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The city's most imposing building, the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, at avenidas 14, 51, and 52 (tel. 221/427-3504), hovers over the Plaza Moreno in the center of the city. It was built in a medieval Gothic style more along the lines of a northern European church than a Spanish colonial one. It is free for visits, but you'll have to pay to get a little closer to heaven at the lookout tower in one of the spires, known as the Torre de Jesús (Jesus Tower); it costs about $2 (£1.35) to climb. Across the plaza, the architecture of the Palacio Municipal warrants a look, at Avenida 12, between avenidas 51 and 53. The City Park (Paseo del Bosque), on the edge of the center of town, is home to the Museo de Ciencias Naturales (tel. 221/425-7744; www.fcnym.unlp.edu.ar; admission $3/£2; Tues-Sun 10am-6pm). This museum is affiliated with the National University and has the feel of an old Victorian institution, with its mix of stuffed animals, archaeological relics, and other items displayed in the building's dusty, soaring, wrought-iron interior. Nearby in the park, the City Zoo (tel. 221/427-3925; www.jardinzoologico.laplata.gov.ar; admission $3/£2 adults, free for children; Tues-Sun 9am-6pm), shelters more than 180 kinds of animals. The Teatro Nuevo Argentino, Avenida 51, at avenidas 9 and 10 (tel. 221/429-1700 and 221/429-1745), stages various productions and exhibits paintings and other art in its lobby. Built into an old train station, the enormous Dardo Rocha Cultural Center, on Avenida 50, at avenidas 6 and 7 (tel. 221/427-2101; www.cultura.laplata.gov.ar for all institutions), houses the Contemporary Art Museum and the Municipal Art Museum, among many other institutions and an art cafe. Hours and admission fees vary depending on the venue, but the place is always busy with something to do. A few miles from downtown is the amusement park, complete with a magic castle, that inspired Walt Disney when he created Disneyland in California. Juan and Evita Perón built the República de los Niños, at Belgrano and Calle 501 (tel. 221/484-1409; www.republica.laplata.gov.ar), as a learning and entertainment center for children. Many of the small-size buildings imitate government buildings in Buenos Aires, with themes related to various nations. Naturally, the rides and attractions make the place a great stop for kids.

City Tours -- The travel company For Export, Calle 5 no. 1241, between avenidas 57 and 58 (tel. 221/425-9393; www.forexport.net.ar), offers city tours in La Plata. Various themes include the Panoramic City Tour, which lasts half a day; the Full Day City Tour; and the Religious City Tour. They also arrange excursions outside of the city, hotel accommodations, and car rentals.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.