Things to do in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, a walk among skyscrapers, the southern waterfront, museums, docks and lots of atmosphere.
With its renewed style since the 90’s, Puerto Maderois one of the youngest neighborhoods in the city, where modern and tall buildings, luxury, gastronomy, and of course the Río de la Plata as the main protagonist stand out.
🔝 Check out these recommendations on things to do in Buenos Aires, the must-sees.
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Brief History of Puerto Madero
The neighborhood of Puerto Madero was originally, at the beginning of the 20th century, a group of closed docks connected by bridges to facilitate the disembarkation of goods coming from the port of Buenos Aires. This renovation project was presented by Madero, from which the now modern neighborhood took its name.
However, with the construction of the New Port in another place, the dikes designed by Madero were forgotten and the Municipal Spa was built in their place.
The resort had its heyday, until finally around 1970 it was decided to fill in the land to gain territory to the river and this caused the end of the resort and the decline of the area.
It was only in the 90’s, after several years of abandonment, when it was decided to give new life to the neighborhood, settling on the old gastronomic docks. Subsequently, modern office and apartment towers began to be built on the land reclaimed from the river, transforming Puerto Madero into one of the top neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.
Puerto Madero Today
Puerto Madero extends along a system of intercommunicating levees, with swing bridges and two access channels, one to the north and the other to the south.
Although it is now a top office and residential area, it was once a port for loading and unloading goods. The Río de la Plata occupied this entire area and was shallow, so large ships could not reach the shore. This is how the project consisted of filling this part of the river with sand and stone, creating an artificial island on which the entire area of skyscrapers and the Costanera Sur Nature Reserve is located.
Strolling along the banks of the docks, you can see the yellow cranes and what used to be warehouses and storage silos whose facades are clad in brick in the best British style (we have seen it in the docks of Liverpool, for example). They have now been refurbished and converted into offices and residences.
📷 Do you want to get to know the neighborhood with a specialized guide? Book the free tour of Puerto Madero. It’s free!
Map of things to do in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires
1) Women’s Bridge
And of course, Buenos Aires has the Calatrava seal on one of the bridges that crosses the docks of Puerto Madero. It was the first of the designs he made in Latin America and it is a bridge with suspenders, rotating and white in color that has been called Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge). Its design is not very original, because the Samuel Beckett Bridge that crosses the Liffey River in Dublin is quite similar. And even that of Alamillo in Seville, although this one is larger.
If you visit the city, we recommend you to take one of the best free tours in Buenos Aires. They are free and with specialized guides.
2) Museum Ship A.R.A. Fragata Sarmiento
It is a training ship built at the end of the 19th century that has circumnavigated the world on peacekeeping missions. Today it is part of the urban landscape of Puerto Madero and you can visit the museum inside.
3) Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve
It is one of the largest urban reserves in Latin America that began as a municipal spa and, after its subsequent abandonment, has been converted into an ecological reserve where more than 2000 species of birds, mammals, plants and trees abound. It is perfect for biking, hiking, bird watching or picnicking in one of its parks.
📌 Visits to the Ecological Reserve: access Tuesday to Sunday between 8 am and 6 pm (7 pm in the summer) and as long as it is not raining.
Free guided tours are available at the reserve. There are general tours but also specific ones that are very interesting, such as the summer night tour, the moonlight walk, the nursery tour and the bird watching tour. More information here.
📷 To get to know Buenos Aires from another point of view there is no better than taking a boat ride on the Rio de la Plata, to admire the tall buildings, the ecological reserve and much more.
4) Museum of Decals “Ernesto de La Cárcova”.
As its name indicates, La Cárcova’s museum of casts exhibits replicas of works of art that are icons worldwide and that are exhibited in the main museums of the world, mainly in Europe.
The museum tour includes several sculptures replicated at original size. On display are Michelangelo’s David, The Pietà, The Venus de Milo, among many other works. There is a variety of art on display, such as Roman and Greek style. The museum has an interior garden with a beautiful circular fountain covered with Spanish majolica tiles.
Guided tours are available and the entrance fee is very affordable.
5) Immigration Museum and Center for Contemporary Art
Buenos Aires and a large part of the country grew with the foundations of immigrants who came mainly from Europe, but also from other continents such as Africa and Asia. In the Immigration Museum, located in the former Hotel de los Inmigrantes, you will find photographs, objects and documentation of the immigration process to Buenos Aires.
One of the most interesting things is in the book of records of the immigrants that set foot in Buenos Aires and that the place treasures, a true jewel that is preserved.
In addition, you can also visit the Contemporary Art Center with works by national and international artists.
6) Las Nereidas Fountain, thing to do in Puerto Madero
Made by the Argentine sculptor Lola Mora at the beginning of the 20th century, this large fountain made of white Carrara marble stands out in Puerto Madero. In the detail of the central sculpture, the three tritons and the two nereids stand out.
7) Paseo de la Gloria
Recently built, the Paseo de la Gloria is the work of Carlos Benavidez. In Costanera Sur, on Azucena Villaflor Avenue, there are sculptures of renowned Argentine sportsmen.
Here you will find sculptures of Manu Ginobili, Gabriela Sabatini, Juan Manuel Fangio, Guillermo Vilas and other elite Argentine athletes who have left the country’s flag at the top in their respective disciplines.
📷 A good option to tour the main attractions of the city is to do it on the tourist bus. Reserve your seat here.
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