Buenos Aires in 5 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Buenos Aires is a city with dozens of things to do. Here are the must-see places for a five-day trip to this cosmopolitan city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Buenos Aires in 5 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Neighborhood of La Boca | ©aykut gebes

Buenos Aires is a place of historical, cultural, gastronomic and artistic contrasts. From the first moment in the city you will notice the great diversity, which will make your stay very interesting as you will have many places to discover.

Here is an itinerary with the best things to do in Buenos Aires for five days. Enough time to explore the historic center, the most emblematic neighborhoods, and even make some escapes from the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature. I tell you everything!

Day 1: Stroll around the historic center of Buenos Aires

Pink house| ©David Berkowitz
Pink house| ©David Berkowitz

During your first day in Buenos Aires, you should stroll through its historic center. This tour starts from the city center towards the neighborhoods of San Telmo and Montserrat, to discover the identity of this city.

Mayo Avenue

A five-minute walk from downtown Buenos Aires, that is, from the iconic obelisk of the city, you will find Avenida de Mayo, with bars and historic buildings.

Some of them are:

  • The Casa Rosada, with a romantic and eclectic architectural style, houses the office of the president inside.
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral, considered the main temple of Catholic worship in the city. It will surprise you with its 12 frontal columns and hidden treasures.
  • The Bar Los 36 Billares, with empanadas, pizzas, mate, coffee and a wide menu.

Book a guided tour of Buenos Aires

The 5 de Julio and San Lorenzo Passages

From Avenida de Mayo you will have to walk about 17 minutes, arriving at Pasaje 5 de Julio and Pasaje San Lorenzo. As you walk along these blocks, you will find a wide range of restaurants and bars. In addition, you will also find tanguerías where you can enjoy some of the best tango shows in Buenos Aires.

Among its streets you will see amazing places such as:

  • La Casa Minima, 13 meters deep by 2.50 meters wide.
  • The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is a Catholic temple of the Dominican order in whose interior you will find the mausoleum of General Manuel Belgrano.
  • The former Casa de la Moneda (Mint)
  • The Antorchas Foundation

Attend a tango show in Buenos Aires

The San Telmo neighborhood

The next destination is the San Telmo neighborhood, approximately an eight-minute walk from the previous location, which is home to restaurants, bars, art galleries, museums and tanguerías. It is a place with a bohemian atmosphere that is surrounded by a series of 19th century buildings.

During your tour you will pass through the famous Plaza Dorrego with its traditional market and antique fair. You will also pass by the Cinema Museum and Lezama Park, whose surroundings include the Russian Orthodox Church, the National History Museum, and the British Bar.

Book the Buenos Aires tourist bus

Montserrat Neighborhood

To finish your tour of the historic center of the city of Buenos Aires, you should head to the Montserrat neighborhood, located about 16 minutes by car or 23 minutes on foot from San Telmo. There, a must-see destination is the Nuestra Señora de Montserrat Church, a Catholic temple of worship with more than 200 years of history.

You will also find other buildings with great religious, cultural and historical value, some of them being the following:

  • The San Juan Bautista Church, built in 1797 and frequented by the French community during the 19th century.
  • The Museum of Santa Casa de Ejercicios Espirituales, a retreat house with a guided tour of its interior.
  • The San Cristobal Market, present since 1944. This is a busy place and usually incorporated in the itinerary of the best cooking classes in Buenos Aires due to its variety of fresh products: cheeses, sausages, meats, fish, vegetables, wines and much more.

Book an Argentine cooking class

Day 2: Discover the Palermo Neighborhood in Buenos Aires

Carlos Thays Botanical Garden| ©Denise Alvarez García
Carlos Thays Botanical Garden| ©Denise Alvarez García

For this second day you will discover all that the Palermo neighborhood hides , located approximately 26 minutes drive from the city center. You will find an amazing natural lung, art, culture, gastronomy and a lively nightlife.

Visit the Palermo Woods

Among the best things to do in Palermo, Buenos Aires, is to visit its green lung, composed of a series of parks and gardens where you can relax, breathe fresh air and contemplate beautiful landscapes in any of its spaces, such as:

  • The Botanical Garden, where you will find about 4,000 plant species along its three gardens (Oriental, Roman and French).
  • The Ecopark, which is a free area with at least 18 hectares where you will find animals, vegetation, and immersive and recreational experiences for all ages.
  • The Japanese Garden, with an oriental pond with koi fish, bonsais, kokedamas, azaleas, tea house, nursery and sushi restaurant.
  • The 3 de Febrero Park, with its rose garden with more than 14,000 rose bushes.

Book a bike tour in Buenos Aires

See the exhibits at the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires

After enjoying the Bosques de Palermo, your next destination will be the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA). This is located at a maximum walking distance of 30 minutes.

In this precinct, considered among the best museums in Buenos Aires, you will see an important collection of modern Latin American art of the 20th century: paintings, engravings, sculptures, artifacts and photographs. All of them made by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Antonio Berni, Wifredo Lam, Joaquín Torres García, among others.

  • Price: the entrance fee is around 6€ per person. Students, teachers and retirees pay around €3, while children under 5 years old have free admission.
  • Hours: every day from 12:00 to 20:00 hours. Closed on Tuesdays.

Eat, drink and enjoy the nightlife of Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood

From the previous destination you can walk an average of 30 minutes or drive approximately 12 minutes to Palermo Soho. This is one of the liveliest areas of this neighborhood.

Its picturesque streets are dotted with street art. You will also find a wide range of bars, breweries and restaurants serving local, Asian and fusion food. An ideal place to join one of the best gastronomic tours in Buenos Aires or go on your own.

Day 3: Walk around Recoleta Neighborhood

Recoleta Cultural Center| ©JJ SCIALFA
Recoleta Cultural Center| ©JJ SCIALFA

The route for your day 3 in Buenos Aires is very simple. You will visit the Recoleta Neighborhood and let yourself be enveloped by the history, culture and art that this place holds.

Recoleta Cemetery

Visiting the Recoleta Cemetery is one of the best things to do in Recoleta Buenos Aires to start your third day itinerary. This cemetery, located at an average distance of 12 minutes by car from downtown, dates back to 1822 and has great architectural and historical value.

Along the tour, you will find mausoleums and vaults belonging to influential personalities in the country. Such is the case of Juan Lavalle (1797-1841), former governor of the province of Mendoza; the military man Juan Martín de Pueyrredón (1777-1850); Eva Peron (1919-1952), politician and first lady of the Argentine nation; among other Argentine politicians, writers, businessmen and presidents.

  • Price: the price of the tickets is approximately 10€ per person. Argentineans enter free of charge.
  • Hours: every day (7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Book a tour of the Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cultural Center

Approximately four minutes walking distance from the previous destination, you will find the Recoleta Cultural Center. This is a neo-Gothic style building built in 1732.

A space dedicated to different types of cultural expressions: theater, recitals, art exhibitions, concerts and much more. You can access its 27 exhibition halls, as well as participate in the workshops and activities available during your visit, aimed at the whole family.

  • Price: admission is free.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday (1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (11:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Closed on Mondays.

The National Museum of Fine Arts

Your next stop is the National Museum of Fine Arts, which is located approximately five minutes walk from the Cultural Center. Here you will enjoy more than 1300 pieces of art (paintings, photographs, engravings, sculptures) exhibited in 30 different rooms.

Several permanent and temporary collections of prehistoric, colonial, ancient and Asian art. In addition, you will discover Argentine art, a series of masterpieces of all times.

  • Price: admission is free.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.

France Square

Just 65 meters away from the National Museum of Fine Arts, you will discover the last destination of the day, the Plaza Francia. This is a small green lung where you can sit down to rest, breathe fresh air and enjoy the sunset, ideal if you have traveled to Buenos Aires with children.

Also, if your visit coincides with any weekend of the year, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Craft Fair Intendente Alvear from 10:00 to 19:00 hours. You can eat, drink and buy a variety of products: clothing, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photographs, crafts, leather goods, books, and more.

Book a private tour in Buenos Aires

Day 4: Visit La Boca neighborhood and Chinatown in Buenos Aires

Chinatown| ©Pilar F
Chinatown| ©Pilar F

This day starts in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the city, La Boca. Afterwards, you will move to Chinatown to explore the oriental culture.

La Boca Neighborhood

This day begins with a visit to a must-see destination, the neighborhood of La Boca, located approximately 20 minutes by car from downtown and included in the main tours of Buenos Aires. Although, in this opportunity, the proposal is that you visit it on your own.

For example, some of the places you will visit are the following:

  • Caminito Street: an emblematic place with a picturesque scene. It is an open-air museum with lots of street art, stores, handicrafts, music, local cuisine and much more.
  • The Alberto J. Armando soccer stadium, better known as La Bombonera, due to its horseshoe-shaped architectural design.
  • The modern art museum Fundación Proa, with temporary and permanent exhibitions that transmit the artistic movements belonging to the 20th century, a library and auditorium.
  • The Riachuelo port, with a beautiful landscape that combines the blue of the sky, the calm waters and some anchored boats.

Book a tour of the River Plate and Boca Juniors museums

Buenos Aires Chinatown

Buenos Aires Chinatown is your next destination. At the end of your tour of La Boca neighborhood, walk about eight minutes to 299 Blanes Juan Manuel and take the 130B bus route to Est. Bulogne to 6133 Libertador Avenue.

When you get off the bus, walk towards Mendoza Avenue and you will immediately see the huge 11-meter traditional Chinese arch, welcoming you to the city's Chinatown. Once you cross it, you will find a great culinary and cultural offer.

You will be able to walk at your own pace through the streets of this neighborhood and discover everything it hides. For example:

  • The Buddhist temple Tzong Kuan, with free yoga and meditation classes.
  • The art street represented through a series of colorful Chinese-themed murals, distributed along the streets of the neighborhood. You will see panda bears, ancient dragons, koi fish, Buddha images, maneki neko, among others.
  • The stores and supermarkets, with fresh products such as vegetables, mushrooms, fish, pork, roots, seeds, spices, curry and much more. In addition, soy, coconut and rice milk, oriental alcoholic beverages such as sake, soju, among others.
  • A wide variety of restaurants, where you can try a variety of dishes such as noodle soup, sushi, tofu, hot pot, dumplings, among others.

Day 5: Take a guided day trip from Buenos Aires

Tigre Delta| ©cuba49
Tigre Delta| ©cuba49

The plan for your fifth day in Buenos Aires is to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the surroundings of this beautiful cosmopolitan capital. To do so, you have several options for day trips from the city to the Iguazu Falls, the Tigre Delta and San Isidro.

Option 1: Explore the Tigre Delta by cruise ship from Buenos Aires

For this day trip to the Tigre Delta from Buenos Aires, you will travel by car with a guide for about 5.5 hours from Buenos Aires along the Panama River. You will be accompanied by a local guide who will tell you about the history of the area and other details of interest.

On the way back, you will pass by Quinta Olivos, the presidential residence, and the luxurious houses in the northern area.

Book an excursion to the Tigre Delta

Option 2: Discover Iguazu National Park from Buenos Aires

This adventure will allow you to discover all the natural treasures hidden in the Iguazu National Park. You will depart from the door of your hotel to the Jorge Newbery airport in Buenos Aires with a guide, to fly to Iguazu.

There, you will board a car and embark on a route of about 15 minutes to the visitor center of this natural lung and then move on (by train or on foot) to the waterfall station with long trails and amazing views. You can have lunch and rest in the gastronomic center.

To finish what could be one of the best day trips from Buenos Aires, you will board a train to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat). You will be amazed with the fall of the waterfalls, which you will contemplate from a footbridge over them.

  • Price: the value of this experience is around 824€ per person.
  • Duration: this excursion lasts a full day.

Means of transportation in Buenos Aires

Subway .| ©Luis Ramos
Subway .| ©Luis Ramos

In the city of Buenos Aires you will find several transportation options to move from one destination to another in a fast and safe way.

Some of them are the following:

  • The bus, also called colectivo or bondi: you will find an average of 137 lines that connect with the whole city and work 24 hours a day. To pay for this means of transportation, you will have to apply for the Sube card.
  • The Buenos Aires Subway or subway: it offers six lines (A, B, C, D, E and H) and a Premetro that runs on the surface.
  • Through BA EcoBici: the city's free bicycle system.
  • By cab: this is one of the most expensive services. You can hail a cab on the city streets or request one through the BA Taxi app available on Google Play and Apple Store.

Book a transfer from/to Buenos Aires Ezeiza airport

Tourist bus to tour Buenos Aires

Bus Tour| ©Juanedc
Bus Tour| ©Juanedc

There is a tourist bus with free stops in Buenos Aires, which service is available from 9:00 am to 5: 00 pm. It is a route of approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes, which will allow you to visit the most emblematic neighborhoods, starting in La Recoleta.

You will pass by Av. de Mayo, La Bombonera, Reserva Ecológica, Bosques de Palermo - Rosedal, among other places of tourist interest. In total there are 22 stops that make up this circuit.

Book the Buenos Aires tourist bus

Highlights of 5 days in Buenos Aires

  • Day 1
  • Stroll through the historic center of Buenos Aires
  • San Telmo neighborhood
  • Free
  • All day
  • Day 2
  • Discover Palermo Neighborhood
  • Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires
  • From 6€ per person
  • Every day from 12:00 to 20:00 hours. Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Day 3
  • Tour the Recoleta Neighborhood
  • Recoleta Cemetery
  • From 10€ per person
  • Every day from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Day 4
  • Visit La Boca neighborhood
  • Free tour through the streets of the neighborhood
  • Free
  • All day
  • Day 5
  • Guided tour from Buenos Aires
  • Tigre Delta and San Isidro
  • From 69€ per person
  • Duration of eight hours (Approx.)

Five days might not seem long enough for you to discover all that Buenos Aires has to offer. However, if you organize the timing of your itinerary well, you will be surprised by the number of destinations you will be able to visit, either on your own or through guided tours.