Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest city, leaving no shortage of things to do in this bustling hot-spot. The capital is jam-packed with incredible food spots, entertaining events, colorful neighborhoods, green parks, and more, all displaying the beauty and culture of the city. With so many things to do in Buenos Aires, you may have to pick and choose your activities depending on the amount of time you have there. We spent a week here and feel like we only brushed the surface. Here are some of the notable activities we fit into our time in Buenos Aires.
1. Walk Avenida Corrientes
Buenos Aires has many walkable neighborhoods filled with parks, unique architecture, markets, restaurants, and more. Avenida Corrientes and the surrounding streets are bustling spots with cute cafes, theaters, shops, and of course, the famous Obelisco.
Walking Avenida Corrientes is an easy and flexible activity whether you have a lot of time or only an hour or two to explore. If you want a little more structure and to learn a bit more about the area, there are walking tours that often stop by the obelisk and notable sights in the area.
2. Get Your Tango On
Buenos Aires is said to be one of the birthplaces of Tango. This famous form of dance originated among the lower classes and immigrants of Buenos Aires in the late 1800s. Tango has since been a large part of Argentine culture.
Because Tango is such a huge part of culture here, there are many ways you can experience it. There are quite a few theaters that put on shows, such as Señor Tango. If you don’t want to spend the money on a show, you can catch a display in the streets. We saw many dancers around more touristy areas, like La Boca.
There are milongas in the streets or various venues where spectators can sit and watch or even join in! At the time of your visit, ask your accommodation or locals if they know of any happening nearby. A popular option is the gathering in San Telmo on Sundays. If you aren’t too comfortable joining in a milonga but want to learn to tango, classes are also available, such as the one offered at La Catedral.
3. Explore Colorful La Boca
La Boca is a lively port neighborhood that is also home to the famous Boca Juniors football stadium. La Boca is often teeming with craft markets, tango in the streets, wild Boca Juniors celebrations, and street artists. While some things in this area are kind of a tourist trap, it is a nice place to spend a day walking around to admire the art and activities and maybe hit a museum or two.
4. Hit the Clubs
Of all the cities we ventured through in South America, Buenos Aires boasted one of the best night life scenes. We definitely became night owls in Argentina! Restaurants open later and the partying at the bars and clubs doesn’t really begin until midnight or later! And somehow, the bustle of daily life goes on despite late night gatherings that last until sunrise. And in Buenos Aires, there seemed to be partying every night of the week.
From huge clubs, like Niceto Club and Terrazas Del Este, to more laid back scenes at some of the bars in San Telmo and low-key speakeasies, there’s a little something for everybody to enjoy.
5. Hop Over to Uruguay for the Day
While this activity obviously isn’t in Buenos Aires, it’s a popular day or weekend trip among both locals and tourists. We spent a couple weeks in Uruguay, but many choose to escape the busy streets of Buenos Aires for just a day to explore the peaceful beachside town of Colonia.
A morning ferry will take you from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento in under 2 hours, giving you the day to explore the quaint shops and cobblestone streets, relax at the beach, and try some Uruguayan cuisine.
6. City Bike Tour
Biking around Buenos Aires on a guided tour is a good way to hit a lot of hot spots in a time efficient manner. Tours are generally laid back and the city is pretty flat, so this activity is great for all levels! There are a variety of tours that focus on parks, street art, city highlights, certain areas of the city, etc. Some companies also allow you to tailor your own tour or provide you with the necessities (helmet, bike, lock, maps) so that you can go out on your own and explore at your own pace.
7. Museum Hop
As Argentina’s main hub, it makes sense that there are a variety of museums in Buenos Aires covering art, history, sports, cultural topics, science, and more. Popular picks include Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), Museo Casa Rosada, Museo Histórico Nacional, and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. There are many more to choose from to suit your interests.
Many museums allow you to walk around at your leisure, and others will have a guide ready to give you an in-depth look into the museum’s treasures.
8. Pick up Goods at the Ferias
Like most large cities in South America, Buenos Aires has its fair share of markets. Whether you’re looking for books, food, antiques, souvenirs, clothing, or home goods, the markets are bound to have something to suit your fancy. Even if you’re not looking to shop, it’s fun to venture around and experience the bustle of the markets.
One of the best ferias to visit (in our opinion) is the San Telmo open-air market. On Sundays, hundreds of vendors set up in the streets to sell a variety of goods. For authentic food and a look into the life of the gauchos, head to the outskirts of the city to Feria de Mataderos. Beyond these two options, there are many more great markets that you may just stumble upon!
9. Visit Cemeterio Recoleta
Of the many recommendations on things to do in Buenos Aires, visiting Recoleta Cemetery kept popping up. While we didn’t think it was the most thrilling activity in the city, walking among the intricate carvings and unique constructions of the burial sites was intriguing. It’s free to enter and definitely worth a visit to walk around for a while. There is truly an abundant amount of detail at this place.
Many of the 4000+ graves belong to wealthy and famous Argentine figures, including several of the country’s presidents. Many of the beautiful marble mausoleums are contrasted by weathered brick and distressed metal work. If you want to learn more about the notable structures and people laid to rest in the cemetery, there are tours available.
10. Eat to Your Hearts Content
From huge choripan sandwiches from a food truck to elegant steak and wine dinners, Buenos Aires offers up incredibly tasty eats that will bring out the foodie in anybody. While dining in Argentina was more expensive than it was in Bolivia and Peru, we were thrilled to treat ourselves to some of the local dishes.
Argentinians do love their meat, so you’ll commonly see beef empanadas, steak, milanesa, sausages, meaty stews, assorted picadas, and other dishes to enthuse the carnivores. If that doesn’t appeal to you, no need to fear. The rich immigrant population in Buenos Aires brought plenty of pastas, pizza, sushi, Thai, and more, and many places have vegetarian options. To satisfy that sweet tooth, bakeries line many of the streets, offering alfajores, pastelitos, and sweet medialunas (croissants).