Buenos Aires, considered the Paris of South America, is the largest city in Argentina and a city that never sleeps!
There are a million and one things to do in this awesome city, although one day in Buenos Aires is just enough time to explore the top highlights that this city has to offer.
WHERE IS BUENOS AIRES
Buenos Aires is located on the east coast of Argentina and bordering Uruguay. It is the country’s capital city with an estimated population of 2.9 million people.
HOW TO GET HERE
The best and easiest way of reaching Buenos Aires is by plane. Daily flights operate in and out of Buenos Aires Airport, connecting domestic and international travelers from around the world.
Buenos Aires city is a short twenty-minute drive from the airport.
SEARCH ALL → FLIGHTS TO BUENOS AIRES
ONE DAY IN BUENOS AIRES ITINERARY
Below is a list of Buenos Aires attractions that I explored during one day in Buenos Aires in this exact order:
- La Boca Colorful Neighbourhood
- Recoleta Cemetery
- El Ateneo Book Store
- Free Walking Tour Buenos Aires
- Buenos Aires Walking Street
THE COLORFUL NEIGHBOURHOOD OF LA BOCA
In my opinion, La Boca should be at the top of everyone’s list of places to visit in Buenos Aires!
The bohemian barrio of La Boca is a vibrantly painted neighborhood that was created by the locals who used leftover paint from the shipyards to paint their homes and buildings in all colors of the rainbow. How freaking creative is that?!
La Boca’s Caminito Street features the works of local artists, tango dancing in the street, market stalls, cafes, restaurants and makeshift bars. If you’re feeling hungry, I recommend checking out Gran Paraiso restaurant for a traditional Argentinian BBQ.
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Colorful streets of La Boca
Makeshift bar in La Boca
BBQ at Gran Paraiso – Buenos Aires Places To Visit
Next on this list of things to see during your one day in Buenos Aires is The Recoleta Cemetery, also known as Cementerio de la Recoleta, which is not your everyday cemetery. It is a place of rest for Argentina’s most rich and famous people to have lived and left behind a legacy.
When you step foot in the gate, you’ll feel you just entered another city. A maze of towering stone mausoleums and monuments line the streets inside La Recoleta and the most famous tomb is that of Eva Perón, Argentina’s iconic First Lady, which you’ll find is always covered in flowers.
The entrance to Recoleta Cemetery is FREE though I recommend letting a friendly local guide take you on a one-hour tour of the cemetery and offer them a generous tip at the end.
Find All → City Tours Buenos Aires
Cementerio de la Recoleta
Exposed tombs – City Tour Buenos Aires
EL ATENEO GRAND SPLENDID BOOKSTORE
The El Ateneo book store is rated as the world’s most beautiful bookstore by National Geographic. Even if you are not that into books, this place is a must-see on your Buenos Aires itinerary.
El Ateneo first opened as a theater called Teatro Gran Splendid in 1919 and it could hold over 1000 people in its time. It was used for a variety of different things including tango performances, a broadcasting radio station, and even screened some of the first-ever films with sound.
When you visit El Ateneo bookstore you can simply marvel at the eclecticist architecture, take the stairs to the top level for a birds-eye perspective or pick up a book and sit down in one of the comfy lounges for a short rest.
El Ateneo bookstore – Buenos Aires In One Day
FREE WALKING TOUR BUENOS AIRES
There are several free walking tours in Buenos Aires which are one of the best things to do in Argentina’s capital. These walking tours around Buenos Aries are not only fun and exciting but also rich with information on the history of Buenos Aires.
I personally joined the afternoon ‘City Centre Tour’ and can highly recommend it.
The tour started at the National Congress and ended around 2.5-hours later at the Pink Government House.
The tour was very informative and I learned a lot about the architecture in Buenos Aires as well as the history, dictatorship, economics and politics of Argentina.
The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable and answered all the questions from the group. If you are looking to dive deeper into the Argentinian culture, I highly recommend you attend a free walking tour Buenos Aries.
What to see and expect on the free walking tour Buenos Aires:
- Palacio Barolo’s mysterious architecture
- Evita’s Mural
- Plaza de Mayo, the heart of BA
- Colonial Town Hall & Revolution
- Cathedral & Pope Francis
- Mothers of the May Square
- 70’s dictatorship and those who went missing
- Actual Argentine economy & politics
Find All → City Tours Buenos Aires
Free walking tour Buenos Aires
FLORIDA WALKING STREET IN BUENOS AIRES
Last but not least on your one day in Buenos Aires itinerary is Florida Street, also known as Calle Florida, is the longest walking street in downtown Buenos Aires. A 1km stretch lined with retail stores, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, cafes, street buskers, blanket sellers and much more!
Experiencing the hustle and bustle in Calle Florida is an exciting way to end your Buenos Aires city tour and if you’ve still got the energy to do some last-minute shopping, this is the spot to do it!
WHERE TO STAY IN BUENOS AIRES
Buenos Aries has thousands of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay in Buenos Aries to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Hilton Buenos Aires
Centrally located in the Puerto Madero district, this 5-star hotel features elegant rooms with fantastic views of the city. There is also a spa, fitness centre, rooftop pool, restaurant and cocktail bar. The Hilton offers free wifi and a buffet breakfast is included. Stretch the budget and visit Buenos Aires in style!
Mid Range: Up Recoleta Hotel
Located in the Recoleta district, this 3-star hotel is within walking distance to some of Buenos Aires top attractions including bars, restaurants and the Recoleta Cemetery. The spacious rooms feature private bathrooms, cable TV, air-conditioning and free wifi. Up Recoleta Hotel is perfect for couples at an affordable price.
Budget: Art Factory Beer Garden Hostel
Rated one of the best Buenos Aires Hostels! Choose from either a dorm room or a private room and make use of the free wifi while having a cold one in the beer garden. There is a shared kitchen for guests to use and a continental breakfast is included. Perfect for backpackers on a budget.
For all other Buenos Aires accommodation, Click Here to search on booking.com
MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
If you are planning a trip to Central and South America, be sure to check out my other travel guides below that you might find useful while crafting together your itinerary:
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Guatemala: 2 Week Guatemala Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
If you have any questions at all about what to do in Buenos Aires, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
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