A decision to visit Buenos Aires in Argentina is a decision to see one of the most exciting cities in South America. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina as well as the country’s most populous metro. Oddly enough, the city proper is not part of the province of Buenos Aires or the capital district. It is completely independent and autonomous in political terms. And, of course, there’s no shortage of things to do in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires has the distinction of being in the top three metros in terms of income and standard of living in South America. It is a tourist destination favoured by Europeans because of its Spanish/European architectural influence. But it’s also loved because of its outstanding culture. Buenos Aires is such a good host that it is continuously considered for major sporting events such as the Pan-American Games, the FIFA World Cup, and the Youth Olympics.
Great Things to Do in Buenos Aires
When I travel, I like to do things that I find exciting. Yes, there is certainly a time and place to go out and enjoy the quiet beauty of nature. But there is also a time to pump up the energy and look for an adrenaline rush. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to meet every preference. Here are the best things to do in Buenos Aires and its surrounding region:
Visit the Cementerio de la Recoleta
The Cementerio de la Recoleta is the most famous cemetery in the greater Buenos Aires region. Why is this exciting? Because it is a virtual city (of the dead) unto itself. The once public cemetery is now private and very hard to get a plot in. It is the final resting place for numerous Argentine presidents, other political figures, business leaders, and so on. You’ll spend hours exploring a virtual maze of mausoleums and extravagant tombs – if you’re lucky, you’ll even come across the tomb of Evita Peron.
Spend the Day at FerÃa De Mataderos
FerÃa De Mataderos (Fair of the Mataderos in English) is the Argentine version of a wild west rodeo and English country fair combined. Here you’ll see gauchos parading on beautifully decorated horses while seemingly every street vendor within the city limits is manning a booth offering some sort of locally produced food for craft. You’ll also experience traditional Argentine dancing, plenty of games and contests – you may even win a prize – and so much more. Entry is free, but you’ll pay for your food and some forms of entertainment.
Spend Your Evening at the Port
By day, the Puerto Madero is a peaceful, relaxing place to grab a light meal and do some shopping. But at night, the port district comes alive with all sorts of action. Nearly every corner of the district offers plenty of nightclubs and lots of dancing. Learn the tango at one club before going down the street to salsa. And, of course, the fresh seafood and steak served at the local restaurants is legendary.
Stroll Along Corrientes Avenue
Hopefully, you’ve noticed a theme: a lot of the best things to do in Buenos Aires do not cost much money. Taking a stroll along Corrientes Avenue is another excellent example. The avenue is home to plenty of shops and cafés, but it’s also the place where Argentine tango dancers have been congregating since the 1930s. At any time during your stroll, you’re likely to encounter at least several groups, some of whom might invite you to join them to dance. While you’re on the avenue, you might want to take in a show at the Colon Theatre.
Take in a Polo Match
If you will be visiting between September and November, one of the most entertaining things to do in Buenos Aires is to take in a polo match at Palermo. The Argentine game is very similar to the English version, but it tends to be a bit more rough and tumble. That’s what happens when you mix a sporting competition with Latin American passion. Oh, it’s a lot of fun, as well.
Visit Tierra Santa
For the religious faithful among us, Buenos Aires offers a Christian theme park known as Tierra Santa. Here you will experience what the Holy Land might have been like back in the day. The highlight of the property is an 18-metre-tall statue of Jesus that rises from the top of one of the park’s artificial mountains every 45 minutes. The park is open year-round, but times vary depending on the season. Admission is less than £20 for adults; children aged 11 and under are free.
Bet on the Horses at Palermo Hippodrome
Horse racing fans should head over to the Palermo Hippodrome to take in one of the few French-style racetracks on the other side of the Pond. At Palermo, you’ll experience one of 10 horse races run each month along with a full casino, shopping area, and some of the finest French restaurants in town. This place is both elegant and exciting at the same time.
There are a lot of other great things to do in Buenos Aires. One thing is for sure; you’ll stay busy for your entire trip. There’s just so much to do.
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- Buenos Aires Night: By Luis Argerich from Buenos Aires, Argentina (Buenos Aires Cityline at Night) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Cemetery: By Andrew Currie from Toronto, Canada (Recoleta Cemetery) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Feria de Mataderos: By Carlos Adampol Galindo from DF, México (Feria de Mataderos, Buenos Aires, Argentina) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Puerto Madero: By Pablo Avila (Flickr: Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires Argentina) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Avenue at Night: By Luis Argerich (Flickr: Buenos Aires at Night) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Polo: By Danirepe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Tierra: By Roberto Ettore (Roberto Ettore) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Hippodrome: http://www.buenosaires.travel/en/hipodromo-argentino-palermo/