Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires (2024)

Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolis, home to more than 3 million residents and seemingly infinite things to do and see. Travelers visiting the capital city are in for a treat, as they are sure to find just about anything they're looking for, from world-class art museums to empanada classes.

As a full-time digital nomad, I’ve spent more time in Buenos Aires than anywhere else, because there are so many reasons to keep coming back. With some help from Kyara M. Velarde, a tour guide at the Mariano Moreno National Library, and Darío Adrián, an organizer of the Buenos Aires Digital Nomads group, we’ve compiled a list of the top 25 things to do in Buenos Aires.

Related: The Best Times to Visit Argentina — From Buzzy Buenos Aires to Rugged Patagonia

01of 25

Walk from Plaza de Mayo to the obelisk.

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There’s no better place to start your tour of Buenos Aires than the central square. Plaza de Mayo is where some of the most important events in the city’s history have occurred. Casa Rosada, the office of the president, is located here. Residents take to the square to protest grievances and to celebrate when their team wins the World Cup. Walk diagonally from Plaza de Mayo toward Obelisco de Buenos Aires and you’ll pass many souvenir shops, restaurants, and notable cafes.

“Each side of the obelisk represents different historical events of Buenos Aires,” says Velarde. “It’s also considered the heart of the city, the spot where the main avenues intertwine.”

02of 25

Stroll the streets of La Boca.

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The neighborhood of La Boca is south of Puerto Madero and is famous for intricate street murals and brightly-colored shacks. It's located on what used to be the city's largest port, and immigrants used found materials to build their homes here. Be sure to walk down the Caminito, a traditional alley and museum lined with these shacks. Soccer club Boca Juniors have a stadium here as well.

03of 25

Watch a soccer match.

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Speaking of Boca Juniors, you can’t go to Buenos Aires without seeing a soccer match, as the sport is an integral part of Argentinian life. As you’re walking around the city, you will notice murals of Lionel Messi, who helped Argentina win the World Cup in 2022.

04of 25

Eat and shop at San Telmo Market.

San Telmo Market is an enormous space that hosts myriad food stalls and vendors selling handmade and antique goods. You can find almost any cuisine here, from the Argentinian choripán sandwich to Spanish tapas. I’ve gotten a few products from an exceptionally high-quality leather goods store named El Lucero. There are also tons of souvenir shops and places to buy different kinds of mate.

"You cannot miss Plaza Dorrego, which [is nearby and] has shopping, galleries, and street artist shows,” says Velarde. “It’s best to go on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m."

While you’re roaming around San Telmo, keep an eye out for the statue of Mafalda, who is an important cartoon character representing the middle class and youth. You can find her sitting on a bench on the corner of Defensa and Chile streets.

05of 25

Enjoy a tango show.

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Tango originated in Buenos Aires hundreds of years ago and has remained an important part of Argentinian culture ever since. Around San Telmo Market you will likely see dancers performing in the streets; you can also find ticketed performances at venues around the city.

06of 25

Wander around Recoleta Cemetery.

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A must-see attraction in Buenos Aires, Recoleta Cemetery is where some of the most important people in Argentina’s history are buried. Mausoleums are laid out in a city-like design, so reserve plenty of time to explore. Eva Perón, the former first lady famous for the passage of women’s suffrage in Argentina, is buried here. For international tourists, admission costs around $7 USD; you can buy your entry ticket in advance or at the cemetery.

“During the day, wander through the hauntingly beautiful Recoleta Cemetery and its architecture," says Adrián. "Guided tours explaining all the stories revolving around the area are extra but worth it."

07of 25

Visit Recoleta Cultural Center.

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Right next door to Recoleta Cemetery is Recoleta Cultural Center, where you will find a variety of exhibitions from local artists, plus concerts and workshops. When you walk in, look for a calendar of events happening throughout the month.

“If you go to Recoleta, you shouldn’t miss Floralis Generica, a giant flower that honors all the green places, gardens, and flowers of Argentina,” says Velarde. “Another must for Recoleta is Mariano Moreno National Library, which is a blend of culture, politics, and history, all in one place.”

08of 25

Explore Puerto Madero.

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Puerto Madero is best at night, when the city's lights and bridges illuminate the area. “Rent a bike and cycle along the modern waterfront district, or take a walk around it, enjoying the scenic water views and architectural beauty," says Adrián. "Plenty of restaurants, bars, and relaxing spots can be found here.”

09of 25

Visit Chinatown.

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The northern part of Buenos Aires is home to Barrio Chino, which is about five blocks long and full of fantastic shops and restaurants. This is the area to visit in order to soak in the city's vibrant Asian culture.

10of 25

Learn to make empanadas.

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You can’t go to Argentina without eating empanadas, and it’s even more special if you learn to make them. I took a cooking class with Norma, where we learned to make empanadas, stew, and cookies with dulce de leche.

11of 25

Try mate.

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Mate is a crucial part of Argentinian culture. It’s an herbal drink, similar to green tea but also distinct in itself, rich with caffeine and vitamins. Walking around the streets, you will likely notice people carrying a thermos and a cup with a straw, ready to drink their mate.

12of 25

Eat at Don Julio.

Don Julio is number two on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, and number 19 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Order a steak paired with an Argentinian Malbec and you’ll surely never forget your visit. Making reservations in advance is highly recommended, as walk-in seats are limited. From your welcome glass of sparkling wine on, the service at Don Julio is top-notch.

13of 25

Have a drink at a speakeasy.

There are several speakeasies throughout Buenos Aires, but my favorite is Florería Atlántico, located in a flower shop. Guests walk through what looks like a walk-in refrigerator door and head downstairs to this swanky bar with craft co*cktails. There’s also a New York-themed speakeasy named Uptown, complete with a subway car.

After you visit a speakeasy, go find some of Buenos Aires’ famous pizza. “Plenty of pizza stores in the city center are open until after midnight, with thick crust and a lot of cheese," says Adrián, who likes Pizzeria Güerrín and La Americana, among others.

14of 25

Go to a digital nomad meetup.

If you want to meet people from all around the world, that's totally possible in Buenos Aires. Every Thursday, organizers of the Buenos Aires Digital Nomads group put together an event somewhere in the city. I’ve made some of my closest friends at these events, which often bring more than 100 people together during the summer months.

15of 25

Try asado.

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Asado is the name for both the type of meat and the social event in which you have the meat. If you make some friends at the digital nomad meetup, I recommend asking if anyone is hosting an asado. The host typically provides and grills the meat, and guests bring sides and wine for the group. It’s an unforgettable and delicious experience.

16of 25

See an opera at the Colón Theatre.

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The Colón Theatre is more than 100 years old, and it's considered one of the most important opera houses in the entire world. You can see a show or take a guided tour of the theatre. Ticket prices vary, but seeing the magnificent architecture is worth the expense. Adrián notes that the Colón Theatre has great acoustics, plus beautiful architecture and lower prices than a typical theater experience in the U.S. or Europe.

Velarde adds, “In the guided tours, you can access the backstage and delve more into the architectural fantasy.”

17of 25

Go to Centro Cultural Kirchner.

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Centro Cultural Kirchner is located in an old post office and is the largest cultural center in Latin America. Like many cultural experiences in Buenos Aires, Centro Cultural Kirchner is free to enter, and performances here are free as well. You will still need to reserve your entry ticket in advance to secure your spot.

18of 25

Visit Ateneo Grand Splendid.

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Argentina has more bookstores per capita than anywhere else in the world, and Ateneo Grand Splendid is arguably the most famous. Located in an old theatre, the bookstore was named the most beautiful in the world in 2019 by National Geographic. It’s an easy walk from the Recoleta Cemetery. “There is only a small selection of English works available,” Adrián notes. Even so, it is worth the visit for the architecture alone.

19of 25

Roam in city gardens.

The Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens are located directly beside Plaza Italia, a popular spot for nightlife in Palermo. Just a bit further are the Japanese Gardens, situated next to HipódromoArgentino de Palermo. These breathtaking gardens are a great place to relax, read a book, and soak in nature. You won’t believe you’re in the middle of such a large city.

The Botanical Gardens are “purposefully devised as an oasis safe from the bustling city,” says Adrián. “You can submerge yourself in this green space with lots of biodiversity and greenhouses; activities and special events are available as well.”

20of 25

Watch a horse race.

There are more than 1,400 horse races each year at HipódromoArgentino de Palermo, which is located in the popular neighborhood of Palermo. If you’re staying nearby, you should walk to the hipódromo, as you’ll pass a lot of important landmarks on the way. There are also restaurants and bars in the complex.

21of 25

Catch a La Bomba de Tiempo show.

La Bomba de Tiempo is a percussion show at the Ciudad Cultural Konex. It's held every Monday night and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The venue hosts many other events that are worth experiencing throughout the week.

22of 25

Stargaze at Planetario Galileo Galilei.

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Planetario Galileo Galilei, located in Parque Tres de Febrero in Palermo, has a museum, exhibitions, and a viewing room where guests learn about the stars and planets. The structure resembles a planet itself — or a UFO — and is a unique way to spend an afternoon.

23of 25

Appreciate art in a museum or two.

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There are many museums in Buenos Aires worthy of a visit. For example, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Recoleta has artwork by Van Gogh and Rembrandt. “Admire the impressive collection of European and Argentinian art in this renowned French palace turned art museum,” says Adrián. "[It offers] free entrance, and is open Wednesday through Sunday." Another recommendation? Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA), which Adrián says "houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary Latin American art, like Frida Kahlo.” You can also visit the Museo Evita to “learn about the life and legacy of Eva Perón, one of Argentina’s most iconic figures.”

24of 25

Visit Usina del Arte.

Usina del Arte is an old power plant that has been converted into a cultural center and arts venue in the neighborhood of La Boca. There’s a symphony hall and art exhibitions; check out the venue's calendar before you visit to see what’s currently on display.

25of 25

Take a boat tour in Tigre.

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Adrián recommends taking a day trip to the Tigre Delta, describing it as “a picturesque area of rivers, canals, and islands, where you can enjoy boat rides and relax in nature, as well as visit the famous market, Puerto de Frutos. The most scenic way to go is by Tren de la Costa, an over-ground train accessible from Olivos neighborhood outside the city borders.”

The primary way to get around once you're in Tigre is by boat — there are even boat "school buses.” I recommend going on a smaller and private boat tour, as these vessels can reach areas that larger boats cannot.

Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires (2024)

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