Buenos Aires has endless oportunities for tourists, it’s vibrant culture keeps the city moving at an exciting pace. Nevertheless, travellers frequently go to Argentina in order to discover Iguazu, Mendoza or the impressive Patagonia and spend only one week of their journey in the Argentinian capital. For this reason we have selected the best things to do in Buenos Aires that cover the most important activities and attractions to ensure an authentic and exciting travel experience.
Monday: Spend the afternoon in the bares notables
Picture the scene: there you are, having a cup of coffee sitting in the exact same spot Federico García Lorca was, writing a poem inspired by the beauty of South American. This vision can actually become a reality in Buenos Aires thanks to its historical coffee houses, also known as bares notables. You simply cannot miss a visit to one of these famous coffee houses during your trip to Buenos Aires: these sites have been preserved by the city’s Government due to their age, architecture and local relevance. Writers, actors and politicians have gathered within these locations for more than 100 years. Amongst the most famous, we recommend the Café Tortoni (Avenida de Mayo 825/29), El Gato Negro (Avenida Corrientes 1669) and La Biela (Avenida Quintana 600).
Travelling tip: Even though you can choose to spend the entire afternoon in one of these bars, you can also book the Historical Café of Buenos Aires Tour and discover at least five of the most famous in a single day.
Tuesday: Visit the library and museums of the city
You must have heard that Buenos Aires is the city with the highest average rate of libraries per inhabitants. This is why on Tuesday morning, have a good breakfast and put your most comfortable shoes to visit the Avenida Corrientes. Between the Obelisco and the Avenida Callao you will find dozens of libraries: many books are stacked up on huge counters and expert booksellers can tell you every you need about the content of their shelves. Conclude this first step with the El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a Buenos Aires classic chosen by the British newspaper The Guardian as the second most important library in the world.
Continue this cultural day discovering the most important museums of the city such as the National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina, the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires or the Carlos Gardel Museum.
Travelling tip: With the Museums of Buenos Aires Tour, you will be able to enjoy every minute of your day and fully explore three museums in four hours.
Wednesday: Taste a good Malbec
In this South American nation, the Argentinian Malbec is as traditional as the asado or the tango – and it should be – since Argentina is the main producer of this grapevine in the world! Therefore, you simply must experience a wine tasting in one of the best cellars in Buenos Aires during your trip so that you can return home with an excellent souvenir. The Joaquín Alberdi Wine Tasting is an excellent option to hear the history and the characteristics of the Malbec from the mouth of an expert as you taste the delicious Altocedro Reserva or the Matervini labels.
Thursday: Go over the best bars of Buenos Aires
Whether you wish to dance until early on the morning or to have a fresh pint of craft beer in a bar while chatting with friends and meeting new people, the nightlife of Buenos Aires offers something for everyone. Palermo and San Telmo are undoubtedly the most famous neighbourhoods to have fun in on a Thursday night and you can enjoy happy hour in most of their bars and boliches (nightclubs) until 9 or 10 pm. Two examples: one of the most classic and buzzing spots in San Telmo is the bar Gibraltar (Perú 895), famous for the variety and the quality of its draft beers. In Palermo, Mundo Bizarro (Serrano 1222) is the ideal site for a cocktail and ideal for rock ‘n’ roll lovers due to its 50’s atmosphere.
Travelling tip: If you are looking for a place where you can dance until dawn, you cannot miss the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl – that way you will discover the best nightclubs of the city.
Friday: Going to a tango show
“Tango is as ancient as mankind / born with the first ache of the soul” (non-official translation). This is one of the Thirty verses to feel tango written by Ricardo Ostuni and it expresses the passion and sentimentalism of Argentina’s very own music genre. Not going to a tango show in Buenos Aires is like saying you have not even been to the city since in every pedestrian street you will find at least one couple dancing and there a tens of milongas in every neighbourhood and tonnes of shows where you can even learn some steps of this sensual dance. The Viruta Tango Club (Armenia 1366) is a great option to enjoy the show and be a part of it. Fridays in Buenos Aires are 100% tango!
Travelling tip: Every show is different and unique. Find the best one to suit your expectations with this guide to help you choose your Tango show in Buenos Aires.
Saturday: Asado and Football Day
After five days of getting to know the Buenos Aires lifestyle, the time has come for the main course of the Argentinian ritual: asado and football. Prepare your stomach because once the asador begins the preparation, your palate will be restless: Fernet with Coke (alcoholic beverage prepared with coke), choripán (pork sausage with bread) and vacío (special meat cut) with some salads will be the menu of your day. You will finish with delicious pastries and dulce de leche and mate (special herb used as a tea in Argentina).
Save a part of your Saturday to do a Football Stadiums Tour and to discover the history of the most important temples of the king of sports of Buenos Aires. If you are a football supporter and wish to experience a football game, check the calendar to discover what games you can attend during your trip.
Sunday: Have a walk in the main ferias and buy souvenirs
The week-ends in Buenos Aires are for partying, especially in the famous San Telmo and Mataderos Markets (called ferias in Argentina) and the crowded Plaza Serrano, in Palermo, where you will find many craftsmanship and items you can buy as souvenirs. In the traditional Mataderos Feria, even though you are still in Buenos Aires you will feel as if you are in the middle of the Argentinian countryside, especially due to the traditional food and the live dance. The Feria of San Telmo and the Plaza Serrano are meeting points for the youth of Buenos Aires and is filled with a lot of talented artists. The perfect way to end your week in Buenos Aires.
The charm of Buenos Aires never fails to impress its visitors. The city consists of strolling around, enjoying exquisite plates, falling in love with the rhythm of tango and having exciting conversations with the locals – they are known to be passionate even during the most casual conversation. Enjoy all the best things to do in Buenos Aires and keep discovering the dazzling cities of Argentina and South America.
By: Keilma Rojas, Venezuelan journalist specialised in culture and actuality. Writer in Spanish for Daytours4u / Translated to English by Grégory Noël