Are you planning a trip to Buenos Aires? Already in the city with no plans? Here at Biker Street, we recommend 13 things to do in Buenos Aires so that you don't miss a thing.
(We do not have commercial agreements of any kind with any of the private or public undertakings mentioned in this blog. Everything we suggest is here only because we love it, we are simply locals recommending things we like to do ourselves.)
The Must-Dos In Buenos Aires
Visit the neighborhood of Recoleta, the top thing to do in Buenos Aires, and discover why it is called the Paris of South America. A clear example of this you could see on Avenida Alvear or Avenida Libertador, full of monuments and majestic buildings, Libertador Avenue is one of the most beautiful and colorful to travel, especially in a bike tour for its comfortable and spacious bike path.
For sure, the most popular attraction in the barrio of Recoleta is its cemetery, resting place of heroes and transcendental characters in the history and politics of Argentina.
In the surroundings of the cemetery, it is full of cafe shops, bars, restaurants and dance clubs, Recoleta also has a busy nightlife. It is also an area with lots of hotels and apartments for temporary rent, which makes the neighborhood very popular for tourists.
Recoleta stands out for its wide and green spaces, something that can not be appreciated in many neighborhoods of the city. In one of these parks, and next to the imposing building of the University of Law and in front of the National Library, you will find the Floralis Generica, a brand-new icon of the city.
2) Plaza de Mayo
it is the place where the city of Buenos Aires was founded, but above all, it is the place where the most important political events in Argentine history took place.
From its origins it was the place of protests and celebrations, as for example the May Revolution in 1810 (it was the first step for the declaration of independence in 1816), a fact that it renamed the square, which until then was known as the Plaza Mayor or Victory Square (because of the victory against the English troops of the years 1806 and 1807).
In the center of the square, is the monument of La Pirámide de Mayo, which was built for the celebrations of the first anniversary of the revolution of May in 1811 and which took international significance through the famous rounds of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, that are there from 1977 to the present. Another monument that stands out is that of Manuel Belgrano, who was the creator of the Argentine flag among other things.
In the surroundings of the Plaza de Mayo, the buildings of: La Casa Rosada, La Catedral, El Cabildo and the central house of Banco Nación stand out.
The square is located in what today we call the Microcentro Porteño, it is there in the surroundings where all the main economic and administrative activity of the country is concentrated. In a few meters away from each other, we find the government house, the economy ministry, the central bank, the Nación bank, many of the central houses of the banks established in Argentina, etc.
It is a place of very easy access with public transport, since 4 of the 6 subway lines that exist in the city, have their head station at the Plaza De Mayo, and then open like a tree.
On De Mayo Av. we find some of the oldest buildings in Buenos Aires and also the most beautiful. Among them emblematic buildings, that for their style and decoration transport us imaginatively to Parisian streets. Also, in the style of Paris, on the avenue of May we find many cafes, among them the oldest in the city, which is the Café Tortoni.
A fact to take into account if you want to visit Plaza de Mayo, is to find out if there is a demonstration that day, something very common in Buenos Aires. If there is a demonstration, better change your plans, because surely it will be impossible for you to approach 200 meters from the square. On weekends the area is much quieter as it is less crowded, if you visit it during the week, you will find not only tourists, but also many office workers and school students, who go there as a traditional walk to study the Argentine history.
3) San Telmo
It was one of the first barrios in the city of Buenos Aires. Its cobbled streets and old buildings, give us a taste of the neighborhood's old.
Plaza Dorrego is the heart of San Telmo and one of the main night center of the city. It is surrounded by busy bars throughout the day, on weekends there is a fair there and there are often tango dance shows "tip based".
The San Telmo Market is another attraction of the neighborhood. A place that has been changing its style and adjusting to the time, today there are some food stalls, antique stalls and an incipient number of bars and restaurants.
San Telmo, which knew how to shelter the most affluent classes in the city, until the yellow fever epidemic, today is one of the most popular neighborhoods among tourists who visit the city. Traditionally it was a neighborhood famous for its antique shops, and also for its street market that works every Sunday for almost 50 years, today we even find many hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Undoubtedly, San Telmo is one of the night center of the city, due to its great gastronomic offer and nightclubs, but it is also very nice to visit during the day and appreciate its architecture, which often goes back more than 100 years of antiguaty.
4) La Boca
It is one of the oldest barrios in the city and a place you must to visit in Buenos Aires. There worked one of the first ports of Buenos Aires, in fact, La Boca owes its name to where the Rio de la Plata meets the Riachuelo, forming a kind of mouth of the river.
This was the place of arrival and shelter of the great migratory currents that came from Europe, mainly from southern Italy, who came with the idea of the "American dream".
La Boca is one of the most attractive areas for tourists, just for the simplicity of its buildings, known as conventillos, and the legendary Boca Juniors football stadium, known as "La Bombonera".
The original houses of the neighborhood are very colorful, this tradition of painting the fronts of the house with many colors is maintained, nowadays more than anything to maintain that identity of the neighborhood, but originally they were painted with many colors because of a need, since that they were the paintings that they got from the leftovers of the port workshops.
Of course, when talking about La Boca, we must inevitably mention Caminito, that little corner of La Boca area, very colorful and faithful reflection of the neighborhood, with a fair of artists who are there every day of the week in the morning and the afternoon. On the way we find a great gastronomic offer and some street tango shows can be seen. Clearly this is the most touristic part of the barrio.
La Boca is not a place we recommend visiting when the sun goes down, or walking outside the tourist circuit. It is a working-class neighborhood, but it is also used as a refuge by delinquents, who find in tourists an easy prey to commit an illicit act.
Nor do we recommend visiting the neighborhood on a game day at the Boca Juniors stadium, as it is very crowded and the pick pockets take advantage of the crowd to mingle with them after committing illicit acts.
The Palermo area, which was historically divided into Palermo Chico and Palermo Viejo, today is divided by unusual and even funny names for places such as Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Freud and Palermo Queens ... and the prices of properties were mounted in monstrous in the last decade.
Palermo encloses one of the most extensive green areas of Buenos Aires, which are a set of parks that make up the Bosques de Palermo. A highly recommended place to take a bike tour, visit its lakes, and the futuristic building of the Planetario.
The neighborhood of Palermo, where all kinds of workshops traditionally operated, today we could find many clothing stores and bars and restaurants and nightclubs. As before we mentioned that San Telmo was one of the night center of the city, Palermo is another of them. In the surroundings of the squares that are popularly known as Plaza Serrano and Plaza Armenia, a large amount of gastronomic offer is concentrated.
Another incipient attraction of the barrio is street art. Even many shops and hotels, chose to paint their murals with graffities, which makes the area very colorful.
6) Puerto Madero
Puerto Madero is the newest area in the city of Buenos Aires. Where the first port of the city operated, and which was then abandoned for almost 60 years, the barrio of Puerto Madero was built there in the 90's.
The most interesting and striking of the area, is that in its design it was decided to maintain the port spirit. To many people it brings back memories of the banks of the River Thames in London, and the truth is that it is not curious, since many of the materials of the construction of the port were brought from Europe, and looking for the British style.
One of the first big investors to reach the barrio, therefore one of its promoters, was the Hilton hotel, which affirmed what would be the destination of the area, which today is one of the most expensive in Latin America. There are no more spaces available for more buildings, when you walk through the streets of Puerto Madero, you will feel overwhelmed by the modernity and height of its towers.
Puerto Madero is also noted for its wide streets and parks. The Costanera Sur was also inside the neighborhood, where you will not only find a statue of Messi, also many food trucks that will tempt you to eat a choripan.
The neighborhood is very quiet during the weekdays, but quite the opposite during the weekends, since it is one of the favorite places to wander around by the porteños, a walk or a bit of exercise around the dikes, can be very relaxing.
7) What to eat and drink in Buenos Aires?
Buenos Aires with all its multicultural influence, obtained its identity and responded through food and its flavors. We have some recomendations about this topic that is one of the most important things to do in Buenos Aires.
One of the dishes most consumed by Porteños is pizza, with plenty of cheese, and it could always be accompanied by a portion of faína. Usually, in the same pizza places, they also sell empanadas, another of the classics that you can not miss.
Of course, the asado is another of the foods most consumed by Porteños. The first thing you have to order is a “provoleta” (a provolone cheese crispy on the outside and melted on the inside). In a nice asado always combine different cuts of beef such as: asado de tira, vacio, entraña and bife de chorizo. The achuras (which are the entrails of the cow) must also be present, especially chinchulines and sweetbreads.
The choripan is our fast food criollo, you will find these chorizo sandwich in many points of the city, generally in street stalls or food trucks Do not forget to add a little chimichurry sauce to your choripan! Another traditional food, which can be offered in a sandwich as a fast food, is the “Milanesa”, you can also eat it on the plate, and it is delicious in any way.
At the dessert time, we have many classics, such as “postre vigilante”, which can be a sweet potato or sweet quince portion, accompanied with a fresh cheese. The custard with cream and dulce de leche is another of the classics (yes, dulce de leche you will be found everywhere). Ice cream is particularly rich in Buenos Aires, especially from an small ice cream shops.
It is may be bad news for you, the restaurants open late in Buenos Aires at night, the porteños have the habit of having dinner after 9 o'clock at night ... but do not worry, there is the “merienda”, a meal in the middle of the lunch and dinner. Here I would recommend you to take a few “mates” (it is a kind of tea, it's not something you get in a restaurant, you'll have to make your own set) accompanied with “facturas”, which of course can also be with dulce de leche.
When we talk about beverages, the most important thing is Malbec wine, although among the younger ones craft beer is very fashionable, and another classic one is fernet with coke.
8) Buenos Aires cultural city
it is said that Buenos Aires is the cultural capital of South America.
The Colón theatre is a sample of it. This imposing architectural work is one of the 5 best opera houses in the world! due to the acoustics of its music hall. It is only comparable with the music halls of the Scala theatre in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Vienna State Opera or the Paris Opera.
The city also offers a variety of Museums, and that makes it more interesting is many of them are for free. There are museums of all kinds, with permanent or itinerant exhibitions.
The culture is lived in the streets, walking we will find millions of graffiti, some of them true works of art. There are street art circuits, for example in the neighborhood of Colegiales, Palermo or San Telmo, in which you can spend the whole day touring and appreciating these paintings.
It is said Buenos Aires is the city with the largest number of bookstores per capita in the world! and if we walk along Corrientes Avenue, between the obelisk and Callao Avenue, not only will we find an infinity of theaters but also bookstores, many of which are open late into the night, in fact, Corrientes Avenue is known as "the street that never sleeps." A bookstore in the city that undoubtedly stands out from the others, is the bookstore "El Ateneo" that works where was the theater "Grand Splendid". This is a mandatory visit if you are in the city, you will be dazzled with this building.
9) Bares Notables
Bares Notables are a list of traditional bars in the city, which for their history and cultural contribution are protected by law, so that there always work a bar.
They must keep the facade of the building and can not modify the internal structure. Visiting them is a bit of a trip back in time, since everything is preserved as many decades ago. An unforgettable experience for those who want to feel the Buenos Aires culture.
Usually the gastronomic offer of these places is rather wide, usually includes sandwiches, pastas, meats, salads, croissants, cakes, tea, coffee, etc.
These bars contain a hundred stories related to the political and intellectual life of Buenos Aires. The bars of the city were always a meeting point for artists and a place for discussion and exchange of ideas for politicians.
The great porteño writers, generally spent and spend much of their days writing their stories in one of these bars.
10) Porteños Night
Buenos Aires is characterized by its wide range of night activities, not only on weekends, also you can find "Boliches" open during some day of the week.
First of all, it is important to point out that the nightlife in Buenos Aires "starts" rather late. Boliches begin to open their doors at 1 am, but if you go at that time you will be probably the only one there, usually the night "start" around 3am.
What to do in Buenos Aires until 3 AM? The “Previa"! The previa consists in meeting with friends, in a bar or in someone's house, to drink something, to discuss what will be done that night, to chat and then to the “boliche”!.
There are the most "classic" clubs that open their doors only on Friday and Saturday nights. The offer of kind of music that different places can offer is innumerable. There are clubs for all tastes: cumbia, reggaeton, rock, pop, hip hop, salsa, darks, metal, etc. In the neighborhoods of Palermo and San Telmo, we find the highest concentration of nightclubs and bars, so they are areas with nightly activity every day of the week.
As we mentioned, there are many clubs that open their doors during the week, there you will not realize what day or time it is, although there are many Porteños at these places they do not look worried because the next day they have to go to work at their offices ...
On weekdays there are also many "After Office", these are bars or clubs that open their doors after 6.30 pm for those who leave the office wanting to go for a drink and dance for a while, usually work until 1 or 2 am
We leave a separate chapter for the "Milongas". The "milongas" would come to be the "clubs for dancing tango". While they are more than a classic Buenos Aires, in recent years, they have increased in number due to the interest shown by visitors to Buenos Aires and also by the new generations who are readopting the tango dance. Visiting a milonga is a very good opportunity for those who want to really live the tango spirit of Buenos Aires and get away a bit from the overdone shows for tourists. Many milongas offer live orchestras and dance classes, so if you never danced tango, you can go to take a class, learn the basic steps and then stay dancing in the milonga.
11) Green areas in Buenos Aires
If we look at a map of Buenos Aires, we see that from north to south, next to the Río de la Plata, a large green cord extends. So, from Costanera Norte, crossing the Bosques de Palermo and up to the Ecological Reserve in the south.
The truth is that all these green spaces are highly recommended to be visited in Buenos Aires, especially the gardens such as the Rose Garden or the Botanical Garden, both in the heart of Palermo neighborhood, and at a distance that can be done walking between one and the other.
When you visit Puerto Madero, take the opportunity to visit its parks, just behind the docks. They are very modern, with a leafy grove and even flowered gardens.
The Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur is an oasis in the city of Buenos Aires. A few minutes from downtown and the porteña maelstrom, you will find this green space, where a few years ago came the Rio de la Plata and today is one of the lungs of the city. Perhaps the best is to visit it by bicycle, and get to where the coast of the river moved, there you will find a park, very well equipped with tables and bathrooms, and you will surely be tempted to take some mates there.
Futbol is apassion for Argentines, you could almost say a religion.
Only in the city of Buenos Aires live 6 football clubs that play in the first division, each with its stadium: River Plate, San Lorenzo, Argentinos Juniors, Huracán, Boca Juniors and Vélez Sarsfield.
The most popular teams at national and international levels are River Plate and Boca Juniors.
Without a doubt going to see a match of one of these 2 teams, playing in their stadium,it is an unforgettable experience. It does not matter if the game is entertaining or not, the show is given in the stands.
Before starting the game, the "fan" begins to sing different songs, often following the same rhythm of a hit of the moment, with a modified letter referring to his team.
When the team enters the field of play there is a lot of euphoria and joy, which often includes fireworks, and throws of paper that makes it look like a rain.
Of course at the moment the team scores a goal, it is a moment of greater emotion, and the stadium feels vibrate (literally).
Unfortunately, due to the acts of violence that occurred between the barrabravas of the different teams, the supporters of the visiting club are not allowed in the local tournaments. There are also many control systems, so often getting a ticket to watch a game becomes an odyssey.
It is not advisable to approach the stadium on the day of the match to get resale tickets there, since they are usually fake, so you will end up being cheated and without seeing the game. Nor is it a very safe place for tourists around the stadiums on a game day.
Maybe the best option is to hire one of those tours, as long as they have good recommendations of these, which include the tickets and the transfer to the stadium.
13) Albergues transitorios
This places, known vulgarly as “Telos”, are spread in Buenos Aires city. These hotels per hour are exclusively dedicated to lovers.
These places are very easy to identify, beyond that they have a sign that says "Albergue Transitorio", their facades are very typical. The entrance is usually covered by robust trees, its doors are mirrored so that it can not be seen inside, and from the outside you can not see the cars that are parked there.
The designs of the rooms, are specifically designed to have sex, decoration and music of these places simply point to this, with many mirrors distributed in the room even on the roof! Of course the rooms also have a television where you can watch XXX channels.
The cheapest telos, only have one bed, but there are much more production, of course, the more expensive are more eccentric. There are those telos that recreate in their rooms a jungle or Roman ruins or spaceships or an office, whatever is necessary for your fantasy. Some also have a jacuzzi or even a private pool.
Usually these rooms are rented by shifts of 2 hours, and also offer the possibility of spending the night there, as long as one is willing to pay for it.
As you can imagine, the rush hour of these hotels is Friday and Saturday night, where many times you have to wait for a room to be released. In telos that are located in downtown areas, they are also very popular at lunchtime or at the end of the workday, around 6pm.
Of course if you would like to visit some of these "telos", following the 13° recommendation of the things to do in Buenos Aires, you'll need someone else 😛