Buenos Aires in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Are you traveling to Buenos Aires and don't know how to organize your itinerary? I offer you a three-day plan so you won't get bored for a second.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Buenos Aires in 3 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

From the top of buenos aires | ©mccomb

If you stay for three days in Buenos Aires, you will be able to enjoy the best things this city has to offer. From a historic center full of squares, restaurants and iconic buildings to neighborhoods full of life at all hours.

In this city you will see natural spaces where you can relax or, if you want to go out at night, you will also find a variety of options. Make the most of your time and spend an unforgettable vacation in the Argentine capital.

1. Day Stroll through the historic center of the city

Obelisk of Buenos Aires| ©leonardo samrani
Obelisk of Buenos Aires| ©leonardo samrani

To make sure everything goes smoothly during your first day in Buenos Aires, I recommend you to hire a transfer service from the airport to your hotel. These transfer services from/to the airport will allow you to start getting to know all that this city has for you as soon as possible.

When planning your day, keep in mind that Ezeiza International Airport is located 35 kilometers from the city center. When you arrive at the place where you will be staying, I recommend having breakfast there or in the nearby restaurants. This way you will be able to start getting to know the historical center of the city as soon as possible.

Book a transfer from the airport to Buenos Aires

Walk around Microcentro or San Nicolás and the Obelisco

When visiting the Argentine capital, it is always advisable to start the first day with a tour of Buenos Aires, but if you decide to go on your own you can start with a walk through the Microcentro San Nicolas, the commercial and artistic center of the city with different restaurants.

If you didn't have breakfast at your hotel, you can eat in this area and then head to 9 de Julio Avenue, considered one of the widest streets in the world. It borders the city's iconic Obelisk. In fact, this is a landmark in the country and a popular place to take selfies.

Details of interest

  • Price: booking a tour of Buenos Aires costs around 33€.
  • Location: Obelisco, Av. 9 de Julio s/n, C1043 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: you can go at any time of the day.

Book a tour of Buenos Aires

Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires is located in front of Plaza de Mayo, an accessible area of the city. This building had six constructions, the last one made after the foundation of the City of Buenos Aires.

Besides functioning as a cathedral, this site has a museum in honor of Pope Francis. This is due to the fact that from 1998 until 2013, Jorge Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Details of interest.

  • Price: free admission.
  • Location: Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, San Martín 27, C1004 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: visiting hours are Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.

Visit to the Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo

After visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral you can go to the Casa Rosada. This is the seat of the Executive Power of the Argentine Republic. Inside is the office of the president, his secretaries and the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers.

It has a characteristic pink color, as its name suggests, and inside is the Government House Museum, where you can take a brief tour of the 200 years of national history. You will also find the Hall of Honor and you can visit the Gallery of Latin American Patriots of the Bicentennial and go through the France staircase.

If you can't go inside, a good way to pass the time is to stroll around the Plaza de Mayo. This is the oldest square in the city and the site that has witnessed the most important political events in the country. It is so important that it is often included when booking a tour of Buenos Aires.

Details of Interest

  • Location: the Casa Rosada is located at Balcarce 50 and Plaza de Mayo at Avenida Hipólito Yrigoyen s/n in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Book a tour of Buenos Aires

Lunch at Café Tortoni

After the tour of the previous sites, it will be approximately 12 noon or one o'clock in the afternoon. A few meters from Plaza de Mayo you will find the iconic Gran Café Tortoni, which many years ago used to be the meeting center of La Peña Literaria.

This is supported by the different cultural programs promoted by the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. When you enter, you can enjoy good food and a pleasant atmosphere. After lunch you can explore the place for another hour.

You will find a hall called "La Bodega", where different jazz or tango artists present concerts. Other highlights are the library and the different rooms to play dominoes or billiards. If you are planning a gastronomic tour of Buenos Aires, I recommend you to include this destination in your tour.

Details of interest

  • Price: admission is free, but you must pay for what you consume.
  • Location: Av. de Mayo 825, C1084 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: from 8 am to 9 pm.

Take a guided tour of the Barolo Palace and stroll around the Plaza del Congreso

Less than 10 minutes from Café Tortoni is the Barolo Palace, an iconic building of the city whose interior division is inspired by the Divine Comedy. Here you can spend the afternoon observing its different works and other symbols related to this famous book.

You can easily be here from two in the afternoon until four in the afternoon and I recommend you book a guided tour of the Palacio Barolo in advance. These activities cost about 34 € and take place almost every day of the week, except Tuesdays.

Five minutes from the Barolo Palace you will find the Congress Square. I recommend you visit it so you can appreciate the beauty of the place while the sun sets. You can also see the Monument of the two Congresses that symbolize the Republic, the Assembly of 1813 and the Congress of Tucumán of 1816.

Details of Interest

  • Price: guided visits to the Barolo Palace have an average cost of 34€.
  • Location: Av. de Mayo 1370, C1085 Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Book a guided tour of the Barolo Palace

Get to know the San Telmo neighborhood and enjoy a dinner

By the time it is six or seven o'clock at night, it will be time for the night plan. For this, I recommend you to go to San Telmo neighborhood by taking a bus from the bus stop 1736 Yrigoyen Hipolito Av. to 1133 Paseo Colon Av. The ride takes only 12 minutes.

During the night, this place has a very bohemian vibe and you can listen to tango or rock in the different places around Plaza Dorrego and Defensa and Chile streets. You can go into one of them and enjoy dinner and several drinks. Some recommendations I give you are Café del árbol and El Balcón.

If you feel like it, you can visit Mitos Argentinos, a bar dedicated to national rock where you can dance to the rhythm of Argentine rock icons. But if you prefer to know this neighborhood in the daylight and in a different way, you can book a bike tour in Buenos Aires as it usually includes it.

Book a bike tour in Buenos Aires

2. Day Get to know the north side, Recoleta and the most touristic and cultural area

Colon Theater| ©Leo Tomarchio
Colon Theater| ©Leo Tomarchio

On the second day visiting Buenos Aires I recommend you to walk around the north side of the city. This area has different sites that are icons in the Argentine culture, such as the Colon Theater, where you can enjoy performances or guided tours.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit famous neighborhoods of the capital with streets with a lot of history to tell. As you walk through them, you will also be able to interact with the locals, take pictures and much more. As on the first day, I recommend having breakfast at or near your hotel.

Visit the Colon Theater

The first stop of the day will be to book a guided visit to the Colon Theater. This is one of the best theaters of its kind, as its architecture allows the sound to be distributed and absorbed very well.

With this guided tour you can learn all about this place and see the Sala, the Galería de Bustos, the Main Foyer and the Salón Dorado. If you have time, you can buy tickets for ballet, opera or orchestra concerts while you are in town.

Details of interest

  • Price: around 37€ for the guided tour and 20€ for the performances.
  • Location: Cerrito 628, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Hours: Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 4:45 pm. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11:00 am to 4:45 pm.

Book a guided visit to the Colón Theater

Stroll through the Recoleta neighborhood

La Recoleta is an area of the city full of Parisian style houses. To get there, I recommend going to bus stop 1059 Tucuman and take bus 10A to bus stop 2031 Las Heras General Av. It will take you less than 20 minutes.

Nearby you can visit or book a tour of the Recoleta Cemetery and visit the National Museum of Fine Arts. There, you can appreciate great masterpieces that marked the country. The Cultural Center in the area usually offers a variety of public events.

If you feel like it, a bicycle tour around Recoleta is also a good option. This way you will be able to see most of the neighborhood's streets in two hours.

Book a tour of the Recoleta Cemetery

Take a break for lunch and visit the Japanese Garden

Near the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes there are several restaurants where you can enjoy lunch. One of them is José Luis, which offers very cozy spaces to make you feel comfortable. Other nearby options are El Sanjuanino or Las Delicias. You will also find a Starbucks or pizzerias.

After lunch, you can walk for about 14 minutes to the Galileo Galilei Planetarium. The entrance fee is approximately three euros and it is a good plan to spend the afternoon if you are traveling with children.

If you prefer to spend the afternoon in a more relaxed atmosphere and outdoors, I recommend visiting the Japanese Garden. The entrance fee is about three euros and it is very close to the planetarium. There you can stroll along its flowered paths, attend the day's event and enjoy the sunset.

Enjoy the night in Palermo Hollywood

Palermo Hollywood is an area of Palermo located between Juan Bautista Justo, Córdoba, Dorrego and Santa Fé avenues. To get there in less than 10 minutes, I recommend taking an Uber. This area is very popular because of the different bars, discos and clubs it has.

Among them Niceto Club stands out, where artists of different musical genres usually perform. If you don't feel like dancing, you can spend the night at El Encuentro Beer & Show, where you will enjoy craft beer and musical performances.

Book a guided tour of Buenos Aires

3. Day Explore popular neighborhoods of the city and its port

At the mouth| ©sandeepachetan.com
At the mouth| ©sandeepachetan.com

The city of Buenos Aires has many corners, streets and sites that you must visit. However, it is difficult to cover them all in three days. For this reason, I recommend planning tours for the last destinations on your list, so you can get to know much more in a short time.

La Boca neighborhood and Puerto Madero hide a lot of history, culture and tradition of the city. Be prepared because during this day you will be constantly walking, so take everything you need and have a good breakfast. Keep in mind that sometimes it will be more effective to take a cab, so download the Uber app on your phone.

Take a tour of La Boca neighborhood

The best way to get to know it is by taking a tour during the morning through its streets. You can start the tour by visiting the Plaza Bomberos Voluntarios de la Boca. A few minutes away is the famous Caminito street, a colorful neighborhood.

After walking around this area, I recommend you to go to the sea. There are several points where you can admire the sea with tranquility, one of them is the Vuelta de Rocha and Paseo Diputado Claudio Bello. The view is breathtaking, so you can take advantage of the moment and take pictures.

And if you are a big soccer fan, taking advantage of the fact that you are in the neighborhood of La Boca, I recommend you to book a tour of the museums of River Plate and Boca Juniors.

Book a tour of the River Plate and Boca Juniors Museums

Get to know Puerto Madero

To get to Puerto Madero from La Boca you need to take bus 64A at stop 777 Paseo Colon Av. and then get off at 1977 Don Pedro de Mendoza Av. The trip takes about half an hour. When you arrive, you will be able to start a tour of the entire site.

Among the things you will see is the Puente de la Mujer (Women's Bridge), where the love locks are located. If you are traveling with your partner, you could leave one too. Here you will also see different monuments and some of the museums of Buenos Aires. One of them is the Museum Ship Fragata A.R.A. "Presidente Sarmiento".

Another very popular and crowded destination is the Parque Mujeres Argentinas. Here you can spend the afternoon and even go boating on a lake in the park. This way you can watch the sunset in peace and quiet. Another option to spend the afternoon is the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve Beach, although it is forbidden to go in the water.

How can you get around Buenos Aires by public transportation?

Subway| ©Luis Ramos
Subway| ©Luis Ramos

To use public transportation in Buenos Aires it is important that you buy the SUBE card, which costs less than one euro. This card can be found at Sube points, train stations, shops and the like.

In this city you can use the subway or metro, the colectivo or bondi and the train. The latter is ideal for getting out of the city, while the colectivo is recommended for getting around the city, as it runs 24 hours a day. However, you should keep in mind that after 11 p.m. its frequency is lower.

However, tourists often choose to book the Buenos Aires tourist bus, which takes them to the most important sights of the city.

Book the Buenos Aires tourist bus

What to bring in your suitcase when you go to Buenos Aires?

Luggage| ©tookapic
Luggage| ©tookapic

To know what to pack in your suitcase, you need to research the city's weather for the time of your trip, so you can check what is the best weather to visit Buenos Aires. It is usually a bit warm, so you can bring light clothing, but if you are traveling in the colder months you will need to bring a comfortable sweater.

Most of the tours and visits are done on foot and in open places. For this reason I recommend that you always bring sunscreen. In case you are traveling in the rainy season, a raincoat may be a better option than an umbrella.

Book a transfer to/from Buenos Aires airport