15 Ways To Have a Blast in Buenos Aires

By Mark Wiens 28 Comments

I spent about 3 months in Buenos Aires taking a TESOL course.  This is my list of ways to have fun (mostly in order) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  If you have spent time in BA and know other ways to have a blast in Buenos Aires, I’d love to hear your comments!

la bombonero1.  Boca Juniors Football Match at La Bombonera

In Buenos Aires, if you like football (soccer) or not, seeing a yellow and blue Boca Juniors match is an absolute must. Along with a few local friends (recommended) I sat in the cheapest standing section of the Boca stadium which also attracted the shadier of fans. Unfortunately I fell prey to a thug who cunningly snagged my camera. The worst thing of course was that I have no pictures to show of the hectic and entertaining event. The fans were ballistic, continuously chanting songs, beating drums, bouncing on poles, and throwing hands above their heads. When Boca scored their first goal, I could literally not notice a difference in sound volume.

photo courtesy of DhubaX | Eduardo Lacerda

2.  Asados/Parillas…and other Food

The single thought that enters my mind when reflecting on BA is the precious BEEF. There can be absolutely zero human resistance to a kilo of the tenderest “bife de chorizo” smothered in an equally delicious chunk of grilled provoleta (spiced provolone) cheese to create a personal tantalizing fantasy. The unrealistic great quality of beef will actually blow your mind and force you into thinking of nothing else for the first week (set aside the first week just for beef) of being in BA.

I had the privilege of staying in a student house for a month where we would pool our funds together on Sundays and our landlord would create an Asado fit for Royalty.

Beware that an Asado is often not served until dangerous hours of the night around midnight, and one is therefore forced into a deep slumber immediately after swallowing the final bite (Not the healthiest, but inevitable).

argentina asado

Other honorable eats:

Check out the top 10 foods to eat in Buenos Aires that are not steak and see the Buenos Aires Foodies blog!

3.  Monday Night La Bomba de Tiempo

On Monday nights a drumming band by the name of La Bomba de Tiempo plays their hearts out at an energetic and highly entertaining percussion show.  The excited crowd flows to the continuous beats and people guzzle brews.  Don’t be embarrassed, all forms of dancing or attempts are embraced and accepted.  The general vibe is Bohemian and people can be found from around the world pulsing to the drums.

Show is held at Konex venue on Monday nights.�
The line can be out of control, so arrive at about 7pm.

yerba mate argentina4.  Drink Yerba Mate (tea) with Random People or Friends

Letting a day pass while sipping yerba mate from a cow hoof gourd through a metal straw while relaxing in a patch of green grass is high on my list of priorities.  At first the mate may seem stout and bitter, but choose to enjoy it, and soon it will be a daily if not hourly ritual that your life depends upon.

photo courtesy of Rayerza

5.  Nightlife

There are books written about Buenos Aires and it’s teeming nightlife and places to party.  I won’t go in depth as there is an abundance of information out there already.  If you like to listen to thumping techno or reggaeton music, watch massive crowds, drink Fernet, or observe attractive people, you must venture to one of the many nightclubs.  Check out Museo in San Telmo, Mint in Palermo, or Crobar under the railway.  Tons and tons of options.

For more extensive information check out Buenos Aires Nightlife Guide.

san temlmo sunday market6.  San Telmo Sunday market

San Telmo on Sunday is a pleasant place to walk through and observe the market that sprawls for a good couple of kilometers on the cobble stoned street. Purchase Argentine leather goods, antiques, handmade jewelry, clothing, shoes, souvenirs, and other spontaneous trinkets. Admire amateur musicians, aspiring actors, tango dancers, Argentine mimers, Diego Maradona impressionists, artists, and hippies, as they all attempt uniqueness.

For more information check out San Telmo on a Sunday.

7.  Walk around/check out the Obelisk

Don’t miss checking out the central Obelisko from close and far as well as the surrounding town area. The reason I like it is not necessarily because of the monument itself but rather the central confluence of roads that intersect and the traffic and masses that surround.

See the official tourism site of Buenos Aires.

Japanese Gardens in Buenos Aires, Argentina8.  Relax in the Japanese and Botanical Gardens

There are few better ways to relax than to sprawl around a manicured garden with a book and a beverage, and maybe a friend. The Botanical garden is free of charge but the Japanese garden charges a small but worth it fee. Both are equally soothing and can be explored near Palermo.

For more info on the Japanese Gardens check this out.

photo courtesy of RolAdn

9.  Head to Barrio Chino for some Chinese food

Chunks of beef, grilled cheese, creamy pastas, and crusty loaves, are delicious, but growing up with rice in my blood, Chinatown every now and then is a must. Though it is a small area, the buzz, the products, and the smells, are equivalent to those of any Chinatown around the world.

Check out more information about Barrio Chino.

recoleta cemetary10. Recoleta Cemetery Stroll

The Recoleta cemetery is a neighborhood of famous deceased people who are housed in mansions with chandeliers. The cemetery is a sight to have a brief walk through and check out a place where the very rich or very famous lay rest.

Location: Calle Junin 1790, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hours: Open daily from 8 am to 6pm
photo courtesy of Stuck in Customs

argentina tango11. Check Out Some Tango Dancing

I never made it to an official show, but the Tango dancing I saw on the streets of La Boca and San Telmo while stuffing my face with beef, were surely a flavor of the artful and beautiful dance that Tango is.  Even if you are not into organized dancing, the talent is enough to appreciate and be entertained by.

photo courtesy of Lídia Ramalho

12. Palermo Walking and Shopping

The streets of Palermo Viejo, Hollywood, and Soho, are a joy to stroll.  The avenues are lined with boutiques offering dangerous fashion, restaurants serving upscale Italian and fusion gastronomy, and affluent people sipping red wine outside of neo-expressionist art displays.  On the weekends, try to hang out in Plaza Serrano, a decent place to unwind for a pint or bite to munch and chill till sunrise hours.

Tip: Never miss a 6 am hot dog in Palermo square after being up all night.

avenida florida argentina13. Head To People Watch and Shop on Ave. Florida

Avenida (Avenue) Florida located near the central Obelisk0 is a street to tackle when you have mentally prepared for massive crowds of humanity and solicitation.  Leather products will be offered at the same rate of tuk tuk rides being offered in Cambodia. It is however an easy place to purchase anything from a digital camera to a mate gourd or a football jersey.

photo courtesy of dgflyer

14. Rollerblade In The Huge Bosques de Palermo Park

The atmosphere is parallel to that of Lumphini Park in Bangkok and if someone was going to booty shake for exercise this is exactly where they would do it.  At first I thought rollerblading around the park on a Sunday would be a goofy activity to even entertain.  We arrived at the park, rented the correct size of blades for an hour, and awkwardly roller-ed our way around the park with a choripan (sausage in a bun) in hand.  It proved to be much more entertaining than I had previously thought and I would call it a great way to spend a midday afternoon.

Location: Bosques de Palermo Park, Palermo Viejo at- Avs. Del Libertador, Dorrego and Figueroa Alcorta

15. Puerto Madero, Rio De la Plata Riverfront

The most prestigious neighborhood in Buenos Aires offers baller status accommodation and entertainment.  The area has been and is still being developed into a beautiful and well thought out urban plan. Consider a walk through Puerto Madero, maybe an afternoon coffee, or if you want to splurge, a meal or couple drinks at one of the ultra trendy restaurants or bars.  There are also a number of stalls that sell incredible sandwiches like choripan’s and bondiola‘s near the Ecological Reserve in Puerto Madero.

road in buenos aires palermo

Don’t get too caught up with a schedule and plan in Buenos Aires.  Walk around, take the metro train and walk everywhere, check things out, and see what happens.  Buenoes Aires is a phenomenal city where you can easily have a blast, even without a plan!

Any other ways to have a blast in Buenos Aires?  Please leave a comment!

-Migration Mark


28 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Francisco

    8 years ago

    I don’t really know how I ended up here, but as an argentinian that lived in Buenos Aires for almost 2 years, I can say your list is great! I’ve done 14 /15 things, still got the Boca match left.
    Buenos Aires is an amazing city to visit a traveler/tourist, but I wouldn’t live there for the long run, it’s just too big for me.

  • Round We Go

    12 years ago

    There is not a more enrapturing city in the world.

  • Mark Wiens

    13 years ago

    @For 91 Days: You are going to love the match, when I went it was just all out craziness! I couldn’t tell the difference between normal cheering and a goal score!

  • For 91 Days Travel Blog

    13 years ago

    We are going next week to the Boca Juniors … we can’t wait but I’m also a little nervous. Videos I have seen are just plain nuts!!!

  • WanderingTrader

    13 years ago

    LIved here for 3 months… and I think you nailed every single thing to do on the head

  • Susan

    13 years ago

    We will be celebrating our friend’s 60th b-day next MONDAY in Buenos Aires. She and her husband are the coolest, in-shape, beautiful people you can ever want to see/know. Sophisticated, fun-loving, foodies, world-wide travelers. S wants to celebrate with an excellent, trendy dinner followed by a venue to watch people tango/Latin dancing, in general…and probably try it out themselves.This will be our first trip to South America, and we only have two days in BA before heading down to Patagonia. Do you suggest we dine first, then go for dancing? I’ve read some good restaurant suggestions (La Cabrera, La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar, Astrid y Gaston, 647 Dinner Club.) Can anyone suggest a cool, upscale milonga that’s open on a Monday night that’s exciting without being twenty-something-ish, and has great music and dancing? Muchas gracias! Susan

  • Andi

    13 years ago

    My fave city in the world. 🙂

  • Adventurous Kate

    14 years ago

    Great post, Mark! My first totally solo trip was to Buenos Aires a year and a half ago. Though I was only there a week, I’m happy to say I did 9 of the 15 things on your list!

    As far as tango goes, I found it INCREDIBLY rewarding to go to a milonga, rather than a show. Now THAT’S the best people-watching in the world.

    • Mark Wiens

      14 years ago

      Awesome, BA is a great destination for a first trip! I never actually went to a milonga, but I definitely should have…I’m sure the people watching was incredible!

  • wineguy999

    14 years ago

    Nice piece, but please do us a favor and take that accent out of the word “mate”. I’m sure you know the word is pronounced MAH-teh and not mah-TEH.

    • Mark Wiens

      14 years ago

      Hey, thanks for noticing that, I will get that out of there straight away.

  • Earl

    14 years ago

    I agree that BA is one of those cities where all you need to do is walk outside in the morning without a plan and just see where the day takes you.

    And another good activity in that city is heladeria hopping (aka ice cream tasting)!! I was truly addicted to the ice cream down there.

    • Mark Wiens

      14 years ago

      Oh yah great reminder, that should definitely be on the list. We used to order dishes of ice cream and have them delivered to our doorstep late at night. I was loving the dulce de leche ice cream!

  • Anil

    14 years ago

    Perfect timing, I’m there right now!

    • Mark Wiens

      14 years ago

      Sweet Anil! I’m sure you are having a blast already!

  • Gourmantic

    14 years ago

    Tea with random people sounds like a good way to get travel inspiration!

  • Dave and Deb

    14 years ago

    I love your writing, it makes me want to go to Bueno Aires. Everything is described so well, I can feel myself sitting there with you enjoying a Yerba Maté and scarfing down some beef. Sorry you got your camera stolen, we know first hand what it feels like to have it swiped. We had ours stolen on a bus in Botswana. In retrospect, we knew it was happening while it was being stolen, but we didn’t clue in until it was too late:( We don’t have any photos of most of Botsawana and half of Namibia because of it.

  • Mark Wiens

    14 years ago

    @Paulo: Awesome man, I also hiked around Patagonia and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. I agree, BA is an incredible city!

    @Kristy: Great, there are bunches of things to do in BA, I’m sure you will have a great time!

    @Randall: Yah, I was in BA for about 3 months prior to coming to SE Asia 1.5 years ago. It was a great time and if you visit, I’m sure you will have a blast as well!

  • Randall

    14 years ago

    I love the post! You must have gotten out of Asia for a while?

    I always love the fact that you mix food with travel and your love and pictures of the local markets astound.

    I have some friends that took a year off and moved to Buenos Aires, they had a blast. Definatley have to put it on my list!

  • Kirsty

    14 years ago

    Living in Beunos Aires has been on my list of ‘to dos’ for a long time now and this post is making me wonder why I ever put it off! Great stuff! Bookmarked until next year. Or the year after… ? I’ll get there one of these days.

  • paulo

    14 years ago

    I’ve been to Buenos Aires twice, once combined with climbing in Patagonia, it is such an amazing city. Full of life, color, music and incredible food.

    • Polly

      13 years ago

      Couldn’t agree more. Plus the contrast of this vibrant city with the wild nature of Patagonia shows the best of both aspects of holidays. The “culture” and the “Nature” of a country.