Welcome to the city of meat, tango (as they say), and Latin American culture. The first day is always a little bit of exploring, looking out what to see, and finding the right places. I guide you the first four days, so you don’t miss anything out. That’s why I created a self-guided walking tour in Buenos Aires.

Tip: Do this tour on a Sunday to San Telmo for the big street market

Duration: 5h00 / Start: Plaza de Mayo / End: La Boca

What you will see: Presidential Palace, Plaza de Mayo, Catedral, old town house, San Telmo, La Boca, tango on the street, Street Defensa, National History Museum, Parque Lezama, Pedro de Mendoza

Read more: top things to do in Buenos Aires.

Walking tour Buenos Aires – Day 1


Let’s start your Buenos Aires adventure at the center of the capital city: Plaza de Mayo. This historic place is surrounded by Casa Rosada (presidential palace), Catedral Metropolitana, Museo del Cabildo, and the headquarters of the National Bank. Plaza de Mayo was the center of the revolution in May 1810 where Argentina declares itself from Spain. The actual independence was several years later.

In the center of Plaza de Mayo you find a small white statue. Every Thursday grandmothers get together to remember the disappearance of their grandchildren during the military dictatorship in the 70’s.

In front, you will see Casa Rosada. The presidential palace of Argentina. Why pink? That’s a powerful myth. Some say it was a colorful mixture of red and white. At that time the colors of both political parties. Others say, there was no paint available. So they took the blood of cows and painted the palace with it.

Self guided tour Walking Buenos Aires
Casa Rosada on Plaza de Mayo

There is more to see on Plaza de Mayo. In front of Casa Rosada you will see a white building: Cabildo. Cabildo was used as the seat of the town council during the Spanish colonial era. In 1931 three columns were removed to build a new avenue.

Close to the Cabildo is Catedral Metropolitana. It has a neoclassical facade with inside Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decorations. Build in 1791. Inside the Catedral you will find the Mausoleum of General San Martín. General San Martín was an Argentine general and the most important southern leader of the South American struggle for independence. He is the national hero of Argentina. The name San Martín will appear a couple of times.

Read here the why Jose de San Martin is popular in Argentina.

Also, the current pope of the Roman Catholic Church is an Argentinian. The Catholic Church has still a lot of influence in Argentina.

Let’s move on during this self guided walking tour in Buenos Aires.

Go to the street Defensa. The name itself explains what that street former was. It was literally the defensive line during a war against the British invasion.

Every Sunday Feria San Telmo takes place in street Defensa. A hotspot on Sunday. Locals are selling antiques, handmade products, … Continue walking and you will pass the first restaurants in Buenos Aires. Local food, such as asado, empanadas, are here to find. Wander around and enjoy the oldest neighborhood of the capital city. You will see that there not that much high apartment buildings. It gives just that special character to San Telmo.

We going to make a small detour and go to the street Estados Unidos. You will feel the calmness of Buenos Aires. This will maybe the quietest spot of the whole city. On the corner, you will see Bar Sur. Well known for the tango shows.

Continue and cross the street Paseo de Colon. You will see the first MetroBus infrastructure. A fast bus system across the city.

In front, you will see a big building with columns. Now the University of Buenos Aires department of engineers is there located. Before the building was destined to be the headquarters of Evita Peron’s foundation.

Evita Foundation in Buenos Aires
Evita Foundation in Buenos Aires

Let’s go back to the street Defensa.

While walking you will pass the entrance of Mercado de San Telmo. Jump inside. Highly recommended. The market went through a style renovation for the last years. Trendy bars opened, but also you can still buy vegetables and meet.

Read here more facts about Mercado de San Telmo

Not far from Mercado de San Telmo is Plaza Dorrego. A cozy square in the heart of San Telmo. Typical blue seats, bars around the square, and if you’re lucky you will spot the first tango dance.

Further, let’s walk on the street “Avenida San Juan”. A little bit to the right side there is the Museum of Modern Arts.

Walk up to Avenida Paseo Colon and take a right turn. Under the bridge, you see you a memory of “Club Atlético. It was a clandestine center of detention, torture and extermination that worked in the city of Buenos Aires. In 1978 the building was demolished for the building of the highway. It’s maybe not the most beautiful memorial place. However, it’s also part of Buenos Aires history.

Head back to the street Defensa and continue walking.

On your left side, you will see Parque Lezama. The big statue refers to Pedro de Mendoza. In 1529, he went to explore South America at his own expense. He founded Buenos Aires on February 3, 1536. The legend says that Pedo de Mendoza put first steps on the ground where now Parque Lezama is. The coastline was in that time close to the street Defensa. Take your time and enjoy the park.

Make a stop at the national history museum. Also located at the street side of Parque Lezama. The entrance is free. Across the museum, you will see Avenida Caseros. This street is known in the Argentinian movie scene. Walk on the typical red walkway and wander around.

Get on the public bus now. You can take line 29 or 152 with the direction “Boca”. Or take a taxi. (I prefer to take a bus or taxi because La Boca is a little bit too far to walk and also for safety reasons). Let’s continue the self guided walking tour in Buenos Aires under the video.


Arrive at “El Caminito“. El Caminito is Argentian most famous street with typical charm. Houses are built with scrapyard materials in that time. In the 19th century, it was the home of Italian and Spanish immigrants. The colors vary because of the limit paint available. All combination and mixes were more than ok. It’s a very artistic neighborhood and the area was tango was founded.

Read more about the founding of La Boca

La Boca is also the home of the same named football club. Visit La Bombonera, the stadium of the football club. The team colors are blue and yellow. The myth tells us that they didn’t know to choose the colors of their team. They made an agreement to take the flag colors of the first ship that entered the harbor at La Boca. The first vessel arrived came from Sweden. So simple can it be sometimes.

Visit La Boca during daylight.

Take a bus or taxi back to San Telmo. I hope that you took the time to visit some museums and markets. This is the heart of Buenos Aires history. Enjoy your evening in one of the cozy beer bars or restaurants.

This was your first day self guided walking tour in Buenos Aires.


My roots in Buenos Aires started as a tourist. After some great adventures in Argentina, I moved in 2017 to the metropolitan city of Buenos Aires. I felt a need for correct and honest information for tourists. That's why I love to write to you. Sharing my discoveries in Buenos Aires. I hope you enjoy the city as much as I do! Buenos Aires ❤️

Write A Comment

Secrets of Buenos Aires