La Plata is a less known destination for international travelers but the city is ideal for a day trip from Buenos Aires. The city is located only a one-hour train ride from Buenos Aires.
In many ways, it looks like Buenos Aires, but it has a more tranquil feel to it than Buenos Aires. No wonder La Plata is referred to as mini-Buenos Aires!
The city is especially famous for its beautiful neo-Gothic cathedral. But there are also other activities and sites to visit in La Plata. Keep on reading to know more about la Plata!
Let’s drive into what La Plata has to offer for a day trip away from Buenos Aires:
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Where is La Plata?
La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires and is located only 38,5 miles (62 km) from Buenos Aires. The city is easily accessed by public transportation from one of the main train stations in Buenos Aires.
La Plata was founded in 1882 as the capital for the province of Buenos Aires and therefore offers some impressive regional government buildings around the main square, Plaza Moreno.
It is the 4th largest city in Argentina after the city of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Rosario. However, when arriving in the city you get more of the feeling that you are in a tiny version of Buenos Aires.
What to do in La Plata?
In La Plata, there are many different things you can see and experience – and probably many more than what I mention here:
The Cathedral of La Plata
The main attraction in La Plata is the cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral located on the main square, Plaza Moreno.
It is the largest church in Argentina and the 58th tallest church in the world, and quite hard to miss! The cathedral was founded in 1932 but renovated in the 1990s, and just stands very pretty today!
The architectural style is neo-Gothic with strong inspiration from European churches. This stems especially from the fact that the bricks are left exposed and undressed, which is unusual for churches in Latin America, in general, and Argentina, in particular.
The decorations on the inside have beautiful details and tall white columns gorgeously create the setting.
The viewpoint in the Cathedral’s tower
The highlight of a visit to the cathedral, in my opinion, is without any doubt the viewpoint from one of the towers. From up here, you have a beautiful view of the city of La Plata. After all, it is the tallest church in Argentina!
Because of the renovations of the cathedral in the late-1990s, the viewpoint is accessed through a glass elevator that gives you are sneak peek at the interior of the tower.
You can read more about visiting the cathedral’s viewpoint here. There you will also find COVID-related information. Currently (February 2022), the tower and the cathedral’s museum is, for example, closed because of Argentina’s COVID restrictions.
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Le Corbusier House
Las Plata also houses a very special house. One of two houses built by the architect Le Corbusier in the Americas – and the only house of Le Corbusier in South America – is located in La Plata.
The house is also called The Curutchet House. Named after its previous owner, Dr. Pedro Domingo Curutchet who was an Argentine surgeon.
In 2016, the house was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the architectural novelty of its time.
When the house was built, a tree was left in the middle of the construction to give the place a special touch. The tree still stands today and you can see how the architecture was accommodated to fit around the tree.
The construction of the house began in 1949 and finished in 1953. At that time, houses in this modern style were far from common, and it was seen as a first mover. Read more about the history behind Le Corbusier House here.
Today, the house is mostly empty. However, some of Dr. Curutchet’s original medical artifacts are still on display. Before the pandemic, the house was open to the public to visit, however, it is unclear whether it is still open for visits.
Museo de La Plata
If you are into natural science museums, Museo de La Plata is a must for you! And even if you aren’t, it is worth a visit!
The museum has an impressive collection of fossils, mummies, reconstructed dinosaurs, and Egyptian relics – to just name a few! All this is exhibited through 23 rooms on two floors.
The museum is part of the National University of La Plata’s natural science departments. And even though, I’m not really into natural science, I had to admit that the visit to the Museo de La Plata was quite an impressive experience.
Visit their website here for more information about COVID restrictions and ticket prices.
How to get to La Plata from Buenos Aires?
Getting to La Plata from Buenos Aires is super easy!
Depending on where you are staying in the city, you can either take the train, el subte, or a bus to the train station Plaza Constitución.
From Plaza Constitución there is a train going directly to La Plata, and its final stop is even La Plata – so it couldn’t be easier.
The ride from Plaza Constitución to the train station in La Plata takes around an hour. You pay for your ticket with the same SUBE-card as you use for subway and buses within the city.
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Have you visited la Plata? Or would you like to visit? Or maybe you are already planning to take a day trip here? Share your thoughts and knowledge below!
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