Local’s Guide on Things to Do in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Looking for tips on things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina?

As part of our city guides series, we interviewed Stephanie who fell in love with Buenos Aires in 2009 and a short vacation and then decided to move there.

Stephanie shares with us her insider tips on the best things to do in Buenos Aires, plus advice on where to eat, sleep, drink, shop and explore.

Why Visit Buenos Aires

The city is unlike any other I have experienced or read about.

There is a lot of European influence, but you definitely still get the Latin America vibe, yet the porteños have a distinct personality and culture. I love big cities, and in Buenos Aires, I feel that there is something (or many things) for everyone.

Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a huge city, and it can be overwhelming to a traveler who wants to see and do it all (like me).

My Buenos Aires highlights include:

  • Checking out the graffiti art. Not only is the street art impressive, it is an important part of the city’s culture and history. You will easily find graffiti art in the barrios (neighborhoods) of San Telmo and Palermo Soho. If you’re really into it, I recommend a Graffitimundo Tour to learn more about the graffiti styles and artists.
Things to do in Buens Aires
  • Get lost in the Recoleta Cemetery.
  • See the center of politics and important historical events at the Plaza de Mayo.
  • Enjoy the lively San Telmo Sunday Feria. Even if you’re not into the shopping, it’s fun to see the crowds,listen to the music, watch tango, and enjoy the passion of the people.
  • Explore the Bosques de Palermo. If you want to get a glimpse into the lifestyle of porteños, the parks are where to spot them enjoying a beautiful day. The Bosques de Palermo is the biggest and most beautiful in the city.

Best Neighborhoods to Explore in Buenos Aires

There are many barrios (neighborhoods), each with their own distinct character. For a short trip, these are the ones you have to see.

  • Palermo Soho is one of the trendier neighborhoods known for its restaurants and boutique shops. It is also a pleasant and pretty place for a stroll.
  • Recoleta is the neighborhood that gives Buenos Aires its reputation for being the “Paris of South America.”The architecture is gorgeous, and the area is packed with high end shopping, restaurants, and art galleries and museums.
  • San Telmo is a charming area with narrow cobblestone streets, lots of colorful graffiti, and a mix of traditional and trendy shopping and dining.
San Telmo - THings to Do in Buenos Aires
San Telmo

Places to Eat in Buenos Aires

As Buenos Aires becomes a more sophisticated city with a growing expat community, the selection of international cuisine keeps growing.

For a special experience, check out a puerta cerrada (closed door) restaurant where excellent chefs serve creative set menus for a small group of people (reservations required) sometimes at private tables and sometimes group dining.

Here are of my favorite places to grab a bite or enjoy a slow meal with friends.

  • Enjoy excellent steak and excellent service at La Cabrera in Palermo Soho. Be sure to order the provoleta for a starter.
  • If you’re craving Southeast Asian, the puerta cerrada Cocina Sunae is both an incredible meal and a special dining experience.
  • The pizza at El Cuartito is famous. Try the fugazzetta topped with onions and loads of melty cheese.
  • Cumaná in Recoleta is a popular locals restaurant where you can get a variety of quality traditional Argentine cuisine including locro, empanadas, pizza, and picadas (meat and cheese plates). Location: Rodríguez Peña 1149
  • If you want a truly unique dining experience (and are an adventurous eater), check out El Baqueano. Go with the 7-course tasting menu with wine pairings.
  • When you’re craving something sweet, Persicco, Un ‘Altra Volta, and Moratto are some of the top shops with locations throughout the city.

You Cannot Visit Buenos Aires Without Eating

You cannot go to Buenos Aires without having an amazing steak, a great bottle (or five) of red wine, and a ¼ kilo of ice cream.

Other foods to try in Buenos Aires include empanadas, pizza, provoleta (baked cheese!), locro (a stew typical in the north of Argentina), and a picada (cheese and meat plate).

Eat Steak - Things to Do in Buenos Aires
Amazing steak

Where to Drink in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a city that never sleeps, and a lot of that late-night culture is fueled by alcohol. As you would expect, there is no shortage of options no matter your poison.

If you love wine, you are in the right city. Argentina is known for its big reds, including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The northern region is also known for its white varietal Torrontes. The wine in Argentina is very affordable, and you can find good options in any restaurant and most shops.

For a really special experience, schedule a tasting with Anuva Wines, which features high-quality wines from smaller bodegas.

Argentina is not known for its beer. The best place to have a beer is outdoors on a beautiful day. Plaza Serrano in Palermo Soho is my favorite place to have an afternoon beer. There are several bars with large outdoor patios.

If you’re looking for artisanal beer, a good option is Antares in Palermo Soho.

I typically stick to beer or wine, but expats and locals rave about the cocktails at Milion. The setting inside an old mansion might make the drinks taste a little better too.

Another popular drink in Argentina is Yerba Mate, a caffeinated drink made of leaves and stems of yerba mate and usually, hot water.

Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Best Place For a Night on the Town in Buenos Aires

Most of the touristy areas are good for a night on the town. After all, this is the city that never sleeps.

The top neighborhoods are San Telmo, Recoleta, and Palermo Soho. The latter is my top pick because you have many options for dinner, drinks at a casual bar, and dancing at a club until the sun rises.

If you’re in Buenos Aires on a Monday, you must see La Bomba de Tiempo at Ciudad Cultural Konex.

If you’re into music, there are lots of opportunities to see performances. There are small venues all over, and you will see flyers advertising shows everywhere. Be adventurous and check out something new.

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires


For budget travelers, Couchsurfing and hostels provide several affordable options in all of the central barrios.

A couple of recommended hostels are Hostel Eco Pampa in Palermo Soho and America del Sur Hostel.


A good mid-range option is Republica Palermo in Palermo Soho.


If you want something more luxurious but still good value, consider Own Hotel in Palermo Soho or Casa Calma in Recoleta.


Super-luxury travelers will be thrilled by world-renowned options such as the Alvear Palace Hotel and the Faena Hotel + Universe.


Renting an apartment can also be an affordable and more comfortable option for couples or groups. There are many apartment rental services, but be careful dealing with landlords. It is best to use a service that is well-established and provides user reviews, such as VRBO and AirBnB.

For more places to stay in Buenos Aires choose from the largest range of hotels, apartments, and guesthouses with our partner Booking.com. You get free cancelation on most rooms, and in most cases you only pay when you stay.

Markets and Shopping in Buenos Aires

Eat Ice cream - Things to Do in Buenos Aires

There are lots of shopping opportunities in Buenos Aires.

San Telmo is known for its antiques shops, and the Sunday Feria outdoor fair is a must-do. Palermo Soho also hosts an outdoor market with a more bohemian style at Plaza Serrano and nearby streets on weekends.

If you are looking for trendy, boutique shops, you will find them throughout Palermo Soho, San Telmo, and Recoleta.

Villa Crespo (next to the Palermo neighborhood) is where to find good deals. There is an outlet shopping area on Aguirre and a small leather district on Murrillo.

If you don’t mind busy, crowded areas, the pedestrian street Calle Florida is a well-known shopping district where you can find nicer stores, handmade goods, and junk.

Festivals and Events in Buenos Aires

The World Tango Festival happens in May. Although you can find tango all over the city any day of the week, the city has a special energy during this two-week festival, and you can see the finest tango dancers in the world.

There are too many festivals and events to list here. Pay attention to flyers and billboards around the city, and you are bound to find something big happening. Also, the website Agenda Cultural which lists the government-sponsored cultural events going on in the city.

Getting Around Buenos Aires

Public transport is great. You can get all over the city by using the underground Subte and local buses.

The Subte is quite easy to figure out, even if you don’t speak Spanish. Buses are a little trickier, but hardcore independent travelers with a little Spanish can figure it out. Best tip for the bus…always have monedas (coins). They don’t take bills.

The city is very large, but it is also walkable within and between neighboring barrios, and it’s a fun way to check out the architecture and stumble upon a local wine bar or café.

Taxis are plentiful and not that expensive compared to other major cities like New York or London. Just be sure you have some idea where you are going and read about common taxi scams in a guide book.

Finding WiFi in Buenos Aires

Yes, the city is wifi friendly and growing more so every day. If your hotel or hostel doesn’t have wifi, you shouldn’t be staying there.

More and more cafés and restaurants are offering wifi too. McDonalds and Starbucks are a sure bet and easy to find in the most popular barrios.

Best Time of Year to Visit Buenos Aires

The hottest and driest months are December and January and coincide with the busiest part of the high season.

If you prefer moderate temperatures, don’t mind chancing some rain, and prefer smaller crowds, I suggest October, November, March, or April.

Grand Building - Things to Do in Buenos Aires
Grand Building

Favorite Side Trip from Buenos Aires

The affluent suburb of San Isidro is a great side trip because it gives you a break from the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires, and it is a beautiful area to stroll.

It is best to go on the weekend when there is an antiques and crafts fair in the main plaza.

Getting There & Away

The major airlines with international flights to Buenos Aires are American Airlines, Delta, Air Canada, British Airways, and Iberia.

If you are in Latin America and looking for flights, check out LAN, TACA, and Aerolineas Argentinas.

From within Argentina, there is a good network of buses. Check out Plataforma10.

City Center - Things to Do in Buenos Aires
Busy City Center

Best Insiders Tip for Buenos Aires

Bring US dollars with you and always ask about discounts for paying in dollars. Inflation has been and continues to be rampant in Argentina, and the people still don’t trust the banks.

The government has placed many restrictions on locals for buying US dollars, so businesses are happy to offer large discounts to travelers in order to get a more stable currency.

I love Buenos Aires because …

Buenos Aires has an eclectic mix of cultures, which you can see in its architecture, art, and food. The city has an incredible energy, and the people are creative and passionate.

Related Post – 15 things to know before you visit Buenos Aires

Planning a  Trip to Buenos Aires

We’ve been traveling 20  years and have come to rely on a few trusted websites that save us money and time when booking accommodation, flights, and car rental. Below are our preferred partners. If you book through these links, we do receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps us continue to provide inspiring and helpful travel content for free on this site.

Accommodation in Buenos Aires

  • Booking.com has 1,050 properties in Buenos Aires including hotels, apartments, and hostels. You get free cancelation on most rooms and a best price guarantee.

Flights to Buenos Aires

  • Skyscanner is a comparison website that searches millions of flights. Once you find your best flight deal, they send you to book directly through the airline or agent (no middlemen) or extra fees.

Tours in Buenos Aires

Car Rental in Buenos Aires

  • RentalCars.com is the world’s biggest car rental booking service that compares all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Enterprise, Europcar and Thrifty. Amend or cancel your booking online easily.


At the age of 29, Stephanie left for a 20-month travel sabbatical through Central and South America. She is passionate about photography and tries to find balance by living simpler, consuming less, and experiencing more. Follow her journey at TheTravelChica.com

Pin Below To Save To Pinterest:

Do you have tips on things to Do in Buenos Aires

You may also like

You may also like

35 thoughts on “Local’s Guide on Things to Do in Buenos Aires, Argentina”

  1. Great post! We are in Buenos Aires right now and love it! We also love Stephanie’s guide which is packed with great tips; definitely worth buying.

    And we can confirm that bringing US dollars is an absolute must. You can get things almost 50% cheaper using them at the moment, and that’s likely to increase!

  2. My top eating tip in BA – Four Seaons Sunday brunch. Treat yourself (will be cheap) and spend 4-5 hours there 🙂

  3. Great post, Stephanie. I wish I saw more street art when I was there. I would add El Ateneo, the opera house that became a book store, and that performance you wrote about on your blog – I forgot the place’s name – that took place in the dark, if I remember correctly. I experienced something similar in Israel, and would gladly experience it again.

  4. Nice guide to BA! I lived there for 6 months and I miss it. My favorite thing to do in Buenos Aires was wander through the neighborhoods. The San Telmo market was probably my favorite, the MALBA art museum was excellent, and Tango classes at La Viruta were wonderful!

  5. Hey! I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions for a day trip out of the city — or anything that may involve hiking, a beach, or some sort of nature-excursion/physical activity/adventure? I’ve been to BA many times, but am going in March and would love to figure out a way to do something outdoorsy during a VERY short (4 day) stay in the city….

    All suggestions welcome! The sooner the better 🙂 Thank you!

  6. I still can’t forget the dinner I had with my wife. It was amazing. Also place is very good.
    I also like one more place Mangalore. Very beautiful place with Beaches & Hill station together and good beach resorts. I spent time with my family. It was memorable.

  7. i agree you should bring cash. the atm’s charge too much. and i buy my pesos on the blue market. i go to the western union office on San Juan in Boedo. no ID needed. you get the current blue rate. much better than the official cambio houses. and buses and subway { colectivo or subte] you get a SUBE card. no need to hoard monedas for the bus. it can be refilled at any SUBE outlet.

  8. Hey, i’m from Argentina and i’d like to add some information to your guide! First, It’s been three years or so since you don’t need coins to travel by bus, we now use a card called SUBE, you can get it in kioskos (drugstore) or even in Subte Stations, it’s cheap ($20 speaking in argentinian pesos), you have to charge some money on it and then you use it to pay in buses, trains, subtes, even peajes. Second, i’m sure you missed a beautiful spot in Buenos Aires! I’m talking about Tigre, the Delta of the Paraná river, it’s a beautiful city just an hour away from Palermo Soho, it offers a great feria on weekends, be sure to google ‘Puerto de Frutos’ when you get the time.
    I hope you read this and find it useful for your next visit, and pardon my English i’m still learning.
    Greetings from Argentina!

    1. Thankyou for the wonderful updated travel tips. We are embarking on world trip in May starting with Buenos Aries so they will come in handing. Do you have any tips for touring Iguazu falls

  9. Great tips! We suggest you also try seeing Buenos Aires on bikes. We offer a wide range of bike tours throughout the city and coincidentally, we team up with graffitimundo on Sundays to offer the graffitimundo bike tour. For those who want to explore the city solo, we also rent bikes from our San Telmo location. Check us out at http://www.bikingbuenosaires.com for more information. Happy traveling!

  10. Good web sites for Buenos Aires. Pick up the Fork. A great restaurant guide. Landing Pad B A. Great for tons of activities. A Gringo in Buenos Aires. Lots of info and tips. The BubbleAr. English language newspaper on what’s happening in Buenos Aires and current blue dollar rate.

  11. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you, your blog is very helpful. I just booked my flight to Buenos Aires and I have a question for you, if you can help. I would like to get around in bike, is there a place for bike rental? If so, do I need to reserve in advance? I would appreciate if you had some feedback.

  12. Nice post! I’m really glad you enjoyed my city! And that you visited San Isidro, because usually tourists don’t go or don’t even know about it. I live in Olivos which is really close to it 🙂

  13. Hi! wonderful post! I am Franco from Buenos Aires and I am a local guide in Buenos Aires Free Walks. I just started a blog with Free things to do in BA. You can check the articles in the website! Thanks!

  14. Hello people,
    We are a young Colombian-Argentine couple with coffee roots that has just opened a new coffee store in Palermo, Buenos Aires.
    We learnt barism in Colombia and we offer gourmet coffee from different areas of the country and we are pleased to have this delicious drink for argentine people and foreigners.
    As we understand, it is no easy to find this sort of coffee (arábica quality) in Buenos Aires, that’s why we invite you all to come and try it. You will not regret it.

  15. Great post! Just a little update on public transport, you can only use SUBE to pay for buses, underground and trains now.
    A really nice place to check out in the city, if you want to experience nature, is the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur (a wildlife reserve) it’s free entry and sometimes a birdwatching group meets there.

  16. Buenos Aires has so much to offer!
    Belgrano it’s a nice neighbourhood to visit too, the area around Cabildo Avenue (Cabildo & Juramento) with hundreds of shops, and plenty of people! And not far from there, walking down Juramento street you can find the Barrancas de Belgrano park, a perfect green spot to relax in the sunlight.

    If you’re in the city centre, go to Retiro train station, take the train Mitre (usually platform 1 or 2) to “Belgrano R” station. It’s only 2 stations away, and will drop you right in front of the Barrancas park. Walking out the station you will see a huge oriental street arch welcoming you to Chinatown, it’s a small area with oriental restaurants, plenty of asian grocery stores, and some cheap junk products too. You can go any day at any time, on the weekends it’s crowded by locals and tourists. (On Chinese New Year you can’t even walk!)

    My favourite place to buy it’s “Tina & Co.”, a 3-level grocery store that also sells house items and has a tiny cafe on the last floor, very cool and clean place, with a NY-deli vibe. “Casa China” sells oriental products, it’s very good too. “BuddhaBA” it’s a delightul fancy place to eat something or drink tea with cake.

    I also recommend to visit the Japanese Gardens of Buenos Aires, a place that will make you feel you are in the land of the rising sun. It’s inside the Bosques de Palermo but it’s not free, you have to pay an entrance fee (cheap), but it’s totally worth it!. Super peaceful and clean, beautiful plants and trees, koi ponds with koi fishes (people likes to feed them, and I’ve seen the fishes eating almost from people’s hands!). Just like in Japan, you can’t smoke in the gardens, even though it’s an open air place. They usually have cultural activities (art expositions, sumi-e painting lessons, bonsai, etc), and there’s a japanese tea house where you can treat yourself with typical japanese sweets.

    1. Oh! and I forgot to mention the north side of Buenos Aires, outside the capital…
      Somebody mentioned San Isidro in the top comments.. The San Isidro cathedral it’s amazingly beautiful, and the park surrounding host a little artisan fair on sundays.

      If you want to visit Tigre you can go by train from Retiro station, it’s around 45-50 minutes away. The train ticket it’s about 6 pesos (half a dollar!). Tigre it’s the last station of that train, and then you have to walk a little to find the “Puerto de Frutos” (Fruits Port), which it’s like a huge open air market with lots of places to shop, eat, relax. It’s better to visit on weekends, on week days some of the stores are closed. You can also get on a boat that will take you across the delta river and catch the life inside the islands of the Delta.

      And last but not least, 30 minutes away from Buenos Aires, in a neighbourhood called Martínez there’s a massive huge shopping mall called “Unicenter Shopping” where you can find quite a lot of shops with high quality clothes, shoes, bags and everything in between. Tax free stores. They offer baby strollers for free if you need one. You may lost inside there because it’s super big! They also have 3D cinemas in the top floor, and a large food court with all kinds of food. You can get there by bus, by car/taxi or get one of the buses that carry tourists there. Once there, after buying like crazy and having both hands full of bags, you can get a taxi or remise to come back to your hotel, they have taxi stops inside the mall.

  17. Awesome guide!
    I’m going to Argentina in 12 months in my Honeymoon and I’m looking for guides like this.

    Now I know where the best places to go and eat. And I’m looking for this typical food, especially Empanada! I love <3

    Thanks for this post! I'll will save in my tab to read more times until next February!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 Powerful Ways to Travel More & Create Better Memories
Want to know how we've made a lifetime of travel for 25 years? In
This is what gives us incredible memories to share around the campfire. Join our community for insider tips and updates!
Scroll to Top