Colegiales is known for its street art. Many of Buenos Aires’ most well-known urban artists grew up around Colegiales and Palermo, so this was one of the first places they began painting. Check out Plaza Matienzo for some amazing artworks by local legend Jaz, and a host of other national and international artists, many of whom painted here for the Meeting of Styles street art festival back in 2011.
Colegiales is also known for its prettiness. Aesthetically, it is the polar opposite to the opulent architecture of Recoleta’s French-style buildings, with Colegiales being decidedly more low-key and residential. However, due to certain planning laws that prevent large-scale development of the area, it has very much retained its low-rise nature, and is full of picturesque, detached houses – a rarity in many other parts of Buenos Aires.
Plaza Mafalda is a small park and square near the border of Colegiales and Palermo. It is dedicated to one of Argentina’s most popular comic strip characters, Mafalda. Mafalda was the brainchild of the satirical artist Quino, who depicted this wiley six-year-old girl as the voice of a progressive generation who questioned the state of the nation, in an innocent but acerbic manner, back in the 1960s and ’70s. You will see her signature mop of thick black hair and her image all over Buenos Aires, but nowhere as much as in this square dedicated to her.
Down the road from Colegiales you will find the beautiful Chacarita Cemetery. This vast graveyard is the final resting place of some of Argentina’s most well-known actors, musicians, writers and dancers. It may seem a bit morbid to put a cemetery on your list of ‘things to do’, but it really is well worth the visit, and it is far less touristy than its more famous cousin, the Recoleta Cemetery.
Teatro Vorterix is easily the best venue to see live music in Colegiales, if not in the entire city. This former theatre has been converted into a concert venue and has its very own radio station inside. Lots of big-name acts passing through the city will play at Vorterix, so make sure to check their events calendar for any shows that might tickle your fancy while you’re in town.
A block away from Plaza Mafalda is the Mercado de las Pulgas, or the local flea market. These days there’s nothing ‘flea’ about Mercado de las Pulgas, as much of the stock on sale (whether it be antiques, furniture or trinkets) goes for a hefty price given inflation. Still, it’s a great place to walk around, pop into all the different stores, and pick up some souvenirs – if you have room in your suitcase.
Colegiales, much like the rest of Buenos Aires, is awash with craft beer breweries, and some, of course, are better than others. You have the chain of On Tap bars, or the local Buena Birra, or the daddy of all craft beer bars right now, Strange Brewing. You could also head to Ruda Bar for a more hipster evening of beer, or check out Cerveceria Nacional across the border in Palermo Hollywood.