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? Sure, check out the video below!

Read also: how many days should I stay in Buenos Aires? 

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25 Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires

1. Palacio Barolo

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.

Tip: visit the rooftop bar Salon 1923 on top of Palacio Barolo. More info here.

Things to do in Buenos Aires Palacia Barolo
My favorite view and things to do in Buenos Aires

2. El Caminito La Boca

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 from the leftovers of paintings 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.

La Boca markt Secrets of Buenos Aires

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.

Entrance fee for non-residents: USD 5

Evita Museum in Buenos Aires

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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 winner 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.

Entrance fee for non-residents: USD 11

Cementerio de la Recoleta Cemetry Secrets of Buenos Aires

5. Casa Rosada / Presidential Palace

You will find Casa Rosada, the presidential palace, in front of Plaza de Mayo in the neighborhood of Montserrat. Plaza de Mayo became world famous because of the silent protest of grandmothers in 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.

Also, every day at 7 pm / 19h the flag is lowered along with an official ceremony.

Read also: visit Casa Rosada / presidential palace for free

Casa Rosada Argentina Buenos Aires
Casa Rosada – Presidential Palace

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.

Read here: the best tango show in Buenos Aires. My top pick.

El Querandi tango show Buenos Aires Secrets
Tango show in Buenos Aires

7. 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.

Read more: visit San Telmo Mercado, the historic market in town

Feria de San Telmo thing to do in Buenos Aires
Feria de San Telmo on Sunday

8. The Argentine Experience

Something now that you can experience in person, The Argentine Experience. I found it very funny and a nice thing to do in town. It was a welcome after a day walking around in the city. I booked the experience and it was an evening full of joy.

A warm welcome by the staff and let’s go. During the evening we got some info about the wines, Argentine culture, and food. And the best part was making our own food. I learned to make empanadas during a small competition in which I won :-D. A perfectly cooked bife de chorizo accompanied with a glass of wine. At last, we had a dessert that we could make ourselves too. A nice thing to do if you want to take some Argentine Experience home. You can book here.

The Argentine Experience Secrets of Buenos Aires
Proud of my Dino Empanada 😀

9. Sherpa Food tour in Buenos Aires

My interest was triggered as the Sherpa Food Tour was selected by TripAdvisor as one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires. So, of course, I went to find out!

The starting point is in Palermo with a group of max 10 people. With an English-speaking guide, we discovered Palermo SoHo and 4 restaurants on the way. At each restaurant, we tasted typical Argentine dishes. Such as the morcilla (blood sausage), empanadas, and Argentine meat and drinks. A fun and easygoing evening with nice information on the go.

You learn in one evening the Argentine culture and food. A great activity.

You can book on this link the food tour in Buenos Aires . Every Monday till Saturday starting at 5:30 PM.

Sherpa Food Tour Buenos Aires Secrets

10. Bike tour Buenos Aires

Perfect for somebody who 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, the kind of tour, with an electric bike, and more. Really one of the best things to do if you want to visit Buenos Aires differently.

I made a list and compared all the companies. So, you can make a choice easy and fast.

Read here: bike tour in Buenos Aires: all the companies and tours available

11. Visit the museums in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the cultural heart of Argentina. Therefore, you will find many interesting museums in the city. For example, the National Museum of Fine Arts or The Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA). Already two fascinating places to visit with an extensive collection of fine Argentine and Latin American Arts from various periods.

I wrote a dedicated article about the 12 best museums to visit in Buenos Aires. On top of that, some museums are located in beautiful buildings and give you a view of the architecture of that time.

MALBA Buenos Aires
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

12. 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 exports. 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.

Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires by night
Puente de la mujer in Puerto Madero

13. El Ateneo Bookstore

Did you know that Buenos Aires has the highest number of 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.

Things to do in Buenos Aires El Ateneo
El Ateneo Bookstore

More things to do in Buenos Aires

14. Cooking class “Criolla”

In this list, I want to give you also the option to “do” things in Buenos Aires. And the cooking class “Criolla” is a super thing “to do”.

During a 3-hour cooking class, I learned how to cook traditional Argentine dishes and drinks. Such as empanadas with a glass of vermouth, little cheese breads, and a very tasty wine sauce accompanied by a tender piece of meat.

Together with a chef and a group of 8 people, we cooked a delicious Argentine meal. It is for sure an interactive and social activity in Buenos Aires. Meeting new people and having a fun evening. I can recommend this if you are not tired of a day walking around in town 😁

You can book the cooking class here.

Cooking Class Criolla Secrets of Buenos Aires
Yes, that’s me on the right at the Criolla cooking class 😁🧑‍🍳

15. 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. Secret: you can visit Torre Monumental by going up the balcony. I will give you a nice view of the city (Puerto Madero, the 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.

La Torre de los Ingleses Buenos Aires

16. 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.

Read also: why don’t talk about politics with Argentines?

Visit Congress Buenos Aires

17. Café Tortoni and other famous bars

The first time I visited Buenos Aires I saw a long waiting line and busses parked at a cafe. That cafe was Café Tortoni. It was opened in 1858 by a French immigrant and many famous Argentines went there for a coffee or merienda. It’s a great location to get into the atmosphere of Buenos Aires’ 19th century. However, sometimes too crowded. After some years I discovered many other “bar notables” with the same vibe and sometimes more authentic.

Read also: what is the best time to visit Café Tortoni

cafe tortoni buenos aires argentina 2019

18. The Rose Garden – El Rosedal

In Palermo, you can find The Rose Garden as part of Parque Tres de Febrero. More than 18.000 roses are planted in this beautiful part of the park. Ideal to take a break and relax.

The best moment to visit is in November when all the roses are in bloom. It’s my favorite place to end a day walking around in the city.

The Rose Garden - El Rosedal Secrets of Buenos Aires
El Rosedal

19. The water palace – Palacio de aguas corrientes

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. The main exhibits of the museum is devoted to the history of water and you will see hundreds of urinals and toilets. The entrance is free.

Water palace Buenos Aires Palacio de las Aguas Corrientes

20. Teatro Colón

One of the buildings that will trigger your interest will be Teatro Colon. It’s located near the Obelisco. Teatro Colon is an opera house that opened in 1908 and rumored as one of the best opera houses in the world. The acoustic is magnificent they say. I went a couple of times to watch the Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires. Truly, a wonderful experience.

You can book your tickets here in advance and enjoy a beautiful night out.

Teatro Colon Secrets of Buenos Aires
Teatro Colón

21. The Monetary Museum

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 … 😉

22. Obelisco and 9 de Julio

The most famous landmark of the city and perhaps the symbol of the city is the Obelisco. It was built in 1936 as a monument to the 400th anniversary of the city of Buenos Aires. In 1536 Pedro de Mendoza set foot here in the city.

The Obelisco is located in the middle of the widest street with 16 avenues, 9 de Julio. I and many others barely managed to cross the street in one go.

In front of the Obelisco, you will also find two large letters “BA” decorated with flowers. A nice place to take a picture. Go early in the morning to be able to take a photo without many people.

Obelisco and 9 de julio by night Secrets of Buenos Aires
Obelisco and 9 de Julio by night

23. Visit San Martin monuments

The national hero of Argentina is José de San Martin. You will see him on banknotes, in honor of him there is a national holiday and there is are important monuments in the city.

San Martin was born on February 25th, 1778 in Corrientes (province in Argentina). He joined the Spanish army but later San Martín came into contact with supporters of South American independence.

In 1812 he sailed to Buenos Aires and offered his services to liberate South America from Spain. In 1813 there was the Battle of San Lorenzo. Where he weathered the Spaniards from the land.

He crossed the Andes in 1817 via Mendoza and together with Bernardo O’Higgins he liberated Chile. Later he liberated Peru with Simon Bolivar. Afterward, he moved to France.

In his will, he wanted to be buried in Buenos Aires. His grave is in the Buenos Aires Cathedral. You can visit it for free.

San Martin Catedral Secrets of Buenos Aires
San Martin tomb in the catedral

You can also visit the national history museum in Parque Lezama. You will discover the complete history of Argentina’s foundation. Including the original sword of José de San Martin. You can also see the very first flag of Argentina in the museum.

Visiting is free. An English-language paper guide is available.

San Martin Catedral Secrets of Buenos Aires
The sword of San Martin

24. Floralis Genérica

The Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano designed the aluminum flower in 2002. As a counterbalance to the popular landmark Obelisco. The flower opens every morning at 8 am and closes again in the evening. The hydraulic system was broken for a long time, but after a few years the flower blossoms like never before. During the evening the flower has a beautiful purple glow. A beautiful new landmark.

Floralis Generica Buenos Aires

25. Drinking Yerba Maté

One thing you must try when you are in Argentina and that is sharing Maté. I recommend drinking it during “Mierenda”. That is the Argentina afternoon tea around 17 – 18h. Or for the Maté lovers among us, a perfect start when drinking at breakfast.

‘Yerba’ stands for the herb leaves, ‘mate’ is the drinking cup where the yerba poured in dry, afterward you add water and you drink it through a ‘bombilla’ (filter straw).

It is a very popular drink in Argentina and a perfect social thing to do. It’s a must-try when you are visiting.

I wrote an article to explain the tradition of drinking Maté. 

What is Yerba Mate Argentina

Continue things to do in Buenos Aires

There so many other things to do in Buenos Aires. Such as the Japanese Gardens, riding the historic tram in the city, MALBA museum, eating a choripan near the river, the national liberary, Planetarium Galileo Galilei, Plaza Serrano, EcoParque,…

Author

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 ❤️

25 Comments

  1. Thank you for the very useful hints. We had a magnificent time in Buenos Aires and share the same opinion on your number 1 hint. The sunset was amazing from above!
    Theater colon is worth a visit! Excellent work! Thank you!

  2. Do you have recent information about getting tickets to the Casa Rosada? The link still seems broken even on the Argentinian Tourist Bureau website.

  3. Brian Philip Haupt Reply

    Hi Glenn,
    Can you talk about different ways to get around in BA? Are Buses, Taxi, Uber all good & safe? I am fortunate to be looking forward to a full month stay in BA. I do love to walk.

  4. Thanks for some really good information on places to visit, what would be the easiest and cheapest way to visit the majority of these locations?
    First time visiting BA and travelling solo with one day in the city, I am not sure on what kind of distance it is between these locations. Good with walking if it is not to far
    Is there a map that would show the locations of most of these places to visit?

    • Hi Ray, Buenos Aires is a pretty big city. Walking is nice and will take you some time. Booking a bike tour is a nice alternative 🙂
      I didn’t make a map yet. But on Google maps you find easily the major attractions.

      • Robert DeBerardinis Reply

        We booked our tango tickets at Las Angelitas though you. It was a wonderful dinner and show and our seats were next to the stage. A true highlight of our week stay in Buenos Aires. The many tips on your website were also very useful. Gracias.

  5. Hi Glenn,

    Thanks for the great tips. Is there any good waterpark here? We are here right now and looking for a waterpark & some sun bath.

    Cheers,
    Yekta

  6. Hi Glenn,
    where do you suggest to stay in the city as a first time visitor to Buenos Aires with my wife

    • Hi Hans, a safe option in Recoleta. It’s near all the major attractions and a good vibe there. Plenty of restaurants too. Also, I can recommend Palermo Soho. I live in San Telmo. Also a nice area but a bit quieter in the evening.

      • hi Glenn,
        thanks for your response is Microcentro a safe place to stay

  7. Truong Minh Reply

    Hi Glenn, thank for your useful information
    Do you know any coffee shop where I can see Buenos Aires from above ?

    • There is a new rooftop terras on Plaza de Mayo. Pretty nice view on the square. Also, many hotels with rooftops are providing the service to get a nice view.

  8. Hi Glenn

    Thanks to a lot of patience and your informative posts I finally managed to make my dream to BA a reality. It was the best holiday of my life.

    One thing though, Recoleta, at least of around 2 weeks ago (end of November) was closed as a result of the pandemic for tourism purposes.

  9. Great list of things to do in Buenos Aires. We visit almost every place mentioned in the list. Only the Torre Monumental was closed upon our visit. Great work and keep on going!

  10. Hi Glenn, really enjoyed reading your website of things to do in Buenos Aires. Will certainly be putting some of them to good use as we have a few days there in April. I am also considering a quick trip to Iguaza Falls. Was thinking of a 2 day/1 night visit. Do you think that is enough time and if so, can you recommend any tour operators? There is so much overwhelming information online it’s hard to know who the best ones are…

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Marina ?, thank you! A trip to Iguazu waterfalls is a must! Great idea. 2 days/1 night will be ok, but you will have to take a morning flight when heading to Iguazu. The Argentina park opens around 9 and closes at 6 p.m. Do see everything on the Argentinian side it will take you around 4-5 hours. You can book a guide via this link (it’s with pick up and drop off at your hotel). Or contact the tourism agency “Aguas Grandes”. 2 day/1 night is fast but it’s possible doing.

      Have a great stay!

  11. Hello Glenn,
    Was wondering if haggling over price in San Telmo market is acceptable, common, expected?
    Thanks much
    Jim

    • Glenn Reply

      Hi Jim ?, here in Buenos Aires it’s not that common to do. However, you can always try. An Argentinian is mostly ready to negotiate 😉

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Secrets of Buenos Aires