What to see in Buenos Aires

What to see in Buenos Aires in 2 or 3 days

What to see in Buenos Aires – All the places to visit and a 3-day itinerary

Buenos Aires , the capital of Argentina , brings to mind many things: tango, Caminito, Maradona and the Bomboniera. In fact it is all this but also much more. 

Buenos Aires, the Queen of Plata , is the third largest and most populous city in South America and is characterized by a decadent style with a soul halfway between Europe and South America , which makes it wonderful by introducing us to the vast Argentina that then, with the capital, it has little in common.

During my travels in Argentina I have always dedicated a few weeks to Buenos Aires, wandering around its markets and neighborhoods. 

If it is your first time in Argentina , deciding what to see in Buenos Aires , how to spend your days and selecting visits may probably seem more complicated than it really is. No problem!

I wrote this long post in which I selected what to see in Buenos Aires,  concentrating the best of the city if you have two or three days available.

If you are planning to travel to Argentina be sure to read the following posts

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: 10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Argentina

If you’re in a hurry – Tips for seeing Buenos Aires in brief

As always, this post is quite long, so if you are in a hurry, in addition to advising you to save this post to read it later at a slower pace, here you will find some practical information to organize your days in Buenos Aires.

DON’T FORGET your travel insurance. Ask Heymondo for a quote , from the link on this blog you will receive a 10% discount on the policy.

From the international airport to Buenos Aires

If you arrive at Buenos Aires international airport, book a transfer to the hotel in advance. The airport is located a little far from the city and a transfer is not only the most convenient but also the safest way.

Exchange with the Argentine peso and intentional withdrawals

Argentina is no stranger to inflation, it may happen that you travel when the official exchange rate is very disadvantageous and it is better to exchange black currency . In this case, make sure you have some US dollars with you and ask your guide or hotel where to go to change.
Alternatively, if the official exchange rate is advantageous, make sure you have traveler credit and debit cards with you, such as Revolut and N26 , which have excellent exchange rates and low withdrawal costs.

Visit the best of Buenos Aires with guided tours (in Italian or free)

Regardless of the time available, discovering Buenos Aires with guides certainly makes the difference.

You can choose between free tours, in English, Spanish and some in Italian, or private if you prefer an Italian speaking guide.

For a list of free walking tours of Buenos Aires take a look here


Where to sleep in Buenos Aires

Choosing where to sleep in Buenos Aires is quite important, the main neighborhoods of the city in fact each have their own pros and cons. Usually the neighborhoods to choose from are:

  • Palermo
  • San Telmo
  • Recoleta
  • Madero Port
  • Withdrawal

My favorites are Palermo and San Telmo , and each for different reasons. Palermo Soho , which is where most hotels and hostels are located, is one of three areas of the much larger Palermo neighborhood. The neighborhood is full of bars, restaurants, is safe day and night and one of the most sophisticated and fashionable neighborhoods in the city.
The only downside is that it is quite far from the city centre, which however can be reached by metro or taxi.

Sleeping in Palermo Soho

In this neighborhood my favorite hotel is the Selina Hotel , a delightful hotel in an excellent location and a very good restaurant.
Also very nice and with excellent prices are the Duque Hotel , very nice rooms and swimming pool (which makes the difference in summer!) and the Vitrum Hotel , a modern hotel with very nice rooms and comfortable beds, also has a small swimming pool.

Sleeping in San Telmo

I also like to stay in San Telmo , which is mainly a neighborhood for hostels and backpackers , so there are cheaper solutions than Palermo.
I really like it because it’s a rather picturesque neighborhood , with a beautiful market and full of bars and restaurants and it’s easy to meet travelers given the high number of hostels.

If you want to stay in San Telmo I recommend you take a look at the America del Sur hostels , super central and with nice common areas, and the Viajero Hostel , a beautiful hostel with a swimming pool. Both hostels have shared and private rooms.

San Telmo

What to see in Buenos Aires in three days (Itinerary with Map)

Buenos Aires is the result of the union of its neighborhoods , if you have enough time I recommend you dedicate at least 3 days to it . The perfect duration to live it to the fullest and discover all the most beautiful places. I decided to divide the places to see in Buenos Aires into 3 days in order to cover the main neighborhoods and also have some free time to discover the city without rushing.

Day 1 in Buenos Aires – Centro, Microcentro and Puerto Madero

The first day of our visit to Buenos Aires we dedicate to the Microcentro and Puerto Madero starting from the Teatro Colón , one of the most beautiful theaters in the world and one of the concert venues with the best acoustics in the world. The theater can be visited inside.

We continue along Avenida 9 de Julio from which we reach the iconic monument of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk, built to celebrate the fourth centenary of the foundation of the city and today a place where people come to demonstrate, where the Ministerio de Obras Públicas stands out with the Evita Perón ‘s face in relief on the facades.

On the way to Plaza de Mayo you come across the Congreso district where the beautiful Palacio Barolo stands out, Palacio  Barolo, a masterpiece of the Italian architect Mario Palanti and a tribute to the Divine Comedy .
The palace is divided into three sections which symbolically represent Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. 

Stop for a coffee and an alfajor at the historic Cafè Tortoni , the oldest café in Argentina and considered one of the most beautiful cafés in the world.

We reach  Plaza de Mayo , where the Metropolitan Cathedral , the Buenos Aires City Hall and the Casa Rosada are located . Every Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo
meet and for more than thirty years have gathered to claim the disappearance of their children, disappeared, and obtain their restitution.

On weekends you can take part in the free tour of the Casa Rosada , which requires advance booking. For more information click here .

At this point we head towards Puerto Madero where you can walk or visit one of the museums in the area.
In the evening treat yourself to a dinner with a tango show , I recommend the evening at Ventana, one of the most popular venues in Buenos Aires and excellent food.

Giorno 2 to Buenos Aires – San Telmo, La Bombonera, La Boca and Recoleta

The second day in Buenos Aires will be more colorful! After taking a walk in the San Telmo neighborhood you continue to La Boca where you can visit the La Bombonera stadium . If you are interested in football I recommend you take part in a guided tour which you can book at this link .

Continue to Caminito , the most famous neighborhood in the city which, although small and limited, will certainly require a few hours.

To understand and learn about the history of the neighborhood I recommend you take part in this free tour in Italian of La Boca .

Buenos Aires

In the afternoon go to the Recoleta cemetery , visit the beautiful Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pilar  and the  Floralis Genérica. 

A short distance away is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the  Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo , both with free admission. If you still have time, don’t miss El Ateneo , considered the second most beautiful library in the world.

Day 3 in Buenos Aires – The Palermo neighborhood

The third day in Buenos Aires is dedicated entirely to the Palermo neighborhood which alone occupies 20% of the city. It’s huge and for that reason deserves its own day.

Start with a stroll through the beautiful Jardín Japonés , one of the largest Japanese gardens outside Japan spread over 5 hectares and with more than 5,500 species of trees and plants.

Continue to the Evita Museum , an icon of Argentine history. This small museum contains Evita Perón ‘s personal effects and tells the story of the life of the country’s most beloved woman.

Continue to El Rosedal de Palermo , it is a huge park with hundreds of rose bushes and pedal boats. End the day at the Galileo Galilei Planetarium , then return to the neighborhood where you are staying for a last dinner, and if you want also a last tango, in Buenos Aires.

To begin to orient yourself in the neighborhood I recommend you book the free tour of Palermo to then combine it with the museums of your interest or a relaxing afternoon in the park.

a bridge over a river with a city in the background

The main neighborhoods (barrios) of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has 48 neighborhoods , the barrios, some of which are real tourist hubs. Let’s find out which ones and what to see in each of these. 

If you have little time or want to have an initial general overview of the city I highly recommend taking part in a guided tour, like this three-hour one , which covers the main places of Buenos Aires.
If you are an active type, take a look at the 8-hour bike tour which covers most of the city’s places of interest.

Aside from these tips, let’s come to the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires that you shouldn’t miss. In fact, each one has its own character and style.

San Nicolás & Montserrat – Microcenter

The San Nicolas and Montserrat barrios represent the financial, political and commercial center of Buenos Aires. This area is also called the center or microcenter .

The landmarks of the microcentury are the obelisk and the Teatro Colón , splendidly restored, overlooking the Avenida de Julio , the widest avenue in the world.

This area also boasts some classic porteños cafes , namely Buenos Aires, the pedestrian street Calle Florida with its many shopping centers, and the city’s beautiful main squares: Plaza del Congreso and Plaza de Mayo , which are home to Congress and government buildings respectively of the Casa Rosada.

San Telmo and the San Telmo Market

San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires and boasts a lively art and tango scene as well as a truly delightful bohemian atmosphere.

It’s easy to get lost among the small clothing shops, galleries and boutiques selling eclectic objects that integrate with old bars and meeting places that resist change.

The main antiques market is held around Plaza Dorrego ; surrounded by cafes, restaurants full of people and tango dancers, the second oldest square in Buenos Aires and a historically very important place. Here the Argentine declaration of independence was announced to the city.

In San Telmo in a former tobacco factory there is also the Museo de Arte Moderna ( MAMBA ), a museum where the colorful statues of the Paseo de la Historieta are located , which pays homage to the most beloved characters of Argentine comics including  Mafalda , the little girl who asked adults difficult questions.

La Boca e Caminito

The La Boca neighborhood is famous for the colorful houses and conventillos, the public housing, of Caminito and for the Boca Juniores football team which is where Diego Maradona ‘s football career began .
Between 1880 and 1930 approximately 6 million immigrants moved to Argentina, particularly from Genoa, and La Boca was the neighborhood where the immigrants settled.

In addition to walking in the colorful neighborhood, the barrio is also home to very interesting cultural and artistic centers such as the Quinquela Martín Museum of Fine Arts , the Usina del Arte , a restored former power plant and now a musical and artistic center with a acoustics among the best in the world and the Fundación Proa .

Palermo Chico, Soho and Hollywood

Palermo is the largest but also the trendiest neighborhood of Buenos Aires. The neighborhood in turn is divided into three: Palermo Chico , Palermo Soho , which is where the greatest number of hotels are concentrated and Palermo Hollywood .

Chico Palermo is home to splendid parks and gardens, including the Tres de Febrero park , the Japanese Garden, the Botanical Garden , the Planetarium, the Hippodrome and many museums, such as the Evita Museum , the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano ( MALBA) and the National Museum of Decorative Arts .

Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood, on the other hand, are transformed into full neighborhoods. of beautiful restaurants, bars and shops for shopping.


The Paris of the South probably finds its maximum expression in this residential, refined and rather European neighborhood.
Recoleta is a barrio of great historical and architectural interest thanks to its iconic buildings that evoke the Parisian petits hôtels.

Its tree-lined streets are home to trendy restaurants, cafes, boutiques, shopping centers and galleries, and its parks and squares host weekend street performances, art exhibitions and craft fairs. Especially worth seeing is the craft fair in Plaza Francia .

But in this neighborhood the most famous destination is Cimitero de Recoleta , a resting place for generations of Argentine elite including Evita Peron , and considered one of the most particular cemeteries in the world thanks to the stupendous sculptures and surprising mausoleums that give life to a truly own open-air museum.

But beyond the cemetery the neighborhood is home to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes , the National Library , the Palais de Glace , the BA Design Center and the Recoleta Cultural Center .

In this neighborhood there is the gigantic Generic Floralis, a mobile structure that opens and closes depending on the sunlight.

Madero Port

Located along the Río de la Plata river in a former commercial port, Puerto Madero is the city’s youngest and most modern neighborhood but also an important gastronomic and commercial center.
Former industrial warehouses along the canal have been transformed into stylish bars, restaurants and offices in one of the most successful urban waterfront restoration projects in the world.

The iconic Puente de la Mujer   represents the hub of the barrio. Despite the numerous skyscrapers, the area is rather relaxing compared to the chaotic centre, and its walks along the river and green parks make it perfect for relaxing and enjoying a corner of peace. 

Many of Puerto Madero’s streets are named after famous Argentine women including  Cecilia Grierson , pioneering doctor and women’s rights activist, first woman in South America to earn a medical degree and  Azucena Villaflor , founder of the Madri de Plaza de movement Mayo dedicated to the search for those disappeared during Argentina’s last military dictatorship.

What to avoid doing in Buenos Aires

Since beautiful things are sometimes also accompanied by less pleasant ones, writing about the capital of Argentina in addition to telling what to see in Buenos Aires I think it is worth focusing on what to avoid in Buenos Aires . In fact, the Argentine metropolis is not free from risks which, however, can be avoided by taking very simple precautions.

  1. Avoid taking taxis at Retiro Bus Station, EZE International Airport, Jorge Newberry Domestic Airport (AEP) and Buque Bus Port – These are the 4 places where the worst scams can happen. Rather, organize a transfer in advance and travel safely, there are not uncommon cases of horror stories with illegal taxis that have completely robbed the poor traveler. In Buenos Aires you can also use Uber, a solution that I have always found safe when I often travel alone.
  2. Don’t rent a car in Buenos Aires – Public transport in Buenos Aires works quite well, taxis are not very expensive and this way you avoid the hellish traffic of the city.
  3. Don’t wear jewelry when walking around town – No one in Buenos Aires wears expensive jewelry or watches. If the locals avoid it, you should probably avoid it too. To avoid being robbed, don’t show your belongings, including cameras around your neck, and always try to keep a low profile.
  4. Be careful when visiting El Caminito in La Boca – El Caminito is certainly the most picturesque neighborhood in Buenos Aires and it is right that you want to visit it however when there try to stay on the main roads and avoid going outside. Just outside the tourist streets, the neighborhood can be dangerous. If possible, consider visiting El Caminito with a guide who will be able to direct and guide you through the safe areas of this fascinating part of Buenos Aires. I recommend you take a look at the Free Walking tour of La Boca or, if you prefer a private tour, you can opt for a customizable 3-hour visit (also in Italian).
  5. Don’t go into the dangerous neighborhoods of Buenos Aires – In particular these neighborhoods are Constitucion, La Boca (outside the El Caminito area) and the area behind the Retiro bus station known as Villa 31.

As always, don’t be ashamed to ask the hotel what you can and cannot do. Traveling safely also means avoiding finding yourself in situations that you could have avoided simply by asking!

Visiting Buenos Aires – Frequently Asked Questions

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