Planning a trip to Buenos Aires? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
The capital of Argentina is a compendium of many worlds, that contains all the flavours of South America. These are expressed particularly through dance, especially tango, a passionate pastime for many. But Buenos Aires is also made up of other vestiges of its colonial past, including strong Spanish, Italian and French influences, which are reflected in the city’s architecture, culture and traditions.
If you were to spend only one day in “BA”, you would undoubtedly make a beeline for the Plaza de Mayo. This square has been the scene of most of the political events that have shaken the nation’s capital. Located in the heart of the historic centre of the city, it provides an obvious starting point from which to begin your tour, and allows you to get acquainted with the architectural masterpieces in Buenos Aires.
La Casa Rosada, the residence of the President of the Republic, is the seat of the Argentine government. The building itself, with its beautiful and rather bewilderingly composite architecture, expresses the eclectic blend that makes up the local culture. Inside, you will find a museum that is not essential to visit if you have little time. Concentrate instead on the Metropolitan Cathedral. You will find it easily: just look for a Greek temple!
After lunch in the historic centre, you can follow the coast north and slip into the calm oasis of the MALBA, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano, where you will discover more than 400 works by major modern South American artists. As you leave the museum, explore Palermo, a chic neighbourhood. Wander about and browse the shops around Plaza Serrano, where you can enjoy an Italian-style coffee.
In the evening, it's time to get acquainted with the fiery heat created by the dancers in the historic district. So, return to the Plaza de Mayo area, which you will see in a new light. Head to the Confiteria Ideal, a historic cafe where the city’s best dancers come together each evening to mingle gracefully. Feel free to join in if you feel the dance calling you, or just watch the dancers’ supple movements in this very traditional setting.
Now that you have seen the main monuments of the city, you can take a little more time to experience the ambience of the city. Your second day will be devoted to strolling around and soaking up the atmosphere.
Return to the city centre, but this time make your way to San Telmo, a district that lies just a little south of the Plaza de Mayo. This is one of the oldest districts in the city, and it is also one of the best preserved. An ideal spot for bargain-hunting and souvenir shopping, this is where you will find a host of antique shops. You can also visit the area’s many churches, including the Church of Belen, which you can discover at your own pace during the morning. After having lunch on the Plaza Dorrego, you will head a little further south to the neighbourhood of La Boca.
In the district of La Boca, you will discover once again a completely different style of architecture that is sure to surprise you. Originally a working class neighbourhood, mostly populated by Italian immigrants, it is very famous for its colourful facades. The world-famous La Bombonera stadium can also be found in this neighbourhood. This stadium is also renowned as the place where a certain young prodigy, Diego Maradona took his first steps.
Buenos Aires is a city of theatres and opera houses, indeed it has the highest concentration of them in South America. So, take the opportunity to enjoy an evening at the Teatro Colon, one of the world's most famous operas. If the programme is not to your taste, check what’s on at the Teatro Maipo or the Teatro General San Martin.
Ease into your third day with a taste of the café culture inherited from France. As in the French capital, many cafes became famous for being meeting places for great writers. Jorge Louis Borges was a regular at Cafe Richmond and Garcia Lorca at 36 Billares. To continue the relaxed mood, prepare a small picnic and head to the Parque 3 de Febrero, the largest park in BA.
In the afternoon, head to the National Museum of Fine Art, which is located in the Recoleta district, north of Palermo. Luckily you’ll have had a quiet morning, as all your energy will be needed to get the most out of the museum, with its collection of 12,000 paintings, tapestries and works of art by great masters, including Goya, Renoir, Picasso and Monet.
Why not stay in the Recoleta district for the evening? You will find lots of high quality restaurants and trendy lounge bars here, ideal for your last night in Buenos Aires. Or perhaps you want to make your last night a more festive one, in which case you can choose between the many nightclubs or music venues in the city. If you’re into live music, check out what’s on at Niceto in Palermo, while State is a great choice for fans of electronic music.
With its mosaic of colourful districts - a kaleidoscope of traditions and different architectural styles - a trip to Buenos Aires is almost a trip around the world. Three days to explore the capital of Argentina is certainly not too long, and will allow you to get an idea of the cultural and social identity of this major South American city.