Presiding over the grand Plaza de Mayo, the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina. This 19th-century neoclassical cathedral is the church where Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—performed mass before he was elevated to the Vatican in 2013.
Most Buenos Aires sightseeing tours stop at Plaza de Mayo, where the Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada are the main attractions. Visitors can explore inside the cathedral on a guided tour, including the mausoleum of San Martín, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, San Martin de Tours chapel, the crypt, and Pope Francis Museum. Another popular choice is to take a Pope Francis tour of Buenos Aires, visiting sights associated with the pope.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no admission fee to visit the cathedral.
- Mass is held several times daily and free concerts are held regularly.
- The main areas of the cathedral are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The cathedral is located on the northwest corner of Plaza de Mayo, in the heart of central Buenos Aires. The closest metro (subte) stations are Catedral (Line D) and Plaza de Mayo (Line A).
When to Get There
The cathedral is open daily and holds mass several times a day. An early morning visit offers the best chance of avoiding the crowds, while the most atmospheric time to visit is for Christmas Mass (Noche Buena), held at 10pm on December 24.
Plaza de Mayo
The cultural and political heart of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo is ringed with monumental buildings, such as the pink-painted government palace called Casa Rosada, where Eva Peron (Evita) stood on the balcony and addressed the nation. Along with the Metropolitan Cathedral, other buildings of note include the imposing Banco de la Nación (National Bank) and the Cabildo (Old City Hall), as well as a large central plaza with the Pirámide de Mayo obelisk.