This Christmas, I went on a super-mini road trip to visit a friend in La Plata. For those who have never been, La Plata is to Buenos Aires what Buenos Aires is to Argentina. Say whaaa?
Pop quiz: Is Buenos Aires a city or a province?
Had I been asked this question before coming to Argentina, I would have responded with the obvious–city–and added a smug–the nation’s capital, duh! After traveling nearly 5,200 miles, I can clarify that the answer is both. To avoid confusion, you will often hear people refer to the city as Capital Federal. So, circling back to my earlier statement, La Plata is the capital of Buenos Aires (the province).
To make the most of this weekend getaway, I asked my friends what La Plata was best known for. The #1 response? All of its street names are numbered. (Side note: the diagonal streets will totally throw you off course if not careful.)
A numbered street grid is understandably important to a local, but as a tourist, I wanted more. Digging deeper, I found two other points that are a bit more enticing.
1. The Cathedral of La Plata
Simply known as La Catedral, this is the largest church in all of Argentina. I didn’t have time for a complete tour, but you can take an elevator through one of its towers for a panoramic view of the city. Looking to the front, you would find Plaza Moreno (featured in the photo above). The most central point of the entire city is marked by a statue in the middle of this plaza, looking onward to the City Hall.
2. La Plata Museum
This museum of natural history is located within the park Paseo del Bosque. It holds nearly 3 million artifacts, including dinosaur skeletons, from around South America. My informal tour of La Plata just had time for a quick drive-by of the city’s hot spots, but I do plan to return if not only to visit this museum. Yes, I am a nerd.