10 Amazing Things To See & Do In Retiro, Buenos Aires

Photo of Ross Walker
9 February 2017

Retiro is home to several historically significant buildings that will blow the minds of history buffs and architecture nuts. Retiro is also one of the trendiest shopping areas in Buenos Aires, so plan to spend a few days here if you love both history and shopping. Here’s our list of our ten favorite things to do in Retiro, Buenos Aires.

A Creative Commons Image: Torre Monumental | Leandro Neumann Ciuffo/Flickr

Kavanagh Building

Map View
A Creative Commons Image: Plaza San Martìn
A Creative Commons Image: Plaza San Martìn | Brian Allen/Flickr
The Kavanagh Building is an imposing art-deco skyscraper with 105 unique luxury apartments (each apartment has a different layout). The building itself is steeped in legend. The creator of the building, Corina Kavanagh, commissioned the building to take revenge on Mercedes Anchorena. Corina had a relationship with Mercedes’ son, but Mercedes despised the newly rich and foreign Kavanaghs and managed to end the affair. The building is an act of revenge because Mercedes intended to build the Anchorena mansion in the lot so that her home could be across from the Basilica of the Holy Sacrament, a resting place for her ancestors. Corina purchased it instead and built the skyscraper, blocking any view of the Basilica.

Plaza San Martìn

Plaza San Martìn is the central park in Retiro, and most of the sites on this list either border the plaza or are inside of it. Torres Monumental is on the north end of the plaza, creating a fine counterweight to the Kavanagh Building to the south. The plaza is a great place for a midday stroll and it is kept quite clean. Buy a coffee or tea and sit around the great fountain at the center.

Plaza San Martìn, Av. Alem s/n Cdad. Autónoma de Buenos Aires Argentina

San Martìn Palace

The San Martìn Palace was originally known as the Anchorena Palace because it was commissioned by Mercedes Anchorena, a famous and rich Argentine aristocrat. In 1936 the palace was bought by the state and became a monument to General San Martìn. It is built in Beaux Arts style and is modeled after a hotel in Paris.

San Martìn Palace, Arenales 761, C1061AAA CABA, Argentina

Estrugamou Building

Map View
A Creative Commons Image: Florida Street
A Creative Commons Image: Florida Street | Pedro Angelini/Flickr
The Estrugamou Building is one of the first testaments to the notion that Buenos Aires is the capital of a thriving independent nation, instead of a colony from Europe. Ironically, it is designed in French Baroque and Second Empire style, featuring four wings and an interior patio. Architecture buffs should inquire about a tour.

Florida Street

Florida Street is the main vein of shopping in Buenos Aires. Florida Street is a pedestrian street that begins in Retiro and continues south. Even if you aren’t interested in shopping, Florida Street is worth the walk, as you will see street performers, various styles of architecture, and a few historically significant landmarks. There are also several cafes and restaurants with outside seating available.

Florida Street, Buenos Aires

Estación Retiro

Train Station
Map View
Buenos Aires, Argentina. October 26, 2019. Retiro Mitre railway station (Estacion de Tren Retiro Mitre). A railway terminus located in the district of
© Diego Coppola / Alamy Stock Photo
Estación Retiro is the reason why Retiro has become such a popular neighborhood, as it is the gate to the city. The station services most of the bus routes in and out of the city, as well as a significant amount of trains that come to Buenos Aires. The grand building was opened in 1915, and you can’t help but feel you’re going back in time when you walk into it.

Teatro Colón

Building, Concert Hall, Opera House, Theater
Map View
A shot of the inside of the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires taken from the Presidential Box.
A shot of the inside of the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires taken from the Presidential Box. | © Paul Gibson / Alamy Stock Photo
Retiro is home to a number of theaters but Teatro Colón is the grandest of them all. The acoustics inside the theater make it perfect for the opera or any of the musical acts that play here. While Teatro Colón is a traditional theater, over 100 years old, the managers do not reject new styles of theater and operate an experimental theater where new artists can develop original plays, operas, and unique modes of theater.

Galerías Pacífico

Galerías Pacífico may be one of the most beautiful malls in the world, and instead of window shopping, you’ll probably be staring at the ceiling. The mall was declared a national landmark because of the breathtaking murals painted onto the ceiling. Besides being a work of art, Galerías Pacífico is a magnificent mall with over 150 shops, some of which are world-renowned and others native to Argentina.

Galerías Pacífico, Florida y Av. Córdoba Buenos Aires Argentina +54 11 5555-5110

Patio Bullrich

Patio Bullrich is Retiro’s other large mall, and what it lacks in history and artistic touches it makes up for with great attractions for the whole family. Retiro isn’t the best place to take the kids, but if you are in Retiro with the family then this movie theater and mall is a great place to spend a few hours.

Patio Bullrich, Av. del Libertador 750 Buenos Aires Argentina

By Ross Walker

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