Home to the Casa Rosada—where Eva Peron famously stood on the balcony—and the Metropolitan Cathedral, Pope Francis’ former church, Plaza de Mayo is the historic and political heart of Buenos Aires. Named for the May 1810 revolution, the square’s centerpiece is the Pirámide de Mayo, an obelisk commemorating Argentina’s independence.
The best way to explore Plaza de Mayo is on foot, strolling around the leafy central plaza and stopping to admire the grand 19th-century buildings. Though the most popular photo stops are the Casa Rosada and Metropolitan Cathedral, there are other notable buildings, such as the imposing Banco de la Nación (National Bank) and the Cabildo (Old City Hall).
Most Buenos Aires sightseeing tours include a stop at Plaza de Mayo, including walking, bike, and bus tours. From the plaza, it’s an easy walk south to the markets and tango venues of San Telmo, east to the parks and bars of Puerto Madero, or north along the main shopping street, Florida Avenue.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Free tours of the Casa Rosada are available on weekends.
- There are a number of bars, restaurants, and street food vendors located on and around Plaza de Mayo.
- Free public Wi-Fi is available at Plaza de Mayo.
- The main sights are all wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
Plaza de Mayo is located between downtown Buenos Aires and San Telmo, and can be reached on foot from many of the central sights. The closest subway (subte) stations are Plaza de Mayo (Line A), Bolivar (Line E), and Catedral (Line D), and numerous bus lines stop around the square.
When to Get There
It’s impossible to avoid the crowds at Plaza de Mayo, so it’s best just to join them and embrace the atmosphere. The most exciting time to visit is during national celebrations. Live music, parades, and festivities mark Revolution Day (May 25) and Independence Day (July 9), while the Pride Parade in November is very colorful.
Politics of Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo has long been the site of political protests and public gatherings. On Oct. 17, 1945 (now known as Loyalty Day), a public demonstration demanded the liberation of Juan Domingo Perón. Protests and marches still happen regularly, including the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children went missing during the military Junta regime. The group marches around the square each Thursday at 3:30pm, as they have since 1977.