What to do in Buenos Aires

First of all, I will say there is SO MUCH to do in Buenos Aires, and if possible, I’d recommend spending a week here. I was in Buenos Aires for 5 days, and I felt like I could have explored for much longer! I’ll also say that if you’re coming to Argentina, make sure to have American cash in $100 bills to exchange, the blue rate is MUCH better than taking out cash from an ATM or using a credit card (blue rate was 370 Argentine peso to $1 when I went, versus 270 Argentine pesos to $1 when I took out cash from an ATM)! Some places will also except American dollars instead of Argentine pesos.

Shoah Museum– I’ve been to many holocaust museums, and this might be the most impressive one. I loved the way they told the story of the holocaust here (the activities were highly technological and interactive, including Dimensions in Testimony from the Shoah Foundation- where you can get your questions answered in realtime with AI, retrieved from a collection of tapings from a survivor! Our tour guide Francisco was wonderful, super knowledgable, and engaging! I loved also how they were able to connect Argentine history to the Holocaust

El Caminito in La Boca– this is an incredibly touristic site, but one worth visiting. The buildings are vibrant colors and feels like walking through art. Every block is full of trinkets and souvenirs you can bring home, and are pretty affordable. There’s a Cachafaz store there also, which is great for buying dulce de leche and chocolate products, and many restaurants with live tango shows for the full tourist experience. Also, if you’re a big soccer fan, the Boca Juniors stadium is right there!

AMIA –  There are memorial plaques and beautiful art works commemorating the victims of the AMIA terrorist attack (1994, the deadliest bombing attack in Argentine history), the Israeli Embassy bombing (1992), and the desaparecidos (disappeared people in the Dirty War-the last military dictatorship in Argentina from 1974-1983).

Futbol game– my group and I visited the Argentina Juniors game, and while I’m not a huge soccer fan, I had the best time! There was live music playing from the band the whole time, and people were dancing, singing and chanting cheers the whole time. The energy in the game was so palpable, and the players were so talented, it was a joy to experience! Because we did a tour of the fan museum, we also got to go to the stadium after the game, which was really awesome.

Casa Rosada in Plaza de Mayo- this was beautiful and worth seeing. The pink house is where Evita addressed the masses, and the whole time I was there, I had Madonna’s Don’t Cry for Me Argentina stuck in my head. An explanation I heard from a tour guide is that the color of the building comes from cow’s blood because the paint wouldn’t last in the humidity (but that this is no longer used to paint the building). It was also cool to see a memorial for Argentina’s covid victims in front of Casa Rosada, I’ve never seen anything like that in the states to commemorate people who have perished from COVID so publicly.

Palacio de la Congreso de Nacion- the building is beautiful and you get to understand more about how the government is structured in Argentina from this tour. The Argentine system is very much influenced from the American system of government and is a democratic republic. The building is beautiful and very European (in fact, many of the materials not only come from Argentina to construct the building, but also from Europe). I also found the pink room dedicated to Evita really beautiful and interesting!

Wander around San Telmo– the oldest barrio (neighborhood) of Buenos Aires! My favorite part was Mercado de San Telmo– which had the cutest shops and restaurants inside!

Puerto Madero– If you’re looking for a fancy, modern experience, check out the luxurious waterfront neighborhood of Puerto Madero! There are a lot of coffee shops, restaurants, bars and beer gardens to explore here.

Walk around Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywoodboth of these neighborhoods are beautiful and I only got to explore at night, but I wish I would have seen them during the day! The architecture is breathtaking and there are cute restaurants, coffee shops and vibrant nightlife to explore. There’s also a lot of public art to see, which is fun to discover!

La Viruta Tango club– this was a highlight for sure. I didn’t know much about tango, and its origins come from the brothels in the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires. It’s a very sensual and technical dance that’s a pleasure to both learn and watch! The classes at La Viruta were phenomenal and so fun!

El Ateneo Bookstore– a theatre converted into a bookstore, the coffee shop here was wonderful, and it’s a unique bookstore experience!

What I didn’t get to do that I wish I got to see:

Recoleta Cemetery tour– which gives explanations of the death and burials of Eva Peron- one of the most famous and controversial personalities in the country

Centro Cultural Recoleta– according to one friend, this is worth seeing more than the cemetery- and best of all, it’s free!

MALBA – Latin American Art museum a friend raved about, apparently also a great place to grab posters for souvenirs!

Check out my recs for food in Buenos Aires here

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