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Best things to do in Buenos Aires

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Where in the world: South America  /  Argentina  /  Capital Federal District  /  Buenos Aires

Top 15 things to do in Buenos Aires

1. Cementerio de la Recoleta

Admire the 4,691 elaborate and varied vaults of Cementerio de la Recoleta. The mausoleums display a wide array of architectural styles, sculptures, and motifs, from Baroque to Art Deco, many constructed from materials imported from Paris and Milan. The cemetery serves as the final resting place for artists, actors, writers, and Nobel Prize winners, 19 Argentine presidents, and the beloved icon Eva Perón. Although some tombs are protected by the government, parts of the cemetery have fallen into disrepair. While the cemetery can be explored without a guide, having someone to recount the stories behind the different mausoleums can greatly enrich your trip.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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2. Parque 3 de Febrero

The expansive gardens, located in Palermo Woods, boast more than 18,000 roses, as well as a host of water features and busts commemorating 26 renowned poets and writers. Often compared to the Tuileries of Paris, the gardens offer an ideal place to go for a relaxing stroll and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Puerto Madero

Relax and unwind at the vibrant waterfront of Puerto Madero. Admire the sleek, modern architecture, elegant bridge, and historical warehouses and cranes. Originally built to accommodate large cargo ships, the Victorian port fell into disrepair before undergoing restoration and revitalization as a leisure district in the 1990s. Step aboard a restored sailing ship, visit an art gallery, take a rowboat for a paddle in the harbor, or indulge in some retail therapy at the boutique shops. Dine and drink in trendy restaurants and bars, play at the floating casino, and stay the night in a luxury hotel.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. El Ateneo Grand Splendid

Browse an extensive collection of books in a spectacular setting at El Ateneo Grand Splendid, a bookstore housed in an early 20th-century theater. The theater first opened in 1919, and was later converted into a cinema. Today bookshelves replace seats in the stalls and galleries. Ascend to the top floor for a bird's-eye views of the floor below. Look up to admire the intricate ceiling frescoes. The theater boxes remain, converted into reading nooks where you can peruse a book before you buy. On the stage and backstage area, enjoy a coffee or empanadas at the onsite cafe. Although the store primarily stocks Spanish-language books, they also carry a wide range of English-language titles.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Calle Defensa

Stroll through the bustling cobblestone streets of Calle Defensa, the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. The neighborhood's colonial buildings house many cafes, tango parlors, and antique shops. Admire the old churches that pepper the barrio, wander around a museum, or stop by the semi-permanent antiques market. Street performers provide entertainment on every corner. In recent years, many art galleries and centers have cropped up here, turning it into a haven for contemporary art lovers. A wide selection of bars and restaurants round off the area's attractions.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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6. Palermo

It may not be the geographical center of the city, but the vibrant neighborhood of Palermo serves as the social hub of Buenos Aires. The district, one of the largest by area in the city, thrives with cafes, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, making it the ideal spot to meet friends for a night out on the town. It's worth a visit by day, too--the neighborhood houses the extensive Bosques de Palermo, a huge public park containing Buenos Aires' zoo and botanical gardens, as well as the city's rose and Japanese gardens. Rich with diversity, the neighborhood ranges from upscale on its northeastern side to alternative in the southwest.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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7. Recoleta

Admire the historical buildings and hundreds of statues of Recoleta, an upmarket neighborhood. The quarter became affluent after wealthy families sought refuge there (at the time well outside the city center), fleeing a yellow fever outbreak at the end of the 19th century. Take a stroll through the famous cemetery, home to a vast and varied array of statues, mausoleums, and sepulchers, and the final resting place of Eva Peron. On the neighborhood's streets admire the mixture of European and colonial architectural styles, and stroll through the many leafy spaces and parks, where you'll find yet more statues and sculptures. Visit museums and galleries, and see works by influential Argentine artists and old European masters. Enjoy fine dining, boutique shopping, trendy cafes, and coffee shops, and watch some traditional tango dancing.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Discover one of Argentina's finest collections of art at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, housing a collection that spans several centuries. The museum exhibits follow the evolution of art from as early as the 17th century through the mid-1900s. Featuring classic pieces by renowned masters like Van Gogh, Manet, Rodin, and Jackson Pollock, the museum has plenty to offer connoisseurs of the fine arts. Take a guided tour in English, the best way to experience the collection.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Plaza de Mayo

One of the city's main squares, Plaza de Mayo has long served as a hub for protests, activism, and political activity in the capital. Originally laid out in the late 16th century, the square features palm trees, gardens, and grassy stretches, all surrounded by historical buildings. The year 1810 saw the start of the nation's revolution against Spain begin here, and you'll likely see some sort of march or rally during your visit. Do take the opportunity to inspect the white obelisk in the center, a commemoration of the country's first year of independence from Spain.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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10. Jardin Japones

Geographically they're half a world away, but at Jardin Japones, Argentina and Japan come together. Built in 1967 thanks to a donation by the Japanese community of Buenos Aires, the gardens celebrate unity between the two countries, with Japanese and native plant life sharing space in well-manicured perfection. Check out the central lagoon, thriving with carp, and walk across the distinctly Eastern bridges during your stroll around the gardens.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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11. Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Admire a small but well-curated collection of modern art at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. The museum's collection contains paintings, sculptures, and more; highlights include works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero, Emilio Pettoruti, and many other important Latin American artists. The museum also contains space for temporary displays, while its cultural center hosts constantly updated exhibits and events on art, film, and music. Be sure to admire the angular architecture of the museum itself: the design was chosen through an open competition, with three young Argentine architects taking the first prize.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Museo de los Ninos

Inside a large shopping center, the interactive Museo de los Ninos engages parents almost as much as it entertains the kids. Children learn about different professions through recreations of a TV studio, radio studio, supermarket, restaurant, soccer field, gas station, and doctor's office. The ultimate in imaginative play, the museum allows young visitors to try different careers and learn about some of Buenos Aires' major landmarks.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Casa Rosada

A mansion fit for a president, Casa Rosada stands out as one of the most iconic attractions in Buenos Aires. Recognizable for its distinctive hue, the lavish palace complex has housed Argentina's leaders for more than a century. You can take a free hour-long tour of the palace and its grounds on weekends. Make sure to get in early, as spots on the tour are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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14. Avenida Corrientes

Feel the passion of tango culture in the air as you stroll down Avenida Corrientes, known to locals as "the street that never sleeps." The avenue's long-held reputation for throbbing nightlife has tied it to the tango culture, so much so that plaques have been laid at 40 of its street corners to celebrate the most influential figures in tango history. The city's cultural hub, the area boasts an abundance of bookshops and theaters, drawing comparisons with Broadway in New York. Pop in to one of the avenue's theaters for a live performance with a distinctly spicy, Argentinean touch.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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