Avenida de Mayo Highlights
Running from the Congress building to the Presidential offices, Avenida de Mayo is the heartline of Buenos Aires. The avenue pulses with vehicular and pedestrian traffic every day of the week. On the street you’ll see businessmen and women on the way to the office, mixing with camera-toting tourists who wander awestruck from building to grand building. Start at Plaza de Mayo and work your way down to the Palacio del Congreso for a full afternoon of Avenida de Mayo highlights.
Refer to our list of top spots on Avenida de Mayo to ensure that you don’t miss anything on your walk down this famous street. Here are the Avenida de Mayo highlights:
Casa de la Cultura: House of Culture
Once the headquarters of Argentina’s second-largest newspaper at the time, La Prensa, today the building is home to a cultural resource center. Visit to find info on what’s going on in the city each week, or stop by to admire the beautifully elaborate ceiling in the entryway. Avenida de Mayo 575.
Bar London City
This unassuming café is easy to miss on the busy street of Avenida de Mayo, but head to the back of the room to see evidence of its glamorous history. Framed portraits and quotes hang on the walls of Bar London City to honor notable visitors of the past, such as famous Argentine author Julio Cortazar, who mentioned the café in his book Los Primos. Avenida de Mayo 599
Buenos Aires’s most famous pedestrian street is always bustling with portenos and tourists alike. Lined on both sides by stores of every kind, as well as many restaurants and cafes, Calle Florida is one stroll you can’t miss in Buenos Aires. Follow traffic down Peru, which turns into Florida after a couple of blocks.
Stepping into the oldest café in the country is like stepping back in time. In Café Tortoni, waiters wear old-fashioned suits, the stained-glass ceiling panel produces a romantic atmosphere, and the old photos lining the walls surround the customer with stories. Order the classic submarino (Argentine hot chocolate drink) with churros (sugary fried dough)! Avenida de Mayo 825.
Don Quixote statue
Adding interest to the intersection between Avenida de Mayo and 9 de Julio, the statue of Don Quixote represents the main character of the famous book by the same name. Don Quixote has come to mean an impractical idealist who wants to right impossible wrongs. Just beyond the statue is a giant mural of celebrated ex-First Lady Eva Peron, who advocated for labor rights and women’s suffrage during her time in office.
Opened to the public in 1929, this grand building was once the home of the famous Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca. His restored bedroom is now open to the public for viewing. Hotel Castelar has hosted numerous distinguished guests, including Argentina’s favorite poet, Jorge Luis Borges. Avenida de Mayo 1152.
Esquina de la Hispanidad: Hispanic Heritage Corner
On the “Hispanic Heritage Corner,” Bar Iberia, the city’s second oldest café, served as the main meeting places for the Republicans during the civil war of the 1930s. Come sit at the tables that have seated monumental figures of Argentina’s history, including Federico García Lorca, Margarita Xirgu, Hipólito Yrigoyen, and Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear. Corner of Av. de Mayo and Salta Congreso.
Teatro Avenida: Avenida Theatre
Once the chief venue for Spanish theater in Buenos Aires, Teatro Avenida was inaugurated in 1908. Argentina’s last military dictatorship in the 70s caused an abrupt decline in local theater activity, leading to the Avenida’s closing in 1977. Though a 1979 fire nearly destroyed the theater, this historical treasure was renovated and reopened in 1994. Avenida de Mayo 1220.
The traditional setting of wooden tables and large windows overlooking the street hint at the deep history of this classic café. Since 1894, 36 Billares has been visited by many famous writers and journalists. Its architects designed the space to be conducive for games like pool, cards, dice, and dominos. Av. de Mayo 1265 C 1085
Palacio Barolo: Barolo Palace
Finished in 1923, the tallest building in Buenos Aires was constructed to symbolize Dante’s Divine Comedy. Palacio Barolo has 22 stories to reflect the number of verses per song, its height (100m) is a reference to the number of songs, and the tower on top symbolizes heaven. Tours are available on the hour every Monday and Thursday. Avenida de Mayo 1370.
Palacio del Congreso: Congressional Palace
The grandeur of this colossal building makes a rewarding end to one’s walk down Avenida de Mayo. Topped with a green dome and facing a pleasant park, the Palacio del Congreso was modeled on the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Free tours on weekdays. Hipólito Yrigoyen 1849.With these top attractions in mind, you’ll know exactly what to look for when wondering where to go on Avenida de Mayo!
Check out our website for more Avenida de Mayo highlights and other tours and activities in Buenos Aires.
By: Caroline Leland