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I’m going to tell you about things to see and do in Buenos Aires. From the most usual to curious (or less usual) corners that I went through in my years living in the city. Or also knowing in my quantity of times that as in the tango, I return again and again to the great capital (by the way, already at this point I feel that it is a breath of life).
Buenos Aires is unreachable due to its size and its architectural, cultural and gastronomic richness. But it is also unmanageable because it is a huge capital city that is renewed and reinvented again and again adding attractions every year.
Caminito, one more of the places and things to see and do in Buenos Aires (*)
I want to confess that the list (101 things to see and do in Buenos Aires) was updated and exceeded. There are already more than 110 proposals and it will probably continue to grow just like this huge city.
Let’s start 🙂
What to see and do in Buenos Aires: the must-see
Walk and feel history concentrated in Plaza de Mayo and its surroundings. The Plaza de Mayo is the main square. In its surroundings is the Casa Rosada (Presidency of the Argentine Nation), but there are also several historic buildings. It is the place where Argentines gather to celebrate and protest. The site where numerous historical events took place, including tragedies. A square that beats with the pulse of the Argentinean ups and downs.
2. Stop at the Plaza de la República with the Obelisk, and feel the rhythm and energy of the big city. When I go to Buenos Aires and I can pass through the Obelisk I always stop for a while to fill myself with the energy and bustle of this place. I think it’s the place where Buenos Aires feels most like a huge city: Everything has a bestial scale: the traffic, the avenues that converge at this point, the people that move in human tides.
3. Visit the Casa Rosada. The Argentine Government House is famous for its history as well as its particular color that has several explanations. It is believed that pink was originally used when mixing lime paint with bovine blood in the 19th century. On their balconies there were countless scenes of clamour between “the people” and their rulers. Especially famous were the speeches of Alfonsín or of Perón and Eva (immortalized in several films). You can also consult for the
5. Walk along Corrientes Avenue (famous for its theaters, comparable to the Buenos Aires Broadway, and for its bookstores). Buenos Aires is one of the five cities with the most theaters and billboards in the world, as well as one of the cities with the most bookstores per inhabitant on the planet. This avenue is home to the largest number of theatres and bookstores open until well into the middle of the night. It’s known as the “avenue that doesn’t sleep.”
6. To reach Caminito, the
7. Next to Caminito, visit the Benito Quinquela Martín Museum and the Proa Foundation.
8. Sit at a table at the Café Tortoni on Avenida de Mayo, a 100-year-old historic site famous for its interior and history (visited by all kinds of celebrities).
9. Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral (the same one where the current Pope Francisco used to say mass, and where is the mausoleum of San Martín, liberator of several countries of America).
10. Walk the Recoleta Cemetery, known as a city of sumptuous tombs within the great city. The extravagance and ostentation of many of their tombs is impressive. Also buried here are historical figures such as former presidents, or Eva Perón.
11. Walk some sector of Avenida de Mayo and enjoy its neoclassical architecture, its art noveau, its eclecticism in various styles of the early twentieth century. All along this avenue there is a scenography that takes us back to the big European cities. Although the shops and activity of the avenue is a little less in certain sectors, it is worth walking it and paying attention upwards to enjoy its architecture.
12. Cross the Puente de la Mujer (and visit the renovated area of Puerto Madero, the neighborhood of the old port that is at the same time the most modern in the city). Puerto Madero is the newest neighborhood in Buenos Aires, a sought-after area where the old docks of the port are combined with the city’s tallest skyscrapers and the most avant-garde architecture.
13. Visit the
14. Visit and enjoy the 3 de Febrero Park. (Something like the “Central Park” of Buenos Aires). It’s ideal for going to the sunset, walking by its artificial lake and seeing the local life in a boil of people enjoying the outdoors every day of the week.
15. Next to the same park, visit the Rosedal de Palermo. This rose garden has an opening and closing schedule. It’s a beautiful, well-kept walk, especially in spring.
16. Visit the Japanese Garden. This park of the Japanese community in Buenos Aires is of paid access and is one of the most beautiful green walks in Buenos Aires. Between the lakes and the Asian-style landscaping, in spring there is a flowering that makes it an even more beautiful walk. It is also recommended to visit all year round, walk its trails and small lake.
17. Go up to the viewpoint of the historic and elegant Güemes Gallery. This old shopping mall is on Florida Street. And it is a current and very elegant shopping center that knew how to preserve its splendor for decades.
18. Visit the
19. Walk around the Plaza de los dos Congresos and appreciate its architectural surroundings, in which the Palacio del Congreso de la Nación stands out.
20. Walk the most “Parisian” Buenos Aires. It is said that “Buenos Aires is the Paris of Latin America”. And although I like to say that Buenos Aires does not need to be compared because it has a lot of personality and its own style, in the surroundings of Alvear Avenue we will feel in a “geographic confusion”. We could imagine that we are in the City of Light because of its architectural and urban similarity. I especially recommend passing by the Alvear Hotel, reaching the Pellegrini Square (surrounded by embassies), and continuing along Arroyo Street (the one they say is the most elegant in Buenos Aires) until finishing in the imposing complex of stately homes of the Estrugamou Palace. If we take some pictures and send them to relatives, we could fool them and tell them we’re in Paris. A souvenir of the elegant Buenos Aires that looked at Europe (and smuggled the best architects of the time to resemble Paris).
21. Walk the
22. In San Telmo visit the Market (and also opt for a guided tour)
23. Walk through the neighborhood of Recoleta (and reach the
24. Watch a tango show. Buenos Aires is related to tango, and living a 2×4 show is an essential plan. It is one of the essential walks between things to see and do in Buenos Aires. It is the soundtrack of the city (and the Rio de la Plata area) and for some years tango has been declared an Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
25. Walk 9 de Julio Avenue (once considered the widest in the world). It is the Avenue starring the famous Obelisk. Around this avenue is the famous Teatro Colón, the palace of the French Embassy, or the crosses with the main avenues of Buenos Aires.
26. Visit a milonga. The milonga is the traditional place where local people used to dance tango. And some milongas managed to endure and are still in operation. In practice they are usually rooms with coffee that function as tango clubs. Either the milonga works at night, or they give classes and hold events. They don’t usually work every day, so it’s best to consult the
Visit the Casa Carlos Gardel Museum and visit the Abasto neighborhood (it is also possible to do it with a tour). In this neighborhood, the soul of the most famous tango singer in history continues to hang around. And the porteños do not hesitate to affirm that Carlos Gardel, now a legend, sings better every day.
Visit the National Historical Museum of the Cabildo. In the Plaza de Mayo there is also this museum and building, a limited replica of the original, which was the place where the first patriotic government met after the May Revolution of 1810.
34. Visit the National Museum of Fine Arts (in the Recoleta neighborhood)
35. Visit the thrilling Museo de Mecánica de la Armada (Memory of the repression of the dictatorship). This army space was a concentration camp during the last military dictatorship. Today it functions as a Museum with several spaces and guided tours that tell one of the darkest stages of Argentine history.
The unmissable (but sometimes overlooked)
By unusual I mean that these points are not usually included in a first visit of a few days to Buenos Aires, unless we have a more particular interest. However they are all proposals of things to see and do in Buenos Aires very but very recommendable:
36. Visit the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. It is in the direction of the river next to the neighborhood of Puerto Madero. It is a rustic and green space but has trails and recreational walks. The contrast between nature and the center of the city is notorious.
37. Walk along Caseros Boulevard (and visit Lezama Park, until you have a cup of coffee at the historic British Café). This tour is outside the Buenos Aires of mass tourism. However, it is a small corner with a lot of charm in the city, and where there are gastronomic proposals, a particular antique dealer (antique dealer Gabriel del Campo) with a space of large collection objects that also functions as an elegant restaurant.
38. Visit the
49. Visit the Park of Memory. This public space is next to the Rio de la Plata in the northern area of the City of Buenos Aires. Remember the victims of Argentina’s state terrorism. It is frequent the visit of foreign leaders who come to this park in official acts of tribute to victims of state terrorism.
50. Visit the
58. Admire rationalist architecture in ancient skyscrapers (
60. Do a tour of mysteries and legends of Buenos Aires. The history of legends and mystery in Buenos Aires not only inspired books, novels. They can also surprise you with a guided tour.
61. Go up to the unusual lighthouse of the Barolo Palace (in Avenida de Mayo). This Buenos Aires skyscraper with 100 years in 2023 has many curiosities: from a lighthouse at the top, to an architecture that evokes the Divine Comedy. They can tell you all this on a guided tour. It’s on Avenida de Mayo.
62. To know the Minimum House (in San Telmo). The exact address is Pasaje San Lorenzo 380.
63. Get to know Fileteado Porteño, a local art form. (You can also do a tour)
64. See the old Kavanagh skyscraper in San Martin Square (it was declared World Heritage of Modern Architecture by UNESCO)
65. Get to know the interior of some monumental and historic train stations such as Mitre Station (Retiro).
66. Get to know the Galileo Galilei Planetarium (curious about its emblematic architecture in the surroundings of a beautiful park).
67. Know the headquarters of the Banco de la Nación Argentina building, with one of the largest domes in the world.
68. Visit the Aguas Corrientes Palace, one of the most amazing buildings in Buenos Aires (The Water and Sanitary History Museum is located there).
69. For football lovers, visit the Paseo de la Pasión Boquense and the River Plate Museum.
70. Climb to bars and restaurants with terrace and views of the city.
71. Make a tour of Pope Francis
72. Visit the Chinatown in the area of Belgrano
73. Get to know the Nereidas Monumental Fountain
74. Visit the Museum of Immigrants (MUNTREF)
75. Visit the Museum of Humour
76. Take a tour of Maradona’s life and related sites.
77. Walk the Passage Dr. Rodolfo Rivarola
78. Get to know the Simik Photographic Museum located inside the “Palacio” bar.
79. Use subway Line A (with its old stations, as it was one of the first subway lines in the world, and the first in the southern hemisphere).
80. Take a picture with Mafalda (in San Telmo) and walk along the Paseo de la Historieta.
81. To know the Paseo La Plaza (in Corrientes Avenue). It is a cultural passage and walk designed to feel like a small town, but in the middle of Corrientes Avenue. It’s an oasis in the hustle and bustle of downtown Buenos Aires.
82. Take a tasting tour of beer and street food.
83. Go up to the Monumental Tower in Retiro
84. Visit the Ávila bookstore, one of the oldest in Buenos Aires.
Day trips from Buenos Aires.
85. Visit Tigre
86. Visit Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
87. Excursion to La Plata
88. Visit the Old Town of San Isidro.
89. Visit Campanópolis
90. Visit San Antonio de Areco (gaucho culture and Argentine countryside)
91. Excursion to Montevideo
92. Attend a gaucho culture show in nearby cities
93. Excursion to Parque de la Costa
94. Visit rural villages.
Where to Eat
Buenos Aires lives a boiling point in its gastronomic proposals. Argentina has a gastronomy where the star is the asado (of veal meat), with its famous cuts all over the world. But also a gastronomy that has a legacy of original cultures (especially with dishes from the north of Argentina such as humita, tamal), regional empanadas. And also the external legacy of the hand of migratory flows, especially Italian and Spanish. For example, pizza in urban areas is a delicacy that could be considered local because of the way it is prepared. Something similar happens with pastas, ice-cream parlours (which have nothing to envy of those in Italy). In particular, in Buenos Aires the food is based on these dishes, but also on the influences of all the collectivities that inhabit this city. Let’s start with the recommendations:
95. The Quarter
96. The Quartets
97. The Pizza Empire
102. The Baqueano
103. Eat asado in Don Julio (and book, as it is one of the best positioned in several rankings among the best restaurants in the world).
Remarkable cafés and bars
Bar Sur (a journey in time with tango air in the middle of San Telmo)
105. Federal Bar
106. Hotel Alvear Bar
Café de los Angelitos (It is also possible to hire a tango show)
108. Don Victoriano (The Black Cat)
109. La Biela (in operation since 1850)
110. The Violets
111. The old Warehouse
I invite you to also see a four-day plan to tour Buenos Aires:
(*) All images belong to Matías Callone
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