7 gorgeous buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

7 gorgeous buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires

When we travel to an unknown city, walking down its streets with a curious eye is the best way to get an insight to its identity and atmosphere. If that city you are visiting is Buenos Aires, you can consider yourself a lucky person: you are in an architectural heaven! Here are 7 gorgeous buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires.

Whether it’s the major landmarks at the most famous avenue in town (‘Avenida de Mayo’), or common buildings just around any block, you’ll never get tired of the mixture of styles and contrasts.

Each neighbourhood in this city boasts a very unique character. San Telmo takes you back to Buenos Aires‘ colonial past, while La Boca’s colorful ‘conventillos’ (collective buildings) tell the stories of the immigrants that arrived at the end of the 19th century.  But the palaces of Recoleta and Retiro speak of the ‘belle époque’, when the elite of the city adopted a European flair and Buenos Aires became known as ‘the Paris of South America’.

Are you planning a trip to Buenos Aires? Check out our selection of the 7 gorgeous buildings that deserve a visit. Can’t wait to visit? Explore our tours to Argentina here.

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires

PHOTO: M. Parra

Barolo Palace (Avenida de Mayo 1370).
A masterpiece of the Italian architect Mario Palanti, inspired in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. By the time it was finished in 1923, this eclectic-styled 100 meter-high palace became the tallest skyscraper in South America. It has 22 floors divided into three parts: hell, purgatory and heaven. A lighthouse at the top offers one of the most breathtaking views of the city. Don’t miss a guided tour to this architectural gem. It also has many hidden references. www.palaciobarolo.com.ar

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

Cabildo (Colonial Town Hall) (Bolívar 65).
Standing in front of the famous ‘Plaza de Mayo’, the Cabildo was the former residence of the Spanish Viceroy back in the 18th century and had a central role throughout Argentine political history. With traditional colonial architecture of simple lines, the original Cabildo was built in 1608 but has been restored several times along the years. Today, it’s home to the National Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution. There are guided tours in Spanish every day. English tours are offered in the mornings on weekends and holidays.

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

Colon Theater (Cerrito 618)
Considered as one of the five best opera houses in the world due to its exquisite acoustics, this theatre has had some of the world’s most renowned opera singers, ballet dancers and classical music artists on its stage. The original theater overlooked Plaza de Mayo. However, it was replaced by the one that you see now, which was finished in 1908 after 20 years under construction. It’s a fine piece of eclectic architecture that follows the Italian and French design standards for the time. This is one of Buenos Aires’ most beloved buildings and was been completely restored in 2010. For a glimpse into the backstage of this magnificent centennial theatre, you can join Spanish and English guided tours everyday except on holidays. www.teatrocolon.org.ar/    

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

Flowing Waters Palace (Córdoba 1950)
Lying on an entire block on Cordoba Avenue, this colossal eclectic palace with a renaissance air was built with an extravagant purpose: to be used as a water pumping station. After the yellow fever outbreak of 1870, the Argentine government commissioned the construction of a modern water system. This building — one of the most beautiful in Buenos Aires  was finished in 1894 and only served as a facade to hide the water tanks. Its exuberance depicts Argentina’s most prosperous years, signed by progress and economic wealth.   

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

Argentine National Congress Palace (Rivadavia and Entre Ríos)
Inaugurated in 1906, this neoclassical palace is the seat of the Legislative branch of the Argentinian government and is one of the city’s most popular landmarks. Lying on one end of the iconic Avenida de Mayo (on the opposite end you’ll find the presidential seat, Casa Rosada), the Congress Palace was inspired by Washington’s Capitol and boasts a unique bronze dome, one of the most distinguished in the city. The famous argentine sculptor Lola Mora is the artist behind the numerous marble statues you can find inside and outside the building. www.congreso.gob.ar

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra
Paz Palace (Santa Fe 750)
With an impressive iron and bronze gate overlooking Plaza San Martin, this luxurious Beaux-Arts mansion with French reminiscences was —by 1914— among the biggest and most elegant private residences in the city. José Clemente Paz —the founder of ‘La Prensa’, an important newspaper in the city—moved there with his family: only nine relatives and more than 60 servants occupied the building with 35 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms. Unfortunately, José Paz died soon after. In 1938, the family sold the palace to the Military Officer’s Association. The place remains mostly untouched as a museum and you can book Spanish and English guided tours to visit it. www.palaciopaz.com.ar.

buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
PHOTO: M. Parra

Kavanagh Building (Florida 1065)
This 120 meter-high art-deco rent building was finished in 1936 and took out Barolo Palace’s place as the highest in South America (at least for some years). Settled in one of the corners of ‘Plaza San Martin’ in the centric neighbourhood of Retiro, the Kavanagh has a modern design and it has been completely built in concrete. It even has an air-conditioning system, which was a significantly modern innovation at the time. The legend says that Corina Kavanagh ordered to built it as a form of revenge. It’s said she was in love with a son of the aristocratic Anchorena family, who lived in a sumptuous palace on the other side of ‘Plaza San Martin’ and owned a church that could be seen through their window. But Anchorena’s mother didn’t approve the relationship and led it to an end. Humiliated, Corina ordered to build the skyscraper exactly in front of the church, completely blocking the family precious view.  

7 gorgeous buildings you should visit in Buenos Aires
Marina Parra

Marina is a journalist, content writer, mountain lover and amateur photographer living in Buenos Aires. She’s traveled in Argentina and South America enjoying great conversations, local cuisine and breathtaking natural wonders.

10 Comments
  1. Thanks marina. Really interesting read. I love the opera house and the art deco Kavanaga building (I would love to see inside it.). Eye opening to see what type of architecture the city boasts.

  2. I love architecture and these are indeed some of the most gorgeous buildings. Would definitely love to visit Buenos Aires someday. Thank you for sharing

  3. I love architecture and it is something that I look for before travelling to a place. It looks like BA has a lot to offer. Hopefully I’ll be ticking off this list soon! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I visited Buenos Aires a long time ago and was bowled over by the wonderful architecture, but I really like the way you have focused on the specific details of the different buildings in your blog post.

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