Famous Squares Walking Tour (Self Guided), Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a wondrous city that will surprise you both by its beauty and by its wide range of attractions, with lots of landmarks, historical buildings and pretty squares to see. Why not take this walk through Buenos Aires and enjoy its numerous plazas (squares), parks and other top attractions.
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Famous Squares Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Famous Squares Walking Tour
Guide Location: Argentina » Buenos Aires (See other walking tours in Buenos Aires)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.3 Km or 3.9 Miles
Author: irenes
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Plaza San Martin
  • Plazoleta Cortazar
  • Plaza Lavalle
  • Plaza de la Republica
  • Plaza de Mayo
  • Plaza del Congreso
  • Plaza de Miserere
Plaza San Martin

1) Plaza San Martin

The Plaza San Martin is a tranquil park in the heart of Buenos Aires. It lies at the northern end of the busy pedestrian shopping street called Florida Street and is surrounded by many of the city’s skyscrapers.

The red marble and bronze equestrian statue of General Jose de San Martin who is regarded as the father of Argentina stands in the Plaza San Martin. The statue was sculpted by French artist Louis Joseph Daumas and erected in 1862. The statue depicts the different stages in the life of the general and the battles he fought to attain independence for Argentina. In 1878, the park was named after him on his 100th birth anniversary. It was designed by British architect Edward Taylor and Argentine architect, Jose Canale in 1883 and French architect Carlos Thays gave the park its current form in 1889.

The Plaza San Martin was once surrounded by the houses of some of the wealthiest families in Buenos Aires. It has more than 350 species of trees including Gameros, Jacarandas, Borrachos, Tilos and Palos. Visitors and locals flock to the park between September and November when most of the trees are in full bloom. At one end is monument to the soldiers who died fighting for the Islas Malvinas or Falkland Islands during the Falklands War.
Plazoleta Cortazar

2) Plazoleta Cortazar

Plazoleta Cortazar - or Plaza Serrano, as locals call it - is a famous square that's well known to both city-dwellers and tourists alike. During the day it hosts an open-air market where you'll find lots of nice crafts, clothing, art objects, jewelry and much more. At night the square - which is considered the bohemian heart of Palermo Soho - becomes a meeting point for the young people of Buenos Aires, who are also known as portenos. The Plazoleta Cortazar also doubles as a great shopping area.
Plaza Lavalle

3) Plaza Lavalle

The Plaza Lavalle is a three block park in Buenos Aires located near the Argentine Supreme Court. It is less crowded than the other larger parks in the city.

In 1822, an artillery park was installed in the site of the present Plaza Lavalle. In 1872, the present park was laid and named after a hero of the War of Independence, Juan Lavalle. A column was erected in his memory in the central block. It was the site of a major demonstration by a civic union in 1890 called the Revolution of the Park against the then president Miguel Juarez Celman.

The Argentine Supreme Court is located in the southern block of the Plaza Lavalle. There are also many shops of law booksellers and shops selling second hand law books near the court. A memorial to members of the National Ballet who died in a plane crash in 1971 and a monument to those who died in the terrorist attack in 1994 near the Jewish Synagogue are installed in this part of the park. Besides the monument in honor of Juan Lavalle, there are several old trees including one planted in 1878 by the first mayor of Buenos Aires in the central block. The Northern block lies in front of the Cervantes National Theatre and the Byzantine style Jewish Synagogue.
Plaza de la Republica

4) Plaza de la Republica

The Plaza de la Republica is a large elliptical plaza in the heart of Buenos Aires. The Obelisk of Buenos Aires, a monument built to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city is located in the center of the square.

The Plaza de la Republica is located in the San Nicholas Quarter of Buenos Aires. Originally, the church of St. Nicolas of Bari was located here. It was at this church that the Argentine flag was hoisted for the first time. The church was subsequently demolished and the site was chosen to establish the plaza and erect the obelisk.

The Plaza de la Republica was designed by local architect, Alberto Prebisch. It was inaugurated in 1937. He designed it as a stone paved circular esplanade. In 1962, it was enlarged and became an elliptical park with its present dimensions. The layout was changed to reroute one of the main roads of the city, the Corrientes Avenue through the park in 1971. The change was made to ease car traffic in the financial district of the city. Today it lies at the intersection of the three main arteries of the city. The Plaza de la Republica is a popular location for celebrations in the city especially when the Argentine Soccer team wins a major trophy.
Plaza de Mayo

5) Plaza de Mayo (must see)

The Plaza de Mayo is named in honor of the May revolution that led to the independence of Argentina. It is located in the heart of Buenos Aires and is surrounded by many of its landmarks.

The Plaza de Mayo was the site chosen by the founder of Buenos Aires, Juan de Garay for a central square in 1580. His plan did not materialize because the Jesuits got the title to the property. In 1661, the land was purchased again for a plaza and a colonnade was erected. In 1881, the colonnade was demolished and the present Plaza de Mayo took shape. The May Pyramid was built at the center to commemorate the May revolution.

The Plaza de Mayo remains the hub of political activism where a rally always takes place. It also hosts the cathedral, the Casa Rosada, the Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution.

Why You Should Visit:
Emblematic of Argentine history, but also a beautiful picturesque square as those found in Spain.
Always a pleasure to walk around, especially since it has been completely refurbished.
Plaza del Congreso

6) Plaza del Congreso (must see)

The Plaza del Congreso is located in front of the National Congress Building. It is one of the largest squares in the city.

It is also called "Plaza de los dos Congresos" because the Monumento de los Dos Congresos is located within the square. The Plaza Lorea, the Plaza Mariano Moreno and the Plaza de Congreso form a set of plazas in front of the National Congress Building. It was developed for the centenary celebrations of the May Revolution in 1912.

The Plaza Lorea was named after the man who once owned the land, Isidro Lorea. The Plaza Mariano Moreno was named after Mariano Moreno who played a leading role in the war of independence. In 1908, a law was enacted to establish a public square in front of the National Congress Building and Carlos Thays was chosen to design it. It was completed in 1910 with two sections, one with sculptures and the other, a French-style garden. Two notable sculptures are an original variant of Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ that is signed by Rodin and a monument to the two congresses that honor the Congress of 1810 of Buenos Aires and the Congress of 1816 in Tucuman that led to the independence of the nation.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the prettiest squares in the city! The monuments commemorate Argentine's independence and are rich in symbolism.

Be careful of the people camping in the square – although they usually do not bother tourists, there are always exceptions, especially at night.
Also, don't be surprised to see a demonstration here.
Plaza de Miserere

7) Plaza de Miserere

The Plaza de Miserere is an important square in Buenos Aires. It is one of the most visited parts of the city because of the shops and restaurants located nearby.

The Plaza de Miserere is located in the Balvanera area of Buenos Aires. It is on the site of a large mansion called the Quinta de Miserere. Miserere was the nickname of the owner of the mansion, Antonio Gonzalez Varela who was known for his mercy and bonhomie. It was the site of the re-conquest of the city after the attempted invasion by the British in 1806 and also the venue of the defeat of Spanish troops under Santiago de Liniers during the second British invasion in 1807. In 1850, it became a shopping area called the 15th September Market. In 1882, the market was closed and a Plaza was established.

In 1913, the Buenos Aires Metro Station was built under Plaza de Miserere and it was completely remodeled. The present square is the result of renovations in 1923. In 1932, a mausoleum was built for the first President of Argentina, Bernardino Rivadavia containing his ashes, although the President had died in exile in Spain with a dying wish that his remains would never be returned to the city of his birth.

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