Buenos Aires is a city like no other. A city of tango, food, shopping and nightlife. A city that inspires to greatness, that gets under your skin, and is both confident and cool, sexy and fabulous. An oasis of European splender tucked away in South America – Any true Porteños (the city’s residents) will tell you how they are far closer to their European brothers than the rest of the continent.
Buenos Aires has forever been made to endure comparisons as the ‘Paris of the South’, but in reality it’s the opposite – an eclectic and mis-mashed composition of changing ideas and architecture. A fan of any building style will undoubtably be able to find it here, alongside something completely constructing – an uneasy partnership of architecture that somehow just works.
Beyond the high-rise buildings the long Latin nights, pizza and pasta galore, busy avenues, milongas (dance events) and street-side cafes come together to create this dynamic city. It’s fiery Latin heart burns brightest as night falls and men and women congregate in city plazas and parks with strategically places plywood for a night of tango and pure passion. A city with a twist, that you can fall in love with, dream about and yet not quite pin down. I loved every minute in Buenos Aires and want to proclaim it to the world – And so I have put together my list of the top things to see in Buenos Aires. This city can be overwhelming, chaotic, and frustrating, but trust me – give her some time and you will fall for her too!
Top Things to See in Buenos Aires
#1. Grab your walking shoes and explore this cities eclectic architectural ensemble. BA may be known as the ‘Paris of the South’ but its not hard to find practically every style the of the world on display here.
#2. Visit Buenos Aires’ Recoleta Cemetery – one of the only true must see’s in this city. Pay your respects to the cities fabulously rich and wealthy’s deceased and marvel at their opulent tombs. Surely one of the world’s most extra-ordinary graveyards.
#3. Wander the streets and down-town of Buenos Aires. Admire the world’s widest boulevard and the air of sophistication as the city comes to life all around you.
#4. Sniff out a bargain in San Telmo’s antique market – Every Sunday the cities largest market comes to life, extending across 5km of city streets. Every treasure, trinket and trophy you could possibly imagine are on display here, and then some. Venture along from the main square and you’ll find another mile of markets selling all sorts of handicrafts and souvenirs. Bargain hard, and ensure you have plenty of luggage space to take it all home with you!
#5. Hang around after sunset for the cities most lively street performances. In San Telmo after the markets pack away the street is taken over by drummers, flag wavers and samba dance groups all moving to their on beat and making the atmosphere positively infectious. A mini-carnival!
#6. Hunt down one of the cities many milongas (dance events). Tango is the life and soul of this city and no where can you see it displayed better than these informal gatherings that occur around the city each night. Cheaper and more authentic than a touristic tango show, make sure you get up and give it a go yourself. Don’t me shy!
#7. Admire the stunning array of street art adorning walls throughout the city. Graffitimundo [a non-profit] runs regular tours around the city and hosts some artists in its galleries. Check out my guide to street art in Buenos Aires here.
#8. Explore the barrio (district) of Puerto Madero, the recently renovated old port area of Buenos Aires, now a thriving entertainment area. In a city which famously faces away from the sea this neighbourhood offers a point of difference and intrigue.
#9. Take a free walking tour and discover more of the cities past and present through politics. Argentina has a relatively short yet rollercoaster history that you don’t want to miss out on. Find out more about why I love free walking tours here.
#10. Shop till you drop (or your credit card begs you to stop at least!). Buenos Aires is a true shopper’s paradise and is covered with shopping arcades lined with a plethora of clothing and shoe stores, leather shops and everything in between. Have fun!
#11. Make a day trip to La Plata – the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires. An under-rated destination full of hidden gems which will surprise you – the cathedral and natural history museum being prime examples. An off-the-beaten track destination for sure – but 100% worth it.
#12 Engorge yourself on delicious steak and red wine at one of Buenos Aires many many delicious steakhouses or parrillas. Check out this guide for the best places to eat and drink in BA!
#13. Escape the urban jungle in the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve, a 360-hectare green area on the edge of Puerto Madero which offers a respite from the heat and pace of city life.
#14. Lose yourself in the many restaurants, galleries, art works and design store of Palermo. There are simply too many to list but half the joy is in finding them for yourself right!
So there you have it, the top things to see in Buenos Aires! More than just tango and steak… Let me know what you think of this incredible Latin city and as always, if you think I have missed some essentials out please share with me below!