Buenos Aires is Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital city. It is full of cultural landmarks and 19th century buildings. It is mild year round making it a great escape from the winter chill.
If you are thinking of a holiday getaway, Buenos Aires is the place to be. There is so much to see and do and Christmas makes all the sights and activities that much more exciting. Here are some of the things you will want to check out when you visit.
Check out the Fireworks
For the people of Buenos Aires, Christmas is mostly celebrated on Christmas Eve. People go to midnight mass, and after that, all bets are off. There is a lot of club hopping and partying in the streets.
Fireworks are typically set off in honor of the holiday. Buenos Aires is relatively flat so it’s easy to view fireworks from wherever you are but the ritzy neighborhood of Puerto Madero is your best bet.
You can make dinner reservations at one of the upscale restaurants in the area to make your night complete. The Alvear Icon Hotel’s Crystal Bar, for example, is known for providing a spectacular view of the celebrations.
If you don’t have much of a budget, you can watch fireworks from the many beaches in Puerto Madero or from the Puente De La Mujer, a rotating flat bridge in the area’s commercial district.
Note, fireworks are also lit off on New Year’s Eve. These same destinations will also make great places to spend this exciting night as well.
Go to Tango Show
During a tango show, you can see dancers perform the dance dressed up in flashy costumes. This is a great way to spend Christmas Eve.
If you want to see a tango show and enjoy a view of the fireworks, make reservations at Madero Tango in Puerto Madero. They will have terrific entertainment, exciting scenery and delicious food.
See the Tree at Galerias Pacifico
The tree and decorations at the Galerias Pacifico mall are among the most the most beautiful in the town. The mall goes all out offering family photos and plenty of great shopping.
For a bonus tree, head over to Galeria Guemes. The tree there may not be as big as the one as Galerias Pacifico, but it is equally as beautiful.
Buenos Aires has a huge Roman Catholic population. While some choose to go out partying instead of spending Christmas Eve in a church, there are plenty of beautiful churches where you can go for some religious reflection.
Your best choice may be the Plaza de Mayo, the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires. The outside looks more like a military building than a church but the inside is absolutely stunning. It the place where the liberator of Argentina, San Martin is interred as well as the location where Pope Francis performed mass as Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio.
Eat Pan Dulce from Plaza Mayor
Pan Dulce is a dessert that is commonly eaten at Christmastime in Argentina. It is a bread-like pastry with currants and other dried fruits. The treat is popular in Italy and was brought to Argentina by the many Italian immigrants that migrated to the country.
There are many places in Buenos Aires that serve great pan dulce but Plaza Mayor is known for making the best. In fact, you can expect lines around the block if you come in to try this delectable treat. Find out if it’s worth it!
Walk Through the City
Buenos Aires is hot and a little chaotic, especially during Christmastime when everyone is looking forward to getting out of town for a while. You can just walk through the city to take in the excitement.
If you prefer to come at a quieter time, try a January trip. January 6 marks Epiphany Day which celebrates Christ’s baptism and is the ‘real Christmas’ for many countries including Argentina. During this time of year, the city is virtually empty as people make their holiday getaways. You can have the city almost to yourself if you visit just after the holidays.
Visit Casa Rosado
Casa Rosado or the pink house, it the seat of the Argentine national government and it houses the president’s office. It is impressive to look at and its balconies are famous as being the place were Juan and Evita Peron addressed the masses during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Free guided tours are available and can be reserved in advance.
While on your tour, you will be taken to the Casa Rosada Museum that sits behind the palace on the spot occupied by the original fort of Buenos Aires. It explores the history of Argentina and houses the walls of the former custom house. You can also view a mural created by famous Mexican artist David Alfaro Siquieros.
Stroll the Plaza del Mayo
The Plaza del Mayo is the city center and the location of Casa Rosado as well as other 19th century buildings. It was originally called Plaza del Victoria but its name was changed when Argentina won its independence. As such, it has great historical significance.
Today it serves as a financial and administrative center. In addition to Casa Rosado, historic buildings on the square include the Cabilido, the former seat of the Colonial government and the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral which is now known as Pope Francis’ former parish.
Take in a Show at Teatro Colon
Teatro Colon is the main opera house in Buenos Aires. It was voted one of the best ten opera houses by National Geographic and is considered to be among the five most acoustically sound venues in the world.
During the Christmas season, you can bet there will be something festive showing at the theater. Check listings to make sure you’re in town to see your favorite events.
If you are looking for a tropical destination where you can spend Christmas, Buenos Aires has it all. Which of these activities will you be adding to your to-do list?
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