You often hear Buenos Aires, Argentina referred to as the Paris of South America and you can see why. Grande boulevards, cafes and neo-classical buildings on every corner. Buenos Aires has an air of luxury, of authority and once it captures you, you’ll never want to leave.
Buenos Aires is all about atmosphere and a trip here is all about soaking in that atmosphere, getting lost in local culture and living like a local. Here are my 15 best things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina to get you soaked in that vibrant atmosphere and rubbing shoulders with locals.
#1 RECOLETA CEMETERY
Recoleta Cemetery is a city within a city and it’s not just a graveyard. This is the city of the dead for Argentina’s rich and famous and it’s just immense. It’s easy to get lost in this vast space of huge catacombs, mausoleums, crypts, sarcophagi and coffins with elaborately carved angels on top. There are headstones taller than Kobe Bryant and obelisks every now and again. This cemetery inspires opulence and gives a glimpse at Buenos Aires and into
#2 PALERMO VIEJO & PALERMO SOHO
#3 EL ATENEO GRAN SPLENDID
This is one branch of an Argentinian bookstore but it’s so much more than that. This comes close to being the grandest and most spectacular bookstore setting ever. This branch is 99 years old and originally started as a theatre which later converted into a cinema and later still, a bookstore. The old theatre seating area now houses thousands of books on pretty much every topic imaginable.
#4 WATCH A TANGO SHOW OR DANCE IT
Tango is to Buenos Aires what salsa is to Colombia and a tango show is a must while in BA. Tango dancing got its routes in the port of Buenos Aires and its the typical porteños dance. There many different shows catering to all different budgets. You can expect to see many different couples dancing solo and as a group. Some shows also include dinner, but I found that the dinner wasn’t really worth the money especially if you’re plant-based. Go to the show with a drink instead…
…Or if you’re feeling adventurous and want to really get involved, head to a milonga. A milonga is a place where local people go
#5 CASA ROSADA AND PLAYA DE MAYO
Plaza de Mayo and Avenida de Mayo, leading up to it is the centre of Argentinian politics. This area is full of huge colonial, classical-style buildings and
Traveling beyond Buenos Aires? Check out Top Things To Do in Bariloche, Argentina
#6 SAN TELMO MARKET
Knick-knacks and kitsch are what San Telmo is famous for and this Sunday market is a glimpse into the more bohemian side of BA. You can pretty much buy anything at this market from cool jewellery to mate cups to old coins and books. I wasn’t particularly interested in the shopping but the best part about the market is just walking around chatting to all the friendly locals, getting a drink at a quirky cafe and people watching.
#7 VISIT A MUSEUM
Buenos Aires is full of some great museums that showcase Argentinian and South American art throughout the centuries as well as having temporary exhibitions on loan from elsewhere. If you are feeling a bit cultural why not pop into one? Here
MALBA ( Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires) What a name! You can see why they just call it MALBA. This contemporary museum is full of works from the 19th and 20th Centuries with hits by Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera, Wilfredo Lam among others. A great place to kill an hour or two.
Museo de Bellas Artes. This is a splendid museum with works from antiquity, and from the 12th century onwards as well as Latin art and Asian art. The permanent collection is free and it’s vast and engaging. I went on a rainy day and it was the perfect indoor thing to do.
#8 EXPLORE LA BOCA
La Boca is probably one of the most iconic barrios of Buenos Aires due to its vibrantly painted houses and the La Bombonera stadium. Although a bit touristy this neighbourhood is great for taking pictures, watching tango dancers in the street and seeing artists at work in the Caminito street. Check out La Bombonera stadium, home of Boca Juniors football club one of Argentinas most famous with a fanatical fanbase.
#9 STROLL THROUGH THE BOTANICAL GARDENS
The botanical gardens are the perfect place to relax in the middle of the hustle and bustle. The gardens are located in Palermo just near Plaza Italia and entrance is free. Inside you’ll find a few fountains, a butterfly hall, a greenhouse and herb garden. It’s not the most amazing botanical garden I’ve ever been to but it’s an awesome place for a picnic. Bring some snacks, relax and get away from it all.
#10 OBELISK & CORRIENTES AVENUE
The bustling Avenida Corrientes is the street that never sleeps. It passes through many districts of Buenos Aires such as Microcentro and the financial district and you’ll definitely come across it at some point in your stay. On it, you’ll find many shops, theatres, pubs and bars and of course the famous Obelisco in front of which are the Insta-famous BA letters. You’ve found your Insta location!
#11 EAT EMPANADAS
If you’ve been travelling around South America for a while you’ll know that empanadas are a big deal and in Buenos Aires, it’s no different. Although veggie or vegan empanadas are hard to find in such a meat predominant country they do exist and I would highly recommend you get one. La Cocina Empanaderia is a superb place to grab an empanada to go and they do have a few veggie options.
#12 TAKE A FREE YOGA CLASS
You may have already heard about free yoga classes going on around many cities worldwide and the movement is strong here too. Why not take a free yoga class in the evening in a park? You can stretch out those aching legs, meet some locals and get some exercise, all for free. Check out this Facebook group for all the details. (It does help to speak a little Spanish) Yoga Gratis en Buenos Aires
#13 TEATRO COLON
This theatre is one of the cities most prominent landmarks and rightfully so. Many are in awe of the beauty of this theatre, both inside and outside. Built-in 1889 and occupying a whole city block this theatre is more than impressive. The world’s finest ballet, operas and orchestras drop in regularly when on tour. The theatre offers guided tours when there isn’t anything on and if the doors are open you can always go in a have a look.
#14 WATCH A FOOTBALL MATCH
Argentinians are absolutely balmy about football so what better way to experience the local culture than to join in! Argentina’s two biggest teams are La Boca (Diego Maradona’s ex-team) and River Plate and if you can’t get a ticket to see a game at their stadiums then head to a local bar or pub where things will definitely get wild and passionate.
#15 EAT PIZZA
With over 62% of Argentinians having some Italian roots,
What did you get up to in Buenos Aires? Got any more great recommendations? Let me know below.
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