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Travel Checklist: 20 Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Updated on December 12, 2010
Recoleta Cemetery
Recoleta Cemetery
Inside of Cafe Tortoni
Inside of Cafe Tortoni
San Telmo Sunday Market on Defensa
San Telmo Sunday Market on Defensa
On the coast of the Rio de la Plata
On the coast of the Rio de la Plata
The colorful houses of the La Boca neighborhood
The colorful houses of the La Boca neighborhood

Many people only get to travel to Buenos Aires once in their lives. While you’re there, you want to make sure to see and do all of the things that there are to do. Here’s a checklist of twenty of the top things to do as a tourist in Buenos Aires:

1.     Visit Casa Rosada to learn about Evita. The name of this presidential office building translates to The Pink House, similar to The White House in the United States. The place is famous in large part because Eva Peron gave a famous speech to the Argentine workers here. It is a museum that you can visit to learn more about this important period in the history of Argentina.

2.     Go to Museo Evita. This museum all about Evita will also provide you with information about the history of the area through the life and work of this important woman.

3.     See a tango show. It’s such a cliché thing to do in Buenos Aires but it’s also a hugely important part of being a tourist in the city. A top choice is the show at Esquina Carlos Gardel, a slightly pricey dinner-and-show combo with great food and a performance that shows off several different styles of tango.

4.     Go to a milonga. Many Buenos Aires visitors don’t want to leave the city without trying their hand (or feet, rather) at tango themselves. All night long milongas happen all of the time here.

5.     Go antiquing on Defensa. This street that runs through the San Telmo neighborhood is filled with numerous antique stores. During the Sunday market that takes place there are also many vendors selling antiques.

6.     Walk across Avenida 9 de Julio. This is one of the widest streets in the world. It doesn’t really feel like it when you’re crossing it because it’s divided up with crosswalks but it’s neat to know that you’re walking across something so wide. It was widened by knocking out an entire row of buildings between one street and the next to create one wide street. While crossing this street look to the end of it to see the city’s famous Obelisk statue soaring into the skyline.

7.     Get souvenirs in La Boca. This colorful neighborhood filled with artists and street performers is the best place to pick up cheesy souvenirs like coffee mugs and magnets as well as tango costumes.

8.     Hike to the Rio de la Plata. Go to the Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur and walk along the short trails there. On one side you’ll see green marshlands (and behind them a portion of the Buenos Aires skyline). On the other side you’ll reach the waters of the Rio de la Plata river. The waters are brown so they aren’t exactly appealing but the vast expanse of river is impressive and the breeze here is nice.

9.     Visit as many plazas as possible. The city is filled with plazas, little squares that have patches of grass and different statues and monuments. Challenge yourself to visit as many as possible to get a good idea of the city’s comprehensive history and many artistic influences.

10. Get a café con crema at Café Tortoni. This historic café is well known because of the many literary and political figures that have spent time here in the city’s past. It is also known for its nighttime tango shows. Stop in to get a small cup of coffee or a large ice cream sundae.

11. Photograph the palaces along Avenida Alvear. This is a rich shopping district in the Retiro/ Recoleta neighborhood of the city. There are a couple of historic mansions and palaces located here that are beautiful enough to be picture-worthy.

12. Spend a day enjoying Parque 3 de Febrero. This huge park is filled with gardens and trees and relaxation. Rent a bike to ride here. Go to the nearby zoo or botanical gardens.

13. Bet on the horses. There’s a horseracing track located at the park that you can stop in at for free. There are races twice weekly so you can place your bets. There are also polo games held here as well as various other events.

14. Try your luck at the casino. It’s always kind of fun to check out what the casinos have to offer in a city that you’ve never been to. There’s a floating casino in Buenos Aires. Alternatively you can take a train up the coast and go to the big three-story casino located outside of the city.

15. Check out Taiwan town. There are a few blocks in the Palermo neighborhood that are called Chinatown although the residents are primarily Taiwanese. If you like seeing the ethnic pockets of world cities then you’ll probably want to stop in here.

16. Meander among the monuments of Recoleta Cemetery. The above-ground tombs in this historic cemetery are artistically interesting. If you know anything about the history of the city then you’ll also find that there are a lot of famous names here whose graves you can see.

17.  Visit the less-popular Chacarita Cemetery. Although not as famous, this cemetery is interesting because of some of the people who are buried here. They include artists, tango stars and poets.

18. Go shopping in Palermo Soho. This trendy neighborhood is filled with store after store of affordable items. Shoes and leather jackets are the two most popular things to buy as a tourist in Buenos Aires.

19. Eat the meat. Argentina is known for its steak because it’s very tender and very yummy. Even if you’re not usually a meat eater it makes sense to at least taste it while you’re in Buenos Aires. When in Rome, as they say …

20. Take a day trip. Although it’s wonderful to enjoy the city itself, it’s also worth it to take a day trip out of the visit. Visit the Tigre Delta where you can take a lazy boat ride. Cross the river and spend the day in a historic town in Uruguay. Go to an estancia in the county and ride horses. Enjoy all aspects of Argentina while you’re there!


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    I am going to BA in April and truly appreciate your tips! Thanks

  • jacobo7 profile image


    7 years ago from Buenos Aires

    great hub, I did most of them, except Chacarita Cementery and Avenida Alvear. Thanks for tips.

    You might like photos from Buenos Aires from this blog:

  • VacationCounts profile image

    Scott Petoff 

    8 years ago from USA and Ireland

    I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of a vacation a few years ago to Buenos Aires. Your top 20 list of places to enjoy are a useful resource for the first time visitor. It is an amazing city with plenty of opportunities to explore on foot and partake in food, culture, and history.

    Besides the city, one highlight for my wife and I was an overnight trip to Iguazú Falls. We kept our apartment rental in the city, packed a small bag, and took a short flight to a truly spectacular waterfall. I highly recommend it if you have the time. Jenn's article published in International Travel News offers more advice on renting an apartment in Buenos Aires with day trips to Uruguay and the falls.

  • katrinasui profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks for these wonderful suggestions.


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