Rosario, located in the province of Santa Fe, is a great place to visit for a weekend or even a single night because of its proximity to Buenos Aires.  Often rumored to have the best looking men and women in Argentina, Rosario is a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.  As Argentina’s third-largest city (behind Buenos Aires and Córdoba), Rosario somehow doesn’t have the intimidation factor that many cities of a million inhabitants have.

Overview:
Rosario is situated right on the river and is full of green parks and nice walkways.  While still a major city in Argentina, Rosario has a much different pace than Buenos Aires.  The people are more relaxed in general and they have a wonderful specialty food called the “Pizzanesa” which is a pizza-sized milanesa (beef or chicken) with marinara sauce and all sorts of delicious toppings.  If you go, make sure to try it.

When to Go:
It’s fine to go to Rosario any time of year.  The summers can get pretty buggy and sticky, but you can always jump in the river to cool off!

How to Get There:
Rosario is only a short (~4 hour) bus ride away from Buenos Aires.  Buses from Retiro leave about every half hour and this is one of the few cases in Argentina where you can save some money and get “semi-cama” instead of “cama” because it’s not too far.

Recommended Trip Duration:
While you could theoretically go to Rosario in the morning and come back in the evening, I recommend spending at least a night.  There are a ton of good hostels and hotels and I would say that 2-4 days is the ideal length of time to spend in Rosario.

What to See and Do

Monumento de la Bandera
Probably the most famous of all the attraction in Rosario, the monument to the flag of Argentina is located in the center of town and celebrates the flag’s designer, Manuel Belgrano, who is buried there.  At night, the monument gets lit up with beautiful blue lighting and there is also an eternal flame that makes for some very cool photo opportunities.

Parque de la Independencia
Not only is Independence Park a beautiful place to stroll around, it’s also where you’ll find a fine arts museum and museum dedicated to the history of the city.  It’s a good place to spend a lazy afternoon.  You will also find the Newell’s Old Boy’s soccer stadium in the park which is one of the largest parks in Argentina.

Swimming and Camping
Near the Paraná River, there are sandy beaches as well as camping grounds.  Often, there is a small fee to rent space for your tent, but it’s a very cheap way to stay in Rosario.  The main tourist information booth located near the Monument to the Argentine Flag has all the information you’ll need to catch a boat across the river to the smaller islands that are populated with travelers.

Contemporary Art Museum of Rosario
This strange, silo-sided building on the waterfront boasts a decent collection of modern art, but it also allows you a spectacular view of the river and surrounding area.  There is a cafe at the bottom when you can enjoy a leisurely lunch.  The museum is closed on Mondays.

More Information:
Virtual Tourist – Things to Do in Rosario
Bus Tickets

(Photos by Nick except Image 1, Image 2)