things to do in buenos aires

31 Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Looking for the best things to do in Buenos Aires, and the ultimate experiences for enjoying your time in this unique city? There is so much to do in Buenos Aires that it’s a challenge to narrow down exactly how to spend your time here.

From day trips to gaucho ranches or dreamy Uruguayan beaches to food and wine tours, or even rowdy fútbol games, get ready for a travel experience to remember in Buenos Aires. 

In this ultimate guide to the best things to do in Buenos Aires, we’re sharing some of our favorite experiences in Buenos Aires (I lived here for several months and can’t wait to return soon!) to help you have the most incredible travel experience in Argentina’s capital.

From hidden gems to the city’s most famous attractions, let’s dive into the very best things to do in Buenos Aires. 

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Things to Do in Buenos Aires

In this ultimate guide to the best things to do in Buenos Aires, we’re sharing the very best destinations and attractions in the city. Plus, some of our favorite off-the-beaten-path things to do to see a whole other side of the city.

When I lived in Buenos Aires for several months, I got the opportunity to see so much of this incredible city. There is so much more than just a list of top attractions in Buenos Aires that will make you fall in love with this city.

Here you’ll find a list complete with foods to try, restaurants you can’t miss, tourist attractions, and hidden gems in Buenos Aires. These are the BEST things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina for your perfect travel experience.

1. Eat Your Weight In Medialunas

Medialunas are Argentina’s answer to the French croissant and are a staple of any self-respecting Argentine’s diet. For the perfect breakfast, visit one of the city’s countless corner cafes for a cafe con leche and a few medialunas. 

Medialunas come in two forms: medialunas de grasa (a bit crispier and saltier, made with animal fat) and medialunas de manteca (fattier and made with butter, slightly sweeter). Both are good, but I’d definitely recommend the medialunas de manteca. 

While Dos Escudos is a great contender for the city’s best medialunas, you’ll find excellent examples in cafes around the city. 

2. Visit Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo

Any good walking tour of Buenos Aires will start at the Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, and if you’re headed out on a self-guided walking tour, you should too.

One of the most historically significant spots in Argentina, this famous plaza facing the Casa Rosada presidential palace is one of the city’s biggest attractions – a must on any Buenos Aires itinerary

Around the Plaza de Mayo you’ll find some of the city’s most important landmarks, like the Cabildo (the old Buenos Aires town hall), Metropolitan Cathedral, and more. These are all worth a visit.

If you can find time, add a visit inside the Casa Rosada to your itinerary. Exploring the presidential palace is a treat – you’ll get to take in ornate ballrooms, meeting places, and even offices. Tours run hourly (in English and Spanish), and are completely free, but make sure to schedule a time slot online before visiting. 

3. Cheer (Like Crazy) At a Fútbol Game

Fútbol (football / soccer) is practically a religion in Argentina, so there is truly nothing like attending a fútbol game while visiting Buenos Aires.

You can choose a game at the famed La Bombonera stadium in the La Boca neighborhood, home to the Boca Juniors team, or the River Plate statium in the Nuñez neighborhood.

Boca Juniors games tend to be a bit rowdier – though really any game at any stadium you attend will be rowdier than even the most high-stakes championship you’ve seen back home.

I really recommend making it to a game – this is an unforgettable travel experience, tickets to most games are quite inexpensive, and it’s such a fascinating window in to Argentine culture. You really can’t go wrong here.

4. Explore MALBA

By far the best museum in Buenos Aires, the MALBA (Museo de Arte Latinoamericao de Buenos Aires – the Buenos Aires Museum of Latin American Art) is one of the city’s cultural highlights. You’ll find incredible works from Latin American stars like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Wilfredo Lam, and Fernando Botero. 

If you’re lucky enough to have several days to spend in Buenos Aires, make sure to look in to the events calendar at MALBA for some great cultural experiences. You’ll find frequent movie screenings and film festivals, artist chats, and more. Most events are free, or very inexpensive!

5. Walk El Caminito

El Caminito is a strip of the La Boca neighborhood where the colorful homes that once characterized this immigrant neighborhood are preserved. Today the area is like an outdoor museum, and you’ll find cafes, souvenir shops, and tango dancers performing outside for tourists. 

In all honesty, El Caminito has just a few blocks of the colorful buildings you’ve seen in pictures, and is generally overrun with tourists.

It’s not something you want to miss, but it’s also quite touristy. Plan for a quick visit and check it off your Buenos Aires bucket list. There’s more to explore nearby.

6. Visit Fundación PROA

When you’re in the area to see El Caminito, don’t stop at this tiny strip of the La Boca neighborhood – make sure to visit Fundación PROA, one of the city’s best museums. PROA hosts an incredible rotation of modern art exhibits and should be considered a must-visit for art fans.

Even if you aren’t a big museum person when you travel, pop into the beautiful library and bookstore, and enjoy a coffee in the cafe.

The terrace overlooking La Boca is beautiful on a warm day, and the interior spaces of the modern building are impressive whether you explore the whole building or now. 

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7. Try Choripan

Argentina is well known for being one of the world’s leading producers of beef, so the Argentine diet has plenty of steaks, sausages, and hamburger. If you’re looking to sample classic Argentine street food while in Buenos Aires, trying choripan is a must.

Choripan is a simple chorizo sausage sandwich on a plain white sandwich roll, usually slathered in chimichurri (a bright sauce made from parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar). Simple, but perfect. 

Some of the best spots to enjoy these sandwiches are at the food stalls in the Feria de San Telmo (parking lots along Calle Defensa are turned into barbeque spots with basic plastic tables and chairs), or from food carts along the river near the Jorge Newbery airport in Palermo.

Another favorite spot – my personal favorite – is La Paloma in Recoleta, along Avenida Santa Fe.

8. Explore Palermo

The Palermo neighborhood in Buenos Aires is indisputably the city’s buzziest, most desirable neighborhood. Packed with galleries, cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops, there is more than enough to keep you busy in this neighborhood for weeks.

Spend at least a few hours exploring this neighborhood well: window shop, drink coffee at Full City Coffee House, eat steak at La Cabrera, and have a drink on the rooftop at Selina

Palermo is also one of the best places to stay in Buenos Aires. Check out our favorite recommendations for places to stay in Palermo, and check out our ultimate guide to where to stay in Buenos Aires for even more recommendations.

9. Take in a Tango Show

Buenos Aires is synonymous with tango, and there is no better way to experience tango in Buenos Aires than with dinner and a tango show.

The world-famous Carlos Gardel Tango Show and Dinner has the best performances – this tango show and dinner is a fascinating way to experience the best of Argentina’s tango and delicious cuisine, all at once.

10. Discover Famous Street Art

Buenos Aires is filled with gorgeous street art and graffiti. You’ll find everything from basic pieces to gigantic murals covering entire city blocks. Visit the very best of Buenos Aires on a Palermo walking tour with a local artist.

These inexpensive ($10 USD or under!) street art tours are an incredible way not just to see the art hidden in plain view around the city, but to get local insight into one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. This is a great, alternative way to see the city well. 

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11. Browse El Ateneo

Widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores, El Ateneo is a must-visit in Buenos Aires and a fantastic (free!) destination to take in the lovely and historic architecture of Buenos Aires the city is famous for.

A former theater rescued and converted to a lively bookstore, El Ateneo is an excellent spot whether you want to browse books or just appreciate the building’s beauty. Spend a bit more time here by settling in for coffee and a pastry in the cafe, located on the theater’s former stage.

12. Take a Day Trip to Tigre

One of the best day trips outside of the city, Tigre sits on the Paraná river delta, and is easily accessible from the city via bus and train. Once you reach Tigre, you choose from countless activities like river cruises, kayaking, camping, or even visiting a spa. 

Cruises on the river are by far the most popular excursions for visitors in Tigre; quite inexpensive, river cruises take you through stunning green landscapes and around the area’s many islands.

This easy and affordable day trip is a must, even if you’re planning just a short Buenos Aires itinerary. 

13. Learn to Tango at La Catedral

Want to get deeper into tango than just a tango show and dinner? Visit La Catedral, where you can take part in informal tango classes for free! This eclectic, super-cool spot is a great place to dance until the wee hours of the morning and practice with both professionals and the hobby tango enthusiast. 

Not interested in learning how to tango for yourself? Instead of visiting La Catedral, head to the world-famous Carlos Gardel Tango Show and Dinner – this tango show and dinner is a fascinating way to experience the best of Argentina’s tango and delicious cuisine, all at once.

14. Explore Recoleta Cemetary

Recoleta Cemetery, with its incredibly ornate mausoleums and tombs, is easily one of the most visited places in Buenos Aires.

The final resting places of many of Argentina’s elite, including former first late and cultural icon Eva Perón, and countless Argentine presidents, first ladies, and stars.

Take an inexpensive guided walking tour (just $10!) of the cemetery with a local for a fascinating and in-depth overview of the site, and its most famous permanent residents.

15. Party in Plaza Serrano

The plaza at the heart of the buzzy Palermo Soho neighborhood, Plaza Serrano is an important meeting point and point of reference for a night spent bar-hopping and exploring the best of Buenos Aires nightlife.

Start your night here, and explore the surrounding blocks in search of your favorite bar, club, or restaurant to party late into the night.

Keep in mind that most Argentines don’t get started until 10 PM or even later, so grab a coffee at one of the neighborhood’s many cafes if you need a pick-me-up to stay up that late.

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16. Visit Uruguay

Uruguay is so close to Buenos Aires that making a quick visit is officially something that can be considered among all the other things to do in Buenos Aires. With the Buquebus ferry service between Buenos Aires and three cities in Uruguay, making a quick trip across the Rio de la Plata is easy and enjoyable. 

While there are some great beaches in Argentina, the beaches in Uruguay tend to be even better, so a day trip to hit the beach is a popular option.

Book Buquebus tickets directly online to one of the three Buquebus destinations in Uruguay: Colonia del Sacramento, Montevideo, or Punta del Este. It’s pretty straightforward; the Buquebus terminal is located in the heart of Buenos Aires, so just show up a bit early with your passport and get ready to visit Uruguay. 

17. Eat Alfajores at Havanna

Argentines love their sweet treats (and I’ve recommended enough of them on this ultimate list of things to do in Buenos Aires, haven’t I?!), but alfajores are probably the most typically Argentine treat to try in Buenos Aires.

These sandwich cookies with dulce de leche in the middle can be found anywhere, from the tiny corner store down the block to the dessert menu of the fanciest restaurant.

The chocolate-covered alfajores from Havanna – a chain of cafes found around the city – are the hands-down favorite alfajores in Argentina, putting all others to shame.

Grab a few to try when you cross paths with a Havanna, but make space in your suitcase to bring a box home once you do. They’re addictive. 

18. Tour Teatro Colón

The Teatro Colón Opera House in Buenos Aires is considered one of the best and most beautiful opera houses in the world. Taking a guided tour is a highlight of visiting Buenos Aires that I don’t recommend passing up. Tours are well-done and engaging, even if you’re not an opera or architecture fan.

Spend an hour marveling at this beautiful building as you learn more about Argentina’s past as one of the most important and wealthy spots in the Americas. 

There are guided tours of the theater every day, though the only tours in English start daily at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Book your ticket online if you have a specific tour time in mind.

19. Sip Drinks at Frank’s Speakeasy

One of the coolest bars in Buenos Aires, Frank’s is exactly what you’d expect from a speakeasy, complete with glamourous 1920s details and incredible mixed drinks.

Make reservations – yes, even though it’s a bar – or head here around happy hour if you want a chance of getting it. 

20. Eat the Best Steak of Your Life

If you travel to Buenos Aires and you don’t eat steak, did you even travel to Buenos Aires? This is how deep Argentina’s love for beef runs – many Argentines would say no!

While you’ll find plenty of old-school steakhouses that have been around for generations – or modern spots, whatever you prefer – you’ll never be far from a great steak in Buenos Aires.

The hands-down favorites are Don Julio and La Cabrera, both in the Palermo neighborhood. Order the ojo de bife (ribeye) or bife de chorizo (sirloin) if deciphering the menu is challenging for you.

21. Eat (and Drink) Your Way Through Puerto Madero

The formerly seedy docks area of Buenos Aires, Puerto Madero is a case study in excellent urban revitalization projects. From abandoned buildings to one of the most upscale and expensive parts of the city in just a few years, Puerto Madero is now officially the place to be.

Some of the city’s hottest bars and restaurants line the entrance to the port; plan to bar hop / restaurant hop around the area for at least one memorable evening, and a great thing to do in Buenos Aires.

If that’s not your style, you’ll at least want to visit the area during the day. You can visit the “Buque Museos” – old ships converted into museums – that are parked at the dock. You’ll also want to walk the lovely pedestrian bridge, La Puente de La Mujer – it’s an elegant and modern symbol of Buenos Aires.

22. Bike in Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur

Once you’re done eating your way through Puerto Madero, perhaps some exercise is in order. Head to the sprawling Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur just across from Puerto Madero for miles of biking and walking paths, and countless species of flora and fauna. 

While the biking paths are probably the most popular part of the park, visitors can also take advantage of free guided tours from Tuesday through Friday at 11:00 AM, and free birdwatching tours every Friday at 9:00 AM.

23. Try Fugazetta

Buenos Aires loves its pizza, and whether you love Buenos Aires pizza back (it’s quite peculiar – there is really nothing quite like it!) make sure to try the city’s most unique pizza – fugazetta.

This strange but mouthwatering stuffed pizza is all oozy cheese and ONIONS, of all things. It might sound strange, but it is GOOD. Head to Guerrín, the most famous spot in the city for fugazetta, to try a slice. 

24. Take in the View from Galería Guemes

Looking for a lovely view of the Buenos Aires skyline? It can be hard to find a great spot for a lovely view in this super-flat port city, but head to the Galeria Guemes for one of the best ones you’ll find.

Galeria Guemes is an attractive, early 20th-century shopping center with incredible art deco architecture, worth a visit just for its beautiful architecture.

The lookout is on the 14th floor of the building, open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM and again from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM, and costs just a few pesos to access. I’ve never spotted it, but I’ve been told you can see the coast of Uruguay on a particularly clear day.

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25. Visit the Jardín Botánico

The Buenos Aires botanical garden – known as the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays – is a must-visit. This tranquil botanical garden includes beautiful examples of plants from Asia, the Americas, Europe, and beyond, plus beautiful water features, statues, and a lovely manor house that hosts frequent cultural events.

Entrance is free, and you’ll feel like you’ve found a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the city as you explore. 

26. Walk in the Footsteps of Pope Francis at the Catedral Metropolitano

Among the most famous Argentines is Pope Francis, the former archbishop of Buenos Aires; whether he would approve or not, you’ll see his image on t-shirts, souvenirs, posters, and pretty much everywhere, all over Buenos Aires.

Visit his former stomping grounds, the Catedral Metropolitano in Buenos Aires, facing the Plaza de Mayo.

Open to visitors throughout the day, spend a while exploring the ornate interior of this church and walk in the Pope’s shoes. 

27. Sample Freddo Ice Cream

Argentines love their sweet treats, among them ice cream topping the list. Many Argentines trace their heritage to Italy after many Italians moved to Argentina in the late 1800s and early 1900s, so the love of ice cream comes from the gelato traditions of generations past. 

Freddo is the undisputed champion of ice cream in Buenos Aires, and you’ll find Freddo shops across the city. Stop by if you can find space after a big parrilla dinner. 

28. Watch Polo

Another holdover from generations of immigration from Europe to Argentina is the love for playing polo. I haven’t seen this anywhere else in Latin America!

If you’re looking to check out a polo match in Buenos Aires, you can book a polo experience complete with a parrilla and polo lesson or get tickets to a match at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo. 

29. Take a Wine Tasting Tour

Argentina is well known for its incredible wine, particularly the Malbec from the Mendoza region, along the Andes Mountains near Chile. However, you don’t have to travel across the country to try Argentina’s best wine.

Try a wine tasting or even a wine tasting tour to sample some of the country’s best wines with experienced wine experts. Even if you’re not usually into experiences like this while traveling, this is a travel experience you’re guaranteed to enjoy. 

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30. Try The Best Coffee in Buenos Aires at Full City Coffee House

I couldn’t make it this far in the article without already dropping a recommendation for one of the best cafes in Buenos Aires. Full City Coffee House in the Palermo Soho neighborhood is where to head in Buenos Aires for a great cup of coffee.

Coffee is artistry here, but not in a pretentious way. Their food options, including breakfast, are great, too.

31. Smell the Flowers at El Rosedal

This beautiful and well-cared-for rose garden within the Bosques de Palermo park is a much-needed retreat from the buzz of the city. There are plenty of benches, beautiful lakes, and a section of walkway lined with the busts of famous Argentine authors and poets.

This is a great area to spend an hour or two.