11 GREAT BUENOS AIRES ATTRACTIONS FOR YOUR MUST SEE LIST

Find here my favorite Buenos Aires attractions and add them to your must see list, especially if you only have only a few days in Argentina’s capital. Buenos Aires is an amazing city and it is really hard to narrow down the list to just 11. I found so many places in Buenos Aires that fascinated me, so I will be posting some off the beaten track lists.

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Buenos Aires top attractions

Palacio Barolo – My Number One Among Buenos Aires Attractions

Palacio Barolo - one of the top Buenos Aires great attractions
Palacio Barolo

You may be wondering why spectacular Palacio Barolo is a must see and why it is my #1. This majestic building of was at the top of my list of Buenos Aires attractions. And after seeing it, it is still my number one attraction in Buenos Aires. The amazing building fascinates with its sophisticated architecture inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

For the best experience, I highly recommend taking a tour. You will have the opportunity to see not only the foyer, but also some of the upper floors. And they are absolutely worth it. The guide will tell you a lot about the building: the idea behind the project, the symbolism, the connection to the masonry and much more. From the balconies you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

Address: Avenida de Mayo 1370.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore – Book Lovers’ Favorite One of Buenos Aires Attractions

El Ateneo Grand Splendid
El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore

This is the most beautiful bookstore I have ever set foot in. And I am not alone. National Geographic declared it the most beautiful bookstore in the world. It is a former theater that was converted into a bookstore. It still looks like a theater with the frescoed ceiling, the balconies with the brass railings and the stage with curtains, turned into a coffee shop. Just sit and relax or have a drink while reading a book.

El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore interior

You don’t have to buy anything to walk through the balconies, but a book bought at El Ateneo Grand Splendid makes a precious gift for book lovers. Harry Potter fans will love the special section dedicated to their favorite book.

Address: Av. Sta. Fe 1860 Open: Monday – Thursday, 9am – 10pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 9.00am – midnight; Sundays, 12 noon – 10pm.

Buenos Aires top attractions

Teatro Colón (The Colon Theater) – The Art Lovers’ Must-See of Buenos Aires Attractions

Teatro Colon Buenos Aires
Teatro Colon Buenos Aires

This is another spectacular building in Buenos Aires. It reminds a lot of La Scala in Milan. The theater  is considered one of the greatest opera houses in the world famous for its acoustics, magnificent architecture and stunning interior design.  

You can see this beautiful theater either by attending a performance or by booking a tour. If you have the opportunity to attend an opera performance at the theater, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. I didn’t have the chance, but I can’t recommend the tour enough: it is fun and informative. You will learn a lot about how the building was built and where the materials came from. The tour includes the foyer, the Bust Gallery, the Golden Salon and the Main Hall. There are plenty of tours to choose from throughout the day.

Address: Cerrito 628.

Buenos Aires top attractions

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires

The building at Plaza de Mayo which looks like a theater is in fact the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires. The construction of the cathedral as we see it today began around the middle of the 19th century and was completed at the beginning of the 20th century. Twelve columns of the facade symbolize the 12 Apostles. The cathedral has an imposing dome and numerous side chapels. One of the side naves was converted into a mausoleum for General José de San Martín. You can spend hours in the Cathedral. Plan at least an hour for your visit.

Address: San Martín 27. Open: Mon-Fri from 8 AM to 7 PM, Sat-Sun from 9 AM to 7.30 PM. Admission is free.

Buenos Aires top attractions

Avenida 9 de Julio

Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest boulevard in the city and one of the widest in the world, with up to 16 lanes in some sections. The boulevard runs from south to north through the central part of Buenos Aires and is an excellent landmark. Rows of trees on both sides of the boulevard make walking along it a real pleasure even on the hottest days. Some of Buenos Aires’ most famous attractions are located along the avenue. You will find the Colon Theater, the Obelisk, a monument to the Iguazu Falls, the Don Quixote Monument and the building with the portrait of Evita Peron on both sides.

Buenos Aires top attractions

Plaza de Mayo

Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires
Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires

May Square, which is the English translation of Plaza de Mayo, is the oldest square in the city. It is surrounded by some of the most important buildings in Buenos Aires. The most significant events in the history of Argentina have taken place here. Here you will find the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the National Bank of Argentina with the Historical and Numismatic Museum inside it and the Cabildo Museum. At the far end of the square is the Casa Rosada (The Pink House), which is the Government building. Tourist hop-on, hop-off bus tours depart from Plaza de Mayo, near the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The most colorful one among Buenos Aires Attractions – La Boca Neighborhood

El Caminito street in La Boca

La Boca is the most colorful and lively neighborhood in Buenos Aires. It is also home to the stadium of the Boca Juniors football team. The neighborhood is rich in color, but it also has a very compelling history. It’s inspiring to see how a group of neighbors transformed La Boca from a slum into an open-air museum. Don’t miss La Boca, even if you only have one day in Buenos Aires. A walk through its colorful streets, the most famous of which is Caminito, is a unique experience.

La Boca is not very close to downtown, so you’d better take a taxi or Uber. You can also take the Buenos Aires Red Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour or the Buenos Aires Yellow Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. Both tours stop at the beginning of the Caminito.

The Obelisk

The Obelisk of Buenos Aires

The Obelisk and the giant BA letters are one of the most recognizable Buenos Aires Attractions. Don’t miss the chance to take a picture of yourself with the most photographed Buenos Aires attraction. You will have to wait in a line for a while to get the desired photo. Waiting lines are even marked on the pavement. The waiting line may seem long, but it moves fast.

Address: Av. 9 de Julio and Av. Corrientes

Buenos Aires top attractions

San Telmo Market and Feria de San Telmo (San Telmo Sunday Market)

San Telmo Market

First of all, do not confuse the San Telmo market with the Sun Telmo Sunday market.

San Telmo Market is a historic indoor market that opened at the end of the 19th century. You can find everything from antiques to food stalls and coffee shops there.

MY FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE TIP FOR YOU: Bring cash as many stalls do not accept credit cards.

Address: Bolívar 970. Open Tue-Fri from 10:30AM to 7:30PM and Sat-Sun from 9 AM to 8 PM. Closed on Monday.

San Telmo Sunday market
San Telmo Sunday market

Feria de San Telmo or San Telmo Sunday market is an open-air craft and antiques market held on Sundays in Dorrego Square and along Defensa Street (starting almost at Plaza de Mayo). It is one of the best places to buy an original souvenir of Buenos Aires. The San Telmo Sunday Market has hundreds of stalls selling antiques, handmade accessories, paintings, collectibles, clothing, photos, handmade magnets and souvenirs. Several traditional bars nearby are a good place to stop for a coffee or a beer while watching tango dancers perform their art.

On Sundays, almost every square or park in the city hosts some kind of handicraft market. Some of the biggest ones I’ve seen are in Recoleta and at the Feria de Mataderos. However, due to its proximity to the heart of the city, the San Telmo Sunday market is the most popular. And it is worth it.

Floralis Genérica

Floralis Generica
Floralis Generica

This giant steel flower sculpture is in Recoleta district. Floralis Genérica opens and closes its petals depending on the time of the day and the daylight and is beautifully illuminated at night.

Address: Av. Pres. Figueroa Alcorta 2301

El Jardín Japonés (The Japanese Garden)

Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires
Japanese Garden in Buenos Aires

The Japanese Garden is the last one in my 11 GREAT BUENOS AIRES ATTRACTIONS list. It opened to the public in 1967. The Japanese community living in Argentina designed and built it. Later on, the Japanese Embassy donated the Japanese Garden to the City of Buenos Aires as a thank you gift to Argentina for accepting the Japanese in times of immigration. The paths of the Japanese Garden are decorated with bonsais, azaleas, orchids in the traditional Japanese style. In addition to paths, there are bridges, waterfalls and lakes with fish in them.

Address: Av. Casares 3450, open every day from 10AM to 6:30PM

Two Attractions You May Find Missing from the List

Is something important missing from my list of attractions in Buenos Aires? The answer is yes. Two places that are typically found in every Buenos Aires itinerary are not included in my 11 BUENOS AIRES ATTRACTIONS list.

They are the Recoleta Cemetery and Café Tortoni. Why are they missing from my list? Regarding the Recoleta Cemetery, I hate going to cemeteries. As impressive as it may be, it is still a cemetery and I do not go there.

I walked past Café Tortoni many times at different times of the day. Nevertheless, there was always a desperately long line in front of it. Since I didn’t want to waste my time in Buenos Aires, I skipped it and went to Café Las Violetas instead.

The image shows a bustling scene in front of a building with significant cultural heritage. There's a crowd of people who are waiting in line. The entrance to the building is adorned with an arch and decorative iron gates, and above, signs indicate the presence of both the "Academia Nacional del Tango" and the "Museo Mundial del Tango." Adjacent to this is a sign for the "Café Tortoni," a historically significant café known for its association with the tango. The café's façade features a traditional green awning. It seems to be a sunny day, and the crowd includes people of various ages, some looking at their phones, others engaged in conversation and all of them waiting to enter Cafe Tortoni.
Cafe Tortoni Buenos Aires

If you are determined to see them, here are their addresses:

Recoleta Cemetery: Junín 1760, open every day from 9 AM till 5 PM. You may consider taking a Recoleta Cemetery Tour in English. The entrance ticket is not included in the tour price.

Café Tortoni: Av. de Mayo 825, open every day from 8 AM till 10 PM.

You already know which are the 11 Great Buenos Aires greatest attractions and I hope you have already included them in your must see list. Pin the post for future reference.

Buenos Aires top attractions

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