Top things to do

Top Choice Italian in La Rioja

La Stanza

One of the best places in town, this stylish, attractive restaurant has an upbeat, surprisingly urban vibe and serves imaginative pasta dishes that are a cut above most places. Better still are the main dishes, whic…
Top Choice Museum in La Rioja

Museo Folklórico

This hugely worthwhile museum is set in a wonderful early-17th-century adobe building, and has fine displays on various aspects of the region’s culture. Themes include chaya (local La Rioja music), the Tinkunaco fes…
Cafe in La Rioja

Café del Paseo

This is your spot on the corner of the plaza to observe local life. Executives with i-gadgets mingle with families, and tables of older men chew the fat over another slow-paced La Rioja day.
Argentine in La Rioja

La Aldea de la Virgen de Luján

Though serving good-value breakfasts and a fairly predictable range of dinner options, lunchtime is the place to be at this spot, when it offers daily regional specialties at a fair price.
Argentine in La Rioja

La Vieja Casona

Cheerfully lit and decorated, this is a cracking place with a great range of regional specialties, creative house choices and a menu of standard Argentine dishes – the parrillada (mixed grill including steak) here i…
Cathedral in La Rioja


The enormous, sober-colored and spectacular neo-Byzantine (and a few other neos) 1899 cathedral contains the image of patron saint Nicolás de Bari, an object of devotion for both riojanos (people who live in La Rioj…
Church in La Rioja

Convento de San Francisco

The order of St Francis was on the scene very early and began building here in the late 16th century. Bad luck with construction and then an earthquake mean the current church is an early-20th-century neo-Gothic aff…
Church in La Rioja

Convento de Santo Domingo

Built in 1623 by the Diaguita under the direction of Dominican friars, this is Argentina’s oldest monastery. The date appears in the carved algarrobo door frame, also the work of Diaguita artists. There's a museum o…
Arts & Crafts in La Rioja

Mercado Artesanal de La Rioja

La Rioja crafts are exhibited and sold here, as are other popular artworks at prices lower than most souvenir shops. Afternoon closing is earlier in winter.
in La Rioja

Museo Inca Huasi

A couple of blocks from the plaza, this curious museum, run by monks, has a notable collection of pre-Columbian ceramics from the region from a number of different cultures.