Top 10 easy-going experiences in Buenos Aires
The people of Buenos Aires enjoy taking it easy just as much as they love dancing. Discover the city's character little by little in tree-shaded parks, plaza cafés, gracious historic galleries and story-rich neighbourhoods.
1. Eat alfresco for every meal
In Buenos Aires it's perfectly possible to eat alfresco for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wide sidewalks, paved plazas and outdoor green spaces are everywhere in the city, allowing Argentina's famous hospitality to flow out the door and into the street. It's easy to feel the spirit of the city when it's sauntering past your table.
2. Fill your phone's gallery with historic architecture and gardens
Your camera app will be busy in Buenos Aires. Capture the Obelisco, National Congress, Palacio Barolo, la Manzana de las Luces (the illuminated block) and Casa Rosada. And don't forget Jardin Botanico, an 18-acre paradise right in the middle of town. When it gets too warm for wandering, you can always find tranquillity and butterflies in the garden.
3. Understand the past at the National Museum of History
Explore the history of Buenos Aires through the wars of independence, the key people involved and their treasured belongings. Discover an exceptional collection of sabres, one of which has a personal guard at all times. Check for the English tour times, because the signage is in Spanish.
4. Capture the cobbled alleyway of Caminito in La Boca
Popular among Buenos Aires tourist attractions, the Caminito (little path) is a cobblestone strip with humorous sculptures, murals and insanely colourful historic houses. A walking tour is a great way to learn about Caminito's architecture and the wider neighbourhood, while picking up local tips on the best places for lunch.
5. Meander around the mausoleums at Recoleta
One of the more unusual places to appreciate Buenos Aires' architecture is Recoleta Cemetery, which is laid out like a beautiful miniature town. There are thousands of large ornate gravestones, angel figures, statues, cathedral-like domes and mausoleums that resemble small houses. Take a tour or pick up a map and allow a few hours.
6. Eat steak and papa fritas with a glass of Malbec
Buenos Aires is known for its parrillas (grill restaurants) that serve unbelievably delicious steaks, usually with super-tasty papa fritas (French fries) and a fresh salad. Grilled meat is big here, with recipes and cooking techniques closely guarded. The deep-red, fruity and velvety Argentine malbec wines are a perfect match.
7. See a show at Teatro Colon
One of the most famous buildings in Latin America, this beautiful theatre was built in 1895. It features incredible artworks, such as the huge mouth curtain that is hand-painted with 36 characters from famous operas. Throughout the year there's a wonderful programme of dance, theatre and musical performances, so book ahead to ensure a few hours in this captivating space.
8. Cruise to Tigre town
Take a break from city life and enjoy a serene cruise around the Tigre Delta. Enjoy spotting wildlife in the lush tropical vegetation alongside the waterways and learn about the rich history of the area. When you reach Tigre, visit the local market and the Naval Museum before catching a train back to the city.
9. Watch someone else dance a tango
For an entertaining evening of tango without any pressure to dance, book for a tango show. There are many to choose from and they include a multi-course dinner, as well as a fantastic floor show of dancing. Some shows even feature a full orchestra.
10. Appreciate the art at Museum Nacional de Bellas Artes
This huge gallery houses the most valuable collection of Argentine art in the world. It also has a selection of works by European masters, including Monet, Degas and Van Gogh. Make sure you allow enough time - the collection sprawls across 30 rooms and three floors. Admission is free, but it's a good idea to get an audio guide for a few bucks.