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Argentina is known for the tango, incredible food, and an amazing nightlife scene, and it can all be experienced in the bustling capital city of Buenos Aires. This is a romantic and exciting travel destination that’s packed with fascinating cafes, boutiques, neighborhoods, and architecture that touches on the best of both Latin American and European cultures.
The fall months of April to June and the spring months of September to December are great times to visit Buenos Aires because the temperatures are mild and the rates are most reasonable. This is a walkable city that’s easy to get around and has a unique energy that’s unlike anywhere else in South America.
So if you’re ready for an ultimate adventure and an unforgettable cultural immersion, then here are 11 things to do in Buenos Aires for your itinerary.
Art & Football in La Boca
La Boca is a colorful neighborhood that loves its sports and arts. La Boca is a football-crazed neighborhood and an ideal place to watch a game. You’ll feel an instant vibe change when you enter this area from anywhere else in the city, mostly from the colorful metal houses and artistic décor. Check out the art museum of Bellas Artes here to see the beautiful works of Benito Quinquela Martin.
Famous Plaza de Mayo
One of the first places that people visit in Buenos Aires is Playa de Mayo, which has been a central plaza since the 16th century. This place has been an important part of Buenos Aires’ culture because it’s been the venue for political protests and many types of public gatherings. While you’re in this area, make sure to check out the Cabildo, which is a former town hall with beautiful Spanish colonial architecture.
Shopping & Polo in Palmero
Palermo Viejo is an awesome place to find funky boutiques with fun fashions that you can wear on your trip and take back home. Expect to find eclectic and bohemian looks that are versatile and really show off your personality. Another fun thing to do in Palermo is to watch a polo match. Argentina is famous for the sport of polo, and it’s played in September, October, and November in Buenos Aires. If you’re feeling particularly active and adventurous, consider taking a lesson at El Rincon de Polo club, which caters lessons to both beginners and experienced players.
Dance at a Neighborhood Milonga
Tango captures the essence of Buenos Aires, and either watching or partaking in this dance is a must for your trip to Buenos Aires. Milongas are nights of tango dancing at social clubs and on ballroom floors. Some popular ones to check out include La Calesita, Tango Cool, La Marshall, and La Virtua. Read some reviews about local milongas so that you pick one that suits your style. Some are geared towards a younger or older crowd, while others are more formal or casual. And if you’d rather watch than participate, consider catching the Rojo Tango show at the Faena to learn more about Buenos Aires’ heritage without getting your toes stepped on.
Paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts
There are many museums in Buenos Aires, but if you only visit one, make it the National Museum of Fine Arts. This museum has some of the best paintings you can ever expect to see and spans three floors and at least 30 rooms. Check out the Latin American and Argentine permanent collection, as well as international art from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. There are certain days and times that this museum offers free admission, so check its website for the most current discounts.
Puerto Madero Waterfront
Many world-class cities bring life to their riverfronts, and Buenos Aires is no exception. This is a big business area, so you might be based here if you’re traveling for work. There are lots of fashionable restaurants and clubs here, but be forewarned that they tend to be pretty pricey. To explore the water area even more, hop on a ferry to check out the delta. This area doesn’t have the traditional Buenos Aires culture of other neighborhoods, but it provides an interesting contrast, and the ecological reserve is definitely worth visiting.
San Telmo Flea Market
History buffs will love visiting the San Telmo area of Buenos Aires because it really shows off its colonial history that has evolved over time. San Telmo has gone through many changes over the years, from being a fashionable district to being plagued by yellow fever and seeing an influx of immigrants move in. It’s famous for picturesque narrow streets and antique shops, some of which can be found at the flea market on Sunday. Even if you’re not in the mood to shop, the market is a fun place to be. Check out the area’s tango bars and ask for an impromptu lesson if you’re feeling inspired.
Beloved Recoleta Cemetery
Some travelers may be wary of adding a cemetery onto their travel bucket list, but this one in Buenos Aires is definitely worth visiting. It is a big tourist attraction because of its impressive white marble and dark granite monuments that are elaborately decorated with religious figures. Don’t miss the grave site of Evita Peron, as well as football stars and past presidents who are buried here. This is an essential stop on any historical tour and also next to one of the most fashionable districts in the city, Recoleta. Recoleta is also a great place to catch a craft fair and spend some time relaxing in the public gardens.
Iconic Tortoni Café
There are so many amazing places to dine, drink, and dance in Buenos Aires, but one that consistently stands out is Tortoni. Cafes have always been a way of life in this city, and if you only visit one, make it this one. This café practically embodies the culture of the city and has been opened since 1858. It’s been a popular hangout spot for artists and musicians in the past and is a great place to spend an evening still today. Indulge in Argentinean meats, cheese, sandwiches, cakes, iced coffee drinks, or draft cider. Then stay to experience to singers and dancers perform and experience this iconic destination for yourself.
Dine at a Parrilla
But of course, no respectable foodie could travel to Buenos Aries and not dine at a parilla, which is a grill with roasting meats that Buenos Aires is famous for. Some parillas here are well known, such as La Estancia, but others, like El Litoral, are neighborhood establishments favored by locals. This is obviously not a scene for vegetarians, but if you like a good cut of meat, come to these restaurants to be amazed and never think about meat in the same way again.
El Tigre Weekend Escape
Although there’s plenty to do in the city of Buenos Aires to keep you busy, there’s certainly no harm in venturing outside the city limits for a weekend escape at El Tigre. This is a great place to relax and breathe in some fresh air because the forested islands and beautiful waterways are less than an hour from downtown.