Buenos Aires has always been famous for its incredible cultural offer. Museums, cinemas, theatres and shows provide an unlimited variety of options for entertainment. Dramas, musical comedies, “teatro de revistas” (a sort of revue), guided tours and tango shows, are some of the proposals for all ages, all the year round.
Both cinema and theatre represent two very important activities for the porteños. Currently, there are about 175 theatres and 200 cinemas.
The Colón Theater, inaugurated in 1908, is the pride of the porteños. It has hosted, and still hosts, the most famous artists of the national and international opera and ballet.
Caruso, Gigli, María Callas, Victoria de los Angeles, Krauss, Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti were among the renowned singers. It received dancers such as Alicia Alonso, Margot Fonteyn, Paloma Herrera, Nijinski, Nureiev, Barishnikov and Julio Bocca. Orchestra directors as Stravinsky, Toscanini, Von Karajan and Zubin Metha have also presented in the Opera house.
Among the endless number of shows offered, music has a special place. Those who love classic music can choose from a wide variety of concerts performed in different theaters, such as Colón and Coliseo. Both the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Symphonic Orchestra offer free concerts. Music shows by highly talented national and foreign artists are frequently staged in football fields and private facilities.
Attractions and entertainment events have increased exponentially during the last years in Buenos Aires. Important international chains, such as Cinemark, Hoyt’s, Showcase and Village Roadshow, have established in the City.
Buenos Aires is a city characterized by the multiplicity of its artistic expressions, ranging from the great assortment of sculptures and monuments to streets and corners that surprise the visitor with their allegorical reliefs and murals. Those who admire or collect pieces of art will find wonderful galleries and art museums where works by Argentine and foreign artists may be admired.
There is a great variety of museums. At present, there are more than 100 museums, both public and private. Among the national museums, we can mention the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts), ranked at an international level and offering free admittance. Average ticket prices are between $1 and $2 and there are private collections that may visited for less than $5. During the year 2001, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) (Buenos Aires Latin American Art Museum) was inaugurated. It has an important permanent collection of contemporary Latin American art in a spacious and modern building designed for that purpose.
The National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Decorative Art, the National Museum Isaac Fernández Blanco of Spanish American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum Eduardo Sívori of Plastic Art, as well as the National Culture Halls and the Borges Cultural Center, among others, frequently show very important circulating exhibits. The General San Martín, Recoleta and Ricardo Rojas Cultural Centers are important places where different expressions of national and international art are displayed.
The handicraft markets are one of the most picturesque proposals of the city. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, artisans offer their crafts in different parks and squares.
The Street-Museum Caminito, where 62 plastic artists exhibit their work in the open air, is one of the most important markets of its type in the world.
The San Pedro Telmo fair is one of the most important attractions offered by the City. On Sundays, Dorrego square (Humberto 1º and Defensa streets) changes its looks when more than 270 stands are displayed to sell peculiar articles – “antiques and old things”. The surrounding bars put their tables on the street and all the area is crowded by musicians, singers, tango dancers and mimes, among others. The fair also organizes popular dancings with the collaboration of the neighbors.
In a very significant corner of Buenos Aires, the Mataderos Market is open on Sundays and holidays, April to November, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, and offers an exhibition of Handicraft and Argentine Popular Traditions.
The visitor may enjoy a colorful festival of music and dance, and see a number of typical gaucho skills, such as sortija races, demonstrations of roping and shearing. In addition, there are traditional games for adults and children, including contests and prizes, like sapo, horseshoes, sack races, palo enjabonado. Regional food is also present – asado, locro, empanadas, tamales, tortas fritas and tortilla al rescoldo.
The Costanera Norte (Northern River Coast) is another option providing a series of recreational complexes that prioritize outdoor activities along the Costanera Rafael Obligado avenue, and comprising both gastronomy and sports – tennis, swimming, golf, basket, soccer, windsurf, sailing.
The Parque Natural Costanera Sur (Southern River Coast Natural Park) is just the place to enjoy the contact with nature. The tourist may participate in guided visits and outdoor walks, make night visits under the full moon, see the sunrise in the beach, go jogging, ride on a byke or simply sit and listen to the sounds of nature in action. Many of the migratory birds of Argentina stop here and build their nests in the emersed rush, and other tall grasses, the woods of alisos de río and willows, and the lagoons.
The Parque 3 de Febrero (3 de Febrero Park) in Palermo neighborhood, is the major green area of the City. Since the famous landscape architect Carlos Thays projected and developed this park in the decade of 1890, it offers leafy trees, beautiful sculptures, secret paths, fragrant gardens and a magnificent body of water.