National government offices, imposing architectural landmarks and a nicely landscaped parkland mark Buenos Aires’ most significant square.
Named after Argentina’s May Revolution of 1810, Plaza de Mayo is the country’s most politically important square. Government palaces and historical landmarks surround the square, and national celebrations and high-profile political demonstrations take place here regularly. Admire the monuments, tour the government buildings and arrive on the date of an event for the liveliest experience.
Marvel at the obelisk in the centre of the square, called the Pirámide de Mayo. This was built in 1811 to mark Argentine’s first year as an independent state.
Walk east of the square to see the headquarters of Argentina’s executive government, the Casa Rosada. Come at night to see the bright-pink palace lit up with even brighter pink lights. In front of the palace, you will see a statue of General Manuel Belgrano, who was a revolution leader and who designed Argentina’s flag. Take a guided tour of the building on weekends to see inside the presidential office, or visit the on-site historical museum, which is open from Wednesday to Sunday.
Surrounding the square are impressive buildings such as the 17th-century colonial palace of the Cabildo (Old City Hall). Browse the small museum there and attend the craft market on Thursdays and Fridays on the building’s patio. To the north of the square you will find the Greco-Roman Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral as well as the massive Banco de la Nación, which takes up a whole city block.
Visit the square on a Thursday to witness a vigil organised by the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. Clad in white scarves, these women converge on the square to memorialise the disappearance of their children during the years of Argentina’s dictatorship. Come out to admire their persistence: they have been demonstrating on Plaza de Mayo every Thursday afternoon since 1977.
Party with Buenos Aires locals in a national celebration on the plaza. May Revolution Day on May 25 and Independence Day on July 9 are the two most liveliest celebrations. The plaza often features free concerts as well.
Plaza de Mayo is located just a short walk from the Buenos Aires city centre in the neighbourhood of Montserrat. Reach it by bus or metro.