South America

Top 10 Things to Do in Buenos Aires…and Beyond!

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  30 August 2018

One of South America’s most captivating capital cities and a mecca for fabulous shopping, sightseeing and culinary feasting, Buenos Aires is reason enough to tackle a cross-Atlantic flight – even more so when Air NZ decides to come to the party and start servicing NON-STOP flights, several times a week, from Auckland. A fabulous destination to discover at length and a metropolis offering so much to the explorer, the gourmet foodie, the shopper, the culture and history enthusiast and the lover of drop-dead-gorgeous EVERYTHING, the Argentinian capital is one of the most charming and utterly addictive cities you’ll ever have the pleasure of visiting.

Planning a 2-week Argentina vacation and adding a few days in Buenos Aires is just the pickle to spice up your travel life.

Here are the top 10 things to in Buenos Aires:
  1. Take in the main sites of Downtown Buenos Aires
  2. Get hopelessly lost in the cobblestone maze of San Telmo
  3. Catch a football match at La Bombonera Stadium
  4. Indulge in a romantic night of tango dancing
  5. Take an authentic cooking class
  6. Visit dead people at La Recoleta
  7. Enjoy a gorgeous sunset at Puerto Madero Waterfront
  8. Channel your inner gaucho and visit a ranch for the day
  9. Head off on a street-art walking tour of Palermo
  10. Visit Colonia... in Uruguay!


1.    Take in the main sites of Downtown Buenos Aires

Explore the Downtown of Buenos Aires. See all the trips to Argentina.

Rather than a collection of tourist traps meant to simply entice visitors to its core, Buenos Aires’ centre (known as Microcentro) is home to some of the most recognisable and outstanding landmarks in the whole continent. From Evita Peron’s beloved balcony at Casa Rosada and the magnificently ornate Metropolitan Cathedral in expansive Plaza de Mayo to the iconic Obelisk of Avenida 9th July, the magnificent Colon Theatre and the incredible Museum of National History, Downtown BA boasts a host of beautiful sites to see. This area is not the most ‘happening’ as far as nightlife and shopping is concerned but is undoubtedly a wonderful must-visit for every first-time visitor.

 

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2.    Get hopelessly lost in the cobblestone maze of San Telmo

Feel the spirit of old streets in San Telmo with our trips to Argentina

The city’s most historic quarter is a charming splendour of narrow alleyways, beautifully-restored palaces, charming boutiques and cafés and some of the most atmospheric tango bars in the city, tapping into the national dance’s origins. One of Buenos Aires’ most charismatic barrios, San Telmo is always hip ‘n happening, and its collection of beautiful art and craft boutiques attract porteños from every corner of the city on weekends. Base yourself here if you love nothing more than to be right in the thick of things. The Sunday San Telmo markets are the most famous in the city so make sure you don’t miss them!

 

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3.    Catch a football match at La Bombonera Stadium

Discover the culture of Argentina.

Argentinians rate their devotion to football as near-equivalent to their devotion to God and enjoying an Argentina vacation and not catching a football match is akin to going to France and not feasting on eclairs. A travesty, we say! The atmosphere of a live football match at the revered Estadio Alberto J Armando in Buenos Aires (known colloquially as La Bombonera – home turf of world-famous Boca Juniors) is out of this world and catching a match whilst in town – if you happen to visit during sporting season – rates as one of the most culturally intense experiences you could have, regardless of whether or not you actually love the sport. If you do, then steady yourself for an absolute treat of a lifetime, and if you don’t, well, we guarantee you’ll enjoy the spectacle nonetheless. Head to the La Boca hood to soak up the sight of one of the most famous football stadiums on the planet and squeeze in a side-visit to Caminito, the most colourful ‘alley’ in the city and one of its most photographed highlights.

 

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4.    Indulge in a romantic night of tango dancing

Explore trips to Argentina.

Widely considered one of the most romantic and sensual dances in the world, the Argentinian tango will raise the heart rate of even the most sedate of spectators and catching a performance is an absolute must for anyone on an Argentina vacation. Catch a tango & dinner show at one of the countless bars, clubs and restaurants that offer the eye-popping spectacle or go all-authentic and head to a milonga instead. Milongas are tango-dancing gatherings, held in various spots around the city which, for the most part, are open-air and free of charge. The spontaneous and mesmerizing leg-twisting and hip grinding is an absolute feast for the eyes, and if you’re keen to learn, you’ll find plenty of places that offer lessons to the uninhibited. Don’t be shy! When are you ever going to get this chance again?

 

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5.    Take your culinary experience to a whole new level with an authentic cooking class

Try local cuisine of Argentina.

If you’re headed to Buenos Aires, and you don’t yet know that you should aim to eat your bodyweight in steak and drink it in Malbec, then we have some serious talking to do. If you’ve already got those on your list, however, then we have another stellar suggestion you may not have considered. If you’re anything like us, then you’d rate gastronomic discoveries among the most exciting travel experiences of all, and when you visit Buenos Aires, you can soak up the city’s amazing epicurean prowess in grand fashion. If you’d love to take it up a notch, however, and dream of reaaaally getting your hands dirty (literally and figuratively speaking) then opt for one of the best-rated cooking classes instead, where you’ll learn all about the art of making local specialities like empanadas, dulce de leche, flan and and chimichurri sauce from scratch, how to cook the perfect steak and how to enjoy your spoils at the end of all the hard work with a mouth-watering glass of vino tinto at hand (this may just be the best part!). The most popular options are Tierra Negra Cooking Classes and El Arte de Amasar. Coming home with a newly learnt menu of delectable Argentinian treats would have to rate as one of the best intangible souvenirs of all.

 

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6.    Visit dead people at La Recoleta

Include La Recoleta to your itinerary in Argentina.

Alrighty then, this may seem a little random but just hear us out! Not nearly as macabre or disturbing as the title might suggest, La Recoleta is home to the city’s premier cemetery, the last resting place of some of Argentina’s most illustrious personalities, including Eva Peron, arguably the most divisive character in the country’s history. The most famous and inarguably most beautiful cemetery in the world covers over 5 hectares, and you’ll literally need a map to find your way around. Nobel laureates, scientists, actors, politicians and even the granddaughter of Napoleon are buried here, among a collection of amazing mausoleums that have been heritage-listed by the government. Ornate, elaborate and outstanding in architecture and preservation, the above-ground vaults at La Recoleta are resplendent even if the residents no longer are. Home in one of Buenos Aires’ most upmarket barrios, the cemetery may be the most famous highlight in La Recoleta but the entire quarter, with its wide boulevards, upmarket boutiques and hotels, as well as glorious colonial-era mansions, is worthy of a full-day exploration at the very least.

 

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7.    Enjoy a stroll and gorgeous sunset at Puerto Madero Waterfront

Enjoy the skyscraper view in Argentina

The newly-refurbished port area is swiftly becoming one of the best destinations for a late-night relaxing dinner although heading here to catch the last day’s rays – and a few sundowners – is much more rewarding. With its ultra-modern architecture and overall slickness, Puerto Madero is not necessarily the most captivating side of Buenos Aires, a city whose 500 years of history literally oozes from every corner of its oldest suburbs yet this seaside area is, nevertheless, a pleasure to stroll around on a balmy summer evening.

 

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8.    Channel your inner gaucho and visit a ranch for the day

Experience the wilderness of Argentina on our trips

Explore the wild side of Argentina on a day-trip to one of the many authentic ranches found within close proximity of Buenos Aires. Offering an insightful glimpse of life on a local farm, estancia visits usually include a fully-guided tour, gaucho performance, a stint of horse-riding if you dare and, to finish off the stellar day, a glorious BBQ lunch of local carnivorous specialities served with (surprise surprise) plenty of red wine. A perfect day out in the countryside…Argy style!

 

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9.    Head off on a street-art walking tour of Palermo

Enjoy amazing views of Palermo city during the trip in Argentina

Oh, Palermo, we love you to bits! The three-in-one barrio is the trendiest corner of Buenos Aires and what a marvellously extensive corner it is. Between the street art, trendy cafés, boutique hotels, manicured public gardens, museums and sooo much more, Palermo is the one hood that can kidnap you for days on end. That’s really why we’ve placed in at #9: if we’d told you about this place any earlier, we would have never managed to drag you around anywhere else!

 

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10.  Visit Colonia…in Uruguay!

Visit UNESCO protected sites of Argentina.

It may seem strange to recommend you leave the city at ANY time during your visit to Buenos Aires but considering the impossibly charming Colonia is just there it would be a travesty to miss a visit. Across the bay from Buenos Aires, merely an hour’s ferry ride away, the stunning UNESCO-listed treasure that is Colonia di Sacramento is a postcard-perfect place to visit for the day. Cobblestone streets, vintage cars and a stunning infusion of Portuguese culture grant this incredible city its unique vibe. You can literally walk through an enticing era of the country’s history as you meander through Old Town, a beautifully-preserved core that’s easy to explore on foot. Just make sure you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes. If you prefer, hop over on a 3-day stopover from Buenos Aires to take in the highlights of Colonia and Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital and one of South America’s best-kept city secrets.

 

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Both a spectacular springboard for multi-country touring of South America and a splendid destination of its own accord, Buenos Aires is the capital city by which all others should be measured. Explore it on a dedicated Buenos Aires Stopover tour or make the most out of your trip across the big blue seas and include Buenos Aires on a whirlwind tour which includes magnificent Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro, Big Five Explorer or a rewarding culinary and cultural discovery on a Wine, Dine and Dance tour.

Contact us for more info and help in planning a personalised, bespoke tour starting from Buenos Aires.

 

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