Bariloche is one of the main tourist destinations in Argentine Patagonia. Not only has lots of places to see in its surroundings, but also worth visiting the city center, the so called Centro Cívico of Bariloche.
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What to see in and around the Centro Cívico of Bariloche
1) Main Square of Bariloche
Bariloche’s main square is the reference point to see in the Centro Cívico, with its characteristic slab stone floor, surrounded by low constructions with the typical stone and wood construction of this area. Among the constructions, it is worth mentioning the City Hall Building, the Tourist Office and the Patagonia Museum. Since it is at a height with respect to Lake Nahuel Huapi and has no buildings on the north side, the lake can be seen from the square itself with the peace and quiet of sitting on a bench.
In the middle of the square is the statue of General Julio A. Roca on horseback. On the east side, there are two large stone arches giving access to Mitre Street, the main artery of downtown Bariloche.
Check here the Bariloche Viewpoints tour. Included: Hotel pick up and drop off, transport by car and English speaking guide.
2) Mitre Street
Mitre Street is the main commercial artery of Bariloche, full of restaurants, chocolate stores, cafes and fashionable places. Although it is not a full pedestrian street, there is a wide walking area.
In this street are the main “chocolaterías” of the city where you can try some artisan products, like the “chocolate en rama”. Among the chocolaterías, Rapa Nui, Chocolates Del Turista, Abuela Goye and Mamuschka stand out.
Most of the restaurants and leisure facilities are concentrated in Mitre street between Centro Cívico and Otto Goedecke Street.
3) Museum of Patagonia
It occupies a building declared a National Historic Monument and is one of the main attractions to see in the Centro Cívico of Bariloche. It provides information about the Patagonian habitat, the first settlers in the area, the prehistoric settlement and the colonization of this territory.
It has five well identified sectors: Natural History room, Prehistory room, History of the Original Towns room, Moreno Pavilion and Regional History rooms. There are also temporary exhibitions and an auditorium and specialized library.
- Opening hours: Tue-Fri 10 am to 12:30 pm & 2 to 7 pm. Sat 10 am to 5 pm.
- Admission: donation not compulsory.
- More information: Museo de la Patagonia web
4) Nuestra Señora del Nahuel Huapi Cathedral
Built by architect Alejandro Bustillo in stone and concrete, the cathedral is located in the center of a beautiful park on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Of neo-gothic style, its interior is made of stone and wood, with large stained-glass windows in the upper part of the nave.
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9 am to 12pm & 5 to 9 pm. Sat-Sun 9:30 am to 12:30 pm & 5 to 9:30 pm.
- Admission: Free.
5) Paleontological Museum
This is a complete museum with fossil remains from the northwestern area of Argentine Patagonia. There are specimens remains with more than 150 million years old, a jaw skeleton of a shark that inhabited the area and even a dinosaur egg.
- Address: It is located at the intersection of streets 12 de Octubre and Sarmiento.
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat 4 to 7 pm.
- Admission: Free.
6) Chocolate Museum
Don’t forget to visit the Chocolate Museum in Bariloche, that offers a tour through the history of the product, from its origins in Aztec lands, and how it became one of the symbols of the city. It also explains the process of making handmade chocolate, and there are even animal chocolate sculptures and videos.
- Address: Av. Bustillo 1158. It works in the Havanna chocolate factory.
- Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 to 19:30 hs.
- Admission: AR$ 400.
7) Handcrafted breweries and nightclubs in Bariloche
If you want to try an artisan beer, most of the breweries are concentrated on the perimeter of Angel Gallardo, 20 de Febrero, Perito Moreno and Rolando streets. Here, there is a lot of party activity, especially at night. Outside Bariloche, on the Circuito Chico, one of the most visited craft breweries for the views it has, it’s Cervecería Patagonia.
If you travel to Bariloche and want to party, there is a lot of nightlife, as it is one of the main tourist destinations for Argentine students. The best known clubs are Grisu, Cerebro, Roket and By Pass, all in the center of the city.