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Top 11 Things to Do in Buenos Aires

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 attractions, boutiques, charming 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 rates are most reasonable. This is a big yet 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 the ultimate adventure and an unforgettable cultural experience, then here are the best things to do in Buenos Aires.

Art & Football in La Boca La Boca neighborhood, Buenos Aires
Credit: La Boca neighborhood, Buenos Aires by © Davide Guidolin | Dreamstime.com

Art & Football in La Boca

What Is It? La Boca is a colorful neighborhood that loves its sports and arts. 

Why Do It? 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 because of the colorful metal houses and artistic décor.

Good to Know: The “Caminito” section of La Boca, although a bit crowded and touristy, is an absolute must. Here, you can sit outside for a coffee and watch tango. 

Famous Plaza de Mayo Plaza de Mayo
Credit: Plaza de Mayo by © Adwo | Dreamstime.com

Famous Plaza de Mayo

What Is It? 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. It sits in front of the Casa Rosada, which houses the president’s office.  

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: 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 Cityscape of Palermo district, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Credit: Cityscape of Palermo district, Buenos Aires, Argentina by © Neurobite | Dreamstime.com

Shopping & Polo in Palmero

What Is It? Palermo Viejo is an awesome place to find funky boutiques with fun fashions that you can wear on your trip and take back home. 

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: If you’re feeling particularly active and adventurous, consider taking a lesson at El Rincon de Polo School, which caters lessons to both beginners and experienced players, and is located just outside of the city.

Dance at a Neighborhood Milonga Milonga
Credit: Milonga by bigstock.com

Dance at a Neighborhood Milonga

What Is It? Tango captures the essence of Buenos Aires, and either watching or partaking in this dance is a must for your trip to Buenos Aires. 

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: 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 National Museum of Fine Arts
Credit: National Museum of Fine Arts by bigstock.com

Paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts

What Is It? There are many museums in Buenos Aires, but if you only visit one, make it the National Museum of Fine Arts, or the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: There are certain days and times that this museum offers free admission, so check its website for the most current discounts.

Puerto Madero Waterfront Puerto Madero
Credit: Puerto Madero by bigstock.com

Puerto Madero Waterfront

What Is It? Many world-class cities bring life to their riverfronts, and Buenos Aires is no exception. 

Why Do It? 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.

Good to Know: 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 San Telmo Flea Market
Credit: San Telmo Flea Market by bigstock.com

San Telmo Flea Market

What Is It? 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. 

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: 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 Recoleta Cemetery
Credit: Recoleta Cemetery by bigstock.com

Beloved Recoleta Cemetery

What Is It? Some travelers may be wary of adding a cemetery onto their travel bucket list, but this one in Buenos Aires is definitely worth visiting.

Why Do It? 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 gravesite 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. 

Good to Know: Recoleta is also a great place to catch a craft fair and spend some time relaxing in the public gardens.

Iconic Tortoni Café Tortoni Café
Credit: Tortoni Café by bigstock.com

Iconic Tortoni Café

What Is It? There are so many amazing places to dine, drink, and dance in Buenos Aires, but one that consistently stands out is Tortoni. 

Why Do It? 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. 

Good to Know: Come for the food and stay to experience to singers and dancers perform and experience this iconic destination for yourself.

Dine at a Parrilla Parrilla
Credit: Parrilla by bigstock.com

Dine at a Parrilla

What Is It? Of course, no respectable foodie could travel to Buenos Aries and not dine at a parilla, which is a grill with roasting meats that Argentina is famous for. 

Why Do It? Some parillas here are well known, such as La Estancia, but others, like El Litoral, are neighborhood establishments favored by locals. 

Good to Know: 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 El Tigre
Credit: El Tigre by bigstock.com

El Tigre Weekend Escape

What Is It? Venture outside the city limits for a weekend escape at El Tigre.

Why Do It? Although there’s plenty to do in the city of Buenos Aires to keep you busy, there’s certainly no harm in exploring more of Argentina. 

Good to Know: 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.

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