Exploring Buenos Aires Solo: Things to Do, See & Experience
Traveling to Buenos Aires solo? Perfect. It might end up being of of your best trips ever.
When I arrived in Buenos Aires, I was expecting a combination of Old-World charm and all the excitement and modernity that comes with a bustling city – and boy, was my romantic vision accurate!
Although I was originally running away from the shameless partying of Miami spring break, arriving to Buenos Aires was like the 19th century Parisian rendezvous of my dreams.
Solo Traveler in Buenos Aires
The city of spies. Art neuveau interiors. And couples passionately dancing tango – with a rose between their teeth. To my surprise- and delight- they were indeed there, in all their dramatic glory. Pretty much everything I saw when I arrived was not far from this vision(except for the spies).
Best things to do and see in Buenos Aires as a Solo Traveler
Buenos Aires is a magical city and the perfect destination for intrepid solo travelers. Between its lush parks, sultry tango clubs, vibrant night markets, and innovative cafes, there’s never a dull moment and something exciting to do around every corner. Of course, the greatest benefit of visiting Buenos Aires by yourself is that you can make your own itinerary without compromise.
Enjoy Buenos Aires museums picnic in one of the gorgeous public parks or stroll through the bookstores for hours on end. Be sure to take a lengthy cafe break over mate tea and flaky pastries. Try out new restaurants with international cuisines from around the world as you meet locals and newfound friends on your journey. With endless opportunities to explore and create your own story, Buenos Aires will have you returning again sooner than you think!
And don’t be surprised if you find yourself making some new local friends; from my experience, Buenos Aires locals are friendly and always happy to help out!
There are so many great things to do as a solo traveler in Buenos Aires. Here is my guide on the best things to do in Buenos Aires as a solo traveler.
San Telmo: Tango, Bookshops and Antiques
A walk through San Telmo is like stepping into a vintage time machine of sorts. From the palatial architecture that used to house the city’s elite, to the winding cobblestone streets – it’s a living snapshot of what days gone by must have been like. After being granted UNESCO World Heritage status, there’s no better time to explore than on Sunday when Plaza Dorrego comes alive with vendors and colorful performers alongside the ever-lively tango dancers.
With cafes, art galleries, antiques shops, and more – San Telmo remains one of the most unique enclaves in all of Buenos Aires.
San Telmo is a dreamy barrio and an absolute paradise for antique lovers. With its one-story colonial buildings, towering iron grills and countless cafes, it’s an ode to the past that retains its vibrancy today.
On any Sunday, Palza Dorrego in the heart of the district transforms into an amusement park of sounds and smells as souvenir markets and tango performances leave visitors bewitched.
Take a stroll along Defensa Street or Humberto I Street for some thrifting adventures with plenty of haggling! And if you’re looking for something special, Isis Antiguedades won’t let you down with their fair prices and overseas shipment services. Let San Telmo make all your dreams come true!
Strolling through Buenos Aires is like stepping back in time – the wide boulevards and narrow lanes are brimming with turn-of-the-century architecture, and no tour of this city would be complete without a visit to its vibrant plazas. One of the most popular amongst these is the Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, which transforms into a bustling marketplace every Sunday. Here, you can find all sorts of antiquities for sale – from old toys to brass lamps, post cards to gaucho paraphernalia! But if shopping isn’t your thing, then don’t worry – there’s plenty of struggling artists peddling their paintings too.
DanceTango and Visit a Milonga
Visiting Buenos Aires and not experiencing the Argentinian tango? Absolutely not! Begin with a lesson and then join in the traditional milonga – a gathering for social dancing.
Picture it: 35 venues open every evening with their doors welcoming all ages of locals, some with lively orchestras playing music that sets the atmosphere for tango dancing. It’s hard to top that kind of experience – and just think, because there are so many options available, you can do it over and over again!
If you take a class to learn tango beforehand, even better – you can impress everyone else on the dance floor with your newly-honed moves. Either way, going to a milonga is an unforgettable experience.
capt.But don’t let the prospect of taking class hold you back – just go and cut some shapes during one of the 35 open milongas every night around town. Come hear the live orchestras, grab yourself a partner and immerse yourself in tango culture.
Buenos Aires is a city of tango and if you’re not hip-shaking when you arrive, it’s time to start learning! There are a plethora of places to get your feet on the dancefloor – lessons in San Cristobal are plentiful and affordable.
Buenos Aires is a city of parks – Take a stroll at one of the lush parks
Buenos Aires is an absolute paradise for anyone looking to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy some sunshine. In fact, the entire city is framed by parks, museums, restaurants and grandiose monuments – all ideal spots for picnicking and exploration. And what better place to experience this than at Parque 3 de Febrero?
This complex garden sweeps from Palermo up to the city limits, boasting its own zoo, planetarium… and even a few curious extras up its sleeve.
Andalusian patio bubbles with the smell of orange trees; The Danish rose garden’s blooms are truly remarkable; The Japanese pavilion takes visitors on a journey back in time; And who could forget the tranquil lake? Buenos Aires has all that you need for a perfect day out!
If you’re looking for a shopping spree with a side of dazzling architecture. In that case, Calle Florida pedestrian mall is the destination for you. This famed milelong promenade boasts everything from leather and fur boutiques to banks, department stores and clubs built during Argentina’s time of prosperity. Along the way, visitors can admire opulent buildings designed in typical 20th century style – truly a feast for the eyes! And when it’s finally time to make like argentine national hero José de San Martín and “liberate” oneself from shopping, one need not look far: Plaza San Martín awaits as the final stop!
Calle Florida Pro Tip:
A steady line of black market exchanges chanting “brother dollar exchange” on every step can be a bit dodgy.Not to mention, it’s one of the unsafest places in the city. However, with its abundance of restaurants and street vendors, it makes up for it as the daytime commercial center. So if you’re looking for things to do in Buenos Aires stay away during ungodly hours but feel free during business hours – just watch your back!
So keep your wits about you with all that dodging strangers on busy streets!
Those looking for a real bargain on antiques have to head to San Telmo on Sunday and prepare to get lost in antiquing heaven. Not only will you find antique stores lining the streets, offering beautifully preserved treasures throughout the day, but become sure not to miss out on the special Plaza San Martin antiques fair at sundown. It’s like taking a step back into the past, with exquisite pieces from another era being offered at incredibly low prices. You’ll be hard pressed finding better shopping anywhere else!
Est asado and drink wine
Eating in the affluent Recoleta area of Buenos Aires is an experience you can’t miss. This destination offers up delicious dishes for all levels of adventurousness – from hearty asado, with its mix of hot off-the-charcoal steaks and innards, to the more tame bife de chorizo or lomo options.
As a solo traveler navigating Buenos Aires, finding the perfect place to eat can be a daunting task. Sure, there might be blogs that tell you about where the steak is ‘amazing’, but I like to use my own judgement to find a spot that’s right for me.
Googling map my location and taking stock of everything nearby – especially if there’s good reviews or photos to support it! Rest assured, whatever you decide to order, it will sure give you some of the tastiest bites you’ll ever have – at an unbelievably cheap price.
So, if you have a hankering for a steak and fries, or a craving for pizza, there’s no need to search through the countless “best places to eat” guides while trying to decide where to dine in Buenos Aires. As a solo traveler, you can dart around the city despite websites warning of tourist traps – anywhere you go will be top-notch and flavorful. And with restaurant prices often half of what we’d pay elsewhere for the same level of quality, it might be best just to rely on your own taste buds and see what Buenos Aires has cooking.
Visit a football game
It’s no secret that Argentinians live and breathe soccer. Their levels of commitment and passion, to the point of strict rules being imposed with regards to alcohol and opposition fans, are unparalleled amongst sporting cultures. And while they may use steak as a substitute when talking about ‘grilling’ their opponents, nothing quite beats seeing River Plate or Boca Juniors in action at El Monumental stadium (which they somehow managed to fittingly refer to as ‘El Monumental’).
There’s something special about the atmosphere of a local game – the drums pounding rhythmically alongside revellers heartily singing out their favourite chants. And just like complaining about the economy, it’s all part of the country’s culture. Plus there are so many matches taking place that you’re guaranteed at least one game every week
However, beyond shopping opportunities it provides an architectural education as part of its itinerary, featuring landmarks from a time when Argentina was thriving and spending was something to be open to. From splendor-filled department stores to domed banks and impressive clubs, visitors taking a stroll along this promenade are sure to get their fill of opulence before reaching Plaza San Martín named in honor of Argentinian national hero. Quite the luxurious journey for those who choose to take it!
Take advantage of the thousands of architectural wonders all around you
As a solo traveler in Buenos Aires, you can take advantage of the thousands of architectural wonders all around you – and you don’t even need to pay for a tour! Take a stroll through Recoleta or San Telmo and be prepared to be amazed by the beautiful architecture, even if it’s not your job. Witness the historic buildings – some which may have been around for hundreds of years – as you explore this fascinating city. You won’t have to search too far either; find plenty of things to admire on almost every street corner.
Recoleta: museums, bookshops and the cemetery
An afternoon in Buenos Aires offers the ultimate urban experience, and strolling through the Recoleta’s winding stone streets is just a must do. In contrast to remaining American cities, the center is heavily residential; thus, Argentines are apt to stay out late, unconcerned of any threat or harm.
National Museum of Decorative Arts
Step inside the National Museum of Decorative Arts and you’ll be transported to a world of wealth and opulence. Constructed by the illustrious French architect René Sergent at the behest of Matías Errazúriz and Josefina de Alvear, this neo-Classical mansion was home to the high-society couple in early 20th century Buenos Aires.
When you explore its halls, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an array of luxurious items lovingly collected by the wealthy duo including furniture and tapestries from France and Flanders, Chinese porcelain and beautiful works of art from El Greco and Manet. After his wife’s passing in 1935, Errazúriz donated the house-cum-museum to the Argentine government, ensuring that it continues to remain as breathtakingly extravagant as it was when first built.
Located in the heart of one of Argentina’s most affluent neighborhoods, the Recoleta Cemetery is unlike any other cemetery, as it can almost be considered a city of its own. The tombs here are decorated beautifully and each host several generations of the same family. Eva Peron’s final resting place lies within this maze of mausoleums, although her journey to get here was quite an epic tale. If you’re having trouble finding it, just look for a caretaker from the Duarte family or follow the flock of enthusiastic fans who have traveled far and wide to pay their respects. So if you’re in need of some sightseeing with a twist, the Recoleta Cemetery will definitely supply it! Come by anytime between 7 A.M. and 6 P.M., rain or shine – you won’t regret it!
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar is a must-see! Built in 1732 by Franciscan monks, this church stands tall as the second oldest in all of Recoleta. Despite no longer being necessarily ‘on trend’, it bustles with life and provides for moments of nostalgia and architecture to admire amongst locals and travelers alike. If you are visiting Recoleta, stop by La Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Who knows? Maybe it meets all your old-fashioned beliefs too!
When is the best time to visit Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a chic and urban escape from the everyday. August through December is the ideal time to visit, as the balmy summer heat has subsided and all of the city’s famous theatres and galleries reopen in full swing. Thankfully, despite now being one of the world’s most expensive cities, thanks to their currency exchange rate that ties directly to the dollar.
How to get around Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires’s black and yellow taxis certainly have their advantages. The fares are dirt cheap, running you around $5 or less to get wherever it is you need to go in the midcity area. But don’t think your ride will be totally free of heartache; there is one crucial exception. When you arrive at the Ezeiza International Airport, anything that looks a bit too good to be true probably does not qualify as an honest fare – it will cost you around $80 rather than the typical rate of half that! Unless, of course, you’d enjoy shelling out double – then take all the ‘fake’ taxis your heart desires!
Renting a car in Buenos Aires
Visiting Buenos Aires can quickly give travelers a sense of wariness in the face of the city’s incredible driving style. With Avenida del Libertador housing up to 8 lanes of non-stop traffic, warring for space from midday until midnight with little traffic regulations, it is no wonder that most tourists think twice before renting a car in this South American metropolis. This should also be a timely reminder to visitors to pay extra caution when crossing any of the streets, particularly when cars make those gritty Roman-style turns.