Palacio Barolo

Top choice in Buenos Aires

Palacio Barolo, Av de Mayo.

One of Buenos Aires' most beautiful monuments, this 22-story building has a unique design inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. Its structure is divided into hell, purgatory and heaven; its height (100m) is a reference to each canto (song); and the number of floors (22) mirrors the number of verses per song. Dreamt up by the Italian architect Mario Palanti, Palacio Barolo was the tallest skyscraper in South America when it was completed in 1923.

You can walk around the gorgeous lobby for free, but it's best to go on a guided tour of the building: you'll get to ride in a vintage 1920s elevator and admire the panoramic views from the rooftop lighthouse. Palacio Barolo Tours offers a wide range of bilingual tours, including thematic tours focusing on architecture, literature, or photography, and nighttime tours that include a wine tasting. See the website for more details or stop at the kiosk on the building's ground level to book a tour.

Note that there's also a new cocktail bar and cafe, Salón 1923, on the 16th floor of Palacio Barolo: the indoor-outdoor space is a wonderful venue for a coffee or a glass of wine, especially around sunset. It's also a (free) way to get a glimpse of the wonderful views from the building's upper levels without paying for a tour.