Buenos Aires is a multifaceted South American metropolis. Founded in 1536 by Spanish colonist Pedro de Mendoza, the city steadily evolved into one of the major hubs in South America. Colorful, grey, vibrant, and tranquil at the same time, the Argentinian capital has something for every traveler.
However, with limited time it can be hard picking which places to see this time and which places might be better left for next time. So, to make sure you get to experience the best of Buenos Aires, we came up with the perfect 3-day Buenos Aires itinerary.
What You’ll Find in This Article
- Best Time to Visit Buenos Aires
- How Many Days to Spend in Buenos Aires
- Where to Stay in Buenos Aires
- How to Get Around Buenos Aires
- Spanish Phrases You Should Know
- Staying Safe in Buenos Aires
- The Perfect 3-Day Buenos Aires Itinerary
Best Time to Visit Buenos Aires
The best time to visit Buenos Aires is spring (September-November) or autumn (March-May). These months are usually sunny, reasonably warm, and generally pleasant. The summers can get very hot and humid while the winters can get extremely cold. Buenos Aires does have heat spells in winter during which the temperature can rise to 22-25°C but these are quite rare.
Check flights to Buenos Aires from the USA (from $383) and UK (from £512)
How Many Days to Spend in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a huge city with a lot of activities and sights at its disposal, and 3 days in Buenos Aires is not enough to experience everything, but it will enable you to get a taste of what one of the most appealing cities in South America has to offer.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires
If you are only in Buenos Aires for a few days, staying in the centre around the Obelisk is a good idea as you will be close to some of the major sights. If you want to experience the local life and be close to the action at night, Recoleta, Palermo, or in between is your best bet.
The Duque Hotel is a great upper mid-range boutique hotel in Palermo with an artsy feel. In the centre, NH Collection is an exquisite high-end option. For budget travelers, the Circus Hostel in Palermo and the Reconquista Garden in the centre (amazing value for money) are two recommendable alternatives.
Another great option is Airbnb. For recommendations, take a look at our list of the best Airbnbs in Buenos Aires.
How to Get Around Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has a well-integrated metro system that covers most of the city. Taxis are also a good option, they are cheap and omnipresent. Spanish is however required to negotiate the right price, they might otherwise overcharge you, as everywhere.
If you rather not spend your valuable vacation time negotiating with taxi drivers, order an Uber. They are just as cheap and you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off.
Spanish Phrases You Should Know
Argentina is a Spanish speaking country and English levels are generally low. Although they are a bit higher in Buenos Aires, learning some basic Spanish is still highly recommended. Below are some basic Spanish phrases that should come in handy on your Buenos Aires trip.
- Hello! – Hola!
- Good morning. – Buenos días.
- Good afternoon. – Buenas tardes.
- Good evening. – Buenas noches.
- Goodbye. – Adiós.
- How are you? – ¿Cómo está?
- How much does it cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta?
- Where is the restroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño?
- How do I get to ….? – ¿Como llego a …?
- I don’t understand. – No comprendo.
- Please. – Por favor.
- Thank you! – Gracías!
- Yes. / No. – Sí. / No.
Staying Safe in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires does have safety concerns and you shouldn’t take these lightly. The tourist areas are generally safe during the day, but it is always recommended to take a taxi at night. Muggings and robberies do occur, but it is very unlikely that you will be a victim of those if you only spend a few days in the city. The best course of action is to always ask locals about the safety of an area you want to explore. In addition to that, don’t make yourself a target. This means not flashing your valuables and not carrying a backpack in a crowded area or on public transport. Most dangers can be easily avoided if you are reasonably smart.
The Perfect 3-Day Buenos Aires Itinerary
Wondering on what to see in Buenos Aires in 3 days? No worries, our Buenos Aires itinerary takes you to some of Buenos Aires’ most popular sights, tango clubs, and steakhouses.
However, before we get to our Buenos Aires itinerary, we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it.
We personally use and recommend SafetyWing. For only around $10 a week, it’s really a no-brainer. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
Even if you don’t get travel insurance with SafetyWing, please make sure to get travel insurance from somewhere. One popular alternative, for example, is World Nomads.
Now with that out of the way, let’s get to this Buenos Aires itinerary already!
Day 1: Visit Buenos Aires’ Historical Sights and Landmarks
Morning: Explore Buenos Aires’ Old Core
When arriving in the Argentinian capital, start your visit by admiring some of the city’s imposing landmarks and buildings. The city is often nicknamed “Paris of South America” and the large European-style squares, avenues, and pompous buildings showcase that. Some of the unmissable buildings and structures include the Casa Rosada, seat of the President, the Argentinian Congress building, the Obelisk, built to commemorate 400 years since the foundation of the city by Mendoza, and the Teatro Colón, a symphony of architectural beauty and cultural wealth. These are all located in the city’s old core, around the Obelisk.
Afternoon: Walk the Caminito in La Boca
Your Buenos Aires itinerary should under no circumstances lack the famous Caminito street museum located in La Boca. The Caminito is a 100m long pedestrian street boasting colorful houses and lots of small shops selling art and other handcrafted products. The street became famous when it inspired the well-known Caminito tango song, composed in 1926 by Juan de Dios Filiberto.
Night: Experience Argentina’s Unmissable Tango Culture
Tango clubs and bars are an essential part of Buenos Aires life and Argentinian culture. The Salon Canning is a famous spot to experience some quintessential Argentinian tango on your first visit to Buenos Aires. Watching the shows is a great way to get acquainted to the dancing before joining in on your second day. Famous musicals like Evita, the world-renowned Buenos Aires tango festival, held every year in August, and the many smaller bars and clubs in Palermo and Recoleta make Buenos Aires one of the dancing capitals of the world.
Day 2: Explore the City’s Multifaceted Museums and Relaxing Parks
Morning: Learn About Argentina’s History
In order to learn about Argentina’s highly complicated past, a visit to the National Historical Museum is a must on any 3-day itinerary to Buenos Aires. The museum is located in a stunning colonial palace and teaches you about indigenous history, the Spanish Conquest, the Argentinian Golden Age, and the numerous conflicts that struck Argentina in the 20th century. The country of gauchos had a lot of instability throughout the last century and these struggles are still ingrained in society. It is therefore of great importance to get an understanding of the political and historical setting of the country.
Afternoon: Escape the City Noise
The Argentinian capital has some of the most beautiful parks in South America and these are certainly among the best places to visit in Buenos Aires. The Bosques de Palermo (also known as Parque 3 de Febrero) is a huge green area with lakes and lots of activities while the Rosedal is one of the largest rose gardens in the world, boasting over 12,000 roses. The Rosedal is more centrally located, it can therefore easily be visited between other activities. The Bosques de Palermo is a bit further out and requires more time. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city without traveling far, these two parks are excellent choices for a relaxing afternoon.
Night: Enjoy a Night Out in Palermo
Buenos Aires has a buzzing and eclectic nightlife scene happening in several districts. The best areas to go out are Palermo and Recoleta. If you are a first-time visitor and only have 3 days in Buenos Aires, you should definitely visit a typical Argentinian tango venue. One of the best is the La Catedral in Palermo. If you want to get in on the action, you can obviously show your moves, but it will be difficult not to look like an amateur next to the talented locals.
In addition to tango, Palermo is home to a wide variety of bars and clubs called ‘boliche’. The parties in the ‘boliche’ clubs start late and end late, really late. Some of our favorites are the Niceto Club, a huge discotheque with lots of dancefloors and shows that doesn’t get going until 1.30AM, the BrukBar, a great bar for cocktails and beer pong, and the Cervecería Nacional, the beer lovers’ hotspot in the Argentinian capital. For a romantic date night, head to the SkyBar on the top floor of Hotel Pulitzer in the city centre.
Day 3: Visit Botanical Gardens and Art Galleries and Indulge in Traditional Parrillada
Morning: Go on a Picnic
In addition to the previously mentioned parks, Buenos Aires also has charming green spaces and botanical gardens with exotic flowers. The Japanese Garden is an excellent spot for a romantic date or a picnic with its diverse flora and its beautiful waterways. A bit further out, the Barrancas de Belgrano offer excellent paths for jogging, relaxing, or people-watching.
Afternoon: See Renowned Art from Famous Artists
If you are fond of art, you will not be disappointed in Buenos Aires. The Argentinian capital has some of the best art galleries in South America exhibiting some of the finest paintings from all over the continent. The MALBA has a large collection from all over Latin America and will please fans of local, lesser-known art. The Bellas Artes is one of the most impressive art museums in South America and holds diverse pieces from all over the world. Both are well-worth a visit, but first-time visitors should prioritize the Bellas Artes.
Night: End Your Day with a Succulent Parillada
Argentina is world-famous for its mouthwatering beef, said to be the best in the world. The meat is prepared on a traditional ‘parillada’ barbecue and usually served medium rare. The incredible tenderness coupled to the world-renowned quality makes eating a steak in Buenos Aires a true culinary experience. The meat is usually accompanied by red wine from the Argentinian wine heartland around Mendoza.
You can find steakhouses for every style and budget in Buenos Aires. The shiny new area of Puerto Madero has various high-end options such as the La Cabaña. A more down-to-earth option is the La Cabrera in Palermo.
The larger steakhouses usually have one vegetarian option, while some smaller restaurants don’t even know what ‘vegetariano’ means. Keep in mind that the right to meat is enshrined in various laws in Argentina and that the Argentinians are arguably the most meat-loving society on the planet.
Day 4 and Beyond
If you happened to have another day in this beautiful city, here are some other amazing things to add to your Buenos Aires itinerary.
- La Recoleta Cemetery: This cemetery contains the graves of many notable people and is frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
- Attend a Football Match: Argentinians are football-crazy and the atmosphere in the Boca Juniors Stadium is electrifying.
- Zoo Luján: A large zoo with tigers, elephants, and more, located about 1h from the centre of Buenos Aires. Buses to Zoo Luján leave from the Obelisk bus station.
- Delta Terra Natural Reserve: A beautiful wetland reserve with many different kinds of birds and flowers. You can book an organized boat tour from Buenos Aires through the Tigre Delta here. If you prefer to do it on your own, you can take the train from the Retiro train station to Tigre and then buy a boat ticket to the Delta.
And there you have it – Buenos Aires in 3 days! Keep in mind, that three days in Buenos Aires is just enough to give you a taste of what Buenos Aires has to offer. ¡Feliz viaje!
cindy wu says
Thanks for this! I used your blog to plan my recent visit to BA :)