Puerto Madero - Buenos Aires

How Many Days In Buenos Aires? [3, 5 and 7-Day Itineraries]

This is a huge city that draws travellers with its rich history, vibrant culture, and irresistible charm. However, its size means it’s hard to know how many days you need in Buenos Aires. Whether you have just three days, a leisurely five days, or a full week to explore, I've crafted three tailored itineraries to ensure an unforgettable experience in Buenos Aires.

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How Many Days Do You Need In Buenos Aires?

I would personally recommend a minimum of 5 days in Buenos Aires to see its most impressive sights and get a feel for the city. However, 3 days is more than enough to see the highlights.

 

This is a beautiful city with much to offer so it shouldn’t just be used as a stopping off point before you visit Argentina’s more popular sights like Patagonia or Iguazu Falls.

 

Here’s what I would recommend if you were unsure of how many days to spend in Buenos Aires:

 

 

  • 3 Days in Buenos Aires – Excluding your arrival day, 3 full days  is ideal for seeing the three best neighbourhoods – Palermo, Recoleta and Centro/San Telmo. However, you will be packing a lot into each day.

 

  • 5 days in Buenos Aires – This option is perfect for exploring at a relaxed pace and diving deeper into the culture. You can split the above 3 days into five and see Palermo, Recoleta, Centro, San Telmo and La Boca all on different days. This also allows you more time in the evenings to enjoy drinks, go to tango shows and have nights out.

 

  • 7 Days in Buenos Aires – A week is essential if you want to immerse yourself fully and take day trips outside to explore beyond Buenos Aires. Or simply do the 5 days outlined previously at a slower pace. 

Are you struggling to work out how many days you need in Argentina overall? Head to the post below to see a selection of itineraries that can help you:

 

 

Puerto Madero - Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires 3-Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Centro / Puerto Madero

Morning - Centro

If you are staying close to Centro then begin your day with a delicious breakfast at Café Gato Negro or Café Del Medio, two of my favourites in this area known for their cozy atmospheres and top-notch coffee.

 

After fuelling up, dive into Buenos Aires’ historical heart.

 

Buenos Aires is often compared to a European capital, and for good reason. The city’s stunning architecture, wide boulevards, and charming neighbourhoods evoke the ambiance of Europe, making it feel like a distant cousin of Paris or Barcelona.

 

Explore iconic landmarks such as the majestic Obelisco, the world-renowned Teatro Colon, and the historic Plaza de Mayo.

 

If you want to create your own route, here’s one I recommend. Starting in the north:

 

  • Teatro Colon > Obelisco > Plaza Del Congreso > Plaza De Mayo

Or for an in-depth understanding of the city’s history, consider joining a guided walking tour of Centro, where you will learn about the political and historical perspective of the city. 

 

Buenos Aires Free Walks offer free walking tours starting at 3PM, last 2.5 hours.

TOP TIP: Close to Plaza Del Congreso is a building called Salon 1923. You can take the elevator up to the 14th floor and find a rooftop bar here with a birds eye view of the plaza.

Afternoon - Puerto Madero

After Plaza de Mayo, head east towards Puerto Madero. This is a nice walk along the water with several bars and restaurants. 

 

Stop off at Temple Bar and try one of the many craft beers they have on tap. The ‘Cosmica’ is one of my favourites.

 

From Puerto Madero, you’re only a short walk away from Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve.

 

This is a 5km stretch of water and jungle that feels out of place in such a big city but it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle.

 

It’s free so take a wander and see what wildlife you come across. You’ll likely catch some big monitor lizards sunbathing, along with a variety of bird species.

 

 

Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve - Buenos Aires

Evening - Dinner & Tango

In the evening, head back into Centro and have dinner at Pizzería Güerrín.

 

It’s estimated that around 2 million Italians immigrated to Buenos Aires in the early 90’s. You’ll see just as many pizzerias as you will parrillas here. Trying Argentina pizza is a must.

 

After dinner, check out a tango show.

You have two options: Cafe Tortoni or La Ventana.

 

Tortoni is one of the oldest coffee houses in Buenos Aires and is a must for history buffs whereas Ventana is know as one of the best tango shows in the capital.

 

 

I went with Ventana and loved it. The performances were incredible, the 3 course meal was good, and we got a free bottle of wine too!

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Day 2 - Recoleta / Retiro

Morning - Recoleta

Buenos Aires Free Walks have a Recoleta tour that starts at 10.30 AM and lasts 3 hours if you prefer a structured day.

 

Or if you prefer to wander, there’s so many weird and wonderful buildings to check out in Recoleta. Wander around Plaza Francia, dip into the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and check out the Floralis Generica.

 

My favourite is El Ateneo Grand Splendid – one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve seen set in an old opera house.

Visiting Buenos Aires is one of the highlights of a trip to Argentina. But there’s so much more to see in this incredible country.

 

To see a three-week or one-month itinerary that covers the entire country, head to the posts below:

 

 

Recoleta Cemetery - Buenos Aires

Afternoon - Recoleta Cemetery

The cemetery is a must visit. This is where the most famous Argentinian people from history and politics can be found; the tomb of Eva Peron being the main sight.

 

It costs $3768 ARS (as of November 2023). You won’t learn much visiting by yourself though so if you want a more informative tour.

 

This top rated company offer a tour for $10 which is the cheapest I’ve found.

 

After a wander around the cemetery, head across to one of the bars opposite the exit – either Buller Brewing or Temple.

 

If it’s late enough, they should have opened the rooftop up and you’ll be able to enjoy a drink in the sun and see the cemetery from a different perspective.

TOP TIP:  If you want to try authentic Argentinian food, you can find two old school joints close to each other in Recoleta. La Rambla or El Sanjuanino. Another must is going to a bakery to try an alfajores. Vasalissa Chocolatier is a renowned bakery known for its artisanal alfajores.

Evening - Retiro

If you still have some light left in the day, head to Plaza San Martin to see the Torre Monumental.

 

For food or cocktails, check out Floreria Atlantico, which has been voted one of the best 50 bars in the world several years in a row.

 

This is a secret restaurant that’s set underneath a florist. Make sure you book ahead though as it gets busy.

 

As the starts to sun set, head to Alvear Rooftop bar to enjoy panoramic views of the city. Again, make sure to book ahead as this is a popular one!

Puerto Madero - Buenos Aires

Day 3 - San Telmo / Palermo

Morning - San Telmo Market

San Telmo is one of Buenos Aires oldest neighbourhoods.

 

You can spend your morning exploring the bustling San Telmo Market, where you can shop for antiques, handmade crafts, vintage clothing, and try local street food delights.

 

Check out the old watch and camera stalls and have a google around. You’ll find old watches selling for $50-100 that will be worth triple back home.

 

For food and a unique setting, try Atis Bar, tucked away in the back of an unassuming shop front.

 

As you walk through the back, you’ll enter an old garden and terrace covered in ivy.

 

Turn up early and reserve a place for later in the day. During the week you’ll be fine but at the weekend this place is packed.

TOP TIP:  Come at the weekend for the antique market to be in full swing. This isn’t just any old market full of cheap items bought in bulk. Each stall seems to have a unique selection of antiques that are worth something. If you have an eye for this sort of thing, then you’ll be in heaven. If you wanted a guide, this tour costs $10 and runs on Sundays

Afternoon - Palermo

Head to the trendy district of Palermo Soho, known for its fashionable boutiques, cafes, and street art.

 

Explore its unique shops and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the charming cafes.

 

I recommend Cuervo Cafe for great brunch options.

 

After some food, enjoy a tranquil afternoon stroll through the green expanses of Bosques De Palermo, home to picturesque lakes and gardens. Don’t miss Parque El Rosedal and the serene Jardin Japones.

 

Whilst here, stop off at Avant Garten for a drink or come back later in the evening for house DJs and a big night.

Evening - Palermo

Argentina is renowned for serving the finest steaks in the world.

 

For an authentic Argentine steakhouse experience, head to Don Julio, where succulent cuts of meat are cooked to perfection.

 

You often have to book months in advance as this is place is so famous, but as the Argentinians like to eat so late, if you just rock up at 7 when it opens you should be able to get a walk-in easily.

 

You get free champagne and empanadas whilst you wait in line so it’s worth a try.

To see how to combine a few days in Buenos Aires alongside a trip to Iguazu or Mendoza, check out the selection of itineraries in the post below:

 

 

Botanical Gardens - Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires 5-Day Itinerary

For those with five days to explore, you can delve deeper into the city’s neighbourhoods and attractions.

 

Rather than seeing 5 neighbourhoods in 3 days you can split them up and see a different one each day, like this:

 

 

  • Day 1 – Centro / Puerto Madero
  • Day 2 – Recoleta / Retiro
  • Day 3 – San Telmo
  • Day 4 – Palermo
  • Day 5 – La Boca

Day 3 - San Telmo

With 5 days you can dedicate more time to San Telmo. Why not book a food tour and learn more about the local cuisine.

 

BA Food Tours cost $85 and run from 12.30PM – 6.30PM. They stop at 3 places and serve a full lunch with plenty of wine! If you love red wine and barbeque, then this is a must.

 

Alternatively, Sherpa Food Tours costs a little less at $68. This tour takes participants on a culinary journey lasting approximately 3-4 hours. The tour showcases the area’s rich food culture, with stops at local eateries, markets, and food stalls.

 

Here are some other great food experiences in Buenos Aires to check out too:

 

 

If you want to combine a trip to Chile alongside Argentina, then there are several ways to do this.  The three itineraries in the post below can help you cross the borders a 3 different points in Argentina to see Chile:

 

 

San Telmo Market - Buenos Aires

Day 4 - Palermo

Follow the same plan outlined in the 3-day itinerary. 

 

Then when it comes to the evening, cap off your night by exploring the Palermo’s vibrant nightlife.

 

The Argentinians start their nights out late here and go until the early hours of the morning. The bars in Palermo won’t get busy until 10-11PM and you’ll still see people eating then.

 

Its normal to head to the club at 1-2PM. Pace yourself. You may even need to go home for a siesta before venturing out again.

 

The best places to drink are any of the bars around Plaza Serrano.

 

Avenue Niceto Vega is the street for most of the clubs. Niceto club is good for a mix of electronic and reggaton music, or try Under Club for more house and techno.

 

For more bars to check out in Palermo, these are perfect for a night out:

 

  • Bar 878: Bar 878 is an intimate and stylish speakeasy-style bar that specializes in craft cocktails. 
  • Frank’s Bar: Frank’s Bar is a hidden gem, often requiring a secret password to enter, giving it an authentic speakeasy feel. 

If you want to party all night, these two famous clubs in Palermo are the ones to check out:

 

  • Pacha: Pacha is a world-renowned nightclub with branches in various cities worldwide. The Buenos Aires location is known for its top-notch sound system, impressive lighting effects, and a diverse lineup of DJs spinning electronic and dance music.
  • Crobar: Crobar is another iconic nightclub in Buenos Aires. It’s famous for its spacious dance floors, excellent sound quality, and hosting a mix of international and local DJs playing a range of electronic music genres.

If you are thinking of planning a long stay in Argentina and South America, then seeing an extended backpacking itinerary is essential to help you plan your trip. Check out the post below to help you plan your next trip:

 

 

Parque El Rosedal, Palermo - Buenos Aires

Day 5 - La Boca

Time to head the colourful and passionate neighbourhood of La Boca.

 

La Boca is famous for its vibrant, colourful buildings that line the streets. This is the place where tango was born because of the bohemian and artistic culture of the immigrants. 

 

The neighbourhood’s houses, known as “conventillos,” are painted in an array of bold colours, creating a visually striking and Instagram-worthy backdrop.

 

The most famous street for this colourful architecture is Caminito, a pedestrianized street lined with brightly painted buildings, art displays, and tango performances.

 

If the timing is right, and you love soccer (or as it’s properly named in the UK – football), then going to a match in Buenos Aires is a must.

 

Whilst in La Boca, you can visit the iconic La Bombonera stadium to witness the famous stadium of Boca Juniors.

TOP TIP:  I personally think you can skip Boca to be honest. I went by myself and wasn’t impressed. Most blogs will mention it as it’s the most touristy thing to do in Buenos Aires. I went, saw the stadium, walked along Caminito and then left which took me a total of one hour. However, here's a guided tour option if you're interested

If you decided to skip La Boca, what else should you do? The nightlife in Buenos Aires deserves as much attention as possible in my opinion.

 

As you have more time now in the evening, why not check out some wine bars and enjoy some of Argentina’s best Malbec.

 

Here are some of my favourites:

 

  • Pain et Vin: A cozy wine bar with an extensive selection of Argentine wines and delectable cheese and charcuterie platters.
  • Bar du Marché: Known for its rustic charm and a menu that pairs exquisite wines with French-inspired cuisine, offering an authentic and upscale wine and dine experience.
  • Wine O’Clock: A trendy and vibrant wine bar that caters to both novice and seasoned wine enthusiasts.
Puerto Madero Bridge - Buenos Aires

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Joe from Shall We Go Home Travel on the boardwalks behind Perito Moreno Glacier

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Buenos Aires 7-Day Itinerary

For a week-long adventure in Buenos Aires, you’ll have ample time to explore the city and also venture beyond its borders.

 

  • Days 1-5: Follow the 5-day itinerary, as outlined previously which covers the majority of the city.
  • Day 6-7 – Day trip outside of Buenos Aires

Day 6-7 - Day Trip Outside Of Buenos Aires

If you have a week or more to spare, consider exploring destinations beyond the city limits:

 

  • Colonia De Sacramento, Uruguay: The ferry ride from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, typically takes around one hour. Prices for a one-way ticket can range from approximately $30 to $60 USD

 

  • Montevideo, Uruguay: The ferry ride from Buenos Aires to Montevideo typically takes around 2 to 3 hours. There are multiple ferry companies that operate this route, and the duration may vary slightly between them. As for the cost of a return ticket (round-trip) from Buenos Aires to Montevideo on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from approximately $100 to $200 USD or more for a round-trip ticket.
  • Tigre, Argentina: Alternatively, stay within Argentina and take a scenic day trip up to Tigre, a tranquil riverside town north of Buenos Aires. Here you can take a boat tour through the intricate waterways of the Paraná Delta, explore the lush islands and river houses, and shop at the unique floating markets.

Are you travelling to Patagonia whilst visiting Argentina? The two posts below should help you with planning a visit to the two best spots:

 

 

Plaza De Mayo - Buenos Aires

How Many Days In Buenos Aires Is enough?

Buenos Aires is a huge city with so many things to do. For tourists, there are 5 neighbourhoods that you’ll want to check out – Palermo, Recoleta, Centro, San Telmo and La Boca.

 

There are also so many great evening activities such as tango shows, rooftop bars and club nights that are worth including on your trip.

 

5 days is ideal as you can see each neighbourhood on a separate day. You can use the mornings to wander and then the evenings can be spent enjoying restaurants and bars.

Is 2 Days In Buenos Aires Enough?

2 days isn’t enough to see the whole city properly but you will be able to see two or three neighbourhoods.

 

You’ll also have to pack a lot into two days.

 

With 48 hours in Buenos Aires, I would do this:

 

  • Day 1 – Recoleta / Palermo
    • Morning – Recoleta Walking Tour / Cemetery Tour
    • Evening – Palermo Secret Bars / Night Out
  • Day 2 – Centro / San Telmo
    • Morning – Centro Walking Tour / San Telmo Market
    • Evening – La Ventana Tango Show

Is 3 Days In Buenos Aires Enough?

3 days is Buenos Aires is a good amount of time and allows you to see three or four neighbourhoods.

 

Here’s how I would spent 3 days in Buenos Aires:

 

  • Day 1 – Centro / Puerto Madero
  • Day 2 – San Telmo
  • Day 3 – Recoleta / Palermo

I always recommend skipping La Boca as I feel it’s become a bit of a tourist trap these days.

Is 4 Days In Buenos Aires Enough?

4 days is more than enough time to see Buenos Aires properly. 

 

You have ample amount of time in the days to explore the different areas, and four evenings to enjoy the nightlife.

 

Here’s how I would spent 4 days in Buenos Aires:

 

  • Day 1 – Centro / Puerto Madero
  • Day 2 – San Telmo
  • Day 3 – Recoleta
  • Day 4 – Palermo

If you really want to see La Boca then squeeze it on on day 2 as it’s closest to San Telmo.

Where To Stay In Buenos Aires

I recommend staying in two areas in Buenos Aires – Recoleta or Palermo.

 

  • Recoleta is more central and has better transport links. There’s also lots of great restaurants and cafes.
  • Palermo is where most of the nice bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes are.

If you want to party and meet lots of other backpackers then Milhouse Hostel is a good pick, which is just south of Recoleta.

 

There are lots of great Airbnbs in Palermo or if you’re looking to meet other backpackers then Selina is another good hostel but can be pricey compared to others.

Is Palermo Or Recoleta Better To Stay In?

I personally prefer Palermo.

 

It’s a lot calmer and there’s so many great cafes, restaurants and bars to check out. You could spend weeks there and not visit them all. 

 

The only downside is it’s further away from all the other areas. It’s about a 30-40 minute cab from Palermo to San Telmo.

 

Recoleta is still a nice area but it’s much more built up.

 

There’s more high rise buildings, busy roads and more people in general. It’s like to equivalent of central London or New York in my opinion. 

Where to Stay In Buenos Aires (Map)

How To Get To Buenos Aires

There are two airports in Buenos Aires:

 

  • Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza International Airport (EZE)
  • Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, located in Buenos Aires city proper, with scheduled domestic flights and some regional flights (AEP)

Most international flights will land at EZE which is a 30-40 drive from the city centre.

 

I took an Uber from the airport to my accommodation. 

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EZE Airport distance from Buenos Aires

Argentina FAQ's

What's The Best Sim Card For Argentina?

I stopped using physical SIM cards a few years ago when reliable e-SIMs hit the market.

 

Airalo is my favourite eSIM for travelling around Argentina and Brazil, and South America in general.

 

  • Save money and avoid high roaming bills
  • Zero stress as you can download the e-SIM instantly and be connected as soon as you land

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