The Argentine capital on the Río de la Plata is unlike any other city in South America, filled with gorgeous architecture, unique history, and incredible attractions that have long enchanted visitors.
From exploring historic cemeteries, enjoying food and wine tours, or taking in rowdy fútbol games, Buenos Aires has a little something for everyone, meaning however you spend your time in Buenos Aires is sure to be a memorable experience.
In this ultimate guide to the best things to do in Buenos Aires, we’re sharing some of our favorite experiences in Buenos Aires 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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31 Things To Do in Buenos Aires
When I lived in Buenos Aires for several months, I got the opportunity to see so much of this incredible city – but even after spending months here, I still feel like there were so many great things to do in Buenos Aires that I barely scratched the surface.
Whether you’re planning to settle down as a digital nomad in Buenos Aires or just visit for a quick trip, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy on your Buenos Aires itinerary. These are the best things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina for your perfect travel experience.
1. Eat Your Weight In Medialunas
The medialuna is Argentina’s answer to the French croissant. They 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 café 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 for their flakier consistency.
No need to go out of your way to hunt down the best medialunas in Buenos Aires. 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
One of the most historically significant spots in Argentina, the famous Plaza de Mayo facing the Casa Rosada presidential palace is one the biggest attractions in Buenos Aires. It is a must on any Buenos Aires itinerary, and one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires whether you’re here for days or just a few hours.
The shocking pink palace is certainly one of the most unique presidential palaces you’ll find around the world. 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.
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. That’s especially true after Argentina’s recent world cup win, though the spot has a long history of being a central part of Argentine culture.
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 stadium 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.
Attending a fútbol game is easily one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. This is an unforgettable travel experience and a fascinating window into the country and its people, which, in my opinion, really makes traveling to Buenos Aires worth it.
Tickets to most games are quite inexpensive, and you don’t generally need to secure them in advance if you’re going to an average match, which is still guaranteed to be more of a spectacle than anything you’ve witnessed back home.
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 into 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!
Even if you’re not a big museum person, visiting the MALBA is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. Exhibits tend to be big-name and a bit “out-there” making them unique and interesting even if you know little about art. Make sure to check it out!
5. Walk El Caminito
El Caminito is a strip of the La Boca neighborhood that you’ve certainly seen in pictures! The working-class, immigrant neighborhood of La Boca was once filled with colorful homes like those you’ll find in El Caminito.
Though few of these houses remain, El Caminito is one of the most well-known attractions in Buenos Aires. 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. Don’t come looking for an authentic experience, as it’s more of a tourist attraction than anything else.
It’s a must on your list of things to do in Buenos Aires as it’s so well-known and unique, but keep in mind it’s just an attraction. Plan for a quick visit and check it off your Buenos Aires bucket list. There’s more to explore nearby.
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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.
7. Try Choripan
Argentina is well known for being one of the world’s leading producers of beef, so even after just a few days in Buenos Aires, you’ll realize the extent to which the Argentine diet comprises steaks, sausages, and hamburgers.
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. No matter where you get your hands on a choripan, trying this delicious street food is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
Some of the best spots to enjoy a good choripan 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.
Spending at least a few hours exploring this neighborhood is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires: window shop, drink coffee at Full City Coffee House, eat steak at La Cabrera, and have a drink on the rooftop at Selina. There’s plenty to do and see, both during the day and in the evening when the neighborhood becomes one of the hottest places for nightlife in the city.
Palermo is also one of the best places to stay in Buenos Aires. Though boutique hotels and hostels in their area are among the most expensive in the city, you can still find some deals and will love how walkable everything is.
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. Whether you’re well-versed in this romantic dance style or don’t know anything about it, this is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
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, with everything from basic pieces to gigantic murals covering entire city blocks.
You can take your chances and hope you pass by some of the Buenos Aires street art highlights as you explore the city, or 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 Buenos Aires and one of my top recommendations for the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
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.
A former theater rescued and converted into 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.
Even if you just have a few minutes to look around, visiting El Ateneo is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires!
12. Take a Day Trip to Tigre
Considered one of the best day trips from Buenos Aires, Tigre sits on the Paraná river delta and is a gorgeous spot that feels worlds away from Buenos Aires. Here visitors can 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.
Tigre is easily accessible from the city via bus and train. This easy and affordable day trip is a must and is among the best things to do in Buenos Aires even if you’re planning just a short 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 hobby tango enthusiasts.
Not interested in learning how to tango for yourself? Feel free to just sit and take it all in! I’d recommend La Catedral to anyone, even if you can’t imagine yourself taking to the dance floor. You’ll see great performances, enjoy live music, and can enjoy all the Argentine wine you’ve been meaning to try.
If you’re looking for something a bit more formal than a visit to 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. Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of many of Argentina’s elite, including former first late and cultural icon Eva Perón, and countless Argentine presidents, first ladies, and movie and television stars.
Whether you find the idea of visiting a cemetery a weird way to spend time while traveling or not, visiting Recoleta Cemetery is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. Like other famous cemeteries like Père Lachaise in Paris and Cementerio Colón in Havana, it feels like an open-air culture museum, with a side of spooky thrown in for good measure.
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. Or, take a photo of the detailed map of the cemetery at the entrance and go on a self-guided tour to some of the most ornate
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 in Plaza Serrano and explore the surrounding blocks in search of your favorite bar, club, or restaurant to party late into the night. While the bars in the plaza itself tend to be a bit overpriced and somewhat touristy, the spots just a block or two away tend to be much nicer and more local.
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.
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.
Read More: 8 Best Beaches in Argentina
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 typical 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. This is one of the best places to take in Argentina’s past grandeur, making a visit one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires.
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? Locals and visitors alike will tell you that enjoying a delicious steak meal is one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, so make sure to add this to your itinerary!
While you’ll find plenty of old-school steakhouses that have been around for generations and more modern restaurants throwing their hat in the ring, you’ll never be far from a great steak in Buenos Aires.
Hands down some of the best places to eat steak in Buenos Aires 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, and make sure to wash it down with a nice Argentine Malbec.
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 Galeria Guemes offers one of the best views 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.
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.
An easy addition to any Buenos Aires itinerary given its location in Plaza de Mayo, this is a cool way to reflect on how Pope Francis got his start, and experience first hand the love that many Argentines have for the first-ever pope from the Americas.
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 steak dinner – it’s one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, especially if you’re a fan of sweet treats.
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 for one of the best hands-on things to do in Buenos Aires. Complete with a parrilla and polo lesson, polo experiences at the Campo Argentino de Polo in Palermo are the best way to experience this unique Buenos Aires spotting tradition.
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.
Read More: 11 Best Things To Do in Mendoza, Argentina
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. In a city that lives and dies for its cafe culture, being among the city’s best is a true feat.
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 the walkway lined with the busts of famous Argentine authors and poets.
This is a great area to spend an hour or two.
32. Shop at Feria de San Telmo
I’ve saved one of my very favorite things to do in Buenos Aires for last on the list. The Feria de San Telmo is a weekly street festival, flea market, and crafts fair all in one that takes over the San Telmo neighborhood on Sundays.
Shutting down the length of Calle Defensa from the Plaza de Mayo nearly all the way to the neighborhood of La Boca every Sunday, it’s a big production. Expect hundreds of vendors, with stores lining the street adding to the offerings.
Start at Plaza de Mayo and walk the length of the fair, just make sure you don’t get tired out before reaching Plaza Dorrego. This plaza is home to the coolest antique and vintage vendors in the entire fair, and was the original home of the event before it took off and expanded to its current footprint.
Do not skip this event! While some of the vendors sell typical tourist wares, you’ll also find great street food, impressive antiques, vintage clothing, home decor, and so much more. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a really cool, lively event you won’t want to miss, considered among the best markets in Latin America.
Best Things To Do in Buenos Aires
Whether you’re looking forward to taking in the historic attractions of Buenos Aires, shopping flea market finds, or eating your way through the city, there are enough things to do in Buenos Aires to keep you busy for weeks. Choose from a few of these favorite things to do in Buenos Aires or explore the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires on your own – you’re sure to love what you find in this unique South American capital.
Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.