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How to Spend 3 Days in Buenos Aires

How to Spend 3 Days in Buenos Aires

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Buenos Aires is an incredibly vibrant city – and one of the top places in Latin America. It’s often referred to as “the Paris of South America” because of its beautiful architecture, thriving café culture, and cosmopolitan vibe.

This is one of the best places to visit in Argentina and was on my travel bucket list for a long time before I came here. But when I arrived, I was surprised to learn that lots of travelers only see it as a gateway to Patagonia or Iguazu Falls.

Don’t get me wrong – they’re amazing as well – but Buenos Aires has a ton to offer, from interesting history to amazing food and nightlife. The only trouble with this city is that it’s so big that putting an itinerary together can be tricky – which is why we’ve done it for you! 

Even though Buenos Aires is huge, 3 days here is enough time to see the best sights and enjoy some fantastic cultural experiences. We’ve grouped the activities so that you don’t waste time zig-zagging all over the city. So if you’re planning a trip to Buenos Aires, this 3-day guide can help you make the most of every moment. 

Day 1 in Buenos Aires – Historic Highlights and Recoleta

Morning – Sightseeing tour

A sculpture on the streets of Buenos Aires on a walking tour
These sculptures are from a famous cartoon in Latin America!
The Puente de la Mujer in Buenos Aires
The Puente de la Mujer in Buenos Aires

A sightseeing tour is a great way to kick off a couple of days in any new city, but especially one as big as Buenos Aires (did you know it has 48 different neighborhoods?!). 

Most sightseeing tours will focus on the Plaza de Mayo, which is the main city square. Here, you can see several important buildings, including Buenos Aires City Hall, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Casa Rosada (which is the presidential seat of Argentina). 

Small group city tour

A brightly colored building in the Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
A brightly colored building in the Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina

I did this small group city tour and found that it was a great introduction to Buenos Aires. It’s a driving tour, so there’s not too much walking involved. So if you’ve just landed, you can rest as your guide teaches you all about Argentina’s history. 

The 3-hour tour starts with a drive through San Telmo, the historic Bohemian quarter. I feel there’s something really romantic about the old architecture and cobblestone streets in this area. Starting the day driving through here really sets the tone for your trip!

Then, you head to La Boca to explore. La Boca is a historically working-class neighborhood that was mainly inhabited by immigrants from all over the world. They built houses with leftover materials from the nearby dockyard and used whatever paint they could find to decorate, which is why the houses are so colorful! 

You get to spend about 20-30 minutes exploring La Boca by yourself. For me, this was one of the highlights of the tour. However, please be careful with your belongings and taking pictures around this area. While it’s full of charm, it’s also known for pickpockets and phone-snatchers.

After that, you head to Plaza de Mayo to see Casa Rosada (this translates to “the pink house,” so should be easy to spot!). You also get to go inside the Metropolitan Cathedral. Once inside, you’ll visit the mausoleum of San Martin, a national hero who led the 1812 revolution against Spanish rule in Argentina.

Then, this tour will drive some of Buenos Aires’ most desirable neighborhoods, including Palermo and Recoleta, and visit the Plaza de los Naciones Unidas. This is a big urban park where you’ll find the Floralis Genérica, a huge metal flower sculpture. It used to open and close, but it has been broken for a few years now.

Finally, you drive past Recoleta Cemetery, which is a huge and ornate cemetery where many famous historical figures, including Eva Perón, are buried. You have the choice to get off the tour bus here and explore the cemetery, which costs around $6 USD. Since the afternoon portion of this itinerary is focused on Recoleta, we recommend that you do that! 

This tour costs $29 USD per person, including transportation and your knowledgeable guide. We thought it was a great deal, given everything that we got to see. You’ll be picked up at your hotel between 8:30 and 9:30 am (the closer you are to San Telmo, the later your pickup time will be). If you get off at Recoleta Cemetery, the tour will end around 12:30 pm. 

You can book this tour online here and trust us, it really is the perfect intro to Buenos Aires!

Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Bailey on the hop on hop off bus in Buenos Aires
Old ship in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Puerto Madero!

We love hop-on hop-off buses because they make getting around a new place so easy. Yet, you can still explore independently. 

You can buy a 24-hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus ticket for $25 USD. Buses run daily from 9:40 am to 5:30 pm, so it gives you lots of flexibility! We recommend heading to the Plaza de Mayo first because this is where the tour route starts. The Hop-on Hop-off Bus stop is a 5-minute walk from Plaza de Mayo. From there, you can hop on and begin your bus tour!

You can either take an Uber to Plaza de Mayo or take the subway to Plaza de Mayo station – it’s at the very end of line A (the light blue line on the map). However, you’ll need a SUBE card to take public transit in the city (more on that in our subway section down below!).

There are 25 stops total on this city bus route, but we recommend staying on as you travel through La Boca and San Telmo (we’re going to explore them in way more depth on day 2 of this itinerary). But it’s still really nice to ride through them on an open-top bus! 

The first stop after La Boca is Costanera Sur, where you’ll find the Buenos Aires Ecoparque. Nature is the one thing that Buenos Aires doesn’t have much of, so it’s really nice to explore this area, and you can often see capybaras here! I had no idea what these cute little creatures were at first, but was surprised to see them bouncing freely around many Buenos Aires parks! Entry is free, and you can walk around as you please. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm, but is closed on Mondays. 

You can also get off at Puerto Madero to explore the swanky riverside area. However, we found that this part of the city only really comes alive at night. 

You can also stop at Galerías Pacífico, a beautiful 3-storey shopping mall that really makes you understand why Buenos Aires is nicknamed “the Paris of the South.” It’s even got a ceiling mural that would rival many cathedrals! 

Other stops on the way to Recoleta include Plaza de San Martin, the Floralis Genérica, Chinatown, and the National Museum of Decorative Art. It’s up to you where you want to get off and explore, but the next part of our itinerary takes you through the Recoleta neighborhood. As such, I recommend getting off at the Av. del Libertador stop, which is a 10-minute walk from the cemetery. 

You can book your Hop-on Hop-off Bus ticket online here. It’s such a good way to get your bearings on day 1 in Buenos Aires. Plus, you can take note of any spots you’d like to return later on your trip!

Bike tour

A bike on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Colonial Street in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Colonial Street in Buenos Aires, Argentina

There are so many awesome tours in Buenos Aires – and another one we absolutely love is this bike tour. This tour allows you to cover a lot of ground in just four hours. You’ll see several different neighborhoods and get a solid feel for the city – along with some exercise!

It begins at 9:30 am in Plaza San Martin, right next to the General San Martin subway station on line C. It takes you along the river through the upscale Puerto Madero neighborhood and the green eco-park. You’ll also pedal past the colorful houses of La Boca and the Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhood, San Telmo. Finally, you’ll cycle around Plaza de Mayo before ending back at Plaza San Martin. 

This guided tour is a fun way to explore for anyone who enjoys cycling. Luckily, the entire city is super flat, so it’s pretty smooth sailing. Plus, Buenos Aires has bike lanes almost everywhere you go, and we like that you get to explore the nature reserve, too. 

This tour costs $35 USD. Prices include a comfy beach cruiser bike, helmets, a bottle of water, and any rain gear (if needed). You can also request child seats if you’re traveling with little ones. Tours leave daily at 9:30 am or 2 pm, and you should be there at least 15 minutes before that.

To get your bearings and some exercise, check availability and book your dates online here!

If you do this tour, it’s a 25-minute walk (or a $2 USD Uber ride) from the endpoint to our next stop, Recoleta Cemetery. You could also take the subway, but we don’t recommend this. There are so many changes involved en route that it ended up being faster and easier to walk!

Related Read: For those who love active vacations, check out our guide to hiking Mount Fitz Roy (Laguna de los Tres), which is right on the border between Chile and Argentina.

OR

Explore Plaza de Mayo by yourself

Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires

Sometimes, we like enjoying a slower morning and discovering things on our own. So if you don’t want to take a guided tour, then you can always explore Plaza de Mayo by yourself. 

You can check out Casa Rosada (and spot the balcony where Eva Perón famously addressed the crowds). You can also enter the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is free and open on weekdays from 7:45 am – 6:45 pm and on weekends from 9 am – 6:45 pm. Just be respectful if any services are happening.

In this plaza, you’ll also find other important buildings like the Cabildo. This was the city hall in the 18th century and is now a museum housing heritage pieces. It’s also free to enter and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm.

La Librería de Avila, the city’s oldest bookstore, is also nearby, and this is worth checking out. We didn’t find many English books here, but they have lots of rare items. Its old-worldly atmosphere is basically a book lover’s dream. This bookstore is open weekdays from 9 am – 7 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am – 3 pm.

You can also walk from Plaza de Mayo to El Obelisco, which is a 15-minute walk down Av. Pres. Roque Sáenz Peña. It’s one of the city’s most famous landmarks, and it was built to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Buenos Aires. If you watched any videos of the post-World-Cup madness, you would have seen masses of people celebrating here.

After that, you can hop on the subway at 9 de Julio station and travel on line D to Santa Fe Carlos Jáuregui, then change to line H and stay on for one more stop. Get off at Las Heras in Recoleta. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk to the cemetery. You’ll need a SUBE card to ride the subway station (which we discuss in more detail in the section about the subway further down).

Or, if that sounds like too much hassle, it only costs about $5 USD to take an Uber to Recoleta Cemetary instead. 

Afternoon – Explore Recoleta

Beautiful buildings in Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
You don’t feel like you’re in Buenos Aires anymore!

I think Recoleta is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. It’s also one of the most culturally significant, too. It has long been the area where many of the city’s wealthiest and most notable residents live. You’ll see lots of Parisian-style buildings here, as well as palatial homes and upmarket boutiques. 

We think exploring Recoleta is an absolute must – even if you only have a couple of days in Buenos Aires. But if you want to know specific places to go, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading for our favorite spots in Recoleta.

Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires
Recoleta Cemetery!
Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires Argentina
It’s an odd tourist attraction!

The cemetery is by far the most famous landmark in Recoleta, and trust us, this is no ordinary graveyard!

The Recoleta Cemetery is full of marble mausoleums which have been built in several different architectural styles, including Art Deco and neo-gothic. These tombs really are something to see, and lots of them feature sculptures and very ornate details. My pictures above are really just a sneak peek of what you’ll find inside!

In fact, the cemetery kind of feels like a little town within itself because some of the mausoleums are almost big enough to live inside. It’s a little eerie but really interesting to visit, and the place is huge. When you enter, you get a map to help you locate the final resting places of famous Argentinian figures, including many presidents, poets, and intellectuals. 

You should also keep an eye out for the statue of Liliana Crociati, who died on her honeymoon in Austria in the 1970s. Her parents memorialized her in her wedding dress with her beloved pet dog at her side. Rubbing the dog’s nose is said to be lucky – if you pass by, you’ll see that so many visitors have done this that the metal has changed color! 

In the summer, the cemetery is open from 8 am until 6 pm daily. In the winter, it’s open from 9 am to 5 pm. Entry for foreigners costs around $6 USD. The rate in pesos changes really fast due to inflation, but luckily, prices stay the same when you’re converting foreign currency. 

Grab a beer at Buller Pub and Brewery or Temple

Buller Pub beer in Buenos Aires
Photo credit: Buller Pub
Buller Pub in Buenos Aires
Photo credit: Buller Pub

If you’ve read any of our blogs before, you’ll know that we’re huge craft beer fans! It just so happens that there are two great craft beer spots right opposite the Recoleta Cemetery. 

Buenos Aires has a great craft beer scene, so it would be a shame not to sample some of their best brews while you’re in the city! 

So if exploring the cemetery has left you feeling thirsty, head for a cold one at either Buller Pub or Temple Bar. Both are great, although we personally opted for Buller because Temple has locations all over the city, and we had been before.

Buller Brewpub has a lovely outdoor terrace with a view overlooking the cemetery. They have a good selection of craft beer and bar bites. Their Papa Bear Honey beer is delicious, but be warned, it’s strong! They’re open from noon till 2 or 3 am daily.

As we mentioned, Temple Bar is a city-wide chain. They serve everything from IPAs to honey beers and stouts in colorful cans. If you stop by the Recoleta location, you can try one of their beers on tap, along with some bar food. It’s open daily from noon till past midnight (Buenos Aires is a late-night culture, after all!).

Visit El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Inside El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Inside El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina

After your refreshments, it’s time to head to El Ateneo Grand Splendid. It’s the world’s second-largest bookstore, but it’s not only size that makes this bookshop so cool; it’s the fact that it’s housed in a beautiful old theater! 

Sadly, despite its size, the English section is tiny and has a very limited selection. However, this bookstore is still definitely worth checking out because it’s just so elegant and unique. Plus, there’s a cafe on stage where you can grab a coffee and an empanada while you admire how pretty this place is. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 9 am – 9 pm and on Sundays from 12 pm – 9 pm.

Evening: Eat delicious Argentinian steak

No trip to Argentina is complete without trying some amazing Argentinian steak (unless you’re a vegetarian, of course).

Buenos Aires is home to tons of excellent parrillas where you can enjoy some incredible steak. We recommend heading to the Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood neighborhoods (which border one another) after your first day of exploring. Here, you’ll find some of the city’s top steakhouses – which we’ve highlighted below!

Don Julio

Steak diiner at Don Julio  in Buenos Aires
Steak dinner at Don Julio in Buenos Aires! Photo credit: Don Julio

Don Julio is probably the most famous restaurant in Buenos Aires (and Argentina) and has a reputation for being the best steakhouse in the city. However, it’s very touristy, and honestly, the steak here isn’t vastly superior to the steak you’ll find anywhere else. 

We can understand wanting to eat here, though, because it’s so famous! Just make sure to book a table well in advance because it’s super popular. You can do it easily via their website. You can expect to pay between $25-$30 USD for a steak here. The portion sizes are large, so it’s best to share! 

The restaurant is open every day from 11:30 am – 4 pm and again from 7 pm until 1 pm. If you don’t manage to make a reservation, your best bet is to arrive super early and wait in line. Luckily, they’ve been known to serve complimentary champagne while you wait!

Hierro

My personal favorite steak restaurant in Buenos Aires is Hierro, and there’s one right in Palermo Hollywood. The ribeye steak is amazing, and I highly recommend their triple dulce de leche dessert! 

Hierro is also way cheaper than Don Julio, and I think the steak is just as good. But on the flip side, it’s not as famous. It costs around $13 USD for a steak here, and like Don Julio, it’s open late (daily from 12 pm till around midnight).

There’s another Hierro in the San Telmo Market, so if you’re staying in San Telmo, you could go to that one instead. However, they’re only open weekends from 12 pm – 7 pm and Tuesday through Friday from 12 pm to about 4. So it would be more of a lunch or merienda by local standards!

The Argentine Experience

my steak at the Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires
It was cooked perfectly!
Our guide explaining about the food at the Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires
The guide was fantastic!

However, if you’re not in Buenos Aires for long, I think the best way to dive into the food culture here is to book the Argentine Experience. It’s a 3-hour-long immersive dining experience during which you get to make your own empanadas, try lots of Argentinian wine, and eat amazing steak! 

You’ll also get tons of appetizers and two mouthwatering desserts. Plus, you’ll watch fun short presentations on different aspects of Argentinian culture (like how to make road rage gestures!). 

We had such a great time when we did this, and it was actually one of my favorite experiences that I had in the whole of Argentina! In fact, I loved it so much that I even wrote a whole blog about the Argentine Experience.

And don’t worry if you’re a vegetarian, either. When we went, all the vegetarians and people with allergies at our table were very well catered for. We were actually a little surprised by this, as the diet in Buenos Aires tends to be a very long way from plant-based! Just let them know what your requirements are when you book, and you’ll still get your money’s worth. 

It costs $98 USD, so it’s pricier than going out for a meal, but you get SO much food and also a really great insight into the culture of Buenos Aires. The evening starts at 7:30 pm or for $32 USD more, you can enjoy a wine cocktail class starting at 6:15 pm.

If you’re already sold on the Argentine Experience, you can check availability and book it online here!

Related Read: Those who love chocolate, skiing, and mountains might want to visit the town of Bariloche. You can read all about fun things to do in Bariloche here!

Late Night: Uptown

Entrance to Uptown Speak Easy in Buenos Aires
The entrance! Photo credit: Uptown
Uptown bar in Buenos Aires
The inside! Photo credit: Uptown

Buenos Aires is famous for its nightlife, and most of the best spots are in Palermo! If you can still move after your steak dinner, we recommend heading to Uptown. It’s just a short walk or Uber ride from all of the spots we suggested above. 

Uptown is a speakeasy bar disguised as a subway station, and you enter it through a fake train carriage. It’s really cool, and they play great music inside that you can dance to. There’s also a Pharmacy-themed cocktail lounge inside if you prefer something a bit quieter. 

They’re open nightly from 8 pm till 2 am or later. After midnight, you often have to wait in line to get into Uptown, especially on weekends. Luckily, the advantage of being a tourist in Buenos Aires is that you generally tend to arrive at places before the locals do! 

Once you’re inside, try a fernet con coca, which is a popular local drink. Fernet is an aromatic liquor that originated in Italy, and Argentinians love to mix it with Coke. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but it’s a must-try on a night out in Buenos Aires! To my surprise, I actually quite liked it. 

Day 2 in Buenos Aires – San Telmo and La Boca

Morning – San Telmo

Shop in San Telmo Mrket
Shop in San Telmo Market

San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, and it has an amazing, Bohemian vibe. There’s lots of street art, colonial houses, and awesome eateries, as well as the famous San Telmo Market (more on this below!). 

If you did one of the sightseeing tours of Buenos Aires on day 1, then you probably will have passed through San Telmo. But day 2 is time for a deeper exploration of this cool and creative area. 

Lots of visitors end up staying in San Telmo, but if you stay more centrally in areas like Palermo or Puerto Madero, the easiest way to get here is to take an Uber. You can also take the subway to Independencia on line E. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk to the heart of the neighborhood.

Breakfast at the San Telmo Market

People eat inside the San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires
Photo credit: Carolina_J Depositphotos

San Telmo Market is probably the most famous market in Buenos Aires, and we definitely think that that title is justified.

It’s been around since 1897 and started out as a place where European immigrants could buy fresh produce. Nowadays, you can still buy produce here, but the focus is on dining out. There’s so much choice; you can treat yourself to baked goods, steak, cocktails, craft beer, and Belgian frites, to name just a few!

There are plenty of stalls here where you can grab a coffee and a few medialunas (half-moon-shaped croissants that are popular breakfast fare in Buenos Aires). But if you start later in the morning, there are plenty of great options for brunch, too!

The market opens at 10 am, and we recommend getting there around that time because the market is pretty much always busy, especially at weekends. It’s technically open till 8 pm, but many shops and eateries close early.

Visit Plaza Dorrego

People dance at Plaza Dorrego in Buenos Aires
People dance at Plaza Dorrego in Buenos Aires. Photo credit: Shinylion Depositphotos

Plaza Dorrego is the square in the center of San Telmo, right next to the market. It’s an especially great place to visit on a Sunday when there’s an antiques market here. You often see tango dancers performing here on Sundays, too! 

But even if you’re not here on a Sunday, it’s still worth checking out some of the traditional cafes around the square. I’d also recommend exploring the nearby streets, which are all very Instagram-worthy. There’s also a small art gallery here with the classic colorful umbrellas hanging above.

Go wine tasting

One of our favorite things about San Telmo is that it’s home to lots of little boutique wine bars where you can sample some local wines. Argentina is especially well known for its excellent Malbec (which goes really well with all the steak here, just FYI). Local wineries also produce a lot of Chardonnay if you prefer white wines. 

Tierra Mendocina is right in the San Telmo Market and is the perfect place to go wine tasting or grab a bottle to take home. They’re open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm.

The 1853 Experience is another fantastic choice. It’s really cozy inside, and they only stock wines from small independent wineries. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am – 8 pm.

Related Read: Wine lovers should also plan a trip to Mendoza, Argentina! This is the capital of wine-making in the country and the best wine tours in Mendoza will have you sipping wine with scenic views.

San Telmo Sherpa Food Tour

Food on The Sherpa Experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Food on The Sherpa Experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina

There are some great places to grab lunch in San Telmo, but this Sherpa Food Tour offers the ultimate local experience. Over the course of 3.5 hours, you explore San Telmo on foot and stop off at five different eateries. You’ll try loads of different traditional dishes, including empanadas and picadas, which are like the Argentinian version of tapas or antipasti. 

Also, you’ll get to try local beers, wines, and maybe even some fernet, along with all of the food. There’s a maximum of eight participants per group, so we think that this is a great tour for solo travelers or couples looking to meet new people. 

This food tour starts at 11:30 am inside Bar El Federal, which is quite famous among locals. Wear comfy shoes (and loose pants!) since you’ll be walking to different places, including both fine dining and lesser-known hole-in-the-wall establishments. The tour ends at Zanjon de Granados, which is a traditional restaurant steeped in history.

Tours cost $75 USD, which is an amazing price considering all the food and drinks you get! It covers everything we mentioned and a super friendly guide who shares loads of info about each location, the food, and the neighborhood.

It’s not available every day, but you can check your dates and book the Food Sherpa Tour online here!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Afternoon – La Boca

Bailey sits on the colorful streets of La Boca, Buenos Aires
La Boca!
A statue in the Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
So cool!

It’s about a 25-minute walk from San Telmo to La Boca, but it’s a pretty nice route, and this area is totally safe during the day. If you don’t want to walk, you’ll need to take an Uber, as there’s no subway station in La Boca. 

There are some things you should know about La Boca. First off, its name means “the mouth” because the area sits at the mouth of the Matanza River. This is where many immigrants arriving from Asia and Europe first set foot in Argentina, and lots of them settled there. 

The houses in La Boca were built using leftover shipyard materials and paints. The neighborhood became known for its garra, or fighting spirit, thanks to the resilience of the locals in the face of the area’s social problems.

La Boca is also the birthplace of the tango, and as you explore its winding streets, you’ll see lots of dancers performing and taking photos with tourists. 

You might have stopped in La Boca on your sightseeing tour, but most itineraries only give you 20-30 minutes to explore. We recommend coming back and spending longer. It’s definitely one of the city’s most interesting areas, and we loved hanging out here!

Both San Telmo and La Boca (but more so La Boca) are known to be tourist hotspots. As such, pickpockets and phone snatchers tend to frequent the area (some even grab phones while riding by on bikes). That being said, we didn’t have any bad experiences! However, we do recommend wearing cross-body purses that fully zip and being careful when taking your phone out.

El Caminito

A famous street in the Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
A famous street in the La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Colorful buildins in the Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Why don’t they paint more streets like this?!

El Caminito is the most famous street in La Boca. It’s actually now an open-air museum, but once upon a time was a regular residential street. It followed the Matanza River (also known as the Riachuelo), but after the river dried up, it became part of the railroad street. You can still see some tracks nearby!

The railroad was eventually abandoned, and El Caminito was too. But in the 1950s, a group of La Boca residents decided to revive it. Now, the buildings are regularly repainted and are home to restaurants and bars where you can sit outside and watch tango dancers perform. 

La Bombonera Football Stadium

La Bombonera Football Stadium
La Bombonera Football Stadium!

La Bombonera Stadium is the home of Boca Juniors, one of Buenos Aires’ two famous football teams. They have a fierce rivalry with River Plate, the historically richer team, to the point where fights break out during games. We watched one match that was extended by 20 minutes due to a brawl on the pitch!

In fact, Argentinians are so passionate about football that only home fans are allowed into the stadium during games. So if you were a River Fan, you wouldn’t be allowed into La Bombonera to support your team, or vice versa. 

You can get a tour of La Bombonera by visiting the museum inside the stadium. Stadium tours were temporarily suspended last time we checked, but you can opt for this skip-the-line tour of the museum for $32 USD. It’s a private tour so you can ask your guide tons of questions, they’ll tell you fun little stories (like how the stadium got its name … hint … it has to do with chocolate!) and enjoy an inside look at a soccer museum that was the first of its kind in South America! You can even opt to include transportation from your hotel or a guided tour through Caminito afterward when you book online. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and the ticket office closes by 5:30 pm.

Check out the Quinquela Museum of Fine Arts

Housed inside one of La Boca’s many brightly colored buildings, the Quinquela Museum is home to some excellent examples of Argentinian art. These pieces show how life in La Boca has changed from the late 19th century to the present day. 

The collection includes many works by Quinquela Martín, who is considered to be one of the most talented and prolific Argentine artists of all time. Martín is famed for his vibrant oil paintings that depicted life in La Boca, so where better to check them out than in the heart of the neighborhood itself?

The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:15 am – 6 pm and costs roughly $1 USD to enter.

Evening – Puerto Madero 

Puerto Madero at night in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Puerto Madero at night in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is known for its Parisian architecture and traditional cafes but Puerto Madero is the exact opposite. It’s sleek, with lots of corporate skyscrapers, fancy restaurants, and luxury apartments. 

It feels a world away from La Boca! 

Again, you’ll probably pass through Puerto Madero if you do a sightseeing tour on day 1, but this area is pretty dead during the day. At night, however, it’s the place to be with lots of fun bars and restaurants along the river. 

Since there’s no subway in La Boca, it’s best to take an Uber to Puerto Madero. Below, we have our top suggestions on where to grab dinner and drinks in the area!

Dinner by the river 

There are lots of nice places to eat in Puerto Madero, so you could just walk up and down the riverfront and see what tickles your fancy. But if you have trouble choosing, we have a few recommendations. 

If you’re in the mood for pizza, we recommend heading to Pizzeria Popular. Here you can try Argentinian pizza, which is basically a thick-crust pizza with onions and tons and tons of cheese. It’s open from 12 pm – 1 am every day.

Osaka is also great for sushi. It’s open for dinner from 7 pm – 12 am. It can get busy around Argentine dinner time, but luckily, that’s not till past 9 pm. So if you come earlier, you shouldn’t have to wait long.

Or, if you want to eat steak again (because you’re in Buenos Aires, after all), Cabaña las Lilas serves delicious meat and has a nice atmosphere. They also serve traditional foods like grilled Provoleta cheese and mollejas de corazon, which is the local sweetbread.

Cabaña las Lilas is open daily from 12 pm – 12 am. You can make reservations by messaging them on Whatsapp (+ 54 9 11 3559-9199) or via email (restaurant@restlaslilas.com.ar).

Drinks at Peñón del Águila Puerto Madero 

If you want to finish off your evening with a few drinks, Peñón del Águila is an awesome floating bar right on the river. It also specializes in craft beer, so you know we had to include it in our Buenos Aires itinerary! 

There’s a really fun atmosphere here, and sometimes local DJs perform sets later in the evening. Don’t leave it too late to come here, though. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting in a long line to get in. It’s open till 1 am on weeknights and 3 am on weekends.

Day 3 in Buenos Aires

Morning – Tigre Delta Tour or Buenos Aires Ecoparque

Tigre Delta and San Isidro Tour

View of the Tigre Museum, Argentina
View of the Tigre Museum, Argentina

Buenos Aires has a lot of charm, but it’s still a big, bustling city. It’s nice to get out on a day trip from Buenos Aires and see a different, slower-paced side of life in Argentina! So on your third morning in this city, we recommend this half-day tour. It takes you sailing up the river to see San Isidro and Tigre, two small towns outside of Buenos Aires. 

My favorite part of this tour is the scenic boat ride along Rio de La Plata and the Tigre Delta. You’ll head out around 9 am, and start your morning with fresh air and gorgeous riverside scenery.

You’ll enjoy refreshments onboard, and once in Tigre, you’ll snack on some homemade empanadas. Then, you’ll visit Puerto de Frutos, which is a local market selling local foods, artisan crafts, and souvenirs. This is the top tourist destination in Tigre and is a great place to buy something to remember your trip!

From there, you’ll drive to San Isidro, an upscale beachside town with cobblestone streets and mansions. You’ll visit the town’s cathedral, which is a gorgeous neo-gothic building that has been very well-kept.

Overall, you’ll get a good feel for how different the atmosphere is in these small delta towns compared to the capital. Since it’s day 3, it’ll be really nice to experience a slower pace and get out of the city a bit!

This 5-hour tour is really family-friendly and such a nice way to spend a morning. It costs $89 USD per adult and $44 USD per child (ages 3-8), including hotel pickup and dropoff, the boat ride, and snacks along the way. Alternatively, you can forego the hotel pickup and dropoff and just join your group at the meeting point for $79 USD per adult and $40 USD per child.

You can check availability and book this Tigre River Delta cruise online here.

Related Read: If you’re visiting the southern portion of Argentina, check out our top tours in Ushuaia here!

OR

Visit Tres de Febrero Park

Rose gardens at Tres de Febrero Park 
Rose gardens at Tres de Febrero Park

If you want a more relaxed, late start to the morning, you could always head to the most beautiful park in Buenos Aires instead. This is also a great free thing to do, so it’s a nice way to spend the morning if you’re on a budget. 

Tres de Febrero Park is a beautiful public park with two lakes and a rose garden, so it’s a nice dose of nature in the concrete jungle that is Buenos Aires. There’s a walking trail by the lake that is a great place to stroll, run, or cycle while people-watching.

You can even rent a paddle boat and head out on one of the lakes if it’s not too windy. The rental shop is open daily from around 10:30 am – 6 pm. They have everything from rowboats to cycle boats, and you can expect to pay between $3-$10 USD per hour, depending on the type of boat you choose.

The rose garden here (called the Rosedal de Palermo) is right in the center of the park. It actually has over 93 different species of roses, a traditional Spanish patio, and a poets’ garden with sculptures of famous literary figures. When we went, it all felt so romantic! 

Afternoon

Visit the Galileo Galilei Planetarium

Galileo Galilei Planetarium in Buenos Aires Argentina
Galileo Galilei Planetarium in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Galileo Galilei Planetarium is actually inside Tres de Febrero Park, which makes it super easy if you’re already visiting here in the morning. Or if you do the tour to San Isidro, you can request to be dropped off nearby. 

The planetarium looks like a UFO, and inside the big dome on top, there’s a projection room where you can learn all about the cosmos. There’s also a museum where you can view meteorites found in Argentina. There are some interactive exhibits that are especially great for kids – but honestly, they’re appealing to people of all ages (I personally loved them!). 

The Planetarium is open from 9:30 am until 5 pm and is free to enter. However, tickets for special shows cost about $1.50 USD but must be booked through their website (FYI, their website and the shows are all in Spanish only).

Stroll through the Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Japanese Gardens are also right next to the Tres de Febrero Park and the Planetarium, and they’re a beautiful place for a stroll. You’ll see lots of young couples and families here drinking mate and admiring the scenery. 

The Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires are actually some of the largest outside of Japan. It can get busy on weekends as this place is popular with locals, but it tends to be quite a calm and relaxing place during the week. There’s not much shade, though, so wear sunscreen if you’re here during the summer! 

The gardens are open daily from 10 am until 6:30 pm, and entry costs around $5 USD for tourists. There’s a plant nursery where you can buy bonsai trees, a Japanese culture center, and a cafe. The latter is a bit overpriced, though, but you can bring your own food and snacks in if you want. 

OR Full-Day Gaucho Tour

Gaucho demonstration with a horse
Gaucho demonstration with a horse
Gaucho couple dance on a tour from Buenos Aires
So cute!

Days 1 and 2 covered the must-see locations in the city – so if you want to experience the Argentinean countryside, we have the perfect opportunity! Argentina is famous for its gaucho (cowboy) culture, and on this full-day tour, you can visit a working ranch and learn what life is like for the gauchos. We had so much fun on this day trip and consider it one of the best gaucho tours from Buenos Aires!

You’ll be picked up from your hotel around 8:30 am and head out of the city toward the ranch. On the way, you’ll visit the Draghi Museum, where you can learn all about the history of gauchos and traditional metalsmithing. 

The next stop was a highlight of mine. We visited the Boliche de Bessonart, a centuries-old saloon that looks like something straight out of cowboy movies. This is another opportunity to try the local cocktail, a fernet and coke.

Then, you’ll head to El Ombú de Areco Ranch to take a tour, either on horseback or in a horse-drawn cart. You’ll be guided by a gaucho who will share personal stories with you, and you’ll witness what working on a ranch really means! 

Then, you’ll enjoy an asado, which is an Argentinian barbecue. Usually, the food includes skirt steak, blood sausage, and offal – but don’t worry, you don’t have to eat anything you’re not comfortable with! 

As you eat, the gauchos put on a show that includes dancing, music, horse whispering, and poetry. It’s amazing to watch, and it feels very authentic rather than touristy.

The 9-hour tour costs $169 USD per adult, which includes the huge barbecue lunch and roundtrip transportation from your hotel. Overall, we think it’s an amazing way to spend your third and final day in Buenos Aires. The parks are obviously the better option if you’re on a budget, but if not, then this gaucho tour really is phenomenal and worth every penny! 

To experience life as an Argentine cowboy, reserve this gaucho day tour online here!

Evening – Tango Show

Tango during a show in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The dancing is beautiful!
Dancers on stage at a tango show in BA

There’s only one right way to finish off a trip to Buenos Aires, and that’s with a local tango show!

Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango, and you can’t pass up the chance to go to a show when you’re in the city. It was easily one of the best things that we did! 

Early Tango Dinner Show

We went to this early tango show and chose the option that included pickup and a delicious 3-course steak dinner beforehand. You can just go to see the show, but it’s way more fun to make an evening out of it. 

We were picked up around 6:30 pm from our hotel and transported to the venue. Having a traditional steak dinner paired with local wine really set the tone for the whole experience.

The food and service were excellent, and the dancers were amazing. Tango is such an intricate and intense dance – it’s really something you need to see in person. And what better place than Buenos Aires?! As well as the tango, they performed a gaucho dance which was one of the highlights of the show for us.

The show costs $98 USD for the dinner and show, and it ends at around 10:30 pm, so you can be in bed at a decent time (which is often hard to swing when traveling in Argentina!). If you have an early flight out of the city the next day, this tour is perfect! However, the only downside is that it starts too early if you want to do the gaucho tour. 

You can also opt to forego dinner and just see the tango show. With roundtrip transportation included (pick up at 7:30 pm), the show costs $78 USD. Without transportation, it’ll cost $45 USD, and you’ll need to arrive at the venue for an 8 pm start. When you compare these prices, it really makes more sense to go all in with the dinner beforehand!

Even if you want to have an early night, you don’t need to miss out on a tango show! You can purchase tickets for this Early Tango Dinner Show online here.

Tango Porteño

Tango Porteño is known for its glitzy tango performances and elaborate costumes. It takes place in one of the city’s biggest tango theaters, and it really is an impressive production! 

You’ll be picked up from your hotel at around 8 pm and then taken to the theater for a 3-course dinner before the show begins. The food is worthy of a fancy restaurant, and the wine certainly flows, so this really is a great way to spend your last night in the city. 

The show with dinner and roundtrip transportation costs $122 USD per person. You do get better seats if you book the dinner as well (we definitely think that it’s worth it). 

Without dinner, the transportation and show cost $63 USD, and you’ll be picked up around 9 pm. If you want to make your own way to the venue (Tango Porteño), the tango show only is $55 USD. The show starts at 9:30 pm and lasts roughly 75 minutes.

And if you’re itching to try out the famous dance for yourself, there’s even an option to partake in an hour-long tango class before dinner. Pickup isn’t included for this option, and you need to arrive by 7:30 pm. Prices start at $179 per person if you have two or more in your group.

For a tango show that pulls out all the stops, check availability and book your tour online here!

Two dancers perform during a tango show in Buenos Aires, Argentina
House of Tango!

El Viejo Almacen

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a tango show that starts late and offers a more intimate experience than Tango Porteño, then El Viejo Almacen is perfect. It’s also perfect if you’re staying in San Telmo, because the show takes place at a restaurant in the heart of this historic neighborhood. 

There’s a real old-school atmosphere at this show. If you’re seeking a really traditional and authentic tango experience, you should definitely check this one out! The show displays various types of tango, so you really develop an overall understanding of this beautiful dance.

When we went, the whole experience was flawless, from start to finish. The service, musicians, and dancers were super professional, and it really was a night to remember.  

Tickets cost $55 USD, including an open bar, or they’re $120 USD if you want to have dinner in the theater before the show begins. The dinner starts between 7:30 and 8 pm, and the dancing begins at 9 pm. Pickup is also included whether or not you want the dinner! 

There’s also an option to upgrade to VIP seats for the best views. You can do the show and drinks for $99 USD or the full dinner, drinks, and the show for $150 USD.

This tour often has special deals, too – so check prices for your dates and book it online!

Related Read: To experience more time in nature, check out our guide to visiting Torres del Paine National Park.

About the Subway in Buenos Aires

People wait for the subway in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The subway is a great way to get around!

The subway and public bus are super cheap ways to get around in Buenos Aires and it only costs around $0.40 USD per journey. It’s pretty convenient, too, although it can get very busy during rush hour. 

The only problem is that to ride the subway or bus, you need a SUBE card and these are in short supply right now. You can try to buy them in tourist assistance centers (or a centro de atencion), inside metro stations, and at any kiosk with a big blue “SUBE” sign out the front, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get one. 

Having said that, we got one without any problems, and at first, we didn’t understand why other travelers kept asking us how we had managed it! It’s definitely worth checking at a few kiosks when you first arrive in the city – and that’s easy to do because they’re absolutely everywhere. 

To top up your SUBE card, just visit a teller inside any subway station. Bus drivers won’t accept cash, and when you hop on a bus, you need to tell them your destination so they can charge you accordingly. This can be a bit tricky without speaking Spanish – which is why I definitely prefer the subway instead!

If you don’t manage to get a SUBE card, Uber is still very affordable in Buenos Aires and won’t usually cost you more than a few dollars per journey. Even an hour-long ride from the airport to the city center only costs about $15 USD!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Buenos Aires

Fruit stand at the San Telmo Market, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The fruit and veggies are so cheap and tasty at the San Telmo Market!

There is so much to see and do in Buenos Aires. You could spend weeks exploring and just skim the surface. So if you’re staying longer than 3 days, you’ll have no problem finding more fun activities. Below, you can check out some of my favorites!

  • Visit the River Plate Museum – The River Plate Museum is one of the biggest sports museums in the world, so it’s a must for any soccer fan. River Plate is one of the most successful soccer clubs in Argentina, and this museum located in Monumental Stadium covers the club’s entire history. You can get skip-the-line entry with this museum and stadium combo tour.
  • Gran Café Tortoni – Gran Café Tortoni is an iconic Buenos Aires coffeehouse. It’s one of the oldest cafes in the city and has even been named one of the most beautiful cafes in the world! This is the perfect place to grab a late-morning coffee or medialunas (Argentina’s mini croissants). You also buy a ticket for their weeknight tango shows.
  • Party! – Buenos Aires is known for its nightlife, and you can find a wide variety of events any night of the week. Palermo is the epicenter for trendy bars, and one of our favorite places to party is Glam Disco, a chic LGBT nightclub. San Telmo bars have a more relaxed, local vibe. For tango, beginners can head to La Catedral Club and keep the party going at La Viruta Tango Club.
  • Visit Iguazu Falls – Iguazu Falls is one of the most beautiful natural wonders I’ve visited and is located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. I recommend taking a flight here and if you only have one day, book this private tour from Buenos Aires which includes return flights, accommodation, and transfers. 
  • Drink mate – Mate is a traditional Argentine beverage, made from dried and ground yerba mate leaves. A great spot to try mate is Las Cabras. However, if you really want to become a mate expert, you can book this tasting experience with two super-friendly local mate masters and learn all about this unique Argentine tradition.

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina

spacious room at Hilton Buenos Aires, Argentina
Photo credit: Hilton Buenos Aires

Now that you know how to spend your first few days here, you’ll want to find the right hotel to stay at! As you’re narrowing it down, you can take a peek at our guide to the best areas to stay in Buenos Aires.

You don’t need to break the bank to stay here, but if you are searching for a luxurious getaway, you can find that too. Here are my top picks for various price ranges!

Hilton Buenos Aires – $$$

You can’t beat the location with the riverside Hilton Buenos Aires. You’ll be within walking distance to downtown as well as the Playa Reserva Ecológica Buenos Aires. It’s also where you’ll board the boat on the Tigre Delta Cruise! There’s a rooftop pool to relax in or sit down for a meal or drink at the hotel’s restaurant or bar.

The service is exceptional, and the rooms are spacious. It’s a more expensive place to stay at $250-350 USD per night, but worth it if you’re looking for a five-star experience. So for the ultimate luxury in Buenos Aires, book your stay at the Hilton online here.

Broadway Hotel & Suites – $$

Located in the heart of Buenos Aires, the Broadway Hotel & Suites offers really spacious rooms at a great price. The swimming pool on the roof has amazing panoramic city views and a sun deck to soak up some rays. The rooms feature large windows, minimalistic art deco-type décor, and bathrooms with marble fittings.

You’ll also have plenty of choices for shopping and restaurants nearby. Plus, a junior suite here can be under $70 USD! To snag this awesome deal, I highly recommend you check availability and book online in advance.

Selina Palermo – $

Stay in one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires on a budget! Selina Palermo puts you close to the best bars and nightclubs – giving you a great place to crash after a night on the town. The place feels really modern, and there are nice extras like a rooftop bar, breakfast, and bike rentals available. It’s also within walking distance to the Argentine Experience option from day 1!

Shared dorm rooms with bunk beds are around $20 USD per night. If sharing isn’t your style, there are affordable private rooms with nice balconies overlooking the city starting at around $90 USD. You can book your stay on Booking.com or HostelWorld.com to secure your room!

Planning your Trip to Argentina

Glacier Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate, Argentina
The glacier trekking is so much fun!

Accommodation in Argentina

Booking accommodation is one of the biggest aspects of your trip, and we should know as we stay in a new hotel up to 40 times per year! Funny enough, we make 99% of these bookings on one website and that’s Booking.com – and there are a few reasons why we use this site!

Number one is the website is easy to use and sorts accommodation options. That takes the stress out of planning which honestly still affects us and we do it more than not.

Second, is the price guarantee. We have literally booked a hotel months before and then 1 week out found it cheaper (we always do a quick search), and they’ll match that price from anyone’s website including the hotels!

And third, is the Genius loyalty program. If you make a certain amount of bookings per year you get a Genius discount. We are level-two geniuses because we make more than 5 a year. At participating hotels, we get things like free breakfast included, early check-in, and up to 15% off.

You can check out all their accommodation options throughout Argentina!

Renting a car in Argentina

renting a car in patagonia
We rented a car in Southern Argentina and found that it was a very convenient and enjoyable way to travel!

We enjoyed a rental car for our second trip to Argentina when we traveled in Patagonia – and wow, what a way to travel! But the best part was that we only paid $40 USD per day for a 5-person sedan!

But how? Well, if you’re renting a car in Argentina, the cheapest company is Discover Cars. We often get questions from readers asking us if the website is fake because it seems too cheap! It’s a great website and the one we used for our rental.

If you do want to compare prices (and you should), do a quick search on Airport Car Rentals too. They’re another big competitor and each company often has its own deals to offer!

Tours in Argentina

drinking glacier water from perito moreno glacier
Drinking pure glacier water on our glacier tour!

We love booking online because we can check reviews of the tour and know exactly what to expect on the tour, such as the itinerary and inclusions. Sometimes the tours are pricier online than booking directly in person, but this is why we always book with Viator. If we happen to find the exact same tour for a lower price once we’re at the destination, Viator will actually refund the price difference!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie in Buenos Aires
Thanks for reading!

Buenos Aires is such an incredible city! From history and architecture to food and tango, there’s so much to explore. But due to its sheer size, it can be daunting to plan a trip here. As such, we hope our 3-day itinerary has helped make your planning super smooth – and that you fall in love with this city (just like we did!).

If you found our guide helpful, check out our other blogs about Argentina. We’ve also written about other destinations in South America. To give you an idea of the topics we cover, I’ve linked to some articles below.

5 BEST Iguazu Falls Tours from Buenos Aires

How to Get to Perito Moreno Glacier – El Calafate to Perito Moreno

Sherpa Food Tour in Buenos Aires Review – Is it Worth it?

10 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio (Pão de Açúcar)