If you're wondering what to do in Buenos Aires, you could attend a milonga, an event where people come together to dance the tango – the Sunday evening one in Plaza Dorrego is popular with locals.
For a different sort of moving experience, visit Plaza de Mayo on a Thursday at 3.30pm when the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo march in remembrance of their children who disappeared in the Dirty War of the 1970s.
The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires is the city’s most distinguished art museum and one of its most prominent cultural features. It provides a fascinating insight into Latin American art culture through a stunning display of works by the region’s most talented artists. The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, or MALBA as it is known, is one of the finest collections of Latin American art in the world. Located in the tranquil Palermo area of Buenos Aires, it hosts a permanent collection of some 200 artworks. This collection spans the entire 20th century highlighting the paintings, photography, drawings, sculptures, installations and prints of Latin America’s most celebrated artists.
A striking feature in Buenos Aires' public square of Plaza de Mayo is the distinctive Casa de Gobierno (Government House), completed in 1898 and known colloquially as Casa Rosada or Pink House. A mishmash of architectural styles and painted an unusual pink hue, the Argentine presidential palace is an unmissable sight, literally! Located on the eastern end of Plaza de Mayo and built on a former fort in the late 19th century, Casa Rosada is the executive building of the President of Argentina. Its eclectic mixture of architectural styles can be attributed to different architects from France, Italy and Sweden who were commissioned to modify the building. Notable elements of the exterior include the Italianate portico built in 1825 at the entrance and the balcony looking on to Plaza de Mayo, which is the presidential podium where Eva 'Evita' Perón famously rallied the working class and where Madonna sang in the film 'Evita'.
For a vibrant, bohemian neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, La Boca is the barrio to visit. Located in the southeast of the city, this historic and colourful working class area sits at the mouth (la boca) of the Richuelo River near the old port and is the site of many popular attractions and historic events. The sight most visitors flock to in La Boca is the colourful Calle Museo Caminito, meaning 'little walkway', which is an outdoor museum teeming with tango dancers, street performers, artisans and tourists. The street is the canvas of local artist Benito Quinquela Martin who painted the walls of an abandoned street and constructed a crude stage for performances in 1960. The area soon became a magnet for artists and performers and retains a certain charm with cobblestone streets, colourful corrugated-iron houses (coventillos) and artists' studios. Another major drawcard is the La Bombonera football stadium, which is home to the world-famous Boca Juniors club.
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) displays the world's largest collection of Argentine art in an old pump waterworks building. Established in 1896, the museum has been in its current location since 1932 and showcases national and international artworks in 30 richly-hued galleries across three floors. Head straight to the first floor, which is devoted to Argentine and South American art. The permanent exhibition of Argentine art offers a wide-reaching and comprehensive overview of local talent as well as overseas painters who visited the country in the early 19th century to the artistic movements of the 20th century. Highlights include the gauchos (Argentine cowboys) of Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós' oil paintings, and the vibrant port scenes painted by Benito Quinquela Martín, of El Caminito fame in La Boca.
Established in 1580, Plaza de Mayo (May Square) is Buenos Aires' first public square and the historic site of ceremonies, rallies, political uprisings and protests. The name of the square is derived from the uprising against Spanish colonial rule on May 25, 1810 and the journey toward independence. The plaza remains the symbolic and physical centre of Argentina's turbulent and colourful history. The original square was cleaved down the middle by a gallery that has since made way for the central monument, the Pirámide de Mayo, now housed within a newer structure built in 1911. Within the picturesque square you'll find landscaped gardens, paved paths and ornamental lamp posts, which lend a romantic feel to the space at night. To visit Plaza de Mayo, metro line A travels to Plaza de Mayo station.