I love BA – it’s a city with everything you could want. You’ll be spoilt with a choice of bars, restaurants, sightseeing and cultural activities. We were only meant to stay week but there was so much to pack in, we ended up staying for two. Here I’ve picked out some of my top things to do whilst in the city:
1.Free city walking tour
I’ve never done these before but since we’ve been travelling, I’ve been a major fan of using walking tours as starting point for learning about a new city. They’re tip based tours so you pay what you think the tour was worth. We did the morning one which was a few hours long and ended up in Recoleta cemetery. Having done a few of these tours around South America now, I can safely say, this one was my favourite because we learnt a lot not just about the city but also about Argentinian life and culture.
One of my favourite neighbourhood’s in BA, filled with restaurants, cafes and brightly coloured shop facades. There are some great places to eat around here such as Fukuro Noodle Bar, if you’re looking for good ramen or Burger Joint if you’re after tasty street food type burgers. Palermo is clearly a popular weekend brunch spot too and if you’re lucky and the weather’s nice, you can usually find a table outside to people watch whilst sipping on a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc. La Panera Rosa serves up good brunch for reasonable prices and is where I had my tastiest salad of the trip (one I still fantasise about now it was that good).
Walking around the streets of this pretty neighbourhood is the best way to explore it. You’ll stumble upon boutique interiors and clothes shops and of course, lots of impressive street art.
A must-do whilst in BA is watching a tango show. We went with a tour organised by our hostel called Complejo Tango which included a lesson, show and dinner with unlimited wine – which really was unlimited! I’d highly recommend this as the dinner was really tasty and the show was amazing with 3 different dancing couples each performing their own routines to a live band.
4. Recoleta Cemetery
This is a beautiful cemetery with lots of interesting and richly decorated tombs. There’s a lot of history in this place so I’d recommend taking a tour to learn about the different tombs and families buried here, as well as seeing Eva Peron’s final resting place.
5. The BA Sign
If you’re looking to get that iconic shot that said I came to BA, I saw and I conquered, then you need to get yourself to this sign and get a photo in front of it.
6.El Ateneo Bookshop
One of the most beautiful bookshops in the world? Yes, probably. Situated in a former real theatre, this is something you just have to come and see, even if you don’t want to buy any books!
7. Caminito, La Boca
A bit of a tourist trap and slightly tacky but something worth seeing nevertheless. Head there on a sunny day to truly appreciate the colours of the bright wood painted houses.
8. Siga La Vaca
Puerto Madera is BA’s regenerated dockside area with lots of restaurants and bars. We went to Siga La Vaca for an all you can eat buffet which included unlimited meat and a massive salad bar. You also get a bottle of wine or a jug of beer per person included in the price which isn’t bad!
9. Bar hopping
A bar underneath a flower shop? Sure, why not. Floreria Atlantico looks like any other flower shop if you were to walk by it, but hiding underground lies a dimly lit nautical themed cocktail and tapas bar with excellent drinks and light bites. On the other end of the spectrum is Festival a massive industrial looking slinky bar serving good cocktails in Palermo – good for buzzy weekend drinks.
10. Fuerza Bruta
As it was said to me numerous times by others before I went, so it must be said to you that I can’t say much about this one otherwise it’ll spoil the surprise. It’s a show and it’s really good. Trust me, just go!
11.Eat steak in San Telmo
I love San Telmo’s cobble stoned streets and quaint feel – it’s a nice contrast to the other neighbourhoods of BA. Ten years ago I stumbled across the best steak I’ve ever had at El Desnivel and I’m happy to say I went back recently and nothing’s changed. It’s not a fancy place, and I’m sure there are better places in BA for steak but I just love the rustic charm of this place and the fact that the food does all the talking. They also have good cheap wine. Win-win.
Argentina is my favourite place for empanadas in the whole of South America. There’s just something about the pastry and the filling which are just tastier than I’ve had in other places. You could stop most places in BA and pretty much be guaranteed to find a good empanada but the best one I found was a lamb meat one from El Banco Rojo in San Telmo – it was just insanely delicious.
13.La Bomba de Tiempo
Unfortunately we didn’t get to do this but I heard good things about it so I wanted to include it. It’s a live improvisational drumfest taking place at Konex, attracting a large and diverse crowd. If you want something different and fun to do on a Monday night, this is it!
There’s a million and one museums to visit in BA if you’re after a bit of culture but my top picks would be National Museum of Fine Arts and MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires) as they have extensive collections so you can spend a good few hours there wondering around.