La Plata Travel Guide

Photo of La Plata

La Plata Overview

Boasting European-styled architecture, refined civic buildings, and an abundance of breezy parks and plazas, the city of La Plata is somewhat of a scaled down version of Argentinas capital city, Buenos Aires. In fact, La Plata, only 55km southeast of BA, is actually the principal city of the Province of Buenos Aires and one rich in history and tradition and amazingly suitable to visitors of all ages. Arguably the countrys best planned city, La Plata city centre is an intricate square grid, criss-crossed with diagonal avenues linking the major plazas. At the heart of the city is Plaza Moreno, home to the centerpiece La Plata Cathedral, and north of the centre lies Paseo del Bosque, the citys prime recreational spot.

 
Only an hour from the capital, the best way to reach La Plata is either by bus or train and with both arriving at regular intervals from the Retiro and Constitucion terminals there is never a shortage of connections. Having most of its sights located outside, the city is certainly one to explore on foot, although, with up to eight streets leading off from each intersection, first time visitors may find it slightly bemusing at first. However, with a pleasant plaza on seemingly every corner, there are no shortages of places to relax and regain the bearings.

Things to do in La Plata

La Plata Architecture - A large part of La Platas appeal is that it is awash with historical buildings and wonderful feats of architecture, the vast majority of which are within walking distance of one and other. Be sure to check out La Plata Cathedral, a neo-Gothic masterpiece dating back to 1885, and the imposing Palacio Municipal, built in German-renaissance style, on either side of Plaza Moreno. Then stroll a few blocks to Plaza San Martin, home to the Legislature and Casa de Gobierno Principal (Government House).

 
Teatro Argentino - Although not possessing the attractive façade of the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, the acoustics are second to none here, allowing for some of the countrys finest opera, ballet and symphony performances.
 
 
Parks in La Plata      
Republica de los Ninos - Superb educational theme park housing both replicas of the worlds most famous buildings and fairytale characters in miniature. With everything from the Taj Mahal to train stations named after Little Red Riding Hood, it is a true adventure playground for kids.
 
Paseo del Bosque - Covering 60-hectares of lush forest is the citys largest park and recreational site alive with a myriad of flora and frequented by joggers, ambling families and young canoodling couples. Accompanying the caves and large placid lake are La Plata Zoo, Observatorio Astronomico, Estadio Estudiantes de La Plata and Martin Fierro Amphitheatre, hosting open-air music and theatre performances.
 
La Plata Museums
Museum of Natural Sciences - Popular museum, especially with school trips, housing literally hundred of displays from the collections of Francisco P Moreno, a famous Patagonian explorer, to Jesuit art to ancient relics from Egyptian crypts. Open 10am - 6pm, Tuesday to Sunday.
 
Museo y Archivo Dardo Rocha - Dardo Rocha was the creator of La Plata and in his former holiday home are archives, furniture and other possessions of the cities famed son. Open 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.
 
The Burning of the Dolls - For a New Years Eve celebration with a difference, head to the centre of La Plata for La Quema de Munecos, when the city residents come out in full force and set fire to huge and elaborately decorated dolls, lighting the sky with fireworks. Legend has it that the tradition was started by the Cambaceres football club who set fire to a doll in celebration of winning a championship.
 
La Plata Nightlife - Being home to a predominantly young and student community gives rise to a lively night scene in La Plata, albeit far lower key than in Buenos Aires. Popular spots around town include Wilkenny, the token Irish bar, Ciudad Vieja and Mirapampa, both great for live music, and Siddhartha, the most happening club in town. As with BA, residents of La Plata start late and party until the very small hours, so pace yourself if heading out early.

Hotels in La Plata

Budget Hotels La Plata

Hostel del Bosque - Good hostel located in the heart of La Plata and close to all sights. Tel (54) 221 489 0236.
La Plata Hostel - Housed in an old mansion, the hostel has plenty of charm and is good place to meet fellow travellers. Tel (54) 221 457 1424.
Ocampos Hostel - Another decent hostel in the city centre. Tel (54) 15 647 6230.
 
Midrange Hotels La Plata
Hotel Benevento - Elegant rooms and excellent restaurant in an old restored mansion. Tel (54) 221 423 7721.
Hotel Del Rey - Centrally located hotel with cosy rooms and good amenities. Tel (54) 221 427 0177.
San Marco Hotel - Modern businesslike hotel in the city centre. Tel (54) 221 422 9322.
 
Luxury Hotels La Plata
Hotel Corregidor - Great hotel with spacious rooms and suits, gym, bar and restaurant. Tel (54) 221 425 6800.

La Plata Weather

La Plata Travel Resources

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This page was last modified on 27 Dec 2010 by Matt