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16 Very Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires – Hand Luggage Only


Buenos Aires is an incredible city to visit in Argentina. Nestled on the eastern fringes of the country, it’s a city that’s got a little something for every type of traveller. There is so much to see and do. That being said, it can be hard to whittle down a list of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, especially if you’re in the city for a few days.

Over the years, we’ve visited Buenos Aires many times and absolutely loved it. We first visited alongside our wider trip to Antarctica, Patagonia and Mendoza; all of which we loved.

In lots of ways, Buenos Aires is a gateway for many of us visiting Argentina and beyond. Though, don’t be fooled into thinking that’s all Buenos Aires offers. The city is a destination in itself.

So, to help you get the most out of your time in the city, I’m sharing the top places in Buenos Aires that I really think you shouldn’t miss. Oh, and pop us a message anytime if you need any advice – we love Argentia so much.

1.) San Telmo Market 

San Telmo Market is one area in Buenos Aires we didn’t visit on our first trip to the city. That in itself was a mistake. Thankfully, we remedied this on our most recent trip and loved it.

Open every day, San Telmo Market is a hive of activity and a place you really should visit hungry. You see, once inside, you’ll get to wander around the vast amount of stalls, eateries and kerbside takeaways that are all so delicious. Honestly, you can buy any and every type of food inside San Telmo Market.

We loved Beba Cocina for its delicious empanadas and Argentinian steaks. Like most places within San Telmo Market, it’s unfussy and packed full of people and a bustling atmosphere.

Just a heads up, on a hot summer day, it can get quite warm inside. Humitidy, hundreds of stalls cooking and thousands of people are a combination that will induce buckets of sweat.

Also, to make things nice and easy to get around, book this hop-on-hop-off bus ticket for Buenos Aires. This way, you can avoid all the stress of getting to the main sights and focus on making the most out of your time in the city. 

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2.) La Boca 

Traditionally a working-class area of Buenos Aires, the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca is well worth a visit. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you want to explore the city’s unique neighbourhoods.

Nowadays, La Boca is a hive of activity and attracts visitors from all over the world. This means you should expect some crowds, especially on the weekends.

Once here, make sure to wander the colourful streets around Caminito and stop by some of the stalls and outdoor foodie spots for a bite to eat.

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires La Boca

Make sure to stop by El Gran Paraiso for one of their Choripán. It’s a delicious asado sandwich that’s filled with flame-grilled sausage and served on freshly baked bread. These are typically crusty rolls and they’re so good.  

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3.) El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Book shop Famous

Probably one of the world’s most famous bookshops, El Ateneo Grand Splendid is pretty amazing to visit. You see, not only do they have mountains of books (most are in Spanish) but it’s also housed in a historic theatre that’s just so impressive to see.

Take a wander around El Ateneo Grand Splendid, explore the different levels and hop onto the stage for a coffee. It’s so unique.

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Bookshop Theatre

Afterwards, head down to El Cuartito for some of their iconic pizza.

You see, Italian immigrants to Argentina brought lots of flavours from home, and El Cuartito serves some of the best. Make sure to try their Fugazzetta (onion and cheese stuffed pizza. Just be prepared for crowds; this place is always busy.

4.) National Congress building

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires City Visit

As you walk around Buenos Aires, be sure to stop by Plaza del Congreso. It’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you want to explore some of Argentina’s history. You see, at this plaza, you have the National Congress Building that offers free tours that are pretty impressive to see.

Not only that, you’ll get to see Palácio Barolo where you can join another tour (with a small fee) which will take you all through the palace. Not only that but during some evening tours, you’ll be able to scale the lighthouse and see the lights shine over Buenos Aires.

If you’re short on time, book this 3-hour small group tour of Buenos Aires. It’s an incredible way to maximise your time in Buenos Aires and the guide is so much fun.

5.) Plaza de Mayo (Casa Rosada)

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Palace Visit

Carrying on down Avenue De Mayo (from Plaza del Congreso) you’ll reach Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada. The latter is a vast pastel pink house that was once the customs house for Buenos Aires. It’s lovely to see and there’s heaps to do around this area, too.

Once here, make sure to visit the Museo del Bicentenario which is a history museum that showcases the long history of modern-day Argentina.

Also, don’t forget to pop into Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral that’s on the plaza, too. This was the former seat of Pope Francis and has a history that dates back centuries. Honestly, from the outside, the cathedral doesn’t look too impressive; but the inside is just beautiful and well worth a wander around.

6.) La Floralis Genérica

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires La Floralis Genérica Flower

One great thing about Buenos Aires is that it has loads of green spaces that are so lovely for a stroll. Nestled in the Recoleta area of the city, La Floralis Genérica is one stunning sculpture you can’t miss.

You see, this huge flower was gifted to Buenos Aires by Eduardo Catalano and is so impressive to see. Now, what makes La Floralis Genérica special is that it moves depending on the time of day you visit. The huge petals open and close depending on weather conditions and ‘sleep’ at night when the flower closes.

It’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you’re looking for a relaxing stroll and easily partnered with a trip to nearby the National Museum of Bellas Artes. Though, a heads up, the National Museum of Bellas Artes is huge and it’s well worth giving yourself at least 2 hours to stroll through.

7.) Casa Mínima

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Little House Casa

Often missed by lots of visitors to Buenos Aires, Casa Mínima is a tiny little home whose width is only a few metres. Well, 2.5 to be exact.

Built back in the 1800s. Casa Mínima is Buenos Aires’ narrowest house. Although small, this type of house was commonplace in Buenos Aires a few centuries ago.

You see, they were often given to freed, enslaved people, by their former masters. These houses typically were attached to the sides of their former master’s homes, with Casa Mínima being the only one left in all of Buenos Aires.

Once here, head inside and learn more about the awful history of slavery and how small houses like this once covered Buenos Aires. After all, I always feel we must understand and continue to learn about the horrors of the past, so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

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8.) Recoleta Cemetery 

Now, it’s not often I say to visit a cemetery when visiting a new city; but Recoleta Cemetry is well worth a visit. You see, this cemetery is the final resting place of many iconic figures in history.

Once here, take a wander around the mausoleums and see the Tomb Of Eva Perón. To make things easier, this point is the exact place of her tomb on Google Maps. 

Afterwards, you can see the mausoleums of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Bartolomé Mitre and so many more. A visit takes around 20 minutes and is easily included when you’re already strolling around Recoleta.

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Pizzería Güerrin Pizza

Getting peckish? Head on over (by taxi or Uber) to ) Pizzería Güerrin. It’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you want to try some authentic Argentinian pizza. Trust me, it’s a thing and it’s so delicious. Just be aware, that Pizzería Güerrin is always busy.

You’ll love every bite, as long as you’re prepared for crowds and its unfussy atmosphere at lunchtime.

9.) Colon Theatre (Plaza Lavalle)

Now, even if you’re not into opera or ballet, you need to visit the Colon Theatre. Nestled on the edges of Plaza Lavalle, it’s one of South America’s most iconic theatres.

Of course, you can book tickets to an opera (tickets range from around £5-100) but they do fill up fast. Alternatively, as we did, we joined an English language tour of Colon Theatre that lasted around 45 minutes.

Just be sure to book your tickets on their website before arriving (at least a day before) to get the best times.

Once inside, you’ll get to explore the grand hallways, visit the theatre itself and learn more about the history of this impressive building. Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the ‘widows seats’ that are hidden away behind metal grids.

During mourning (after a death), widows were not allowed to be seen in public and had to be hidden from view for up to 2 years. Thankfully, all that’s changed but you can see these areas within the theatre itself.

We loved our visit and it’s easily one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires when visiting Plaza Lavalle.

Read more: Best cities in South America to visit

10.) Parque Tres de Febrero (Bosques de Palermo)

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Japanese Garden

If you’re looking for a chilled-out day in the Palermo district of Buenos Aires, then head over to Parque Tres de Febrero. It’s one of the best public parks in Buenos Aires and so lovely on a sunny day in the city.

Once here, take a stroll around the lake, and the vast rose garden and visit the Japanese Garden that’s just off Germany Square. The latter is a gifted park from Germany and well worth visiting.

11.) Don Julio

Regularly touted and awarded as one of the best places for steak in the world, Don Julio is something of an institution; and not just in Buenos Aires. You see, Don Julio is known the world over for its delicious steaks and is well worth visiting for lunch or dinner when in Buenos Aires.

Now, getting a reservation can be tough and we’ve heard stories of people waiting up to four hours for a table. Thankfully, this didn’t happen to us and I’ll tell you how we managed that.

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires City Don Julio Steak Restaurant

If you’re going for dinner, start queuing at 5:20-5:30 pm at the latest. This way, you’ll be at the front of the queue to get your name on the ‘Waiting List’. We were about 40th in the queue, which started moving around 5:45 pm. Once we got to the front, we were given a time of 20:45 for dinner and just had to show up at that time. We left, went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. In all, I think we queued for 20 minutes.

However, always be prepared for a long queue. Thankfully, Don Julio is aware of how bad their queues can be; so they give out free sparkling wines and freshly-baked empanadas whilst you wait.

It really is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, especially when looking for a world-renowned steak.

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12.) Argentine Tango

Tango is something of an institution in Argentina, and one experience you don’t want to miss when visiting Buenos Aires.

Now, there are a few options for Tango Shows or Tango Halls, where locals and visitors go to dance. We’ve done both and loved each of them; for very different reasons.

Now, there are a few options when booking a Tango Show in Buenos Aires and it can all be a little confusing. This is especially true when you’re trying to find the best one!

We chose Almacen, which is housed in a centuries-old building in the heart of Buenos Aires. We loved it as it’s much smaller and cosier than the big-hitting style shows and a little less glossy (if that makes sense). It felt very authentic and the dancers were just so talented. Plus, the whole team are so friendly.

Now, you can book dinner and a show at Almacen if you want. We tried the food, and although it was good, I wouldn’t rush back for the restaurant element. So, save yourself a little time and book the show ticket itself. It’s just so incredible and in a historic, cosy hall.

If you want to visit a traditional tango hall, then book this tour where you can attend a local milongas with an actual Tango guide. These typically aren’t flashy or glitzy but so authentic and lovely.

We spent about 3 hours in the traditional milongas and all the locals were so friendly. We had so much fun.

13.) National Museum of Fine Arts

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Museum Art

The National Museum of Fine Arts is an incredible place to visit. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you love art history. You see, is a treasure trove of exhibitions from some of the world’s most prestigious artists.

Once inside, you’ll get to see works from the likes of Goya, Van Gogh, Chagall and so many more. It’s incredible and you can easily spend 3 hours inside without even seeing everything.

Not only that, you can easily explore the museum after visiting Recoleta Cemetery. After all, it’s only about a 10-minute stroll away.

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14.) La Cocina

Hungry? Hop in an Uber or taxi and visit La Cocina which makes some of the tastiest (and fresh-to-order) empanadas in all of Buenos Aires.

Now, a heads up, this place is tiny and unfussy but it’s so worth visiting for a bite around lunchtime. Oh, and don’t forget to try their locro soup. It’s so good.

15.) Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament 

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Basílica del Santísimo Sacramento

Built at the start of the 1900s, the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament is a stunning church to see whilst in Buenos Aires.

Not only is the church beautiful to see, but it’s also just off Plaza General San Martín where you can see the Monument to the Fallen in Malvinas and the huge Clock Tower that was gifted by Britain back in 1916.

After working up an appetite, hop in a cab and visit Café Tortoni that’s about 9 minutes away. This is one of Buenos Aires’s most famous cafes and has been around since the 1800s. Over the years, it’s had presidents, actors and other iconic folk visit for a coffee or medialunas. They even have live music or tango performances on certain days.

Though, a heads up, we had to queue for about 45 minutes to get a table; it’s always busy.

16.) Tigre Municipal Museum of Fine Art (Tigre Club)

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Tigre Municipal Museum of Fine Art (Tigre Club)

Attentively, if you want to explore more of the city’s stunning buildings and institutions, then head over to the Tigre Municipal Museum of Fine Art (MAT).

Here, you’ll get to explore the incredible exhibitions and also take a wander around the stunning building that is the Tigre Club which is beautiful.

Best Things To Do In Buenos Aires Tigre Municipal Museum of Fine Art (Tigre Club)

Now, the Tigre Club is a little away from the downtown area of Buenos Aires (about 45 minutes in a cab), but it’s well worth visiting for an afternoon trip. It really is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. 

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