the city from north to south from the Plaza de la Constitucion to the Avenida Libertador.
As is often the case in Argentina, the name, Avenida 9 de Julio, represents the history of the country, and to be precise, recalls the date of Argentina's independence, which took place on 9 July 1816. Designed in 1888, this main route was only built in 1936.
You don't need to have a car, you can also walk along the tree-lined avenue which skirts the Avenida and you can admire numerous buildings such as the Palace of theFrench EmbassyThe Colon Theatre and the Obelisk.
Among its monuments Buenos Aires also includes an Obelisk. Built in 1936, the Obelisco was built with the intention of celebrating the fourth centenary of the city's founding.
Located in the centre, at the point where Avenida Corrientes intersects Avenida 9 de Julio, it is located in the barrio of San Nicolas, in the area where there was a church dedicated to St. Nicholas of Bari, the site on which an Argentine flag was raised for the first time in 1812. This episode, along with other dates of important events, is shown on the sides of the Obelisk.
At 67.5 metres high, it makes you look sywards, aware of the fact that to touch it with a finger you would have to go up over two hundred steps. The Obelisk was also at risk of being demolished during its history, but the decision was challenged by the town hall and rejected. For years now it has been considered a symbolicmonument of the city and since 2007 it has had a new lighting system.
La Boca district
In Buenos Aires, La Boca is the most Italian barrio of all. The neighbourhood, which is in southeast of the capital, takes its name from the mouth, which in Spanish is called "boca", of the River Riachuelo, in the Rio de la Plata. Born as a river port, it is now one of the busiest tourist spots in Buenos Aires.
There are numerous attractions in La Boca, such as the Caminito with its painted little houses, the Boca Juniors Stadium, commonly called La Bombonera, the Nicolas Avellaneda transporter bridge, and a neoclassical church, named after St. John the Evangelist, built in the late 1800s.
In the colonial era, La Boca housed the shacks of black slaves but by the end of the 1800s, it had become the home of Italian immigrants, mainly from Genoa. The Genoese tried to go further, bringing together the inhabitants of Boca and proclaiming themselves the Independent Republic of Boca, under the flag of Genoa. It was the president of the Republic, Julio Argentino Roca, who intervened to keep one of the country’s most distinctive neighbourhoods Argentine.
Caminito and the colourful houses
So many colours! What a unique atmosphere! The visit to the Caminito of Buenos Aires is one of the must-see stops for visitors to Argentina. The only open-air museum in the whole country is acreation by Benito Quinquela Martin, who was inspired by the immigrant social housing of the La Boca district, and rebuilt them in wood. The Caminito is located near the Richuelo River and a short distance from Bonbonera.
A little over 100 metres full of colour thanks to the facades of the buildings that overlook it, enriched by restaurants and milongas, the bars where you dance the Tango. But that's not all. The Caminito is teeming with artists. Not only painters and musicians, often even some dancers, ready to dance the tango along the way.
Where once the immigrants who worked in the shipyards found shelter, building houses with waste materials such as iron and wood and painting them with leftover paints, since 1959 there have been constructions that are a symbol of a Buenos Aires that no longer exists, there but that still wants to dance.
La Bombonera Stadium
Football fans, arriving in Buenos Aires, will be speechless when they see the magnificence of the The Bombonera stadium. Opened in 1940, the stadium was built in the same place where until 1938 there had been a wooden grandstand building that had hitherto housed the Boca Juniors team, and has a 49,000-seat capacity.
Initially named after President Camilo Cichero, it is now called Estadio Alberto Josè Armando, in honour of another president. La Bombonera is known worldwide by the nickname that its designer Viktor Sulcic used, as he would bring with him a box of chocolates received as a gift that reminded him of the project he was working on.
La Bombonera also hosts a Museum, with a hall of fame, a mural dedicated to Diego Armando Maradona and the guitar played by Lenny Kravitz for his concert in 2005 and purpose-built in the colours of Boca Juniors.
Do you like luxury? In Buenos Aires the Barrio La Recoleta is the place for you! Elegance and history come together in this upscale residential neighbourhood in the Argentine capital.
The name La Recoleta comes from the convent of the Recoletos monks, of the Franciscan order who settled in Buenos Aires, first founding the Church of Our Lady of Pilar and a cemetery that is one of the obligatory stops for sightseeing tours. In this cemetery you can admire statues and chapels decorated by the most talented sculptors in the world and it is also the place where you can visit the tombs of Evita and Juan Peron.
The Recoleta is the place where you can browse the stalls of a quality craft market right in the welcoming Plaza Alvear, which is located in front of the Church of Pilar. Not far from the square you can see the Floralis generica, a floral sculpture with metal petals that close in the evening and open up again the next day.
If you love shopping, entertainment and culture, the Palermo Quarter in Buenos Aires will amaze you. The largest district in the city owes its name to a convent dedicated to Saint Benedict of San Fratello, known as Saint Benedict of Palermo. The convent no longer exists, but what you will find is a stylish residential area, full of embassies.
The Palermo Quarter is divided into three parts. In Palermo Viejo there is the Tres de Febrero Park, the Jardin Japones full of man-made lakes and tea houses, the Jardin Botanical Carlo Thays and Buenos Aires Zoo, as well as the Galileo Galilei Planetarium.
Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood are full of crazy historians and tree-lined boulevards, but here you will also find the big fashion brands, bookshops and cafes, the MALBA Museum of Latin American art and the Evita Museum, which also contains Eva Peron's clothes and shoes. The Palermo Quarter will capture your attention by day and let you have fun at night, with all its trendy clubs.
In 2009, UNESCO listed the Argentine Tango as a World Heritage, as an Intangible Cultural asset and Buenos Aires is the tango capital of the world, the city where all Tango fans dreams of being able to dance. There are so many Milongas, the bars where people go to dance the tango, in the city, but there is one place in particular, considered to be the Cathedral of Tango”: the Senor Tango.
The Senor Tango was not a dance hall originally, but a grocery store. It is located in the port area and was built by Italians who were looking for fortune in Argentina. In an area populated mainly by immigrants, they built their shop into a structure with vaulted ceilings and three-story iron columns.
The Great Singer Fernando Soler, inspired by the structure, decided to keep it as it was but created the place that became the home of the tango. Would you like to have dinner watching unforgettable dance performances? SenorTango Is the place of your dreams, in the Barracas district!
Would you like to spend a whole day in the midst of greenery? In Buenos Aires, in the Palermo district, you will find the Carlos Thays Botanical Garden. Almost seven hectares set in a triangular area that is home to over 5,500 plant species.
A real paradise on earth, which was declared an Argentine National Monument in 1996, where you can admire sculptures, monuments and five greenhouses with plants growing in the hottest areas of the planet.
The Botanical Garden, a creation by French architect and landscapedesigner Carlos Thays, was inaugurated in 1898, and inside was the palace where the designer lived. A walk to the Botanical Garden will take you to discover the Roman garden, inspired by that of Pliny the Younger, a symmetrical French garden, an Oriental garden where the plants are distributed according to geographical areas and an Argentine garden that includes plants of the Americas.
Parque 3 Febrero
Buenos Aires also manages to amaze people by its simplicity. North of the Palermo district of Buenos Aires you can find the Parque Tres de Febrero, the perfect place for a picnic or for a bit of relaxation. It takes the name from the date on which General Juan Manuel de Rosas, a great rival of President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, was defeated. The 25 hectares that were confiscated were turned into what is now called the Bosque de Palermo.
Parque 3 Febrero also has a lake, where you can take a romantic boat ride, but one of its most popular areas is the Rosedal which houses more than 14,000 rose gardens in an area including a white bridge.
The city's green lung, Parque 3 Febrero also includes the Jardin de los Poetas where you can admire the busts of the great poets of history, and the Buenos Aires Planetarium.
A city like Buenos Aires has something for everyone. The Colon Theatre is a world-famous opera theatre. Its hall, which can accommodate up to 4000 spectators, is one of the largest in the world.
Originally located near the Plaza de Mayo, the Teatro Colon opened in 1857 with Giuseppe Verdi's opera "La Traviata", but in 1888 it was closed, leaving room for the Central Bank of Argentina. In 1889, work began on the construction of the new Teatro Colon, in Avenida 9 de Julio on a total area of 58,000 square metres. The project was entrusted to the Italian architect Francesco Tamburini who led the work with his student Vittorio Meano. There were problems that interrupted the work, including the murder of the two architects. It was Julio Dormal who brought to fruition the theatre that was inaugurated in 1908 with another Verdi opera, "Aida".
Since then, world-renowned artists such as Leonard Bernstein or Luciano Pavarotti have sung or directed at Teatro Colon, in an Italian-style room that will take your breath away.
San Telmo, San
Visiting San Telmo will be like delinge into the history of Buenos Aires. Not its political history, but that of its people. You will find yourself in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, the place where the richest people of Buenos Aires had gathered, at least until 1871. In that year, an epidemic of yellow fever decimated the population, and those who survived moved further north.
Immigrants then came to San Telmo, renting the large houses, bringing the area to a progressive deterioration that lasted for almost 100 years. Only in 1970 was there a first attempt to revitalise the neighbourhood by creating a market. The success was immediate, despite a new dark period due to the military dictatorship that wanted to enlarge the Avenida Indipendencia at the expense of San Telmo.
Today San Telmo has come back to life with its art galleries, the The National History Museum of Argentina and lots of late-night venues where you can sip cocktails, dine or dance the Tango.
Avenida Florida was made pedestrian in 1971 and connects downtown Buenos Aires with the north, between Plaza de Mayo and Avenida 9 de Julio. You might think you are visiting one of the great shopping streets that you can find in every metropolis, but Buenos Aires also interprets a shopping street in an Argentine way. There are not only malls and big-brand shops, while walking in Avenida Florida you will also see characteristic shops, artisans and street sellers.
Avenida Florida offers a wide range of eateries and performances from many street artists. Tango performances can't be missed. Sensuality and passion, therefore, in the street, where you can meet for a really evocative, lively and colourful walk. Avenida Florida is a mix of cultures and people, where you can take a step back in time by meeting a shoe-shiner who is waiting for a customer.
Around Buenos Aires: Tiger and Delta del Paranà
A trip outside Buenos Aires, to Tigre, on the Paranà Delta, will offer you the opportunity to discover a really lovely area. Located 28 kilometres north of Buenos Aires, Tigre extends into an area full of small rivers and small islands, to be visited taking advantage of the numerous lancias, the motor boats that accompany tourists and residents.
Tigre takes name from the tigers and jaguars that were hunted in that area at the time the settlers arrived. Initially inhabited by European farmers, it became the area of fruit and wood that transited from its Port. A walk round the Puerto de Frutos, the craft market, will certainly make you want to shop for items to take home as a unique souvenir of Argentina.
Around Buenos Aires: Temaikèn Biopark
Less than an hour from Buenos Aires, you can get totally immerse yourself in nature at the Temikèn Biopark. In the language of the Tehuelche, the Native Americans, Tem means "land" while aiken means "life", and this zoological park located in Belén di Escobar will send you right into the flora and fauna of Argentina and South America.
Within the Biopark you will then get to know curious animals, but you will also have fun with cows, chickens and goats, free to wander around a vegetable garden cultivated with a huge selection of vegetables. You'll be amazed when you get to the aquarium where you can watch exotic Caribbean, Amazonian and oceanic fish swirl in harmony in the seawater.
Getting off a Costa cruise ship for an excursion to the Temaikèn Biopark will be like embarking on a journey into an enchanted world. The magic will be achieved before your eyes, when you see thousands of butterflies soaring over an expanse of orchids.
Around Buenos Aires: La Plata
If Argentina intrigues you, enjoy a Costa excursion close to Buenos Aires. About 60 kilometres southeast of the capital, you can find yourself in La Plata, a city that is smaller than Buenos Aires but full of surprises, such as Plaza Moreno, A, one of the largest park-squares in the world. In La Plata you can visit the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the House of Government, the Museum of Natural Sciences, but also the modern football stadium or the racecourse.
The city, which is about fifteen kilometres from the Rio de la Plata, was founded in 1882 by the Governor of the Dardo Rocha province to make up for the lack of a capital for the province of Buenos Aires, which became necessary following the declaration of Buenos Aires as the federal capital of the Republic of Argentina. What you will see is a city full of museums, a university centre and with the second largest theatre in Argentina, that will captivate you with its vitality.
Visit Buenos Aires with Costa Cruises
Visiting Buenos Aires is an experience that will exceed your expectations. A huge city, where even today you feel a great connection with history and the desire to emphasise its independence. Buenos Aires will embrace you with its colours and its palacesand will make you twirl to the notes of the tango. Thanks to a Costa cruise you can reach it by sea, with a unique view of the city, before visiting it on the excursion that meets your passions.