Maybe you’re doing a tour of Latin America or you’re on a stopover on your way to Patagonia, or… well, whatever it is, if you’re in Buenos Aires you have to take advantage of the opportunity. You can’t let it pass by, there’s so much to see in Buenos Aires that…
Sometimes we see Buenos Aires as a kind of reflection of Madrid on the other side of the Atlantic. It is a simplification; the Hispanic atmosphere of the Argentine capital is deeply influenced by Creole culture and other visible European influences.
But let’s get to the point. In this text we are going to propose a basic itinerary for those who are going to spend just a couple of days in the city, and another extended one, in case you have more time and want to know what to see in Buenos Aires in four days.
TRAVELLER TIP: Do you want a book or a record to get your spirits up? Well, there is so much that it is not easy. Argentine culture is deep and complex. National rock or cumbia? Borges or Cortázar? Maybe we should start with the basics: a good tangos album and the unmissable, although not very Buenos Aires, Martín Fierro.
What to see in Buenos Aires in two days
Buenos Aires is a big city, enormous pulling. However, most of what is to be seen in Buenos Aires is concentrated in the coastal strip to the east. This is where the orthogonal layout of the city begins, which is spread like a kind of fan in all directions.
Day 1: From the Pink House to Floralis Generica
Today is going to be a day of walking, with many things to be seen in central-north Buenos Aires, although in many cases it won’t take long (well, that’s for you to decide).
We will start with the great axis formed by the May Square and the avenue of the same name, with the Casa Rosada as a starting point. It is the headquarters of the Argentinean government and you can visit it for free on Saturdays upon reservation.
Across the square you will find the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. The old colonial administrative headquarters is today an institutional museum that reveals part of the history of the city. The cathedral, which does not look like it, is a very interesting neoclassical building.
A little further on you will see the Café Tortoni, an emblematic place of Buenos Aires culture with more than 160 years of trajectory, among whose desks a good part of the Argentine and European intellectuals have passed.
Turn right onto the huge 9th of July Avenue. You will pass in front of the Colón Theatre, one of the most important opera stages on the planet. If you detour a little to the east through Córdoba you will reach the Pacifico Galleries (a shopping centre), while if you choose to do it through Santa Fe to the west you will see the Ateneo Grand Splendid (a huge bookstore).
Now in the emblematic Recoleta district, our next stop is the Recoleta Cemetery: a large monumental cemetery where numerous Argentine personalities are buried. Continuing north, we will end up in front of Floralis Genérica, a striking movable sculpture of steel and aluminium inaugurated in 2002.
Day 2: From the National Congress to the Caminito de Boca
Tired? No? Today we’ll see fewer things, but again you may have to choose, because it’s possible you’ll have a lot of fun elsewhere.
We start again from the May Avenue, this time from the end: in the Congress Square. Here it is… of course, the Congress, an impressive tome. Very close by, on the same avenue, you will find the Barolo Palace, an impressive office building with an undefinable architecture.
The point is to get to Dorrego Square, the heart of San Telmo, one of those corners of Buenos Aires that could go unnoticed if it weren’t for its cafés and artists, its tango exhibitions and its Sunday fair.
We continue south (unless you prefer to spend the day at the Puerto Madero Ecological Reserve), we go to La Boca. It’s practically impossible, but if you are well organised you may have time to visit the Caminito (a colourful street-museum that was a tenement house inhabited by the most humble immigrants) and watch a game in the mythical Bombonera of Boca Juniors.
REMEMBER THAT: This is not what you expected? Are you looking for a less touristic Buenos Aires? Then, simply take a bus to the neighbourhoods of Palermo, Caballito, Gral. Mitre, Flores or Barracas, and walk and walk and walk and walk.
What to see in Buenos Aires with a little more time…
Suppose you have, say, four days. That doubles the possibilities; you can look for more options to see in and around Buenos Aires, even. For example…
Day 3: In the most exclusive neighbourhoods
Buenos Aires is a city with great inequalities. It can be very illustrative, although undoubtedly risky, to visit the slums of the southern part of the city. The most normal thing is to go to the other centre: the privileged neighbourhoods of the north.
Palermo and Belgrano are of those places where there is a high quality of life and an enormous cultural, gastronomic and leisure offer. You should see this in Buenos Aires if you have the time required. It is about jumping from square to square (Cortázar, Mafalda, Belgrano, Barrancas, Alberti, Balcarce, Saavedra) eating, shopping or just looking.
Day 4: Escape to the suburbs (two ideas)
Well, it’s not exactly the outskirts (it’s only half an hour from the coast of the Autonomous City), but the Mataderos neighbourhood looks like another world. This working-class neighbourhood, where meat processing was centralised at the beginning of the 20th century, hosts a craft and folklore fair every Sunday with 700 stalls, cultural activities, music… and food, of course.
Another option: the Plata River rises and changes country! The Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay, is a nearby destination (an hour and a quarter by ferry) with an impressive old town and many other options for all preferences. You will see what has changed about Baires…
Buenos Aires is a very big city: big, cosmopolitan, anonymous. And yet, it’s easy to feel at home.
This is especially true if you are Spanish. After a couple of days you will tell yourself: “I’m so glad I came!
If you are looking for low prices, contact us and we will be able to offer you a very competitive quote on flights, boats, hotels, activities and car rentals.
We specialize in preparing customised trips for each customer to enjoy their experience to the fullest.
Remember that at the end of this article, you have the option of sending us a message with your requests or doubts and we will respond quickly.
A good trip requires a lot of preparation, but also a good amount of unconsciousness and letting go…
If you are thinking of spending a few days in Buenos Aires, how about an escape to a really spectacular natural space? What to see and do in Iguazú: the incredible waterfalls.
In this article we talk about the features of this unique site, we will give you some practical information and a couple of tips if you feel like coming.
Redactor. Especialista en Viajes.
Uno de esos que piensa que nunca se puede viajar demasiado, y que no hay que irse a la otra esquina del planeta para descubrir un nuevo mundo. Veinte años con la mochila a cuestas y sin ganas de posarla, todavía… En familia, con amigos o con las ganas de escribir como única compañía, y la afición a la historia como bastón.
Editor. Travel specialist
One of those who thinks that you can never travel too much, and that you do not have to go to the other corner of the planet to discover a new world. Twenty years with the backpack on his back and unwilling to pose, still … In family, with friends or with the desire to write as a sole company, and the love of history as a cane.