Argentina Travel: Best things to do and places to see in Buenos Aires
Dubbed the “Paris of South America”, Argentina’s massive metropolis and capital city Buenos Aires is all about its European essence - from cobblestoned streets lined with pretty cafes to neighborhoods bursting with unique colonial character. We are talking French-styled buildings, Italian-flavored food, and Spanish-inspired nightlife, all in all a distinct European flair. Throw in the tastiest steaks, with authentic wines and traditional tango shows, and that's a lot of bang for buck for any city.
Get in touch with our Argentinian travel experts who can go a long way in helping you get the best out of your Buenos Aires experience.
Meanwhile, enjoy our list of things to do and see while in Buenos Aires.
La Recoleta Cemetery
Start with a graceyard? Sure, when it's one as full of stunning architecture as this one. La Recoleta cemetery isn’t just any ordinary necropolis; this is where the elites and prominent personalities of Argentina are buried. Established in 1822, Recoleta Cemetery consists of 4,500 above-ground crypts, of which 94 are tagged as significant historical monuments. Of all the significant tombs, Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron’s grave gets the most attention and is still lined with flowers outside her vault.
La Recoleta showcases an excellent array of marble mausoleums and sculptures, carved by notable artists, making it quite easy to understand why it has been is listed in the best of its category by BBC and CNN.
It once served a function as the main port of Buenos Aires; today, Puerto Madero is currently the largest urban development project in the capital. The port, fortunately, regained its lost glory in 1989, when its decaying warehouses were turned into grandiose buildings for residential and business purposes.
Puerto Madero is an ideal escape from the chaos of the city and offers its visitors breathtaking sunset views alongside the towering, white Puente de La Mujer (Bridge of Woman). Interestingly, this former port neighborhood is home to some of the trendiest steak and seafood restaurants in the city and fairly bursts with energy after sunset.
Lined with beautiful churches and aging houses, San Telmo is also the oldest neighborhood of this capital city, well known for its active weekend market, the feria. Stroll through the cobblestoned pathways past old colonial homes, traditional restaurants, and a wide range of shops, all of which portray much of the locality’s conventional personality.
San Telmo witnesses a huge footfall of locals and visitors for its famed Sunday markets. With an endless variety of antique shops, clothing and craft stalls, alongside numerous street performances, this little charmer enchants visitors with its beautiful chaos.
Opened in 1908, Teatro Colon was once the largest opera hub in the world until the Sydney Opera House took over in 1973. This extravagant opera house boasts a magnificent European-style décor with French stained glass, Venetian mosaics, Italian-marble staircases and an opulent chandelier straight from romance-era of the early 20th century.
Hosting live shows over the years with world-class artists, Teatro Colon is as pleasing to the ears as its architecture is to the eyes. Head over in the months between April and December to witness some of the theater’s astounding ballet and opera performances.
Being the birthplace of Tango, Buenos Aires is filled with its spirit on almost every corner. An authentic touristy experience, Tango dancing is one of the premier highlights of the country and one should not miss swaying to its syncopated beats (if you know what you are doing) or at least watching the professionals killing it. There are plenty of Milonga (Tango Nights), where people go to rock tango. The most notable Milongas happens in the streets of San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrezo every Sunday night, and at Salon Canning, where the admission is inexpensive and comes with tango lessons, which is a bonus.
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA)
Editorial copyrights: Karina | Yimy
Argentina’s premier art museum with a modern touch, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) features an eclectic mix of avant-garde artworks from the 19th and 20th century. Highlights of the museum include works of exemplary Latino artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, along with other local talents.
Editorial copyrights: Juan Bello
The artistic wonderland of MALBA showcases a unique collection of the past century, making it quite a must-visit for any art aficionado.
Important note: The museum is closed on Tuesdays, so prepare accordingly.
La Boca neighborhood
With seducingly vibrant colored buildings and a lively vibe, the quaint neighborhood of La Boca is definitely one of those essential corners every Buenos Aires first-timer should consider adding to their itinerary. Brimming with trendy boutiques and tango dancing in the streets, La Boca is a district that houses local artists, passionate soccer fans and blue-collar workers alike; the real Buenos Aires, in other words.
One of the key attractions of the barrio is the famed El Caminito Street, which has artists depicting beautifully bright murals on the sidewalks. La Boca is also home to the city’s beloved football club, Boca Juniors, and there is hardly anything more intense than watching a footie-encounter with rivals, River Plate, at the area’s very own La Bombonera Stadium.
Plaza de Mayo
Buenos Aires’s oldest public square and perhaps the most compelling one, Plaza de Mayo holds a significant place in the political heart of the country.
One of the major draws of the square is the imposing, pink-colored mansion called Casa Rosada, home to the Argentinian President. It is from the very same balcony of the mansion that the world famous speeches of Eva Peron, affectionately known as Evita, were delivered to her legion of admirers.
Another eye-catching sight of the square is the Piramide de Mayo (May Pyramid), which was raised to honor the uprising movements and holds the prestige of being one of the city’s most iconic structures.
Important Note: Plaza de Mayo sees a lot of frequent protests related to current events, hence check in advance and plan your visit accordingly.
Catch a Polo match or Horse racing in Palermo
Argentina, renowned for its passion for polo, bestows an exceptional opportunity for those visiting during the months of September to November. As these months mark the prime playing season, anybody visiting Buenos Aires should book their passes well in advance for the popular Argentinian Open at the Campo Argentino de Polo in the ritzy locale of Palermo.
Even if you miss the enthralling polo tournament, hop into the Palermo Hippodrome nearby to catch these magnificent beasts with their caballeros galloping against each other. Apart from hosting memorable horse tournaments, Palermo is an upscale, swanky neighborhood bursting with high-end boutiques, urban parks, and quaint cafes.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Editorial copyrights: Rob Murgatroyd
Yes, Buenos Aires is well-acclaimed for its dashing nightlife culture. Late nightlife culture. Join the party-spirited souls of the city and groove to House and electronic music in its many clubs. A word of advice - don’t turn up before 2 am, as it will be empty until then. Head over to the famous Crobar, which hosts many sought-after international DJs, and the modish Niceto Club that has everything from Techno music to Cabaret performances.