3 days checking out Buenos Aires

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
3
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
7
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
7
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
5
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
7
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
6
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
65 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
South America
country
Argentina
Length of time
3-4 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 500
Time of year visited
January
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
163rd/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 50% SUMMARY RATING: Great Experience

Summary

Buenos Aires is one of the premier cites in Latin America and one that feels the most European – certainly has the same feel of a Barcelona or Milan – but with that Argentinian vibe that makes it so captivating.  Its my favourite city in South America and in 3 days I’d recommend a combination of getting out and about, whilst giving the time to simply sit back and soak up all going on around you

Make sure you stay in the super cool Palermo, cycle about the key sites and along the North part of the city, and head into the central places like La Catedral to stare gobsmacked at all ages dancing the sensual tango

highlights

#1 Seeing the iconic Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada in the heart of BA and the political heart of Argentina

#2 Hanging out in uber cool Palermo. The leafy grid layout is beautiful for walking through and it feels like there is a graffiti covered bar or restaurant at every corner - a must!

#3 Spending a bit of time in the markets and vibrant spots like the Caminito area between Boca and the water

#4 Taking the time to head off into some of parks close to the waterfront and to see some of the less touristy neighbourhoods by the sea to the north

#5 Taking a cycling trip through this awesome city, soaking up the feel of the various neighbourhoods and seeing some of the iconic landmarks

Rough itinerary

  • Base yourself in Palermo
  • Doesn’t really matter which order you do the following, but as a rough itinerary:
    • Day 1 – Take a cycle tour in the morning with BA Bikes to check out the cool spots around the South Circuit of BA – Plaza de Mayo, Puerto Madero, Costanera Sur, Barrio Catalinas, Caminto, Boca Jr Stadium, Parque Lezama, Plaza Dorrego.  In the afternoon head over to La Catedral to see the Tango and to check out the nearby markets around Plaza Dorrego
    • Day 2 – spend the day chilling out and exploring Palermo
    • Day 3 – if a nice day, rent a bike and cycle from Palermo towards the coast until you reach the parks of Bosques de Palermo.  Cycle through the parks to the Northern tip and then make your way through parks and neighbourhoods (once having to cross the Av Leopoldo Lugones via an overpass),  up to the Parque de los Ninos and Buenos Aires Playa.  Continue to the northern point of Parque de los Ninos and then return the way you came to Palermo
  • For an extra day, consider a day trip by ferry to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay – see here for more tips Trip to Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires

Travel Tips

  • Stay in Palermo, it really is a fantastic neighbourhood for bars, wandering and a great atmosphere.  We stayed at the CasaSur Palermo Hotel which was nice and had a superb rooftop
  • For a bike tour, we went with BA bikes (located in the centre on San Jose street) and they were super – good bikes, great guides, USD35 for 4 hours leaving at 930am and 230pm.  You have two options – the North Circuit or the South Circuit.  We went with the South Circuit which lets you check out some of the markets, the tango area, the Boca Juniors Stadium and the port
  • For those who are not used to the fixed gear bikes – beware!  The Dutch and the Argentinians are quite used to bikes without breaks – you pedal backwards to break.  But for those who aren’t, they can take a bit of getting used to.  So probably worth not screaming off at speed at the beginning until you’ve seen how good you are at breaking
  • The Rio de la Plata and various beaches are a little underwhelming, but its nice to cycle up to the north of BA to see the less touristy neighbourhoods
  • See if can get a ticket for one of the Boca Juniors or River Plate games
  • The River Plate stadium and museum are worth a visit if you’re in the area, less so if you’re not
  • The terror of the military government, that followed the Peron government in 1976, is not as well known as it should be.  The ESMA centre is the site where military dictatorship silenced all opposition to the regime and has a superb museum there now.  Well worth a visit if have the time
  • The day trip by ferry to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay is worth it if you have the extra day – see here for more tips Trip to Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires.  Or even combine it as part of a slightly longer trip through Uruguay – see here for more tips  4/5 days in Uruguay.  The trip to the Mercado de Puerto for its restaurants is worth the trip alone

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone