Essential Buenos Aires

Tour Creator

Martín is a historian, born and raised in Buenos Aires. He graduated with a PhD from Princeton University, where he wrote a dissertation about his city’s history and architecture. He…Read More Bio »

Buenos Aires

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

2+hrs

2.5km

Our tour explores the foundation of Buenos Aires, the dramatic years of Perón and Evita, and the Belle-Époque palaces of its boulevards.

The theme of our tour will be change: from the humble beginnings of the city as a backwater of the Spanish empire to its transformation into a rich, modern and cosmopolitan metropolis. Our walk will show us the past and present of Buenos Aires and will also focus on the architecture, known for its diversity and eclecticism.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Expert-created Tour

Written by a historian, who graduated with a PhD from Princeton University, where he wrote a dissertation about Buenos Aires' history and architecture

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Basilica de San Francisco, the Cabildo, and Palacio Barolo

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home

Itinerary

Essential Buenos Aires

  1. San Ignacio Church - We’ll give you a general introduction to the history of the city, together with the story of the Jesuits’ rise and fall during the colonial era.
  2. Basilica de San Francisco - The site of a violent clash between Peronist militants and Catholics in the 1950s, which ended up with the building on fire
  3.  Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada - The Plaza de Mayo is undoubtedly the heart of Buenos Aires. Foundational square and seat of the presidential palace, much of Argentina’s history happened here—from coups d’état to epoch-making demonstrations, from legendary presidential speeches to aerial bombings. On this site you will get the basics in order to understand that story.
  4. Plaza de Mayo, Cabildo, Cathedral, and May Pyramid - Different time periods come together on the northern side of the square. What you’ll listen will help you to put the things together: the story of the Argentine independence, the urban and political transformations of the Belle Époque, and the cycle of political violence during the 1970s. Bonus track: get to know the spot where archbishop Bergoglio started becoming Pope Francis.
  5. Banco Hipotecario Nacional (former Bank of London) - The Banco Hipotecario is one of the masterworks of Latin American modern architecture. As you appreciate its peculiar shapes and volumes, you will listen the story of how avant-garde styles like brutalism broke down the hegemony of traditional architecture in the financial district.
  6. Bank of the Province of Buenos Aires and Güemes Gallery - Two bygone epochs come together on this spot: while the Banco Provincia is a powerful symbol of the new architecture (and the new economy) of the Great Depression, the Güemes Gallery brings you back to the beauty and sophistication of the Argentine Belle-Époque.
  7. North Diagonal and Florida St.-  No corner in the city conveys a stronger image of dynamism and modernity than the crossing of the North Diagonal and Florida St. Its high buildings and majestic domes have impressed locals and foreigners alike since their construction in the 1920s. You will share the feeling of admiration, as you hear the story of how this corner gradually took shape.
  8. Av. de Mayo. La Prensa Bdg. - A majestic boulevard opened in the 1890s, the Avenida de Mayo is an obliged stroll for anyone wanting to enjoy the sophistication and eclecticism of Buenos Aires’s architecture. This block, with some of its most noted masterworks, will be your entry point to such a treat.
  9. Café Tortoni - In a city known worldwide for its café culture, Café Tortoni is the utmost café. On this spot you will hear the story of how the Tortoni got its reputation as meeting place for intellectuals, painters, and tango musicians, thus becoming a landmark of Buenos Aires’s social and cultural life.
  10. 9 de Julio Av. - Argentines know 9 de Julio as the widest avenue in the world. While the claim might be exaggerated, it fits the grand perspectives the avenue offers. You will enjoy one of them on this point, while you listen to the story of two major buildings: the Obelisk, Buenos Aires’s main emblem, and the Ministry of Public Works, a relic of the golden age of Peronism.
  11. Iberia and Plaza Asturias - During the Spanish Civil War, Spaniards used to meet in these two opposite cafés in order to discuss politics—and get involved in fistfights. You will listen to that and other stories of Spanish immigrants, who constituted, together with Italians, the most numerous foreign community in early-twentieth-century Argentina.
  12. Palacio Barolo - In a city known for its eccentric and at the same time beautiful constructions, Palacio Barolo takes both qualities to the extreme. On this site, you will get to know the story of how this building became the highest in town in the 1920s, and how its author conceived of it as Dante Alighieri’s mausoleum

Check out a free sample of this tour!

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