A Guide To The Greatest Things To Do In Argentina

A Guide To The Greatest Things To Do In Argentina

There are way too many things to do in Argentina, that one trip just won’t be enough.

With so many things to do in Argentina, it is easy to fall in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with many of the countries I have visited. For example, I have officially declared my love for Nicaragua. But Argentina holds a special place in my heart, I feel culturally very close to it and my love for it is so deep that I keep thinking I should actually move there.

I even bought a one way ticket to Buenos Aires a few of years ago, and just as I had started looking for a place to rent, I had to change my plans. But I have been back many times. Indeed, there are so many places to visit in Argentina, so many things to do in Argentina that I don’t think a lifetime would be enough to experience them all.

If you visit Argentina, you will be impressed by its stunning beauty. Whether youI explore one of the gorgeous cities or get deep in its incredible nature, you will feel captivated by the atmosphere, by the positive vibes, and be totally charmed by the people.

Argentina tourist attractions are many. This incredible country has something for just about anybody: cities packed with interesting museums; a fantastic cultural life; tango galore; unique wildlife; mountains and glaciers; infinite possibilities for adventure seekers; friendly people who are always in for fun; incredible food and delicious wines.

Although prices fluctuate as much as the Argentinian economy and the inflation rate is very high, Argentina is not a terribly expensive country to visit.

In this post, I will highlight the things to do in Argentina and share some tips that will help you plan your trip.

Things to do in Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the places to visit in Argentina

Practical Information To Plan Your Trip To Argentina

Deciding when to visit Argentina

Any time is a good time to visit Argentina. But I may be biased! Indeed, most of those who spend their holidays in Argentina opt to travel in the late spring and summer months, between November and March, when it is possible to enjoy the whole country thanks to the favorable weather conditions. The months of January and February are peak season and places will be busy – make reservations for buses, flights, and even hostels during those months.

One of the best things to do in Argentina during the summer months is enjoying its wildlife, in particular in the area of Peninsula Valdes and Punta Tombo (but keep in mind that the whales and orcas are spotted during the winter months). Patagonia is best visited in the summer, when Perito Moreno is not prohibitively cold; the same can be said for Tierra del Fuego. Buenos Aires does get tremendously hot in the summer months!

Make sure to check out my post Hiking Gear And More: The Perfect Patagonia Packing List.”

Guided tours of Argentina

If you want to travel to Argentina but have no time to plan the trip, or aren’t exactly a fan of it, leave it to the experts! Below are some excellent guided tours of Argentina that I have picked for you. All you have to do is book!

  • Argentina multisport – a 15 days G Adventures tour perfect for those who enjoy a bit of action during their trips;
  • Patagonia hiking – a fantastic 9 days tour with G Adventures that is all about hitting the trails;
  • Hike Patagonia in depth – this 14 days G Adventures tour also goes to Chilean Patagonia.

Getting to Argentina

Flying

Most people who fly into Argentina usually land in Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport (its international airport). You can easily book a hotel transfer from the airport here.

Visas

Visas aren’t necessary if you are a citizen of European Union countries, United States and Switzerland. Passports are stamped and a tourist visa is given, free of charge, for 90 days from the date of arrival. Citizens of Canada need an online visa (Argentina Reciprocity Fee).

Travel Insurance

It may be necessary to show proof of onward travel – such as a round trip plane ticket. I also advise to purchase travel insurance prior to your trip. You can get yours here.

Crossing the border to and from Argentina

There are several places to cross the border between Argentina and Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Crossing the border is usually a rather easy process but keep in mind that no fruits and vegetables can be carried into Chile. Whatever fresh food item you may be carrying, needs to be either discarded before crossing the border or declared in the immigration card.

The fines for omitting to do so aren’t high, but the Chilean authorities will take their time in measuring every single item that can’t be carried into Chile, and this may slow down the entire border crossing process!

Currency in Argentina

The Argentinian peso is the most fluctuating currency in South America, if not the world. Inflation rate are very high and prices can change dramatically in the course of a few weeks.

Credit cards are not widely accepted and using them usually imply a surcharge. Dollars are widely accepted.

At the moment, $1 USD is worth about 60 Argentinian Pesos.

I still think that one of the best things to do in Argentina is carrying some dollars, just in case.

Safety in Argentina

Argentina is safe and you shouldn’t encounter any problems. Keep a low profile, use minimum precaution, such as keeping your eyes open, carrying a copy of your passport around and leaving the original one in a safe, keeping your bag strapped around my shoulder and not wearing anything too flashy and all goes well.

Transportation in Argentina

Some of the distances in this huge country are very large. For example, getting from Puerto Madryn to El Calafate takes a good 20 hours, and from Mendoza to Buenos Aires 15 hours. Unless traveling overland is a matter of principle, I think that flying may well be one of the best things to do in Argentina, and at times it may also save a little money – just make sure to book well in advance.

Having said so, buses in Argentina are usually punctual and comfortable. Seats can be fully reclined and long distance buses even pass around meals (don’t expect anything fancy). Seats usually have a personal screen, headphones and there even is wifi.

Where to stay in Argentina

The range of places to stay in Argentina is incredible: from hostels to hotels, from bed and breakfast to guest houses and even to couch-surfing, there is something for any budget. The standard of hostels is generally good: clean, well equipped, with a nice vibe and they even organize nights out, parties and dinners for very good prices.

One of the best things to do in Argentina, however, is staying in an estancia (called finca in some parts of the country), a ranch. Most estancias are located a bit off the beaten path, and staying in one is a great way to get to know in depth some of the most interesting aspects of the culture of Argentina.

places to visit in Argentina

Staying in an estancia is one of the things to do in Argentina – photo courtesy of Mariano Mantel (flickr)

Eating in Argentina

Fact: food in Argentina is delicious and one of the top things to do in Argentina is eating. Argentina is a real paradise for meat eaters, and enjoying a good asado (a mix of barbecued meats) is a must. So delicious is asado that there even are online resources that explain how to make a good one at home.

things to do in Argentina

Yummy things to do in Argentina: eating asado – photo courtesy of Jesus Dehesa (flickr)

Vegetarians and vegans may have a bit of a hard time, but things are improving and the choice of places to eat for them is anyways quite large, especially in cities such as Buenos Aires and Mendoza. Thanks to its Italian heritage, in Argentina there is a lot of good Italian food and home made pasta and pizza are available in lots of restaurants, making the life of vegetarians and vegans a bit easier.

In the north west regions, empanadas (sort of small calzones with various fillings) are a good option of cheap and tasty food, along with the humitas (sort of tamales, made of corn dough).

Argentinians typically eat a small breakfast consisting of café con leche (coffee with milk) and medialunas, which are small croissants. International hostels and hotels do offer a bigger variety.

Dulce de leche (caramelized milk, almost nauseatingly sweet) is very popular and pretty much spread on anything, or so it seems. A popular snack is alfajores, two rounded dry biscuits joined together by (usually) dulche de leche and often covered in chocolate. I don’t have a very sweet tooth so I didn’t particularly enjoy them.

Drinking in Argentina

Beer in Argentina isn’t really that great. Quilmes is perhaps the best one, followed by Salteña which is more popular in the region of Salta. Craft beer is becoming more and more popular, with lots of pubs sprouting, especially in Buenos Aires. 

Among the recommended things to do in Argentina, there is trying the fantastic wines and taking a wine tour, especially in the region of Mendoza and in Cafayate. Malbec is a fantastic grape that perfectly accompanies meat dishes.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Among the things to do in Buenos Aires, there is visiting the iconic Casa Rosada

25 Things To Do In Argentina That You Can’t Miss

Explore the magnificent Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is among the unmissable places to visit in Argentina. It is a great (and huge) European-looking city with a fabulous Latin Vibe. Next to state of the art modern buildings there are beautiful examples of colonial architecture. It is packed with parks and interesting museums. Its boulevards are immense, but just around the corner there are tiny cobbled alleys. There is a good reason it is called “The Paris of South America.”

If you care to know more about the actual Paris, make sure to read my post 33 Incredible Places To Visit In Paris.”

And as if this was not enough already, there are gorgeous little cafés where the porteños (how people living in Buenos Aires are called) like to meet; trendy bars and night clubs; milongas where even the most reluctant ones will be seduced by tango; restaurants that serve delicious local and international food; fantastic shopping opportunities (actually, although I am not a shopaholic, I found shopping is one of the things do to in Buenos Aires).

Not to mention, one thing that can’t be missed when visiting Argentina is watching a futból match and there is hardly a better place to do so than Buenos Aires’ Bombonera stadium. Here, I just highlight the things to do in Buenos Aires you can’t miss. For more, read my detailed post “25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires.”

what to do in Buenos Aires

Things to do in Buenos Aires: exploring its iconic attractions, starting from Microcentro

Touring Buenos Aires iconic attractions

One of the things to do in Buenos Aires is visiting its iconic attractions. In this city, modernity and history mix gracefully. BAires, as the locals call it, is incredibly spread out, but with a little bit of effort, most of the tourist attractions can be visited in a day. 

Microcentro, the commercial centre of the city, is a good starting point to begin exploring Buenos Aires. There you will spot the trendy porteños all dressed up, rushing to business meetings.

Plaza de Mayo deserves a special mention. This is where the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo used to meet with pictures and signs of the desaparecidos – the victims of the Argentinian dictatorship – demanding to know where their sons were being held and reporting the human rights violations committed by the authorities. 

Right on Plaza de Mayo there are the Catedral Metropolitana and the iconic Casa Rosada, seat of the Argentinian President and the political heart of the city. Not far from it, Manzana de las Luces is another must see, as it is the oldest colonial church in Buenos Aires.

One of the things to do in Buenos Aires which you will surely enjoy is going for a walk in Puerto Madero, which used to be a pier once but currently is one of the trendiest barrios of the city, with its luxury apartment buildings and trendy restaurants. Puerto Madero is also home to famous architect Calatrava’s Puente de la Mujer, which is a real work of art.

Another part of Buenos Aires you will definitely like is Recoleta. This is where the wealthiest families of Buenos Aires moved in the 1870s, when an epidemic of yellow fever hit the neighborhood of San Telmo. One of the best things to do in Buenos Aires is strolling along Avenida Alvear, with its beautiful villas, the lovely shops and the Cementerio de Recoleta, the cemetery where Evita Peron, one of the most important persons in Argentinas history, is buried.

Here are some great tour options to get an introduction to Buenos Aires:

Visit Buenos Aires fantastic museums

If the weather in Buenos Aires is not nice, make sure to visit one of the many fantastic museums! My two favorites are the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which has Argentina’s best art collection with pieces of Renoir, Monet, Picasso and Gauguin, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Explore Buenos Aires most charming barrios

San Telmo and La Boca are the most charming barrios of Buenos Aires, and paying a visit to these two charming neighborhoods is a must. San Telmo used to be an elegant area where the wealthiest families in town lived but, following the yellow fever epidemic, they moved to Recoleta. San Telmo, with its cobbled streets and colonial buildings, is now a favorite of artists and bohémien, famous for its Sunday antiques market and for the lively Feria de San Telmo (the local market).

La Boca is where Italian and Spanish immigrants settled in the 19th century and it is now a popular tourist spot for its colorful Caminito and for the Boca Juniors impressive football stadium, La Bombonera. Try a walking tour of La Boca, like this one.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Exploring Palermo – what to do in Buenos Aires on Sundays – photo courtesy of Gabriel Joandet (flickr)

Explore Palermo

Palermo Viejo is one of the trendiest areas of Buenos Aires, packed with gorgeous buildings, cobbled streets and beautiful boulevards. You can also explore Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywhood, which are packed with great street art.

Here are some great options for seeing Palermo:

Watch a fútbol match at La Bombonera

People take fútbol very seriously in Argentina. Diego Armando Maradona is still a national hero and Lionel Messi is a star. Going to La Bombonera for a fútbol match is definitely one of the things to do in Buenos Aires. Try to get tickets for a superclásico – Boca Juniors v. River Plate.

Dance tango

Watching a tango show in one of the many milongas is one of the musts in Buenos Aires.

What to do in Buenos Aires

Things to do in Buenos Aires on a Sunday: get out of the city! – photo courtesy of David Almeida (flickr)

Drink Mate

One of the things to do in Argentina is trying mate – a bitter infusion made with chopped yerba mate leaves and hot water. Drinking mate is a huge part of the Argentinian culture, to the point that people in Argentina hardly leave their home without carrying a thermos of hot water, enough yerba mate, a cup (which is usually called calabaza, Spanish for pumpkin, and is indeed a calabash gourd) and a bombilla, the straw used to drink it.

Drinking mate is a national ritual: Buenos Aires parks are packed with people sitting on the grass and drinking mate on Sundays. They pass along the cup and the straw and sip it for hours at end. It is not uncommon to also see mate stations, where people empty their calabaza and fill up on hot water.

Visit El Tigre

At about 35 km from north of Buenos Aires, Tigre and its river delta are a favorite of porteños and they are nice places for a day tour from Buenos Aires. A train ride away from Retiro station, Tigre is a small, quiet city where you can get away from the heat of Buenos Aires during summer days. Check here for more details on an El Tigre day tour

Make sure to visit the Puerto de Frutos, a lovely local market that sells any kind of goods. You can also go on a boat ride that takes you along the delta: the view of the traditional homes and nature are stunning.

Things to do in Argentina

Colonia del Sacramento is a perfect day trip from Buenos Aires

Go on a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)

Colonia del Sacramento is among the places to visit in Uruguay, is only one hour away from Buenos Aires by ferry. It is a lovely escape for a day trip from Buenos Aires. You can catch a fast boat across the Rio de la Plata to visit the gorgeous little city of Colonia del Sacramento. Check here to book a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento.

The city was founded by the Portuguese in 1680 and is truly pretty. The main attraction of Colonia del Sacramento is the Barrio Histórico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its old gate, the Portón de Campo; the tiny Calle de los Suspiros; the beautifully kept colonial buildings; Plaza Mayor 25 de Mayo and Plaza de Armas; and the ruins of the Convento de San Francesco. The lighthouse is the perfect spot to admire the views of the Rio de la Plata. Colonia is also packed with perfectly kept vintage cars.

Read more about Colonia del Sacramento and the fantastic things to do in Uruguay on my post “The top seven things to do in Uruguay.” Make sure to also check out my post 25 Cool Things To Do In Montevideo.”

Where to stay in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is packed with good hotels and hostels. Picking a place to stay is always a matter of personal preferences and interests. I like a bit of local feel and I enjoy walking everywhere, so to me the best places to stay in town are all in San Telmo, which is a charming area packed with lovely restaurants, cafés and bars.

I found America del Sur hostel to be a good choice. There are dorms (all having a private bathroom) as well as private rooms – all of them are cozy, modern and very comfortable. America del Sur organizes nights out as well as tango workshops too. Check here to book now or here to see reviews

Looking for more accommodation options? Make sure to read A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.”

Where to eat in Buenos Aires

There are plenty of good restaurants in Buenos Aires, spread all over town. Some great international and fusion restaurants are in Palermo, one of the trendiest areas of Buenos Aires. Yet, my pick is Fresh Market, in Puerto Madero. It took me a while to find this, as really the restaurant is no more than a few tables in what really is a grocery store. But the food is incredible (I highly recommend the fresh salmon) and the choice of dessert is out of this world!

You could also try a food tour to see more of the cuisine in Buenos Aries. Here are some great tour options:

Argentina tourist Attraction

Puerto Madryn is one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Christian Ostrosky (flickr)

Admire wildlife in Peninsula Valdes and Punta Tombo

Puerto Madryn is definitely one of the places to visit in Argentina. A small port town on the Gulfo Nuevo, it gives easy access to some of Argentina tourist attractions: the beautiful Península Valdés and Punta Tombo. In the summer months, it is is a beach destination to which lots of people who spend their holidays in Argentina travel, as it is the perfect location for one of the most incredible things to do in Argentina: admiring the thriving wildlife. And as a bonus, it also is a nice place to just hang out.

Read my post A Complete Guide To Puerto Madryn, Argentina.”

In the winter and spring, between June and December, Puerto Madryn is the place to go to admire the austral whales directly from the town jetty (although apparently the best place to spot the austral whales is Puerto Pirámides, in the Península Valdés). Check here for more information on a whale watching tour.

One of the best things to do in Argentina is learning more about its incredible wildlife, and Puerto Madryn is an excellent place to do that as it has several interesting museums. One of them, the Ecocentro, is a work of art of interactive exhibits where great artistic sensibility and outstanding scientific research are joined together for superb results. It also has a fantastic library from which it is possible to admire a beautiful view of the gulf (and spot the marine life).

I visited Puerto Madryn during the summer months (between December and March), which is when the strong Patagonian winds blow almost uninterrupted. For this reason, I was unable to see the austral whales. Yet, like most of those who visit Argentina, I went all the way to Puerto Madryn to further explore the region – and it was a good choice!

One of the activities you are bound to like the most is boat expedition to admire mammals such as dolphins and sea lions in their natural environment. 

Puerto Madryn is perfect also for for hiking, biking, going kayaking, scuba diving, or even learning how to windsurf. Check here to see how to go scuba diving in sea lions in Puerto Madryn.

Argentina tourist attractions

One of the most incredible things to do in Argentina is enjoying the gorgeous wildlife

Among the things to do in Argentina, there is visiting the Reserva Faunística Península Valdés, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the best places to observe the incredible wildlife in its natural habitat. Among others, during a tour of Peninsula Valdes you will be able to admire sea elephant and lions, guanacos, nandus, foxes, magellan penguins. Depending on the season, even orcas show up.

visit Argentina

This photo is the proof that Punta Tombo is one of the places to visit in Argentina

Another of the places to visit in Argentina is Punta Tombo, the largest penguin nesting region in South America. Besides a variety of birds which includes cormorants and seagulls, here lives a colony of over half a million magellan penguins who set up their nest and lay their eggs each year between September and April. Taking a tour of Punta Tombo to walk around there is one of the most fun and surreal things to do in Argentina. They look really cute and they are really loud!

Here are some great options for tours in Puerto Madryn:

Where to stay in Puerto Madryn

When I visited Puerto Madryn, I stayed at Hi Patagonia, a lovely hostel which, for the way it is set up, looks more like a home. And indeed, it does feel homey, with the common areas where guests can hang out, good dorms and a properly equipped kitchen. Hi Patagonia regularly organizes asado nights (eating asado is one of the things to do in Argentina) for a very convenient price, and nights out for its guests. Check here to book now or here to read more reviews

Where to eat in Puerto Madryn

Although I mostly ate at the hostel, one of the restaurants I tried in Puerto Madryn is Estela, which is considered the best restaurant in town. It offers a great choice of meat, pasta and fish dishes and the atmosphere is very cozy.

things to do in Argentina

Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego are absolutely stunning

Venture to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego

Among the fantastic things to do in Argentina, there is admiring its unspoiled nature and appreciate its wilderness. Ushuaia is one of the places to visit in Argentina just for that.

Read my complete guide to Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.

What makes Ushuaia one of Argentina tourist attractions is its location, in a wide bay on the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. The Martial mountain range is at its north, whereas the Beagle Channel lays at its south. Those who visit Argentina usually travel to Ushuaia in the summer months, when the city (which is the closest point to Antarctica) gets a lot of daylight and the temperatures, despite being cold, are not as prohibitive as in the winter months (May to August).

Ushuaia is a perfect base for some incredible adventures and to embark on some of the most incredible things to do in Argentina, such as hiking, kayaking, dog sledding, wildlife watching and Antarctica cruises. Among the places to visit in Argentina that can be easily accessed from Ushuaia, there are Cerro Martial and its glacier, Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel.

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Argentina, and there are hardly better places than the scented forests of Tierra del Fuego National Park for that.

There are several walking trails, some offering views of the Beagle Channel and of Isla Navarino and Isla Hoste, and on any of them it is possible to admire the flora and wildlife that lives in the area, which includes cormorants, seagulls and even condors. The best hike is that of Laguna Esmeralda.

Check out my post “A Complete Guide To Hiking Laguna Esmeralda.”

Furthermore, one of Argentina tourist attractions is the Tren del Fin del Mundo, a fantastic train ride that goes through the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Boarding a day cruise across the Beagle Channel is a great way to explore the various islands of Tierra del Fuego, such as those of the Alicia Archipelago.

Bird Islands, Seal Islands and Isla Martillo are packed with wildlife and this is where it is possible to admire colonies of sea lions and seals as well as the Magellan Penguins. Included the places to visit in Argentina that can be explored during a tour of the Beagle Channel is the beautiful Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse.

Here are some great tour options for Ushuaia:

Where to stay in Ushuaia

In Ushuaia, you can stay at Posada Fin del Mundo, a wonderful building with huge windows that offer spectacular views. Rooms aren’t really spacious, but they are cozy and comfortable and the breakfast is delicious. The owners are real stars! Check here to book now or here to read more reviews

Where to eat in Ushuaia

There are plenty of good restaurants in Ushuaia. I loved grabbing some quick bits at Almacen Ramos Generales, which has freshly baked bread and good croissants. My favorite restaurant in town is María Lola Restó, which is also very popular among the locals.

Things to to in Argentina

El Calafate is one of the places to visit in Argentina – no doubt about that

Visit El Calafate

Patagonia is without the shadow of a doubt among the places to visit in Argentina, and the small town of El Calafate is the perfect access point to it. El Calafate is located on the southern coast of Lago Argentino, surrounded by the Andean peaks, lakes and glaciers. Although the main feature of El Calafate is its location, this small town is pretty and a lovely place to relax for a few days, as it is packed with nice cafés, restaurants and shops.

Those cafés come in really handy with the sudden weather changes. Even in the summer months, El Calafate can be really cold and it can snow!

Here are some more tour options in El Calafate:

Read my post A Complete Guide To El Calafate, Argentina” and for more information on Patagonia, check out my post 30 Things You Should Consider Before Traveling To Patagonia.”

Places to visit in Argentina

Perito Moreno glacier well deserves to be among Argentina tourist attractions

Admire Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier is among the most famous Argentina tourist attractions. From a distance, the view is that of an enormous river of ice that slowly moves towards the lake, surrounded by mountains. Getting closer, the glacier looks like a wall of ice. One of the most fantastic things to do in Argentina is thus taking a cruise on Lago Argentino, along the Canal de los Témpanos, to get right to the bottom of Perito Moreno and to admire the icebergs that float on the lake.

Check out my post A Complete Guide To Perito Moreno Glacier.”

Yet, visiting the Perito Moreno is not simply a visual experience. One of the best things to do in Argentina is indeed listening to the ridges that, torn away from the glacier, crash loudly onto the lake – the sound this produces is similar to that of a thunder in the distance.

Go on a glacier hike

Among the most incredible things to do in Argentina is hiking on the Perito Moreno glacier. 

It is actually not so cold when you do it – I found the temperatures much colder on the balconies. My advice if you are willing to hike the glacier is to make sure to wear proper great – good hiking boots and socks, a good snow jacket, hat, scarf and gloves and thermal underwear will all be necessary.

Here are some more options for tours to Perito Moreno:

things to do in Argentina

Hiking is one of the most fantastic things to do in Argentina

Hike around Estancia Cristina

A hiking expedition that from Estancia Cristina will lead you to a viewpoint from which you can admire the Uppsala glacier. It may be very windy, yet the hike isn’t too strenuous.

During this day tour of Estancia Cristina and Uppsala Glacier, you will walk along the Cañadón de los Fósiles, where you will be able to observe a large number of marine fossils dating back to an era precedent to the formation of the Andes, and see othe glacier from the great viewpoint of Lago Guillermo. Finally, you also get to visit Estancia Cristina, which was once a ranch and it has currently been turned into a fabulous boutique hotel where it is great to spend a few nights, and which has a great annexed museum.

Go to Torres del Paine

Lots of people who visit Argentina and go to El Calafate feel tempted to go on a day trip to Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile. This is a great place to visit, and it is for a good reason that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Yet, of all the things to do in Argentina, I would not recommend going to Torres del Paine just for a day. I speak with good reason as I was one of those who made the mistake and wasted a full day (and a good amount of money – but after all, I have always said I am an unsuccessful backpacker) on what turned up to be just a bus trip where stops would consist of no more than 30 minutes for pictures.

The park is too gorgeous to just spend a few hours there and deserves at least a few days to explore the various hiking trails. If you do decide to go, make sure to spend a few days there.

Where to stay in El Calafate

America del Sur hostel in El Calafaate s a great place to do get incredible views of Patagonia. It is a bit outside the centre of town, on a hill overlooking Lake Argentino.

One of the fondest memories I have of Argentina is having a very early breakfast before a day trip and seeing the sunrise from the cozy common room of America del Sur hostel. Dorms are cozy and comfortable and they all have private bathrooms. The hostel also offers tours and organizes asado nights. It is a great place to meet other travelers too. Check here to book now or here to compare reviews

Where to eat in El Calafate

Eating is one of the things to do in Argentina. I tried various restaurants in El Calafate and eventually I made up my mind that the best one is La Tablita, a great parrilla that serves delicious meat and fish dishes, and has a great wine selection. The atmosphere is very cozy and the service excellent.

things to do in Argentina

El Chalten is an unmissable stop during a trip to Argentina

Hike around El Chalten

Adventure sports are among the things to do in Argentina, first and foremost hiking, but also rafting and kayaking. Considered the Argentinian hiking capital, with its iconic Fitzroy mountain range, El Chalten is one of the places to visit in Argentina for adventure sports.

Located in the northern side of the Parque Nacional los Glaciares, El Chalten is just a tiny village. Yet, it is the perfect starting point for many hiking trails and fairly easy to reach even on a day trip from El Calafate. As I was based in El Calafate and had to get a bus back, I opted for the 3 hour trail Laguna Torre, which offers incredible views of the Cerro Torre.

Check out my post Hiking In Patagonia: 16 Incredible Trails.” Make sure to also read my detailed posts A Guide To Hiking Around Fitz Roy, In El Chaltenand A Complete Guide To Hiking To Laguna Torre.”

Also read An Excellent Guide To El Chalten.”

Here are some great options for tours to/in El Chalten:

Take a wine tour in Mendoza

Lively during the day, Mendoza becomes fully alive at night when locals and tourists crowd the many restaurants and bars. The city is a fun place to visit, but the main features of Mendoza are its proximity to the Parque Provincial Cerro Aconcagua – home of the highest peak of the Western hemisphere, the Cerro Aconcagua (6962 meters) – and the fact that the region where Mendoza is located is the most incredible wine producing region of South America.

It is thus easy to understand why Mendoza is one of Argentina tourist attractions.

Lots of people that visit Argentina go to Mendoza specifically to go on wine tasting tours, and I won’t deny that this was my case too. 

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Visiting the bodegas near Mendoza is one of the things to do in Argentina

The area of Mendoza is packed with incredible bodegas (vineyards) producing world class Malbec and Merlot wines. Although some travelers may opt for the classic tours, I recommend exploring the region by bike. At a leisurely pace, you can bike from bodega to bodega and in each one have a tour of the vineyards, of the cellar and a (few) sampling of wine at the end.

Needless to say, you can also buy several bottles of wine to bring home with you. 

Traveling to Mendoza? Make sure to check out my posts A Guide To The Most Fun Things To Do In Mendoza, Argentina and 13 Fantastic Wineries In Mendoza.”

Here are some great options for tours in Mendoza:

Where to stay in Mendoza

Chill Inn is an excellent choice. There are several kinds of accommodation to choose from, which include private room and dorms. The kitchen is perfectly equipped, and the asado is offered regularly. They also sell bottles of wine and have a great selection. There’s also a small but lovely pool to hang out in the summer, and a nice garden. Check here to book now or here to read reviews

Where to eat in Mendoza

Siete Fuegos is a great place to eat. It has a great selection of wines, excellent food, a fabulous setting that make this one of the best restaurants in the country.

Holidays in Argentina

Salta is one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Paul Campbell (flickr)

Explore Salta and the North West

Salta is the biggest city in the North of Argentina, laying on a beautiful valley surrounded by the fantastic Andean peaks. It’s the indigenous heart of the country, and deserves to be listed among the places to visit in Argentina. The central plaza is a great place to hang out and among the places of interest in town there are the Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco. You can get the teleférico to the Cerro San Bernardo, which allows you to have a great view of the city (hint: go right before sunset to take in the incredible light).

One of Argentina tourist attractions are its great museums. Salta is home to a great anthropology museum, the MAAM (Museo de Antropologia de Alta Montaña), considered the most important museum of North Argentina. You will get to see 3 mummies found in 1999.

I didn't travel alone to Argentina

Rafting is one of the top things to do in Argentina

Go rafting on Rio Juramento

Among the incredible things to do in Argentina there are all sorts of adventure sports. Patagonia is generally considered the best region for hiking, but Salta and its surroundings offer incredible opportunities to adrenaline seekers. One of my most memorable days to date is the one I spent rafting, hiking and zip lining over the Rio Juramento with Salta Rafting, the most reputable operator in the area. 

The day usually starts quite early: at 8:00 am you will be picked up to drive two hours drive on a beautiful, scenic road, to reach the base camp on Rio Juramento, where you will be given all necessary equipment to raft and get fully trained.

After two hours of rafting you’ll get to a place where a bus will be waiting for you to take you back to the base camp, were you will be able to take a shower and then offered a delicious asado.

Salta Argentina

A day of adventure is a must when in Salta

Go zip lining

If you are looking for more adventure, after rafting you can go zip lining on a system of ten cables connecting various parts of the canyon, going above the river. It is a bit scary, but also breathtaking, fun and the views were spectacular!

Take the Tren a las Nubes

Another of the great things to do in Argentina that can be enjoyed while in Salta is taking the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds), which goes through the Quebrada del Toro to reach a spectacular viaduct suspended at 64 meters and 224 meters long, and also crosses a desert which is at 4220 meters above sea level.

Visit Calchaquíes Valley

South west of Salta, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Argentina is the Calchaquíes Valley – a gorgeous combination of dry landscapes, pretty adobe villages, traditional crafts markets and some of the best wines in the country. The good news is that, compared to the rest of the north of Argentina, this region is still not as explored. Make sure to visit the Devil’s Gorge, the Conchas Gorge and the beautiful Cafayate, a village surrounded by picturesque wineries.

Here are some great options for tours in and from Salta:

Where to stay in Salta

One of the most charming places to stay in Salta is Bloomers B&B, a fantastic guest house that only has 5 rooms, each one different from the other, yet all beautifully decorated and cozy. The atmosphere is very friendly, and the breakfast menu – which changes daily – delicious. Click here to book now.

Where to eat in Salta

My favorite restaurant in Salta is El Viejo Jack. This unpretentious parrilla doesn’t look too charming, but the food is delicious, the service fast and friendly, and the prices more than affordable.

You will also enjoy Pizzeria La Colonial. Sure, this isn’t nearly the best pizza one can have in Argentina (far from it) but almost all customers are locals, the atmosphere is easy going and the prices very cheap. I surely enjoyed it!

Make sure to read my post A Complete Guide To Salta Argentina.”

Argentina tourist attractions

Quebrada de Humahuaca – one of the places to visit in Argentina – photo courtesy of Klaus Balzano (flickr)

Go on a road trip to the Quebrada de Humahuaca

Exploring the incredible Quebrada de Humahuaca is one of the things to do in Argentina: this well deserves to be among the places to visit in Argentina thanks to its breathtaking landscapes. This is a land where blue skies meet the high desert planes, small adobe villages are scattered along with small yet interesting archeological sites.

It is a palette of colors, so unique to be included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. The people who live in the Quebrada are among the few remaining indigenous groups of Argentina – they are Quechua, much as the indigenous groups that currently live in Cusco and the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Among the villages to visit in the Quebrada de Humahuaca there is the tiny yet lovely Purmamarca, which is right at the foot of Cerro de los Siete Colores, and which has a lovely market – one of the things to do in Argentina is haggling for some beautiful crafts in Purmamarca. The village of Maimará looks incredible against the “Paleta del Pintor”.

Tilcara is among the places to visit in Argentina for its colorful and friendly people and its unique carnival, which lasts a few days and where the celebrations are contagious: musical bands walk around the village, incessantly playing their music while others dance and play tricks to passersby, throwing flour or talcum powder at them. The result is messy, yet a lot of fun.

The Pucará de Tilcara, an Inca archeological site just outside the village, is an interesting place to spend a few hours – don’t expect anything as magnificent as Machu Picchu, but it can have its charme.

On the other side of the Trópico de Capricornio, the village of Uquía is located at over 2800 meters above sea level and has a beautiful church built in the 17th century. Humahuaca, at almost 3000 meters above sea level, is the largest village in the area and one of the places to visit in Argentina for it is packed with color, beautiful cobbled streets, lively markets and friendly locals.

Argentina tourist attractions

Reflections of clouds on the water: Salinas Grandes are among the places to visit in Argentina

West of Purmamarca, one of the most interesting places to visit in Argentina is the beautiful Salinas Grandes, a large salt flat at 3350 meters above sea level. The visual effect of the salt flats is a blinding light, though when the region gets some rain, the area appears like a large lake that beautifully reflects the mountains and the clouds. Visiting Salinas Grandes is one of the things to do in Argentina!

Here are some great tour options for Humahuaca:

Where to stay in the Quebrada de Humahuaca

Posada El Sol is a good hostel a bit out of the centre of Humahuaca. It is a beautiful building in adobe, with a nice, well kept garden and an equipped kitchen. There are dorms as well as private rooms. Breakfast is included in the price. Click here to book now or check here to see more reviews

A more upper scale and comfortable place to stay is Cielo Arriba Casa, which is closer to the main square and has very few rooms located around a beautiful patio. Click here to book now

Where to eat in the Quebrada de Humahuaca

The Quebrada de Humahuaca is packed with good restaurants for all budgets. The one I enjoyed the most is El Churqui, in Purmamarca, which is in a gorgeous historical building and prepares typical regional dishes, including llama.

Argentina tourist attractions

Unmissable things to do in Argentina: visiting the mighty Iguazu waterfalls

Be mesmerized by Cataratas del Iguazu

Of all the things to do in Argentina, visiting the incredible Cataratas del Iguazu is, to put it simply, a must. Located between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, these incredible waterfalls are among the best Argentina tourist attractions for they are spectacular, a natural wonder and a real show of the mighty power of nature.

Check out my post Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Iguazu Falls Argentina.”

The nearest town to the waterfalls is Puerto Iguazu, at the border with Brazil. The town itself is nothing special, but it is a great base for exploring the waterfalls, as several buses per day leave from the bus station in Puerto Iguazu, either going to the Brazilian border and dropping visitors off directly at the park in Brazil, or to the Argentinian park. There are several restaurants and bars to hang out and try the local specialties – which are different from that of the rest of the country.

The climate in this part of the country is tropical, and it is hot and humid throughout the year.

My recommendation is to actually visit the Brazilian side first, and leave the Argentinian one as the cherry on the cake. The Brazilian side is indeed very panoramic – the views are incredible and there are endless possibilities to take postcard-like pictures. It is also possible to follow several trails to admire the local wildlife (though the most interesting animals are night creatures!).

The Argentinian side is actually more fun. You will be able to see the waterfalls from a distance, and then get close to them, get under them, get above them. You will truly live the waterfalls.

Make sure to follow the various trails to cross to Isla San Martín. You can also walk through a 1 km footpath on the forest to reach the famous Garganta del Diablo, where a platform is laid right above the river. 

Argentina tourist attractions

One of the things to do in Argentina: admiring Iguazu waterfalls from the Garganta del Diablo

What makes the Iguazu waterfalls one of the places to visit in Argentina is the fact that it is a unique site. It is an all encompassing experience. Visual as much as auditive, you can hear the roar of the waterfalls long before you actually get to see them. 

There are many things to do in Argentina in Iguazu National Park. It is possible to go rafting, hiking on various trails (such as the Black Well Trail and the slippery Sendero Macuco) and even kayaking. One of the most interesting experiences, apparently, is seeing the full moon from the Garganta del Diablo, when the natural light illuminates the waterfalls. I didn’t get to do this as the full moon can only be enjoyed on 5 consecutive nights per month and I wasn’t visiting Iguazu during one of those days.

Here are some great tours for visiting Iguazu Falls:

Where to stay in Puerto Iguazu

When I visited Iguazu I was traveling with a few other people and we decided to stay at Jasy Hotel. It was an excellent choice. We shared a private room and it was really spacious, it even had some basic kitchen facilities like a fridge and a microwave. The garden is beautifully kept, there is a small pool where we could relax after a day of exploration, and a good restaurant. Click here to book now or check here to read more reviews

The bonus was the Caipirinha we were offered upon arrival: it was delicious.

Where to eat in Puerto Iguazu

Aside from the colorful market north of the centre, Puerto Iguazu is packed with good places to eat. El Quincho de Tío Querido is a good option for a typical Argentinian parrilla – the prices are more than reasonable.

Aqva is a fancy restaurant that offers some local specialties such as the surubi fish. It is on the pricey side but may be a good option for a special night out.

Have you ever been to Argentina? What were your favorite things to do in Argentina?

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Read about the best things to do in Argentina - via @clautavani

 

25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires

25 Unmissable Things To Do In Buenos Aires

I love Buenos Aires. There are so many things to do in Buenos Aires that a lifetime wouldn’t be enough for me to go through them. So much I love it, that after having been there three times I realized that I could live there. I feel incredibly comfortable there – perhaps the fact that I speak Spanish fluently and that I can easily pass for Argentinian helps a bit (interestingly enough, the only other place where this regularly happens is Tel Aviv!).

This is to say, I think visiting Argentina without taking the time to properly explore Buenos Aires (or Baires, as the Porteños call it) would take out from the overall experience of the country.

Check out my posts A Guide To The Greatest Things To Do In Argentina and A Flash Pack’s Argentina Itinerary for a more complete guide about the country. 

Buenos Aires is the beating heart of Argentina, not to mention its political, economic and cultural centre. It’s a city that offers a lot in terms of places to visit and activities. It’s as charming as the most beautiful European capitals (they even call it “the Paris of South America”), but it has that warm, welcoming vibe that only South American cities have. It’s easy to fall in love with it.

For more about the actual Paris and other cities to visit in France, read my posts 33 Incredible Places To Visit In Paris” and A Guide To The 5 Best Cities To Visit In France.”

On any given tour of Buenos Aires you’ll notice that this is a city where old meets new – right next door: gorgeous colonial buildings sit right next to modern skyscrapers. There are some beautiful city parks, and so many museums. The large boulevards give way to tiny cobbled alleys.

There are many cafés where the locals enjoy drinking coffee and eat medialunas (which are tiny croissants); there are a multitude of bars and clubs; milongas to practice tango; restaurants and budget eateries; boutiques and flea markets. And since Argentinians are literally obsessed with futból, the Bombonera is the ultimate place to enjoy a great football match.

In this post, I highlight everything you should do in Buenos Aires that is fun, budget friendly and that is simply unmissable.

These are some of the best guided tours of Buenos Aires:

things to do in Buenos Aires

Walking along the busy Microcentro is one of the things to do in Buenos Aires

25 Fun Things To Do In Buenos Aires

Walk around Microcentro

One of the unmissable things to do in Buenos Aires is to walk around Microcentro, the commercial heart of the city. This is where the trendy Porteños can be seen in the morning, all dressed up on their way to work or jumping from one business meeting to the other. It’s not the most charming area of the city – all large boulevards and crossroads. But here, you’ll get to see the famous Obelisco, and the building of the Ministry of Health, which has a huge steel image of Eva Peron on both its north and south side.

Spend some time in Plaza de Mayo

Not too far from Microcentro, Plaza de Mayo is another must see in Buenos Aires, not only because it is splendid, but also for its symbolic value. I am a former human rights lawyer, so to me visiting the square where the mothers of the desaparecidos – the victims of the Argentinian dictatorship – meet regularly to demand justice for the victims of the regime and to protest against the violations of human rights committed by the dictatorship is almost a rite of passage.

I happened there during the demonstrations a few times, and it is a touching, intense experience. If you have an opportunity, join a demonstration: is what to do in Buenos Aires if you care about human rights.

things to do in Buenos Aires

One of the symbols of Buenos Aires, the Casa Rosada is a must see

Visit the Catedral Metropolitana and the Casa Rosada

Right in front of Plaza de Mayo there are the beautiful Catedral Metropolitana and the Casa Rosada, one of the symbols of Buenos Aires! Casa Rosada is the seat of the Argentinian President, and the political heart of the city. There often are some interesting art exhibit in the garden, and during the summer months Porteños enjoy eating their lunch in the park right outside. This is one of the most sights in Buenos Aires.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Browsing the stalls at Feria de San Telmo

Shop at the Feria de San Telmo

The most charming barrios of Buenos Aires are San Telmo and La Boca. San Telmo used to be somewhat a posh area where the rich Porteños used to live but then, after an epidemic of yellow fever in 1870, they moved to Recoleta. In the last few years, it has become an incredibly popular place to hang out, packed with artists and bohémien. It is known for its Sunday antiques market and for the lively Feria de San Telmo (the local market).

Walking around San Telmo, especially on Sundays during the feria, is one of the most fun things to do in Buenos Aires (and there are lots of good shopping opportunities). The area has a good local feel, there isn’t as much traffic as in Microcentro. And if you hang around long enough, you can even see a tango show in Plaza Dorrego.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Visiting La Boca is one of the unmissable things to do in Buenos Aires

Go to La Boca

La Boca is a major tourist attraction with its colorful and iconic Caminito. Walking a bit more into it, there are some interesting finds too. Besides, La Boca is where the Bombonera, Boca Juniors impressive stadium, is located. It’s one of those places in Buenos Aires you shouldn’t miss, but keep in mind that, aside from the few streets that are packed with tourists, it tends to be a dodgy area – even locals will warn you to steer away from the non-touristy areas.

You can book a guided walking tour of La Boca in English here.

Visit Recoleta Cemetery

Visiting Recoleta is one of the most pleasant things to do in Buenos Aires. This is where the wealthy Porteños moved after the yellow fever epidemic of 1870. I particularly enjoy Avenida Alvear with its villas and shops. Recoleta is also home to the famous historic Cementerio de Recoleta, where lots of famous Argentinians are buried – first and foremost Evita Peron.

You can take a guided tour of Recoleta Cemetery if you want to make sense of all the tombs. Book it here.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Things you come across when walking around in Palermo!

Walk around Palermo

Palermo is a good place to hang out and walk around. It gets crowded on Sundays, when Porteños go to one of the many parks and they can be seen drinking their mate – a bitter infusion made of yerba mate which they love (they even take the thermos, mate and cup and bombilla, which is the straw they use to drink it, on their travels!). Personally I never acquired a taste for mate, but the social experience of sharing it is one of the nicest things to do in Buenos Aires.

Walk along the river in Puerto Madero

I am a Puerto Madero kind of girl and that is where I love to go for a walk any time I am in Buenos Aires. Lots of Porteños enjoy running along the waterfront. There are excellent restaurants and pubs along the river, and some interesting art galleries. It’s one of the coolest places in Buenos Aires.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Puente de la Mujer, in Puerto Madero, is a must see

Admire the Puente de la Mujer

The famous Puente de la Mujer, a bridge planned by architect Calatrava, is Puerto Madero’s trademark and an unmissable sight. Make sure to stop for a photo. Going to see it at night, when it is beautifully illuminated, is one of the top things to do in Buenos Aires.

Visit the Museo de Bellas Artes and Museum of Latin American Art

When the weather is not good, one of the nicest things to do in Buenos Aires is visiting the museums. I recommend going to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, whose exhibit includes pieces of painters such as Renoir, Monet, Picasso and Gauguin; the Museum of Modern Art and the excellent Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA).

MALBA is located in a beautiful modern building located in Palermo neighborhood. It has a collection of contemporary and historical Latin American artist, such as Frida Kahlo. There are occasional temporary exhibitions which are very interesting.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Fun during a street art tour of Palermo

Take a street art tour of Palermo

Buenos Aires is thriving with street art. The best place to see interesting street art pieces is Palermo Hollywood. I recommend going on a guided tour, with a good guide that will explain the historical, social and political reasons behind each mural; the technique used and who will put everything in context to give you a better understanding of Argentinian history and way of life.

These are some of the best street art tours of Buenos Aires:

Hang out in Plaza Serrano

Plaza Serrano is in the heart of Palermo Hollywood. It’s a lovely, airy square surrounded by nice cafés, pubs and lots of shops, and there is a market at weekends where you can buy lots of nice souvenirs at a real steal. It’s a nice place to hang out – allegedly, one of the most local things to do in Buenos Aires.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Enjoying an icy cold craft beer is one of the things to do in Buenos Aires in the summer

Enjoy a craft beer

During my first trip to Argentina, I missed having a good craft beer. Things changed since then and now Buenos Aires is packed with excellent breweries. Some chain ones like Patagonia can be found all over the country. Others are smaller. Either way, having a good craft beer is one of the things to do in Buenos Aires. If you happen to be in Palermo in the summer, you’ll literally find them one after the other, each packed with a good mix of locals and tourists. It’s fun!

things to do in Buenos Aires

A good place to get Malbec!

Or a glass of Malbec

Malbec is produced in the region of Mendoza, where you can visit the various vineyards and go on wine tasting tours. If you don’t have time to go to Mendoza, the next best thing is to find a good winery in Buenos Aires and pick a good bottle. It’s best done in good company and with a good steak!

things to do in Buenos Aires

A tango show in Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo

Dance tango in a Milonga

Buenos Aires is (together with Montevideo) one of the birthplaces of tango. I am not a dancer at all, but I find tango incredibly sensual and passionate and I enjoy watching the shows. There are many milongas in Buenos Aires – places where tango is danced.

Some are so famous that they are more like theaters and even require advanced bookings; others are smaller and give a much more intimate feel. I like it either way. Needless to say, watching a tango show is one of the unmissable things to do in Buenos Aires.

These are some of the best tango shows in town:

You can even take a private tango class

Watch a fútbol match at La Bombonera

I have always been under the impression that nobody could be more obsessed with football than the Italians, or the Spaniards. Then I went to Argentina and realized Italians are amateurs. People in Argentina take fútbol really seriously and the best way to understand how importantly they take it is to watch a game with them.

And for an even better experience, watch one live at Bombonera, the famous stadium in La Boca. Here, the vibe is incredible, lively. For a real treat, try to get a ticket for the superclásico – Boca Juniors v. River Plate. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Buenos Aires.

If you aren’t in Buenos Aires during the championship, you can still opt for a guided tour of the stadium. Here are a couple of good options:

There even is a Diego Armando Maradona themed tour. You can book it here.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Watching a polo match is one of the most fun things to do in Buenos Aires

Watch a polo match

Did you know that one of the national sports of Argentina is polo? You can go for a lesson, though I should warn you it is very expensive. Alternatively, you can go to a polo match at Campo Argentino de Polo. Games usually take place between September and November.

These tours all include polo lessons:

Eat a good asado

Vegans and vegetarians have a hard life in Argentina (though watch this space, there is an increasing trend in restaurants that only serve vegan and vegetarian food in Buenos Aires). As a proper capital, Buenos Aires has an incredible array of excellent restaurants. Fine Italian dining, sushi, pizzerias, Vietnamese food – name it: Buenos Aires has it all.

Yet, one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires, and that the locals truly enjoy, is eating a proper asado, a mixed grill with several kinds of meat: from the unmissable beef (the favorite local cut is bife de chorizo) to chicken, pork and lamb. Those who enjoy meat should never leave Buenos Aires without having tried it.

There are plenty of restaurants around town where to have asado. Locals typically go to places called “bodegon” – which are a bit cheaper than the restaurants tourists seem to prefer. A good bodegon usually serves other traditional dishes too, such as milanesa – a dish of breaded then fried meat that the Argentinians inherited from their Italian ancestors.

things to do in Buenos Aires

Trying empanadas is a must in Buenos Aires

Gorge on empanadas

Few things are as delicious and as satisfying as empanadas, and eating them is what to do in Buenos Aires if you are craving comfort food. These are made with a bready kind of dough which is then filled with a variety of things – they can be nice and simple such as the ones with ham and cheese; they can have chicken and onions; beef and there even are vegetarian versions with eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin.

Locals can distinguish the various kinds by the way they are closed. I haven’t been able to learn yet! My favorite place to eat empanadas is in San Telmo Market, at La Panaderia. There is always a line, but it’s worth waiting. Accompany with a cold beer for even better results.

Try dulche de leche and alfajores

I may be killed next time I am in Buenos Aires, but I admit I actually do not really like dulche de leche – a very thick, sticky spread made with condensed milk and heaps of sugar. Besides, I am lactose intolerant so I really can’t eat it. Having said so, locals swear by it, and enjoy alfajores – a cookie sandwich with dulce de leche in the center. Trying it is one of the things to do in Buenos Aires.

Have dinner at Peron Peron

Peron Peron is more than a restaurant: it’s a proper cultural experience. This nice restaurant opened a few years ago in Palermo Hollywood. It’s (obviously) run by Peronistas – Peron supporters and fans. Inside, there are photos of Eva and Juan Peron anywhere – but rather than feeling overwhelming, you’ll feel entertained and actually, the place is very cozy.

At about every hour a song is played, the Peronistas anthem, and all locals sing it. It’s quite a show. Oh and food is actually delicious (I tried the empanadas de ossobuco and the milanesa), portions are generous and the prices reasonable. Make sure to reserve a table if you go with friends.

Spend a night at The Argentine Experience

If you want to learn a bit more about Argentinian culture in a fun way and while eating delicious food, spending a night at The Argentine Experience is one of the unmissable things to do in Buenos Aires.

The lovely hosts will introduce you to local sign language and basic slang; they’ll teach you how to prepare excellent empanadas; and they’ll help you order the best steak you’ll have in Buenos Aires. All of this while pouring excellent wine into your glass.

You can book The Argentine Experience here or here.

Experience the life of a gaucho

If you like horses and the idea of getting out of the city, one of the things to do in Buenos Aires is going on a gaucho experience. You’ll go riding, enjoy a fabulous meal and drink lots of wine in a gorgeous setting.

These are some good gaucho experiences:

things to do in Buenos Aires

El Tigre is a lovely place for a day trip

Get out of town in El Tigre

Buenos Aires does get overwhelming, especially in the summer months when the heat is pretty much unbearable. One of the best things to do in Buenos Aires is getting out of town. I recommend going to El Tigre, a lovely small city at about 35 km from Buenos Aires that can be reached on an easy train ride from Retiro train station and where it is possible to take boat tours around the river delta.

These are some of the best guided day trips to El Tigre

Go on a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento

Another good day trip from Buenos Aires is to Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay, which can be reached by a quick (1 hour) ferry ride. Walking around Colonia feels like stepping back in time. Imagine beautiful cobbled alleys with flowers pouring outside gardens onto the streets; a gorgeous lighthouse with spectacular views over the Rio de la Plata, and vintage cars scattered around town. It’s no wonder that it is a UNESCO world heritage site.

These are some good day trips to Colonia del Sacramento:

Check out my post 25 Cool Things To Do In Montevideo.”

things to do in Buenos Aires

At San Telmo Market you’ll find local shops and lots of good food

Practical Information About Buenos Aires

Where to stay in Buenos Aires

There is an abundant choice of good places to stay in Buenos Aires. You should pick your place based on the kind of experience you want, and the area where you want to spend most of your time. I like Palermo, so I usually head there. Here is a short selection of places to stay in Buenos Aires:

Make sure to check out my post A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires.”

Getting in and around Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has two airports. Ministro Pistarini International Airport and it is known as Ezeiza. It’s located at about 1 hour drive from the center of town, and very well connected to the rest of the world. Aeroparque Jorgue Newbery, locally known as Aeroparque, is located in Palermo and connects Buenos Aires to the rest of the country, though there also are some international flights.

To get from Ezeiza International Airport to Buenos Aires city center, you have the option of getting the Tienda Leon bus that takes you from the terminal to various stops around the center of town, from where you’ll have to walk to your accommodation, or take a taxi. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or book your airport transfer.

These are the best transfer services from the airport: 

The best and cheapest way to move around Buenos Aires is by public transportation. Buses and subway are efficient and easy to use, and connect the various neighborhoods. You need to get a SUBE card to be able to use the public transportation, and regularly top it up with credit.

Taxis are easy to get, and they aren’t expensive. Uber is illegal in Argentina, though some people still use it. It’s better if you actually download the app Cabify which allows you to order a cab telling you the price you’ll be paying by credit card. It’s very easy to use – it works pretty much like Uber.

Have you ever been to Buenos Aires? What are the things to do in Buenos Aires that you enjoyed the most?

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Discover the coolest things to do in Buenos Aires - via @clautavani