15 famous monuments in Buenos Aires (Argentina) you should not miss
When visiting a new city, landmarks are the first images that we get from it when we start doing research: they sound familiar to us, we’ve seen them and want to find them when there. So in this article, we will share with you the top 15 monuments in Buenos Aires (Argentina) that you shouldn’t miss when in the city (and why!). This list includes different kinds of artistic, cultural monuments, and amazing green areas we admire as real monuments.
1. Obelisco de Buenos Aires (The Obelisk)
If we talk about Buenos Aires’ famous landmarks, the Obelisk is at the top of the ranking.
Located at the intersection of two of the city’s most important avenues, 9 de Julio Avenue and Corrientes Avenue, this will be one of the first postcards that you will recognise when you get to the city center coming from the international airport.
It was built to mark the 4th centenary of the city’s first foundation, and it also marks the spot where the Argentine national flag was raised in the city for the first time. It was designed by the Argentine architect Alberto Prebisch and it is 67m high.
The obelisk is much more than a symbolic icon of the city: it is also a strategic spot for everything from sporting celebrations to political demonstrations.
2. Pirámide de mayo (Pyramid of May)
This is the oldest monument in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a unique symbol for the city. Located at Plaza de Mayo (May Square), the place where the city was founded in 1580.
It was built in 1811 to commemorate the first anniversary of a very significant milestone in our history: Revolución de Mayo (May Revolution), which had taken place there on May 25, 1810. That event marked the beginning of our road towards Argentina’s independence from Spain, declared some years later: July 9, 1816.
Both dates, May 25 and July 9, are the most important national holidays we have.
3. Puente de la mujer (Women’s bridge)
After the Obelisk, the Women’s bridge is the next popular landmark that most visitors want to photograph. Located in Puerto Madero, the youngest neighborhood in Buenos Aires,this pedestrian bridge offers great views of the city’s skyline.
It is not only a footbridge: it also rotates, if needed, to allow ships to get to the open river. It was the first work from Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava in Latin America and demonstrates Buenos Aires’ constant effort to position itself at the vanguard of art and architecture in the region.
According to the author, the bridge represents a couple dancing tango. Don’t miss it!
If you are planning a trip to BA, do not miss our Puerto Madero Insider Guide that contains all you need to know about Buenos Aires’ most modern and sophisticated district.
4. Floralis Generica
Inaugurated in 2002 to become one of the newest landmarks in Buenos Aires, it was probably the world’s first mobile public sculpture to be controlled by hydraulics and photoelectric sensors.
It was donated by its creator, the Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano, who in this piece made his dream of creating a sculpture that would reflect the dynamism of time come true. Catalano once said the sculpture was “a synthesis of all the flowers and a hope that is reborn every day”.
Named “Floralis Genérica” in homage to all flowers, this 20m-high, 18-tonne aluminum and stainless steel sculpture is located at the heart of Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, in Recoleta district.
Even though currently the mechanism that allowed the monument to move is out of order, its six petals used to open in the morning and close at night.
Do not miss our Recoleta District Insider Guide to discover more about the area that gives Buenos Aires the nickname of “the Paris of South America”.
5.Monument to Juana Azurduy
Very close to Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada (the government house), you will find a dramatic tribute to Juana Azurduy de Padilla, located just in front of what used to be the main post office building, now “Centro Cultural Kirchner”, (Kirchner Cultural Center).
She was a legendary military leader from Chuquisaca, Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (now Sucre, Bolivia) who fought during the Bolivian War of Independence (1809 – 1825) and was noted for her strong military leadership of the indigenous people.
The sculpture was created by Andres Zerneri, and was a gift by Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2015, becoming the newest monument in Buenos Aires.
6. Monument to Gral. José de San Martín
Gral. José de San Martín is recognised as the Libertador of Argentina, Chile and Perú, so you will find many monuments paying homage to his life and military career.
He was the leading general of the War of Independence. He created the Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers in 1812 and he also organized the military expedition that crossed the Andes (second highest mountain range in the world) to liberate Chile from Spanish rule.
The monument was created in 1862 by the French sculptor Louis Joseph Daumas and was the first equestrian monument in the city. Some years later, the German artist Gustav Eberlain designed the base and the sculptures representing outstanding moments in his fight for the independence of Argentina. This monument has a special meaning for the Argentinian People.
7. Torso desnudo (Male torso)
When coming from the city center and heading to Recoleta, many people are really amazed to see the peculiar statue of a headless male torso in “Parque Thays”.
Inaugurated in 1994 and made entirely of bronze, it’s the work of Colombian artist Fernando Botero, famous for highlighting volume in his figures.
8. Teatro Colón (Colon Theatre)
Located just a few meters away from the Obelisk, our Colon Theater is the most important opera house in Argentina and it is ranked among the most important ones in the world. Designed by Francesco Tamburini, Vittorio Meano and Jules Dormal, it was inaugurated in 1908. Many of the materials were imported from Europe.
Renowned all over the world for its amazing acoustics, the building’s design and detail is guaranteed to leave any visitor speechless, being its highlighting the marbles, stained glasses and a great staircase in the foyer. The Golden Hall will remind you of Versailles, and the Main Auditorium hosts a stunning dome with wonderful paintings by the local artist Raúl Soldi. The building was completely renovated some years ago.
Many international and local artists, singers and dancers performed here: Luciano Pavarotti, Igor Stranvinsky, María Callas, Rudolf Nureyev, Eleonora Cassano, Julio Bocca, Paloma Herrera and Maximiliano Guerra.
The building also houses all the workshops needed to supply local productions, and the Art Institute.
Colon Theater is a real gem in the city.
9. Planetario Galileo Galilei (Planetarium)
The UFO-shaped planetarium located in one of the city’s biggest areas of parkland is one of the weirdest landmarks in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Visitors to the so-called “Palermo Woods” can’t miss the “Planetario Galileo Galilei” (Galileo Galilei Planetarium), with its futuristic dome towering over the surrounding park and lake.
It has over 100 projectors and is approximately 5 meters (16 ft) in height and 2.5 tons in weight. It consists of a cylindrical framework with independent projectors for the Moon, the Sun and the visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and two spheres in the extremes that project 8,900 stars, constellations and nebulae.
It remains a popular family attraction, hosting a space-themed museum and daily shows.
10. Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK, Kirchner Cultural Center)
Located close to Plaza de Mayo (May square), this is the largest cultural center in Latin America. It was opened in 2015 and was named after the former president Néstor Kirchner.
It is an extraordinary French style building, designed by Norbert Maillart at the end of the 19th century, originally built to be the central post office building. Finished at the end of the 1920’s, the building was declared a National Historic Monument in 1997.
This cultural center hosts a concert hall, five auditoriums which are used for concerts and as theaters, rehearsal rooms and two terraces.
Many different cultural activities are organized all year round in this amazing building.
11. Centro Cultural Recoleta (Recoleta Cultural Center)
Located at Recoleta, not far from the famous cemetery, the building was originally designed by Jesuit architects. It was part of the area where a group of Recoleto friars settled at the beginning of the 18th century.
Later, the place had different purposes: it was a school, a hospital and a shelter for destitute people until the 1970’s.
The exhibition and cultural center was inaugurated in 1980. It hosts a whole range of different activities, giving a special place to young artists. It even has a wonderful terrace with sculptures overlooking the parks.
12. Boca Juniors Stadium
Football, or soccer, is much more than just a simple sport in Argentina: it is a passion.
If we consider the whole metropolitan area, there are more than 30 stadiums. This turns Buenos Aires into the city with the largest number of soccer stadiums in the whole world!
Usually it is hard to find them just in front of houses, separated from them by narrow streets. This is one of the many things that makes “La Bombonera” so special: it is part of the local life in La Boca, as well as one of the biggest in the city.
For football fans, no trip to BA is complete without visiting the Bombonera stadium (“the chocolate box”, because of its shape), home to Maradona’s beloved Boca Juniors and often considered the stadium with the most passionate atmosphere in the world as the stands are very close to the pitch.
Inside of it there is a very interesting museum where you can learn about the history of the club, championships and more. The store offers a wide variety of official items.
If you are planning a trip to BA, do not miss our La Boca Insider Guide that contains all you need to know about Buenos Aires’ most vibrant and colorful district.
13. River Plate Stadium
Located in the neighborhood of Belgrano, River Plate Stadium, also known as “Estadio Monumental” is the biggest stadium in Argentina and one of the most important in South America, with a capacity of 70,000.
Apart from River Plate matches, it hosts most of Argentina’s National team matches and has also been the venue for performances by international singers and bands.
The stadium was inaugurated in 1938 and was enlarged in 1978 when Argentina hosted (and won) the World Cup.
River Plate also has one of the largest sports museums in the world, with installations detailing the history of the club, including a 360º audiovisual spectacle.
14. Rosedal (Rose Garden)
With over 18,000 roses surrounded by a lake in the heart of Tres de Febrero park, Palermo, this is the favorite green area for most locals.
A great example of the Belle Epoque in Buenos Aires, the Rose Garden was inaugurated in 1914. It also has a Greek-style bridge that crosses the lake, an amphitheater, an Andalusian patio and a garden dedicated to local and international poets.
15. Jardín botánico (Botanical Gardens)
Also located in Palermo, this is a green area that you shouldn‘t miss.
Inaugurated in 1898, it has different areas dedicated to flora of every continent. The highlight is an impressive English-style mansion. Among the areas that we recommend you to visit are: the greenhouse, different sculptures and French and English-style gardens.
We hope that these recommendations of monuments in Buenos Aires (Argentina) are useful for your trip. If you don‘t have enough time in Buenos Aires and want to make the most of your stay, we suggest you booking a Small Group City Tour, in which not only you will get the chance to see many of the sites that we mentioned in this article, but also you will have a deeper understanding of Argentine history and culture.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Welcome to Buenos Aires!