Visiting Argentina and looking for things to do in Buenos Aires? I combined the best things to do in one list. A wide choice of what to do in Buenos Aires. Many attractions are free but I will give you some tips to get the most out of them. After all, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Did you know that you can visit the presidential palace for free or have a magnificent view from the sky in Buenos Aires?
15 Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires
The first on my “things to do in Buenos Aires” list. It’s my personal favorite. Palacio Barolo is located in Avenida de Mayo. The construction of the eclectic style building was finished in 1730. Palacio Barolo was designed based on the Divines Comedy. It measures 100m high and has 18 floors. At that moment some offices are located inside the building.
Palacio Barolo is open to visitors. Follow a guided tour that ends on top of the building, the lighting beacon. I suggest going when the sky is blue and one hour before sunset. A breathtaking view will mesmerize you. My absolute number one on the list of things to do in Buenos Aires. Book your tickets in advance because the tickets just before sunset are popular.
Enjoy the colorful houses in Caminito (little walkway in English) and see how local painters bring their area to life on a white canvas. Caminito is located in the neighborhood “La Boca”. La Boca was in the mid-19th century the home of Spanish and Italian immigrants. The colorful houses came by the leftovers of painting that they could get.
Some say that the Tango was first danced here between two men. You will see some Tango shows while having lunch in one of the bars.
You can visit the houses for free in La Boca. Enter the galleries where you see all the shops and take the stairs up. This is how you can see how life before was and where they lived.
And, are you a Boca Juniors fan? Then, don’t miss the tour in the La Bombonera stadium and visit the La Boca Museum. You can book your tickets in advance.
3. Evita Museum
In the ban of Eva Maria Duarte Perón (7 May 1919 – 26 July 1952) or want to get to know more about the life of Eva Perón? The Evita Museum guides you through the lifetime of the famous first lady of Argentina. Some surprising facts will give a better look at how life was at that time. Before there was the Evita museum, the Fundación Eva Perón was there in the early 1950s, a temporary home for women and children.
4. Cementerio de la Recoleta
The cemetery of Recoleta is called one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. With the graves of Evita Perón (Eva Maria Duarte Perón), Noble prize winners and the daughter of Napoleon. The cemetery was created in 1822 next to the church Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. It contains 4691 graves all located in a 5,5 ha area. The beautiful mausoleum gives the cemetery that special look. Explore the history of deceased loved ones.
Because the history of the cemetery is so rich in info, I suggest taking a guided tour. Most of the tourists walk directly to the mausoleum of Evita and are missing a lot of info about the cemetery of Recoleta. A tour cost only USD 10 / €9. Worth the money.
You will find Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, in front of Plaza de Mayo in the neighborhood of Montserrat. Plaza de Mayo went world famous because of the silent protest of grandmothers since 1977. Still now, every Thursday around 15u30, the grandmothers walk around the plaza to keep the subject alive.
Casa Rosada is the executive office of the president. But every weekend you can visit Casa Rosada for free. In the article, I explain to you how to get a free ticket. During the tour, you will be able to stand on the famous balcony of Evita and other presidents of the nation.
6. Tango shows in Buenos Aires
My Argentine friends never had the urge to see a tango show in Buenos Aires because for them it was too touristic. By surprise – during a visit with my family- I went to see a tango show, even accompanied by an Argentino. The level of dance skills that I saw was amazing. Tango dance and music at a high level. There are many companies that offer tango shows in Buenos Aires. Therefore, I made a list to help you. Sure, check it out.
7. The Argentina Experience
When visiting Argentina you will definitely get to know the popular steakhouses in Buenos Aires, the empanadas, alfajores, and Argentinian wine. All these things are part of Argentina’s identity.
You can combine all these lovely things in one evening: the Argentina Experience. I went for an evening where we tasted Argentina’s best wines, learn to make empanadas and alfajores cookies, and of course a nice dinner with meat. An interactive cooking class. I can say, it was fun and delicious! Even for us residents that live for years in Buenos Aires. It isn’t that cheap, but a perfect moment to learn about Argentina’s kitchen. I suggest booking in advance and at the end of your trip to Argentina.
8. Feria San Telmo
A must-do thing to do in Buenos Aires: Feria de San Telmo on Sundays.
San Telmo, the smallest area and oldest of Buenos Aires, hosts every Sunday an antique market. The market starts from Av. San Juan until Plaza de Mayo. Wander around between all the small trinkets and maybe find historical items. Go also to San Telmo during weekdays and enter San Telmo Mercado, have a coffee, or taste the local cuisine.
Perfect for somebody that stays for 1 or 2 days in Buenos Aires. With a guided bike tour in Buenos Aires, you can visit the most popular places in one day. There are plenty of bike tour companies active in Buenos Aires. You can make a choice depending on how long you want to bike, kind of tour, with an electric bike, and more.
I made a list and compared all the companies. So, you can make a choice easy and fast.
10. Puerto Madero
This is the area where the first European immigrants set foot in Argentina. During the 19th century, Puerto Madero was booming because of imports and export. After the 2nd world war, trade decreased tremendously and the hangars and cranes went into decay. Until a new government set a new goal for Puerto Madero. Lofts, hotels, museums, and luxury apartments are giving Puerto Madero the look of today with Puente de la Mujer bridge as the eyecatcher. Go with a sunset to Puerto Madero and enjoy a lovely walk while you see the sun going down. A perfect view.
11. El Ateneo Bookstore
Did you know that Buenos Aires has the highest bookstores per capita? El Ateneo Bookstore wasn’t always a bookstore. Before there was a marvelous theater with 1.050 seats in the eclectic-styled building. In the ’20s the theater was rebuilt into a cinema and in 1929 the first movies with sounds were played here.
The Guardian placed El Ateneo in second place for the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Worth a visit and put it on your list of things to do in Buenos Aires.
More things to do in Buenos Aires
12. Torre Monumental
In front of Retiro train station, you will see Torre Monumental also known as “La Torre de Los Ingleses”. It has a balcony on top of the tower that was built in 1916. The balcony gives you a nice view of the city (Puerto Madero, train station area, and Recoleta). The entrance fee is around 3 USD. So many reasons to just step inside and visit Torre Monumental in Retiro.
13. The Congress
Visit the political heart of Argentina, Congress. Argentinians are very passionate about politics and talk about it every moment that they can, sometimes with a lot of passion. From the outside, you will be impressed by the architecture. Sometimes visits to the Congress are available. Especially during the Night of the museums. If to opportunity takes place, go and visit.
14. The water company palace
Imagine a water pump station in a beautiful palace. Palacio de Aguas Corrientes. The water pump station is dated from 1984 and still now provides the city with water. On the outside, it’s covered with over 300.000 glazed terra-cotta tiles. Inside the water company palace, you can visit the water museum. A look worth it.
A museum little bit in the shadow of the bigger ones but definitely worth visiting. I suggest you visit the monetary museum (Museo del Banco Central) at the beginning of your stay. Ask at the desk if there is an English guide available. They will show you – with a lot of passion – the monetary history of Argentina. Behind the different currencies that Argentina had, is a great story about how Argentina became how it now is. For example, did you know that a note had kangaroos on it? Even though Argentina doesn’t have kangaroos. All because of … 😉
More things to do in Buenos Aires.
Discover the app and find out more interesting places and hotspots. Such as the statue of Liberty in Buenos Aires, Chinatown, Parque de 3 Febrero, the Japanese gardens, MALBA, The Rose Garden. You see a lot of things to do in Buenos Aires 🙂
Enjoy your stay in Buenos Aires!