Museums and art galleries, a riverboat casino and a lively nightlife await at Buenos Aires’ sparkling waterfront neighborhood.
Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires’ thriving redeveloped port area. Although it lay abandoned for almost a century, a major redevelopment in the 1990s gave it a new purpose. Today, wide tree-lined walkways follow the waterfront, offering views of luxury apartments, refurbished redbrick warehouses and yachts bobbing in the river.
Start your visit at Dock Four, the northernmost dock. It is home to fine dining restaurants and upscale bars and cafés. If you are on a budget, bring a picnic and eat your lunch along the waterfront or in the nearby urban park called Parque Micaela Bastidas.
Step aboard the ARA Uruguay, the oldest naval ship in the country, to see an example of a captain’s cabin and shipwreck artifacts. Go to the Fortabat Art Collection to see work by Argentine and international artists, including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí.
Stroll to Dock Three to see the Puente de la Mujer (Women’s Bridge). The structure depicts a couple dancing the tango and was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Visit the Fragata Sarmiento, another navy ship that has been converted into a floating museum.
Rows of renovated warehouses characterize the two southern docks, which are home to a university campus, restaurants, hotels, a casino on a Mississippi-style riverboat and a cinema complex.
Take a walk around the Ecological Reserve. It spreads from the eastern side of Puerto Madero to the banks of the Rio de la Plata. Follow the trails that lead around its four lagoons and see if you can spot the birds, butterflies and reptiles that live here. The area is free to enter and is popular with joggers and cyclists as well as local families. Try a traditional choripan (chorizo sandwich) from the food stands located on the road outside the reserve.
Divided into four docks and with minimal car traffic, compact Puerto Madero is best explored on foot or by bike. It’s within easy walking distance from the Plaza de Mayo, the city's main square, which is located to the west of the port.