Buenos Aires Feature
Top Attractions in Buenos Aires
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Originally the city's waterworks, this russet-color columned building in Recoleta is your one-stop shop for Argentine painting and sculpture, especially modern and postmodern works. A surprisingly comprehensive collection of lesser works by European and North American masters, spanning the 13th century to the present, is an added boon.
Plaza de Mayo
Since the city was founded, civic and political life has centered on this large, palm-shaded square in Centro. The favored stage of protesters and politicians alike, this was where Evita told a rally of thousands not to cry for her. Since the 1976-83 dictatorship, a group of mothers (now a nongovernmental organization called Madres de Plaza de Mayo) have been protesting their children's disappearances here each week. The presidential palace, a cathedral, the central bank, a colonial town hall, and the senate all flank the square.
Cementerio de la Recoleta
The city's illustrious departed rest in mausoleums as sumptuous as their mansions. Heavily adorned with marble facades and dramatic statues, these second homes are arrayed along shaded avenues, forming an eerie but beautiful city of the dead. Residents include the must-see Evita, national heroes, sporting greats, writers, and several wandering ghosts—or so local legend goes.
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)
Buenos Aires' first truly world-class museum is a luminous temple to the gods of 20th-century Latin American art. A vigorous acquisitions program means you see the latest talents as well as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Fernando Botero. The architecture, rooftop views over surrounding Palermo, and gift shop are excuses in themselves to stop by.
Parque Tres de Febrero (Los Bosques de Palermo)
Porteños desperate for some green relief love this 200-acre Palermo park, which includes wooded areas, a rose garden, lakes, a planetarium, and a small art museum. Slump in the sun with a picnic and/or a book, or make like sporty locals and go for a run or a bike ride around its trails.
An entire postcard industry has been built on the Technicolor corrugated-iron constructions on this street in La Boca. A purpose-built tourist attraction, Caminito is unashamedly tacky and brash, but is still an exuberant must-see (and must-snap) on your first visit to Buenos Aires.
Sunday sees this quiet San Telmo square transformed into the Feria de San Pedro Telmo, Buenos Aires' biggest antiques market. Junk, memorabilia, and, occasionally, genuine antiques are all part of the cult of nostalgia celebrated here in the shadow of century-old town houses. A beer or a coffee at a traditional bar is an essential part of the experience.
Forget Madonna: for the true scoop on Argentina's most iconic citizen, come to this well-curated museum. Evita's life, works, and, yes, wardrobe are celebrated through insightful displays and original video footage, all housed in a gorgeous turn-of-the-20th-century mansion she requisitioned as a home for single mothers.
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