Our step-by-step city guide to 2 perfect days in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Long described as a little bit of Europe in South America, Buenos Aires is bursting with architectural splendour, energetic music and beautiful people. Discover the hidden gems of ‘the city that never sleeps’ in two perfect days…
Plaza de Mayo: Named as a tribute to the May 1810 revolution, which led to the independence of Argentina from Spanish rule; rich with history, Plaza de Mayo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Buenos Aires. Home to many historic buildings and statues, including the beautiful Casa Rosada, “the pink house”, where Eva Perón (Evita) famously stood on that balcony and addressed thousands. A wander around Plaza de Mayo is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the city.
Avenida de Mayo: Stretching westward from the plaza is Avenida de Mayo. Stroll down this road for breath-taking architecture influenced by the art-nouveau and neoclassical movements. Stop at Buenos Aires’ oldest, most famous café; Café Tortoni, for a fabulous espresso style coffee and a pastry. Make sure to try Dulce de Leche; a sticky, sweet, caramel type sauce found in almost every cupboard in Argentina!
Lunch and Afternoon
Teatro Colon: As you continue to explore the delights of Avenida da Mayo, remember to visit the nearby Teatro Colon. Reopened in 2010, the opera house boasts an opulent red and gold décor. Not only is it visually magnificent, it is also acoustically considered to be one of the top five opera houses in the world; a must-see when in Buenos Aires.
Empanadas and Maté: Avenida de Mayo is brimming with cafés for a spot of lunch. Why not try one of Argentina’s traditional snacks: the empanada? Classically an empanada is a savoury dish often served as a starter or main at dinner parties. It is a pastry with a variety of fillings ranging from vegetables and meat to cheese. And to drink? Try a maté, its not to everyone’s taste, but its definitely worth a try. Maté is a type of tea brewed from dried Yerba Mate leaves in water and traditionally served in a calabash gourde.
La Boca: After lunch, take a trip to La Boca, known for the Boca Juniors; the most famous football team in Argentina. There are regular tours around the Boca stadium and the museum is worth exploring whether you are a football fan or not. If you have the opportunity, visit on game day, when La Boca transforms. Energetic and exciting, the streets of La Boca are full to the brim with football fans. Regularly noted on “100 things to try before you die” lists, there really is nothing quite like it.
Dinner and Evening
Tango: As the sun sets, Buenos Aires seems to pulsate with the rhythm of the tango. With frequent street performances and even better shows, the tango is now a staple for tourists. The best way to experience the dance is at a dinner and tango show. Piazzolla Tango is located in the lavish Guemes Gallery, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the best tango experiences Buenos Aires has to offer. Start the night off with an exquisite dinner and inclusive wine then allow yourself to be whisked away by a stunning professional tango show. And if you fancy your hand at the dance you can even opt to have a pre-dinner lesson.
La Poesía: Start your day off with a visit to the Bohemian neighbourhood of San Telmo. Stop at La Poesía, situated in a 19th century building boasting an intimate, cosy décor with walls stacked high with books. The literary café has a lovely ambiance; a perfect stop for breakfast.
San Telmo: After breakfast, wander round one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Popular among Buenos Aires’ creative pack, San Telmo is distinctive, special and entirely unforgettable. Take a stroll through the streets and you will inevitably find many hidden gems, including quirky antique shops and bustling flea markets. Stop at the chic Pasaje de la Defensa, where you are likely to find a more unusual souvenir or present.
Lunch and Afternoon
Plaza Dorrego: If you are lucky enough to come on a Sunday, this square, situated in the heart of San Telmo, transforms into the liveliest flea market in Buenos Aires. Brimming with local merchants, it is the perfect place to find local crafts, classic antiques, or that rare knick-knack you have been searching for. On weekdays, the square is lined with cafés; an ideal stop for lunch.
Cementerio de la Recoleta: The cemetery, situated in the heart of the Recoleta district exudes solemn beauty that needs to be seen to be understood. Designed in the image of a small town with passages through the graves. The graves themselves are a work of art, most designed with art-deco or neoclassical influences, their beauty along with the sculptures have lead to some of them being classed as national monuments. The Recoleta cemetery is famously the resting place of Eva Péron.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes: Whilst in the Recoleta area, this three-story museum is certainly worth a visit. With thirty rooms devoted to international and Argentinian art, this museum is one of a kind. Spend a few hours exploring the many rooms, which are home to paintings by Picasso, Modigliani, and Degas to name a few.
Dinner and Evening
Cabaña Las Lias: No trip to Argentina would be complete without a perfectly cooked, mouth-watering steak. Located on the waterfront of Puerto Madero with spectacular views, Cabaña Las Lias is well known as the ‘the best steak in Buenos Aires’. Sit back and relax after two perfect days with a glass of Argentina’s national wine; Malbec red and tuck into a seriously good steak!
Puerto Madero: Given the waterfront setting, lined with lively bars and clubs, Puerto Madero is one of the best places to experience ‘the city that never sleeps’. So order another glass of Malbec red, sit back and see where the night takes you…