11.00am | Plaza de Mayo and national congress

Address

YRIGOYEN, HIPOLITO AV. y BALCARCE

The Plaza de Mayo has been the stage for many historic events, from the foundation of the city, to the formation of the first independent national government, the 1955 bombing, the marches of the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, the announcement of the Malvinas war and the swearing in of Argentine presidents.    

On one side is the unmistakable Casa Rosada, site of the executive branch of the national government. Opposite is the colonial Cabildo, and to one side the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Catholic church's main site in Argentina.

In the centre of the square, you can get the best 360º view from the Pirámide de Mayo, a pyramid topped by a figure representing Liberty, which was built to celebrate the centenary of the May Revolution. The mothers of the Plaza de Mayo march around the pyramid every Thursday at 4.00pm to demand information about their children, who disappeared during Argentina's last military dictatorship.

After taking in the buidings around the square, take Avenida de Mayo passing Pasaje Roverano, a historic arcade where Pope Francis used to get his hair cut.

One block on, you'll arrive at Café Tortoni, one of the city's most famous and best preserved Bares Notables, where you can take a break and soak up the atmosphere as you enjoy a coffee at one of the marble tables where personalities such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Federico García Lorca and Carlos Gardel once drank. 

A few metres on is the Palacio Barolo, a stunning art nouveau office building with symbolic architectural references to Dante's Divine Comedy.

Keep looking skywards as you continue walking, because the building known as La Inmobiliaria has one of the city's most famous domes. Finally, you'll arrive at the National Congress building, site of Argentina's national legislature.  

Free guided tours:

The city tourist board offers free guided walking tours of Plaza de Mayo every Monday.

Moving on

Walk four blocks along Av. Entre Ríos until you reach Av. Belgrano. From here, you can take bus number 103, and within 20 minutes you'll reach the junction with Alicia Moreau de Justo, in Puerto Madero.