El Zanjón de Granados: The Mysterious Tunnels Underneath Buenos Aires

[Get my Ultimate 10-day Buenos Aires itinerary here]

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Buenos Aires is full of nightlife, tango, asado, dulce de leche, Malbec, and even a little mystery. That’s right, mystery. Buenos Aires has tunnels running underneath the city which were covered up and forgotten about until 1995, totally by accident. The tour of the el Zanjón de Granados in the San Telmo neighborhood in Buenos Aires is one of the best tours out there, a tour I highly recommend.

Basic Information about el Zanjón de Granados

Location: Defensa 755, C1065 CABA (San Telmo)
Phone: 01170781542
Website: http://www.elzanjon.com.ar/
Hours: 11am – 5pm

Tours in English

El Zanjón: 12pm, 4pm (50 minutes)

Optional Casa Minima Tour: 1pm (40 minutes)

The tour guide spoke exceptional English and was extremely knowledgeable about topics both about the Zanjón and the history of Argentina. You need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the start of the tour time to purchase your tickets.

You can combine your visit to the Zanjón with a visit to La Casa Minima, which is just around the corner, for an additional price. The Casa Minima is the thinnest building in the city, and belonged to a previously enslaved person.

Tours in Spanish

El Zanjón: 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm (only on weekends), 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Optional Casa Minima Tour: 2pm, 3pm

Tour Prices

El Zanjón

Residents: 2400 pesos
Retired: 2000 pesos
Non-residents: 3700 pesos

La Casa Minima

Residents: 1700 pesos
Retired: 1400 pesos
Non-residents: 2300 pesos

El Zanjón + La Casa Minima

Residents: 3400 pesos
Retired: 3000 pesos
Non-residents: 5000 pesos

What can I expect to see during the tour of El Zanjón de Granados?

The tour will begin on the main floor where the tour guide shows a short slideshow presentation, explaining the origins of the building, and how the excavations began. The guide will point out peculiarities and details about the building, and the way the original building was constructed.

The tour then proceeds to the lower floors. You will learn about the history of tango in Buenos Aires, and hear more stories about this house and structure. You will have the chance to see several old photographs and fragments of pottery and find things at the site.

Keep going down, and you’ll walk through several tunnels underground, and be told more stories about Buenos Aires and the formation of these tunnels.

At the end, you will be lead towards the exit (not the same place as the entrance), as the guide explains the building’s current functions. An A+ tour!

History of el Zanjón de Granados Tunnels in Buenos Aires

In 1995, a man named Don Jorge purchased the location where the Zanjón museum currently sits. The outside was crumbling and covered in graffiti; he never saw the inside of the building until after he purchased it. He had plans of creating both a restaurant and a parking garage with this massive space. Don Jorge grew up in San Telmo and dreamed of owning a business in his childhood neighborhood.

Once renovations began on the building, the workers discovered at the back of the building, a hole under the slanting floor. They immediately called in Don Jorge, who went down into that hole and found the start of a tunnel. However, the hole was filled with old trash and debris. He connected with the archaeological team from a local university who then began working. They began to discover more tunnels, fountains, and walls.

Fragments of found pottery in the Zanjón

The history of the home then began to reveal itself. The original house in this location was built in the 1700s by a very rich family. They eventually made the decision to move to the countryside, as the sewage situation began to worsen in the city. They renovated their home and fashioned it into a tenement home for newly arriving immigrants.

It was eventually closed down, and then closed in on itself until 1995.

I don’t want to give away too many more details because the tour will cover this and so much more.

El Zanjón de Granados Tunnels in the Present

Don Jorge’s renovation of the building and the underground tunnels was all self-funded. Occasionally, Don Jorge leads the tours himself, though they tend to go much longer than the 50 minutes, as he tells several stories of the building’s discoveries. Unselfishly, Don Jorge decided to maintain this building as a museum, as a way to preserve the history of his city and his neighborhood, rather than turning it into a restaurant.

Whether you are a history buff or not, I absolutely recommend this tour of el Zanjón de Granados in Buenos Aires. You will not regret it. If you liked this post, then make sure to check out my post on free things to do in Buenos Aires


INSURANCE: Make sure you cover yourself with travel medical insurance by SafetyWing.

FLIGHTS: Get the best flight deals with Skyscanner and set flight alerts with Hopper (use code nicholep4jh to get $20 in hotel vouchers).

TRAVEL: Get cash back on flights, hotels, and more with WayAway Plus.

STAYS: Check out hotels and apartments with Booking.com and Vrbo.

RENTAL CARS: Get the best deal on rental cars with Discover Cars.

eSIM: Get an international eSim with Airalo.

CITY GUIDES: Save time and purchase pre-made city guides with Thatch.

CITY TOURS: Book your tour with GetYourGuide and Viator

LUGGAGE: Get the best carry-on suitcase here.

CREDIT CARD: Start earning travel points with the best travel credit card.

BUENOS AIRES GUIDE: Purchase my Buenos Aires travel companion here.

CONSULTATION: Book a 1:1 travel consultation with Nicki here.