Sitting at the edge of Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada is one of the most iconic buildings in Buenos Aires. With its pink façade and palace-like design, the governmental house has served as the backdrop to countless numbers of protests, famous speeches and significant moments in Argentina’s history.
Free Tours of the Casa Rosada
Guarded by police and tall gates often flanked with protest signs, the Pink House appears to be an impenetrable castle. But every weekend, the mysterious palace doors open to the public for free hour-long tours.
The entrance for the tour is at the northern backside of the building, facing Plaza de Mayo. Once you fly past the lax security and metal detector, make sure to take a photo with the guards of honor, and perhaps try to get them to crack a smile, before getting in line for a ticket. The tour is on a first-come, first-served basis and you need the colored ticket to be placed in a tour group.
The tours are available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, although unless you are with a large group of foreigners and request a language preference beforehand, it will most likely be in Spanish. Your tour guide will probably be bilingual and can fill you in on the side though.
Highlights of the Casa Rosada Tour
Visitors first get a glimpse of the Bicentennial Hall of Argentina Painters and Paintings, inaugurated in 2011. From there it’s onto the rest of the palace including the Salón Blanco (White Room), the Martín Fierro Hall, the luxurious Hall of Honor, the beautiful stained glass gallery and the Bicentennial Hall for Argentine Women, where the Eva Peron 100-peso bill was introduced with much fanfare.
Glimpse into the President’s office, the presidential elevator with its theater-like red velvet bench and the office where Eva Peron gathered her fervor before heading out to the balcony.
Toward the end of the tour visitors pass over the Patio of Honor, or the Patio of the Palms, which looks as if it came out of a 19th century Spanish film.
If you linger too long in any room, marveling at sparkling chandeliers or turn of the 19th century furniture, a guard or security officer will shoo you along to catch up with the group.
The presidential balcony is the highlight of the tour for many, as it’s a chance to take the stage where former presidents have given historic speeches, get a bird’s eye view of Plaza de Mayo and get a great picture to take home.
Tours of the Casa Rosada
50 Balcarce, Mirocentro
Tel: 4344-3802 / 4344-3805
• 12:30 p.m. & 2:30p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. They begin every 10 to 15 minutes and last about an hour, they are now required to be booked online via the link above
• Cost: Free!
• Reservations: not necessary except to request a tour in a language other than Spanish
• Cameras are permitted on the tour, but no flash
• ID may be requested for security reasons
→ For even more Argentine history, the Bicentenary Museum, on the south side of the first floor, offers 200 years of governmental mementos, a look at the city’s underground tunnels and permanent and temporary art exhibits.
Buenos Aires Downtown Tours
→ Buenos Aires City Tour, Tango Lesson & Dinner Show —A day-long tour perfect to acquaint oneself with Buenos Aires. It starts with a city tour that will take visitors to Recoleta Cemetery, La Boca or the Plaza de Mayo. Later, there is tango class and tango dinner show at San Telmo‘s famous La Ventana tango house.
→ Private Half-Day Buenos Aires City Tour — A four-hour private Buenos Aires tour with a knowledgeable expat resident. This full-service tour can be personalized to see the Buenos Aires’ highlights such as the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, La Boca, San Telmo and Recoleta, depending on your preference.