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48 Hours in Buenos Aires: Top 8 Things to Do in Buenos Aires

The Argentine capital is a bustling metropolis of 12 million people and you could certainly be forgiven for being a little overawed by the size and scale of the place. I have picked a few things I feel are a must-do if you visit, be it for a few days or a longer break. 

1. Tango 

The sultry dancing style of the Tango is Argentina’s most famous cultural phenomenon. Buenos Aires lives and breathes Tango, and with hundreds of clubs to choose from across the city, it is a must that you give it a go – either by watching a show or taking a class. We decided to take a lesson, which turned out to be a hilarious adventure and one I’m pleased I got to experience. There are many places around the city to watch it or try it for yourself, ask your hostel for a recommendation or just have a google to find something close to where you are staying. 

2. La Boca 

This neighborhood boasts one of the most famous streets in the world, La Caminito. This colorful avenue is filled with crafts, dancers, restaurants, and great photo opportunities. It is worth spending an afternoon in this vibrant barrio to soak up the sights. We ate in a great Parrilla near the train tracks called El Gran Paraiso, with a beautiful outdoor area and live music – it was less touristy than the restaurants on the main street.

La Boca – Top 8 Things to Do in Buenos Aires
La Boca – Top 8 Things to Do in Buenos Aires
Vibrant and colorful La Boca – Top 8 Things to Do in Buenos Aires
La Boca – Top 8 Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Steak

A Parrilla (steak house) is a must-eat destination. With dozens around the city it can be hard to choose which one to visit, let alone what to eat. Seeing as this is Gaucho (cowboy) obsessed Argentina, even a ropey looking steakhouse is probably amazing - after all Steak is what they do best. When it comes to picking restaurants, relying on word of mouth is best, but failing that trip advisor is usually helpful in making an informed decision. Most Parrillas offer a mixed grill which is a great idea if you're unsure on which cut to try. When washed down with a great bottle of Argentine wine, it's a match made in heaven.

La Recoleta Cemetery

Cemeteries are usually depressing places that I wouldn't necessarily normally visit, but this cemetery is unlike any other that I have seen. You could wander for hours through this city of the dead and the 'streets' are filled with huge ornate crypts and statues holding the remains of the city's most elite and famous residents. Past presidents, heroes and politicians are laid to rest here, but the most famous of all is Evita's grave.

La Recoleta Cemetery – Top 8 things to do in Buenos Aires
La Recoleta Cemetery – Top 8 things to do in Buenos Aires
La Recoleta Cemetery – Top 8 things to do in Buenos Aires
La Recoleta Cemetery – Top 8 things to do in Buenos Aires

San Telmo

This neighbourhood is full of charm and character. Beautiful old buildings line the cobbled streets and lend an artsy, bohemian feel to the place. On a Sunday, this is the place to go. The popular antiques street fair which is held Plaza Dorrego is the best in the city.

Vintage shopping

Everyone in Buenos Aires is super stylish. If you're a fan of wedges then this is the place to buy them, every other girl is sporting a different style in this city. To access the best fashion at a fraction of the price of the many designer shops, vintage shopping is the way forward. Most of the street markets host a variety of great vintage clothes and my favourite shopping destination was Quinta Avenida Galeria. This arcade is full of small independent second hand shops that are very reasonably priced. It is located on Avenida Santa Fe and is a must destination for any savvy vintage shopper. 

Palermo

This is the neighbourhood of choice for for the discerning hipster and a hot destination for both shopping and nightlife. It is a safe barrio and makes a great base from which to explore the city. There are lots of green spaces in this area and it is home to the zoo, planetarium and botanical gardens. It also has an abundance of clubs and bars to suit all tastes that are open until the early hours. 

Walking tour

As with most cities, a walking tour is a great way to see the sights and learn something about the local history. There are many free tours that take place daily and explore the beautiful architecture in the centre.

Walk tour around Buenos Aires – Top 8 things to do in Buenos Aires

Bottom Line:

As in any big city, you need to be careful and aware of your surroundings, as crime is ripe in BA. Sneaky pick pocketers and bag snatchers routinely target tourists. Avoid less touristic places and always be careful with your belongings. This will be why BA will always be tainted for me but we still had an amazing time here. 

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