Things to do in Buenos Aires

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Much like Malbec, its famous wine, Argentina’s capital is full-bodied, complex and leaves you wanting more. More ‘the city that sleeps late’ than ‘the city that never sleeps’, Buenos Aires’ nighttime revelling grants you extra time to explore its ample attractions. Spend days wandering the wide streets and exploring distinct neighbourhoods, before drifting between BA’s many bars and milongas (shrines to the seductive art form of tango) as night falls. Read on for our list of the best things to do in Buenos Aires.

  1. Admire the Mix of Architecture
  2. Plunge into Trendy Palermo
  3. Take in Some Tango
  4. Explore the Eclectic Markets
  5. Indulge in Argentine Cuisine
  6. Catch a Match
  7. Take a Day Trip to Tigre


Admire the Mix of Architecture

Although Buenos Aires is often referred to as ‘the Paris of South America’, in reality it’s a quintessentially Latin American city. It does, however, boast plenty of wide boulevards and beautiful Belle Epoque buildings. Its centre – the Plaza de Mayo – is lined with stately 19th-century architecture, including Casa Rosada (Pink House), the iconic, balconied presidential palace. Other major attractions include Teatro Colón, a grand opera house dating back to 1908, and the modern MALBA museum, which showcases Latin American art. All of this sits alongside brutalist creations that sprung up during Argentina’s dictatorship. Take in the contrasting architecture during a walking or cycling tour of the city’s different districts, known as ‘barrios’. Explore charming, cobbled San Telmo, colourful La Boca and the gentrified dockland area of Puerto Madero, where Porteños (locals) go to sample the latest shiny new bar or restaurant.


Plunge into Trendy Palermo

Pounding the pavements of Palermo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. This beautiful barrio is buzzing during the day and at night, with restaurants and bars of all kinds rubbing shoulders with boliches (night clubs), where you can dance until dawn. Made up of seven neighbourhoods, each with its own distinctive character, it's worth taking the time to immerse yourself in its infectious atmosphere. Hipster haunts Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood are home to upscale restaurants, chic cocktail bars and quirky fashion boutiques, while Palermo Viejo has a well-established cafe culture. Explore some of the city’s green spaces, such as the Botanical Gardens and Parque Tres de Febrero, with its rose garden, planetarium and rowing lakes. The famous Recoleta Cemetery is also nearby and is the final resting place of Eva Perón, better known as Evita, who had a decisive impact on the political life of women in Argentina and remains an icon. 


Take in Some Tango

In the traditional (and more touristy) barrios of La Boca and San Telmo, it’s common to find tango dancers performing in the streets. But to truly appreciate this seductive dance, you can catch a live cabaret show or ― even better ― hit the dance floor to try the impassioned art form for yourself. Milongas (traditional dance halls) are scattered throughout the city, offering the chance to dance the night away, or simply enjoy mesmerising performances by the highly skilled locals. Go between 10pm and 2am (early bedtimes are unheard of in Buenos Aires) to see couples of all ages perform this dramatic dance.


Explore the Eclectic Markets

Miniature versions of the areas they inhabit, visiting a market – or feria – makes our list of things to do in Buenos Aires, as a great way of immersing yourself in the culture, meeting the locals and picking up a few treats. Sunday’s San Telmo market (Feria de San Telmo) is hands down the city's most well-known and liveliest. Myriad stalls sell everything from antiques and artworks to fruit juice and food, while dancers and musicians give impromptu performances, creating an energetic, party atmosphere. Feria de Mataderos is a traditional gaucho fair loaded with leather goods, local food and live folk music, while bookworms should make a beeline for the Feria de Libros in Parque Rivadavia (open daily). One of the most authentic flea markets in BA, the indoor Mercado de Pulgas, offers a window into the city’s vibrant arts scene. It’s easy to lose a few hours amid the sprawling stalls of vintage furniture, paintings, sculptures, musical instruments and other curios.


Indulge in Argentine Cuisine

Buenos Aires is heaven for foodies, with world-class restaurants serving up an array of mouth-watering dishes. Sink your teeth into juicy Argentine steak, washed down with a glass of Malbec, at one of the city’s renowned parillas (steakhouses). Or if you’re out and about and fancy a quick bite, grab an empanada (traditional meat or vegetable filled pastries), followed by some dulce de leche gelato (sweet caramel spread that is a staple in Argentine desserts). Sip a café con leche (white coffee) in one of the many cosy cafes, or clutch your caffeine hit while exploring the city.


Catch a Match

Argentina is famed for its love of football and Buenos Aires is no exception, playing host to some of the most iconic football clubs in the country (and world). Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere by scoring tickets to a match at the legendary La Bombonera stadium (the home of Boca Juniors), or El Monumental stadium (home to rival team Club Atlético River Plate). Whichever team you choose to support, you’ll get to experience the chants, cheers and intense rivalries that make Argentinian football so captivating.


Take a Day Trip to Tigre

Escape the city for a day and take the train to Tigre, a charming town located about an hour north of BA, on the banks of the Parana Delta. The town acts as a gateway to the rivers and wetlands of this vast delta, and while here you can hop aboard a scenic boat ride along the intricate network of waterways. Tigre’s old fruit harbour – the Puerto de Frutos – is now a busy market, where you can source handmade crafts, taste fresh produce and sample delicious local delicacies. Visit the nearby Mate Museum, which traces the history of the traditional Argentinean tea-like drink, or enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants lining the Paseo Victorica riverside esplanade.