Téatro Colón, Buenos Aires – 9 things to know before you go

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Teatro Colón is the top visitor attraction in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You may find it surprising that an opera house ranks so highly, but this marvel is on a par with the Paris Opera, or La Scala in Milan. This venue has the third-best acoustics of any performance space in the world. Married together with astonishing architecture and it’s a must visit for a performance or at the very least for a guided tour. It was opened in 1857 and entitled ‘Colón’ in honour of Christopher Columbus.

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My Experience of the ballet ‘Sylvia’ at Teatro Colón

I decided to treat myself to a ticket to see ‘Sylvia’ at the world-renowned Teatro Colón. Tickets were great value (see ‘Booking’ below) at certain times and, although I wasn’t familiar with ‘Sylvia’, I had a fabulous time. There’s a short video.

1. Booking Tickets

There are three ways to book tickets to Teatro Colón:

  • Online: Visit the official website to book tickets in advance.
  • In Person: Tickets can also be purchased at the box office, but availability may vary. I found it difficult to find someone in the ticket office who spoke English (sadly my Spanish isn’t up to scratch!).
  • Guided Tours: Consider booking a guided tour like this one to learn about the history and architecture of the theatre.

Low-cost Tickets at Teatro Colón

It can be inexpensive to buy a ticket. You can get standing-only places for as little as $10,700 ARS ($12 USD) for a performance. At the time I went, I splashed out on a £20 ticket which bought me a seat on the third tier.

2. Arriving at Teatro Colón

The theatre is centrally located at Tucumán 1171, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The nearest Subway Station (Subte) is Tribunales – Teatro Colón. Or simply take a taxi, Uber or Cabify from your hotel. It’s wise to arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes before your event, if only to have time to take in the architecture.

I’d rather be honest: I felt the area around the Teatro wasn’t entirely safe at night. That was just my experience and it may have changed since. So if you’re uncomfortable walking there after dark, make sure to take an Uber.

Guide Books

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3. Exploring the Building

Take a moment to enjoy the fabulous neoclassical architecture and intricate detailing of this very special theatre. It’s worth paying attention to the foyer in particular, which is adorned with marble columns and ornate chandeliers. They’ve been maintained beautifully. Make sure to walk into the main hall (irrespective of your seat number) to see the opulent decor.

4. Types of Performance

  • Opera: Experience world-class opera performances in the main auditorium. This is what the theatre is known for, but don’t swipe past the ballet and concerts.
  • Ballet: Teatro Colón attracts some pretty amazing dance companies. The ballet I saw, Sylvia, was fabulously staged.
  • Concerts: Attend classical music concerts featuring top musicians from around the globe. The sound in this performance space is the thing which attracts so many artists.

5. Tips for Visitors:

  • Dress Code: While there’s no strict dress code, smart casual attire is recommended for performances. I was travelling light, so had a shirt and jeans, which worked perfectly for my third tier seat. In the expensive seats, suits, dresses and pashminas were the general choice.
  • Photography: The theatre has got a strict photography policy during performances (updated since my visit).
  • Refreshments: There’s a bar for drinks ahead of your performance (or intermission).

6. Accessibility:

  • Wheelchair Access: The theater is wheelchair accessible, and there are elevators for those who need them, for example, during tours. However, people with disabilities need to contact the theatre at least 2 weeks before a performance to ensure they can accommodate all needs. I understand that there are free tickets for people with disabilities.

7. Guided Tours:

8. Souvenirs:

  • Gift Shop: Visit the gift shop for souvenirs and memorabilia of your visit to Teatro Colón. Note: most tours end at the gift shop.

9. Additional Information:

  • Language: Most performances are in their original language. The performance page will specify if surtitles or subtitles are available.
  • Security: Security measures are in place for the safety of all visitors.

Summary

You won’t be disappointed if you visit Teatro Colón, whether for a guided tour or for a performance. Add this to the top of your list, check out the performances during your stay and try to get tickets. If you’re unsuccessful, don’t be downhearted! The guided tour is well worth your time.

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.