5 spectacular must-visit Buenos Aires parks and gardens
Buenos Aires, with a population of about 3 million, is a web of busy streets often clogged with traffic and people rushing and jamming to get somewhere. It can be hard to look beyond that sensory overload to see the gems of Buenos Aires parks and expanses of green spaces that are tucked here and there in the city. Many in fact can be connected in such a way to allow you to feel as if you are in a huge, green, forested park and not a densely packed urban city.
Take a quick jaunt through the must-visit Buenos Aires parks, gardens and green spaces* on your next trip to the capital of Argentina.
- Parque Tres de Febrero (“February 3rd Park”) is the largest park near Palermoand one that turns into a gathering of all things Buenos Aires on weekends, holidays and balmy summer evenings. From families picnicking, rockin’ street aerobics to a Latin beat, rollerbladers, runners and about anything else you can think of, the park must be experienced to gain insights into the athletic, outdoorsy, fun-loving “Porteños” (people who live in Buenos Aires). Although it fills up, you can still find space to chill in its 370 hectares (914 acres). And many a festival or fair takes place here, too. Not into the athletic side of life? Then head over to the Planetarium Galileo Galilei, Eduardo Sívori Museum of fine art, or the Japanese or Rose gardens (see below). P.S. Locals call this park the “Bosque de Palermo” (Palermo Woods).
- El Rosedal (“Rose Garden”) might be one of a zillion rose gardens in the world. But if you love green spaces and, particularly, if you adore roses, do not miss this one. Essentially a sub-park within the Parque Tres de Febrero, it still requires you enter and exit through a particular gate since it is only open certain seasonal hours (which manages to keep it looking so pristine, we are sure). The World Federation of Rose Societies awarded this gem its Garden Excellence Award in 2012 and 2014. No wonder with 8,000+ roses and 93 different species. Aside from rose bushes, there are pavilions, gazebos, benches, plenty of statues and busts, and a small concert stage on the lagoon in its some 4 hectares (10 acres). The Rosedal in Buenos Aires (link in Spanish) may have celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014, but for many years it had fallen into a huge state of disrepair with renovation, which began in 1994, only completed in 2008.
- Jardín Japonés (“Japanese Garden”), also considered part of the Parque Tres de Febrero, and also requires entrance and exit from a special gate, this one on Avenida Casares, which is on the farthest end away from the rest of the park complex. This one charges an admission, but it is administered and maintained separately by the Argentine Japanese Cultural Foundation. The Japanese Garden can get quite busy on weekends and holidays, but it remains a serene diamond that is a must-see among parks in Buenos Aires. We happened to be there for a charming Ikebana flower show. Thread your way through the 2 hectares (5 acres) and its charming lakes, bridges, teahouses and gardens. Do not rush a visit here!
- Parque de las Ciencias (“Science Park”) is not your everyday tourist destination! It is a sprawling metropolitan park (10,000 square meters or 2.5 acres) sponsored by the Argentine Ministry of Science and Technology and located on its campus in Palermo Viejo. Only open since November 2016, the Science Park was part of an international design competition with the goal to revitalize the space, but also become a place for families, while also teaching a little bit about science. Although likely lost on the kids playing on the equipment, we found scientific theories and shapes intertwined with the structures in a totally fascinating manner: DNA as swinging equipment, neurons as climbing towers, as well as chromosome-shaped climbing equipment and globulin-shaped swings. Water fountains, walkways, varied levels of places to sit, all of which according to one woman I talked to attracts not only neighborhood residents but also families from all around. A beautifully clean and friendly place to sit and watch kids play — or just enjoy a peaceful break (check site for its hours).
- Jardín Botánico (“Botanical Garden”) is home to more than 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs. It too has specific opening hours with an entrance on Avenida Santa Fe. Another serene, green retreat worth a stroll with greenhouses, sculptures, a museum and garden library.