• 5 November 2019

If you’re travelling through Argentina and have 24 hours in Buenos Aires on a layover or day trip, you’re in luck. Argentina’s capital city is full of enchanting things to do and places to see. 

Offering historic landmarks, large urban parks and Tango dancers, you’ll find yourself amazed around every corner of this destination. This list of what to do on a short trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina will help you find all the best options for one day in this beautiful city. 

1. Marvel at the most unusual cemetery

Rarely will you see ‘take a walk through the cemetery’ on any itinerary, but Recoleta Cemetery is an exception in more than one way. This impressive landmark is adorned with stately mausoleums lining cobbled lanes and is the resting place of many well-known Argentine people. The list includes Napoleon’s granddaughter, as well as First Lady Eva Peron

You can roam through the large area yourself most days, or if you are familiar with the Spanish language, opt for a guided tour (only available in Spanish). 

The famous Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires
The famous Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires
2. Explore some of Argentina’s deep history

Pay a visit to the La Boca neighbourhood, situated at the mouth of the Riachuelo River and enjoy being immersed in the cultural history of the Buenos Aires people. 

The area is adorned with bright and colourful houses, with many walls decorated by local street artists’ work as well. In La Boca, you’ll find Argentina’s most famous stadium, the country’s only wax museum and even a haunted tower. There is so much to see here with most points of interest being rich in historical stories. 

While the neighbourhood is a stunning Buenos Aires landmark, it is advised that you find a guided tour to take you through it. This is recommended both for your safety and to save time, since your guide will lead you to all the most important spots in the short time you have available.

A typical house in La Boca, Buenos Aires
A typical house in La Boca, Buenos Aires
3. Stroll down Buenos Aires’ first paved road

Florida Street started off as a simple pathway, transformed into a cobbled street and finally went on to become the first paved road in Buenos Aires. Strolling down this street is a great way to spend an hour.

Today, it’s a bustling passenger road, featuring some of the best shopping spots in the city. Stroll down the popular street and enjoy the local energy and atmosphere. If you feel like shopping, this is the perfect opportunity. 

You can even see a small part of the original cobbled pavement near the entrance to the Cathedral Station.  

Calle Florida, Florida Street in Buenos Aires
Calle Florida, Florida Street in Buenos Aires
4. Satisfy your hunger with authentic Argentinian food

There is so much mouthwatering food available in Buenos Aires that you couldn’t try it all in one day, no matter how hard you try.  

Some of the best options to try include Empanadas, Alajores, and of course, the steak! While you’ll easily find everything from Asian food to pizza and a whole lot of different cheeses, the traditional Argentinian dishes are a must-try for just 24 hours in Buenos Aires. 

Empanadas, local Argentinian food
Empanadas, local Argentinian food
5. Immerse yourself in the energy of Buenos Aires

Puerto Madero is a dockside area in Buenos Aires, offering a diverse look into the city’s culture and heritage. 

Featuring two fascinating nautical museums, the impressive Puente de la Mujer or “Woman’s Bridge”, and the architectural time capsule El Zanjon on its borders. This neighbourhood provides a captivating visit. 

Also home to our next point, the Ecological Reserve, Puerto Madero offers many opportunities to explore, sightsee, and grab some delicious food. 

Puerto Madero, a modern and historic part of town
Puerto Madero, a modern and historic part of town
6. Have a picnic lunch surrounded by nature

The Ecological Reserve in Puerto Madero is a giant park right on the edge of the ocean. Home to lagoons, marshes, and plenty of tranquil picnic spots, this is a great place to stop for a breather. 

You can rent a bike to explore the park, or simply take a walk as far as you are able. This is a great time to get some relaxation into your travels

Costanera Sure, the ecological reserve in Buenos Aires
Costanera Sure, the ecological reserve in Buenos Aires
7. Stand in the heart of Buenos Aires

Plaza de Mayo is a large square, used by the people of Buenos Aires to both protest injustices and celebrate national wins. The city’s historic core was founded by Juan de Garay in 1580 and is home to the Old City Hall, Metropolitan Cathedral, and more prominent historical buildings. 

Right at the centre, you’ll find Pirámide de Mayo (Pyramid of May), a grand obelisk structure, erected in memory of the city’s independence from Spain. This is an important part of the city, and it’s great for photo opportunities. 

Plaza de Mayo (May Square)
Plaza de Mayo (May Square)
8. See the city on foot – for free

There’s a great initiative in the city, where local guides offer free walking tours of Buenos Aires. They meet every day at 3:00 pm outside the gates of the National Congress and take groups of people around the city. 

There is no need to book your place, the tours are completely free, and offered in both English and Spanish. Simply look out for their orange T-shirts and join in the group. There is so much value in having a local show you around, ensuring that you find the hidden gems, big points of interest and landmarks in your precious time in this city.

A group of tourists exploring with a local guide
A group of tourists exploring with a local guide
9. Move with the music 

Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the Tango, so where better to enjoy a show? If you’re really looking for a new experience, why not try your very first Tango dance class in the city?

Who knows, you may find your newest hobby. Of course, if you’re not in the mood to try the dance out yourself, you can opt for a Tango tour through the city. Or, simply enjoy a scrumptious dinner and let the professionals dazzle you as they show you how it’s done. 

Tango dancers in Florida Street
Tango dancers in Florida Street
10. Enjoy after-dark entertainment on the bustling city streets

Buenos Aires is South America’s very own “city that never sleeps”, so you can easily fill up your entire 24-hour trip with activities and entertainment. 

One thing not to miss when visiting Buenos Aires is the amazing street performers found on some of the busy streets. Once the sun goes down, wander the safe roads of Buenos Aires to see some of the best dancers and performers in the city. 

Tango street due in San Telmo market, Buenos Aires
Tango street due in San Telmo market, Buenos Aires

As you can see, one day in Buenos Aires offers a list of exciting and culturally enlightening activities. There are many monumental attractions in the city, 24 hours may not even be enough to complete your Buenos Aires’ itinerary. 

Whether you’re looking for cultural points of interest, wanting to take up a new hobby, or simply need a break in nature on your South America trip layover, this city offers everything you need. 

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