The obelisk is one of the city's most recognised landmarks, and a focal point for everything from football celebrations to political protests. It marks the crossroads of Avenida Corrientes, famous for its many theatres, pizza joints, and bookstores, and Avenida 9 de Julio – often considered the world's widest avenue.
Continuing north along 9 de Julio, you'll find the impressive Colón Theatre, one of the most important opera houses in the world. South of this grand building is the Ministry of Social Development, which can be recognised by the distinctive mural of Evita on its side wall.
Walking along Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña, popularly known as Diagonal Norte, you'll reach the Plaza de Mayo. This street connects two of the three state powers: the judiciary, based at the Palace of Justice and the executive branch of the government, based at the Casa Rosada.
- The Colón Theatre runs guided tours every day except May 1, December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1. They run every 15 minutes from 9am to 5pm.
- There are free guided tours of the Palacio de Justicia in Spanish at 2.30pm on Fridays.
Avenida Corrientes is famous for its bookstores, many of which open late into the evening and sell secondhand books. It's no coincidence that Umberto Eco chose an old store here as the location to open his classic novel The Name of the Rose, which revolves around an old manuscript.
Head four blocks south from the obelisk along 9 de Julio until you reach Avenida de Mayo.