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Buenos Aires, Argentina - Top Things to Do and See in Argentina | Wanderlist Travel

Buenos Aires, Argentina Travel Guide: Top Things to Do and See in Argentina

Buenos Aires is often referred to as Paris of South America. The city is a fusion between European elegance and Latin American flair - you’ll be sure to fall in love with the colonial architecture, standout steakhouses and Malbec and the passionate tango culture

Buenos Aires by Neighbourhood

  • Palermo: Shop the boutiques and embrace cafe culture in Palermo
  • La Boca: Visit La Boca, Buenos Aires’ most colourful neighbourhood
  • San Telmo: Lined with charming antique shops
  • Recoleta: The most affluent barrio in Buenos Aires with great historical and architectural interest
  • Puerto Madero: Waterside promenade home to skyscrapers and brick warehouses converted into homes, offices and restaurants

What to do

  • Walking Tour: Start with a walking tour to get a feel for the city
  • Recoleta Cemetery: Wander around Recoleta Cemetery with close to 5,000 elaborate above-ground mausoleums for Argentina’s most celebrated and wealthy
    • It’s most famous as the last resting place of First Lady Maria Eva Duarte de Peron, or Evita
    • The cemetery opened in 1822 and spans four city blocks.
  • San Telmo Street Market: Rummaging through the stalls of the San Telmo Street Market on Sunday from 10 am - 4 p m
  • Buenos Aires Street Art: Appreciate in the best of Buenos Aires street art. The abundance of abandoned buildings make the perfect canvases for local and international street artists.
  • Tango Culture: Immerse yourself in Tango Culture by taking a tango lesson or watching a show
    • Take tango lessons
      • La Viruta
      • La Catedral
      • Confitería Ideal
    •  Practice tango skills at La Catedral de Tango
    • Watch a tango show at:
      • La Ventana
      • Piazzolla Tango
      • Señor Tango
      • Madero Tango
      • Tango Porteño
    • Tip: Some tango shows offer tango classes before the show
  • Day Trip To Tigre: Take a daytrip getaway to the green countryside of the Tigre Delta
  • Uruguay: Hop on a ferry into Uruguay
  • El Ateneo Grand Splendid: Peruse the collection of books in El Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores situated in an old theatre
  • Jardin Japonés de Buenos Aires: Enjoy the serene garden,  the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan
  • Visit Casa Rosada: a pink-hued palace which houses the offices of Argentina’s president


Argentinian Specialities

  • Parrilla, a steakhouse that specializes in grilled meats
  • Dine at a “closed-door” restaurant
  • Empanadas
  • Steak with chimichurri
  • Malbec
  • Real Mate (bitter tea)
  • Alfajores - the two brands Havaana or Cachafaz are the best
  • Medialunas, sweet crescent rolls
  • Dulce de leche - by itself or as an ice cream flavour!
  • Fernet and coke - a popular cocktail choice

Where to eat

  • Steakhouses
    • Don Julio - my favourite steakhouse with perfectly seared prime cuts sourced from grass-fed cattle. Don’t forget to order the mashed potato with the steak
    • Parrilla Peña - remains one of the last standing authentic bodegones in Buenos Aires
    • Al Carbon
  • Restaurants
    • Casa SaltShaker - a ‘closed door’ restaurant offering a unique social and dining experience with 10 guests at a shared table in Dan & Henry’s home. This was my favourite dining experience in Buenos Aires. What a great way to meet new people while enjoying a wonderfully prepared meal with wine pairings.
    • Aramburu - amazing 17 course dinner $115 per person ($170 with wine pairing). Tip: Pay in cash for 10% discount
    • Casa Coupage - underground restaurant with focus on wine tasting
    • Tegui - Contemporary Argentine tasting menu. Tegui is rated the best restaurant in Argentina and 10th in Latin America on The World’s 50 Best.
    • El Obrero - You’ll find steak, Spanish and Italian dishes at this jam-packed family run restaurant. Try: fried squid rings, homemade pasta  and dulce de leche pancakes
    • Mishiguene by chef Tomas Kalika - Unique twists on Jewish cuisine
    • Peron Peron - for great soul food
  • Bakery / Casual Eats
    • Salvaje Bakery - collection of freshly baked bread and sweets
    • Ol Days - perfect morning stop for coffee, Acai bowls and smoothies
    • Chori - for a choripan (chorizo and layers of herb-packed chimichurri sauce) after a night out
    • Pizzeria Guerrin
    • El Banco Rojo
  • Burger Places:
    • Burger Joint (Palermo)
    • Pony Line (Recoleta)
    • Mi Barrio Hamburguesería (Palermo)
    • Tierra de Nadie (Caballito)
    • Paris Burger (San Nicolas)
  • Where to grab coffee
    • Cafe Tortoni - Opening in the 1800s, it is the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires.
    • Ninina
    • Cafe Registrado
    • LAB
    • Lattente
    • Varela Varelita
    • Los Galgos

Where to drink

  • Craft Beer Houses
    • 1516 Cervecería (Palermo)
    • Temple Bar - The House (Palermo)
    • Buller Bar (Recoleta)
    • La Birrería (Puerto Madero)
    • Dársena (Palermo)
    • Maldini (Recoleta)
    • Antares (Palermo)
    • On Tap (Retiro)
    • Growlers (Palermo)
  • Cocktail / Speakeasy Bars
    • Floreria Atlantico (Retiro/ Recoleta - speakeasy) - One of the world’s best (speakeasy) bars hidden a florist and wine shop
    • Victoria Brown (Palermo - speakeasy) - Stylish steampunk cocktail bar hidden behind wall
    • J.W. Bradley (Palermo - speakeasy) - Prepare to take a “train” to get into this speakeasy
    • 878 (Palermo - speakeasy) - The city’s first speakeasy behind an unmarked door on a quiet street
    • The Harrison Speakeasy (Palermo - speakeasy) - A members only bar hidden behind the chic sushi joint Nicky Harrison. If you don’t know a member, go to the restaurant for dinner in your best attire and your waiter might invite you to “visit the cellar” at the end.
    • Uptown (Palermo - speakeasy) - A recreation of the New York Subway. Go down the stairs to enter a turnstile and get on the train. Hit
    • Cenas Pasionaries (Palermo - speakeasy) - An antique lover’s dream by day and an intimate bar by night. You can choose to bring your own wine and pay a corkage fee or purchase wine while listening to the different live acts.
    • Verne Club (Palermo) - A gentleman’s club-style cocktail lounge Inspired by author Jules Verne
    • Boticario (Palermo) - Design after an old-school pharmacy
    • Presidente Bar (Recoleta)
    • Soria (Palermo)
    • Sheldon Bar (Palermo - live music)
    • Parque Bar (Palermo)
    • Skybar (retiro - cool terrace)
  • Wine Tasting:
    • Pain et Vin in Palermo Soho - tasting include history lesson on Argentina’s wine roots, heavy pours, cheese and famous sourdough bread

Useful Information

  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Peso
  • Tipping: Not mandatory but appreciated. Locals usually tip 10 - 15%
  • Best time to visit: Fall (March - May) or Spring (September to November)
  • Transportation:
    • Public Transportation: Buenos Aires has great public transportation. You can buy tickets on the bus or a prepaid card called SUBE
    • Taxis: There are plenty of taxis in the city and they are generally pretty inexpensive
    • Walking: It’s fairly easily to walk around to all the neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires
  • Prepare to eat late - locals usually start dining from 8 - 10 pm

Interesting Facts

  • Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango - and it originated in brothels
  • Buenos Aires has more bookstores per capita than any other city  
  • It’s the city with the most football stadiums. The most famous is La Bombonera, home to Boca Juniors
  • The city has the widest avenue in the world - Avenida 9 de Julio
  • Buenos Aires is one of the few major cities with a neighbourhood (Puerto Madero) where most streets are named after women


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