In this Article you will find the ultimate Buenos Aires bucket list. Buenos Aires is a great capital of the world and the heart of Argentina. They say it is a mixture between Paris, Budapest and Madrid. Personally, I think it looks much more like Madrid than Paris. Buenos Aires is its unique personality, its strong local vibe and its will to be the main metropolis in South America. For tourists, Buenos Aires is not the most visual city at the first glimpse but the more time you spend, the more you will like it. In this article we will list the best things to do and visit in the amazing Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires bucket list
Plaza de Mayo
The Plaza de Mayo is located in the heart of the city center, and we couldn’t have chosen a better location to spend a couple of days. Almost everything was in a walking distance, on vibrant streets, within the Paris & Madrid looking like beautiful buildings. This square has been the scene of the most momentous events in Argentine history, as well as the largest popular demonstrations in the country.
Plaza de Mayo, besides being a tourist attraction, is an important historical place too. Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Spanish: Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo) is a movement of Argentine mothers who campaigned for their children who had been “disappeared” during the military dictatorship, pursuing the government for answers between 1977 and 2006. Check our full review for further information about Plaza de Mayo.
Several of the city’s major landmarks are located around the Plaza: the Cabildo (the city council during the colonial era), the Casa Rosada (home of the executive branch of the federal government), the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the May Pyramid, the Equestrian monument to General Manuel Belgrano, the current city hall or municipalidad, and the headquarters of the Nación Bank.
Today the words “Cabildo de Buenos Aires” mean the city hall building, which is currently the National Historical Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution. The council building is located in front of the Plaza de Mayo, in the epicenter of the city. It was declared a national historical monument in 1933 and underwent successive renovations from 1580 to 1940, where it acquired its current appearance.
Puerto Madero is, without a doubt, the most modern area of the city despite being close to the center of Buenos Aires. Some of the tallest residential towers in the country have been built here in recent years, such as the Renoir Towers with its 175 meters high. You can walk along the canals, eat something in the restaurants on the seafront or admire the open-air museum that is made up of reproductions of old ships and restored loading machines.
San Telmo is the oldest neighborhood of Buenos Aires. It is a well-preserved area of the city center and has plenty of extraordinary colonial buildings. The quartier is full of cafes, tango parlors and antique shops on cobblestone streets with plenty of artists and dancers. San Telmo’s attractions include old churches, museums, food halls and antique stores around Plaza Dorrego. In addition, you can find there one of the most amazing markets in the whole city.
Palacio Barolo is located on Avenida de Mayo. The steel-structured skyscraper measures 100 meters and has 18 floors. The Italian architect Mario Palanti was commissioned to design the building by the empresario Luis Barolo, an Italian immigrant who had arrived in Argentina in 1890 and had made a fortune in knitted fabrics. The basic design, in eclectic style, was conceived simultaneously with one for the Palacio Salvo in Montevideo. The lighthouse on the top of the building along with the Palacio Salvo in Montevideo, were designed to serve as a welcome to visitors arriving from the Atlantic Ocean.
Currently, the building has several travel agencies, a Spanish school for foreigners, a store that sells clothes for tango, offices and studios of architects, accountants, and lawyers.
Also there is a bar on the 16th floor, Salón 1923, and if you buy the entrance ticket to the Palacio, you can exchange your ticket for drinks or food at this bar. They have an amazing rooftop, lounge music, beautiful views on the city.
Very close to the Palacio, there is Plaza Lorea, where you can find a replica of El Pensador De Rodin.
Kilometer Zero of Argentina
Next to El Pensador there is the Monolith Kilometer Zero and on the other side of the Plaza, which is actually called the Congressional Plaza, you can find the Congreso De La Nacio.
La Boca and the famous Caminito are a colorful and lively street museum, a traditional alley, with lot of colorful houses, brightly painted walls, local art shops and vivid bars. It means little walk, little path in Spanish. It’s located in La Boca, a famous neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The place acquired cultural significance because it inspired the music for the famous tango “Caminito“. You can find step instructions painted on the street, kind of quick guide how to dance tango! I’m not saying I’m a pro after that, but it’s definitely funny at least to try to follow the drawn steps.
Buenos Aires has so much to offer, so many things to see, visit and admire, that even if we spent 4 full days there, each day with walking 15-20 kms in and around the city, and tried to bring the most out of it, we were simply not able to do it all.
This colorful alley is probably the best place in Argentina to experience a good tango session. This area of the La Boca neighborhood is indeed very popular for its colorful houses, its tango venues and its high cultural value. Pasaje Caminito became famous for having inspired the well-known tango “Caminito”, a work by Juan de Dios Filiberto in 1926.
The Obelisco de Buenos Aires – a national historic monument and icon of Buenos Aires. Located in the Plaza de la República in the intersection of avenues Corrientes and 9 de Julio, it was erected in 1936 to commemorate the quadricentennial of the first foundation of the city.
The Fishermen Club
Club de Pescadores – regardless it’s a nice place, it doesn’t worth to walk there, it’s very far away from the city center and without club membership you cannot enter and walk out on their molo.
Galerias Pacifico is the busiest shopping center in Buenos Aires. It is known for its international brand stores and for the beautiful architecture of the building. The Galleries were designed in 1888 and have been declared a National Historic Landmark. Even if you don’t want to go shopping, a visit to its interior is justified by its dome, where you can admire frescoes by prestigious artists.
La Recoleta is a bourgeois neighborhood located in the center of Buenos Aires. It is well known for its French-style architecture. This fact has given rise to comparisons between Buenos Aires and the French capital. On Avenida Alvear you will be able to attend the display of the most expensive luxury stores in Argentina and the most select restaurants in Buenos Aires.
Torre Monumental of Retiro is a clock tower located in the barrio (district) of Retiro.
El Ateneo Bookstore
The bookstore occupies the space of what was once the old Grand Splendid theater. Undoubtedly a privileged place to search through thousands of books for hours. It preserves all the details of the splendid theater: the curtain, the original railings, the frescoes in the dome. The old setting is today a nice cafe.
Alfajores are the most typical sweet from Argentina and other parts of South America. An alfajor is made up of two cookies joined by a filling that is normally dulce de leche, honey, jam or chocolate mousse. The alfajores are of Arab origin and were brought to America by the Spanish conquerors. They have been preserved as traditional in some places in Spain as well, but they have really reached the level of a national product in Argentina.
For carnivores, the best of Buenos Aires may be an authentic Argentine barbecue. The combination of meats served may vary depending on the place, but the asado usually includes strips of roast (churrasco), vacuum, entrails, matambre, chicken, chorizo, black pudding and different types of viscera such as kidneys, liver or sweetbreads. All this grilled and for all prices. It will be common on a visit to the capital of Argentina to smell the meat on the grill in the popular neighborhoods. Tasting it in one of the many places recommended by locals can be quite an experience.
Tango is much more than a dance. It is a national symbol. They say that it was invented so that the local descendants of Spaniards and the recently arrived Italians could compete with the rhythm of the Africans that were still in Argentina. In this way, sensuality was preserved, but the rhythms were regulated and slowed down to avoid abysmal differences in terms of abilities to move to the rhythm of the music.
The Argentine national dance is always in a couple and is characterized by its sensuality and its expression of emotions. The lyrics of the tangos normally speak of feelings of love and lack of love. There are many clubs and bowling alleys where you can dance, but it is not uncommon to find couples dancing in the street for a few coins.
The Opera Theater of Buenos Aires is one of the five best in the world for its size and acoustics. Above the red velvet stalls, the art deco dome stands out, in the center of which is a chandelier weighing more than a ton.
Serrano Square and Palermo neighborhood
Plaza Serrano is the center of the Palermo neighborhood. The Palermo neighborhood is famous for its artistic atmosphere and for its specialty in cutting-edge design.
Chinatown of Buenos Aires
Chinatown was founded due to the arrival of immigrants from China and Taiwan in the second half of the 20th century. Buenos Aires has always been a welcoming land. The entrance, as in many other Chinatowns in the world, is a traditional arch decorated with dragons. Once inside, the visitor will find all kinds of shops and restaurants with Asian import products.
The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) was created in 1822 and is one of the most prestigious in the country. Among its magnificent buildings, the imposing columns of the Faculty of Law stand out. In addition, the land behind pavilions I and II extends to the Río de la Plata.
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano (MALBA)
This museum is relatively new, it was founded in 2001 to disseminate the works of modern Latin American authors from the 20th century to the present. It is worth paying a visit to see its permanent exhibition, which includes paintings by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera or Tarsila do Amaral, among many others.
Near Buenos Aires
Tigre is a city 30 kilometers from Buenos Aires. It has the right characteristics to disconnect from the city and walk on a Sunday. If you have enough time, do not miss the opportunity to dedicate a day to Tigre. You can take rowing tours, visit the Museum of Arts and buy handicrafts on the well-known Puerto de Frutos promenade.
How to get to Buenos Aires
By plane to Buenos Aires
The plane is the most used means of transport to get to Buenos Aires from other countries, in the capital there are two airports.
For short and domestic flights there is the Aeroparque Internacional and for international flights Ezeiza International Airport, which is approx. 40 minutes by taxi from the city center. Buenos Aires is one of the best connected cities by plane in the world.
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By ferry to Buenos Aires
The most common way to cross from in Uruguay to Buenos Aires is via Río de la Plata. The Buquebus company makes several departures every day from Montevideo and Colonia del Sacramento. It is a very convenient option regardless of whether it is impossible to get rid of their spam mails after giving them your address.
Train to Buenos Aires
The train is a comfortable option if you are visiting nearby cities. You will find more information here.
Like the train, buses (omnibuses) are a comfortable and cheap option to get to Buenos Aires from some nearby destinations. However, you can also travel by bus to more distant destinations such as Puerto Iguazú and even reach other countries.
The best way to get to Buenos Aires and tour the country is by car.
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a metropoli with plenty of acommodations. There are options for all the budgets but prices are sesitive to quality and location. Take a look on the map:
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