Day Tour

Belle Epoque Buenos Aires (3 Hours)

Context Travel

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Valid for Travel Now Through: 01 Feb 2021

Belle Epoque Buenos Aires (3 Hours )

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing



Recommended Ages

12 and Above

Activity Level



What was Buenos Aires like at the beginning of the 20th century, when the expression "riche comme un argentin" (as rich as an Argentine) was commonplace? The aim of this walk, in the company of an architect or urban historian, is to examine what ‘Argentine national identity’ exactly is and to trace its expression in the architectural and urban tissue of Buenos Aires stemming from the beginning of the 20th century, the city’s golden age of la Belle Epoque when it became the “Paris of South America."

Our walk will begin at the legislative end of Avenida de Mayo, in front of the National Congress, which will allow us to understand the internal affairs of Argentina before 1930, and to position this rich country, whose wealth was based on export of agricultural products, within a broader context of the international political scene at the beginning of the 20th century. We will move on to a stunning example of private prosperity, going hand in hand with the prosperity of the state: the impressive Palacio Barolo, which was the highest building in Latin America at the time it was constructed. The building will bring up the subject of presentation and auto-presentation of the Argentine citizens, a topic which will lead us to the ultimate public building designed to and for show: the famous Teatro Colón. Here we will try to trace the importance of various display possibilities, onstage as well as in an urban context, looking to public issues such as education, hygiene, and infrastructure and their visual presence within the urban tissue. We will delve into these themes with a look at the Palacio Pizzurno, Escuela Roca, or the Water Company Palace (Palacio de Aguas Corrientes).

We will then commute to the most elegant districts of Buenos Aires; Recoleta and Retiro, the destination of those who fled the southern parts of town to escape the yellow fever epidemic in 1871. As we stroll along the Avenida Alvear, through Plaza Pellegrini and Plaza San Martín, we will be able to admire the private palaces of the Argentine society representing the greatest affinity to the once so demanded 'Parisian style'. Lastly, our walk will lead us to an exquisite example of industrial architecture: the stunning Retiro Train Station. It will give us the opportunity to appreciate the steel construction and decoration. We will also examine the foreign influences in Argentine economy and infrastructure at the turn of the centuries and the incredible effect this means of transport had on the society’s mobility.

By the end of our walk, we will emerge with a strong grasp of the city’s history through its buildings, how the city was shaped during this era as well as a better understanding of the complex and multileveled Argentine identity as a nation.

About Us

Context Travel offers cultural and historical tours and activities led by deep subject-matter experts in over 50 cities around the world. With coverage of lesser known locales as well as main city sites, our experts take clients through in-depth, thematic topics to help them get to know a city more deeply. The tours are designed to be the ideal environment for learning – they are conversation-driven private experiences that are structured, but never scripted.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within three business days need to be made by phone to the emergency number provided in your confirmation email. Cancellations within three business days made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored. Other terms and conditions may apply.

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By: Joe C

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2018

Without question they did a superb job.
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"The Great European Tour"

By: MJ

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2018

The trip was our first experience with Context and it was amazing!
Travel Advisor:  Donna Peacock
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By: Shari

Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2018

The 6 person maximum of Context tours really made for an intimate learning experience. The docents they get to lead the groups were top notch!
Travel Advisor:  Kelly Millington