The iconic Obelisco de Buenos Aires stands at the intersection of two of the city’s most important streets: Avenida Corrientes and Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest street in the world with an incredible 16 lanes. The monument was erected in 1936 to commemorate the first foundation of the city by Pedro de Mendoza in 1536, and marks the sport where the Argentine national flag was raised for the first time. Measuring 67.5 metres in height, the obelisk was was designed by Argentine modernist architect Alberto Prebisch, who also designed the Gran Rex Theatre, which can be found nearby at Corrientes 857.
The Colón theatre is considered one of the best opera houses in the world, together with La Scala in Milán, the Opera Garnier in Paris and the Royal Opera House in London, and is renowned for its acoustics and architecture.
Designed by Francesco Tamburini, Victor Meano and Jules Dormal, and built over 20 years, the theatre opened in 1908 and went on to host some of the most important conductors, singers and dancers of the twentieth century, including Igor Stravinsky, Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Rudolf Nureyev, Julio Bocca and Maximiliano Guerra.
Wonderful stories await to be unveiled behind its doors. In the neighborhood of San Telmo, the National Historical Museum is one of the most representative in the Federal District. Home of all the events that took place in Argentina, it also shows stories from Pre-Columbian America and anecdotes from the days of the colony.
Located at the highest point in Lezama Park today, MHN is the perfect reflection of ancient architecture. Its front gardens have been impeccably preserved. Many iron and bronze figures, such as old bells and cannons, are on display there. The gate known as Puerta de los Leones (Lions’ Gate), which connects the gardens with the park itself, is also intact.
Located in La boca, the Caminito (little path, in Spanish) is a street museum of colourful painted houses typical of the immigrant dwellings that came to chracterise this portside area towards the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century.
The Caminito followed the route of an old stream that once flowed into the Riachuelo, and later, after the river dried up, formed part of a railroad route. After the closure of the railroad, the street was largely abandoned until in the 1950s a group of neighbours decided to regenerate the area and local artist Benito Quinquela Martín began using the tenements as his canvas.
Today, there are several works by Argentine artists incorporated as part of the street museum and the Caminito has become a favourite with visitors to the city. Several restaurants offer tango and folk dance shows and street fills with artists offering original crafts and paintings.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is the second best bookstore in the world. It preserves the splendour and elegance of the former Gran Splendid theatre/cinema, which was designed by architects Peró and Torres Armengol.
Located in the Recoleta neighbourhood, El Grand Spendid theatre opened in 1919 and immediately became a beacon of porteño culture, hosting ballet, opera, and the first "talkies" shown in Buenos Aires. The national Odeon record label - now owned by EMI - was based here, and singers such as Carlos Gardel recorded on the premises.
Dominating the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada - or pink house - is the seat of the Argentine national government and houses the president's office.
Witness to much of the city's history, it was from the balconies of the Casa Rosada that Juan and “Evita” Perón addressed the masses during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The central archway was designed by Italian architect Francisco Tamburini, who was also responsible for the original design of the Colón Theatre, and was completed in 1890.
The Plaza de Mayo is the oldest public square in Buenos aires, and has been the scene of many of the most important events in the city's history, from the second founding of the city in 1580, through the revolution of independence, to more recent political demonstrations.
The square is named after the Argentine revolution, which began on May 25, 1810. Around the square are several important buildings: the Cabildo, the Metropolitan Cathedral, where Pope Francis conducted mass for 20 years, the Casa Rosada, seat of the national government, the national revenue office (AFIP), the national bank and the intelligence secretariat.
The Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) houses the Fundación Costantini collection, with more than 400 works of art by important 20th century Latin American artists. The modern building, constructed from limestone, steal and glass, was built in 1997 by the Atelman-Fourcade-Tapia studio, winners of an international competition whose jury comprised celebrated architects Norman Foster, César Pelli and Mario Botta.
The museum is a dynamic, participatory cultural space that, as well as its important permanent collection, showcases a diverse range of major temporary exhibitions, often collaborating with other international museums to bring important artists from around the world. It also boasts a growing library of films and runs important film series, and hosts talks, courses, seminars and book presentations in part of the museum dedicated to literature. The cafe with its park views is also highly rated.
The National Museum of Fine Arts houses one of the best art collections in Latin America, and the biggest collection of Argentine art. Located in the Recoleta neighborhood, and part of the Museum Mile, it's permanent collection includes work by El Greco, Goya, Rodin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Chagall and Picasso. Argentine painters include Cándido López, Lino Enea Spilimbergo, Prilidiano Pueyrredón, Fernando Fader, Benito Quinquela Martín, Xul Solar, Antonio Berni, Carlos Alonso y Antonio Seguí.