Ultimate Guide to Buenos Aires

Looking for what to do in Buenos Aires? The Argentinian capital has so much to offer visitors. Apart from visits to state of the art museums, art galleries, and expensive tango shows, here are some of the things I loved during my stay in Buenos Aires.

what to do in buenos aires

Yes, have that steak

by Michelle Koekemoer

Being from South Africa I am a little bit spoiled when it comes to a good steak. I found the steaks at places where I could afford to dine either a little tough, slightly overdone or with a lot of fat still left on the meat. And then I met Luis.

In a small apartment in the centre of Buenos Aires, Luis and his team will give you a truly authentic Argentinian experience – the Asado. What is an Asado? When Argentinians get together they pull out the snacks; sausages, sweetbreads and steaks are thrown onto a grill over an open fire and everyone enjoys good food, plenty of drinks and great company.

With Luis, you will get some snacky bits and sparkling wine upon arrival as well as 4 other courses, each paired with delicious Argentinian wines. The steak was done to perfection and the dulce de leche cheesecake was to die for. If you’re looking for what to do in Buenos Aires, this is a must!

Come hungry!

what to do in buenos aires

Hop on a ferry to another country for the day

Colonia Sacramento is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay and it is only a ferry ride from Buenos Aires. What to do in Sacramento? Walk aimlessly in the streets, staring at the old buildings and abandoned cars lining the road. Have a long lunch and cold beer by the harbour. Climb a lighthouse for an amazing view. Have a coffee in one of the many little coffee shops. Watch the sunset. And then go back to Buenos Aires.

Remember your passport!

what to do in buenos aires

Life on a ranch

Visiting a ranch outside of Buenos Aires you will get a glimpse into the gaucho lifestyle. Horses, gauchos (South American cowboys) showing off their skills, tango dancers getting the blood pumping, lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of laughter. And if you visit Don Silvano there is a small surprise that will make you miss home just a little bit.

what to do in buenos aires

Feria de Matadero

In the neighbourhood of Matadero is an excellent folk market and fair. Stalls are selling food, drinks, and crafts.

Folk singers and dancers provide plenty of entertainment – bystanders get roped in at some point so stand towards the back if you are more of a watcher than a doer. One of the roads is even used as an arena where gauchos race their horses. All of this makes for a very entertaining and cheap Sunday.

PS: the area is a little dodgy, so make sure you depart before dark if you are not part of a group.

what to do in buenos aires

Fileteado tour

No this does not have anything to do with meat! In the 19th century artists in Buenos Aires started to decorate carts that transported groceries, milk and bread. These decorations are still made with long-threaded paintbrushes and incorporate birds, flowers, diamonds and phrases using highly detailed letters. All of this is done in very bright colours. These days Fileteado signs are all over the place: trucks, buses, walls and business signs.

On this tour, you get the opportunity to see some of the best fileteado art pieces as well as getting to try your hand at the art (do not expect a masterpiece!). And during all of this, you will get some mate to sip on and may even be so lucky as to hear live tango singing with compliments of the workshop owner.

what to do in buenos aires

San Telmo on a Sunday

Another Sunday fair, this one has a slightly more touristic feel to it – probably due to it being smack bang in the middle of the city. Miles and miles of antiques, street performers, t-shirts and memorabilia, food stalls and even open-air tango sessions await you. And you will be surprised to see how many of the parking garages are used as Asado spaces on a Sunday so you will definitely not go home hungry!

what to do in buenos aires

Recoleta cemetery

The most expensive real estate in Buenos Aires is not along the waterfront. Nope. It is in a cemetery. Come to La Recoleta Cemetery to see where the rich and famous (including Evita) are buried. The cemetery has some beautiful – if not over the top – mausoleums, and peeking inside some of them will surprise you with breathtaking stained glass art. Do a walking tour with Buenos Aires Free Walks to hear the stories behind some of the mausoleums. Note that the Recoleta tour is a paid tour, but it is definitely worth the money.

This is just a glimpse of what to do in Buenos Aires – explore, enjoy, and leave your recommendations in the comments below!

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