How to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires, complete itinerary

por Postcards from IvI

The capital city of Argentina is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Buenos Aires offers a big variety of activities and there are many places worth visiting. If you’re planning to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires, in this post I will help you organize your itinerary.

If you need information about accommodation in Buenos Aires make sure you read: Where to stay in Buenos Aires

 In case this is your first time in my blog, you should know I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, so I’ve known this city since forever. In this post I’m going to give you an itinerary that includes, in my opinion, the most interesting places to visit in 3 days.

Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city, full of places to visit. In 3 days it is possible to see many of the main attractions although I recommend that if you have some extra days, you stay longer. I put together this itinerary so you can see as much as possible in 3 days, but if you want to visit the city at a slower pace, I recommend you stay around 5 days.

If you need information about the city, I also recommend that you read my Complete guide to visiting Buenos Aires.

Map with itinerary for 3 days in Buenos Aires:

How to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires:

DAY 1 – Historic center

How to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires, complete itinerary

 To start your visit to Buenos Aires, you can visit the historic center of the city. The activities of this day will focus on the neighborhoods of Montserrat, San Nicolás and Retiro. The places I’m going to mention below can be visited in any order you want. Depending on where you are staying, you can choose what’s more convenient for you:

MORNING

  • Plaza General San Martín and surroundings

 Buenos Aires is characterized by having large green spaces and squares. Plaza General San Martín is one of my favorites. It is surrounded by many important buildings such as the Kavanagh, Palacio Paz and the Plaza Hotel.

From the square you have a direct view of Torre Monumental, built in 1916. The tower has a viewpoint from where you can see the Retiro neighborhood. More information about the viewpoint here.

Just in front of the tower you find Retiro station, one of the main transfer centers in the city. The architecture of the station is very beautiful so I recommend that you go inside to see it even if you don’t need to take a train. 

3 days in Buenos Aires

Monument to Malvinas War and Kavanagh building in Plaza San Martin

  • Florida Street and Av. Cordoba

 From Plaza General San Martín, take Florida St, a pedestrian street full of shops of all kinds, street vendors, people yelling that yell at you offering to change money, and even what’s left of the old Harrods store in Buenos Aires. 

 Walk Florida St until you reach Córdoba Avenue. Right in Florida and Córdoba you find Galerías Pacífico, a shopping center that in my opinion deserves a quick visit to admire its architecture. Keep walking down Av. Córdoba to Av. 9 de Julio. 

  • Colon Theater

 The Teatro Colón is one of the most emblematic buildings in the city. It is considered one of the best lyrical theaters in the world. Don’t miss taking the guided tours! Visits in english take place everyday at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM. The duration of the visit is 50 minutes. More information about visits to Teatro Colón here.

  • Obelisco and Av. 9 de Julio

 After visiting Colón Theater, walk along Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, until you come across the famous obelisk. The Obelisco is a monument built in 1936 and is the undisputed icon of the city. You will see that all the tourists stop to take a photo with the obelisk and the letters of B.A.

In this area there are many restaurants where you can stop for a while to recover energy for the afternoon.

AFTERNOON

 From the Obelisco take Roque Sáenz Peña Avenue, better known as Diagonal Norte. As you walk down this avenue, don’t forget to look up! Here are some of the most beautiful buildings and cupolas in the city. This avenue symbolically connects the Executive Power (the Casa Rosada) with the headquarters of the Judicial Power (the Palace of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation).

How to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires, complete itinerary

  • Plaza de Mayo

 Plaza de Mayo is the founding site of the city. This is the heart of the city where all the manifestations and protests take place. Around the square, you can see some of the most important buildings in the city.

 At one side is the Casa Rosada (pink house), the office of the president of Argentina. There are guided tours of the Casa Rosada that are free and take place on Saturdays. It is necessary to book the visit in advance on the Casa Rosada website. In the plaza you will also find the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires and the Cabildo, the site where the country’s first government was formed.

If you want to have a general snapshot of the history of the city, you can take the Buenos Aires Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus with audioguide where you will learn the general info about important sites such as Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, Puerto Madero, Teatro Colón, and Floralis Generica. 

  • Palacio Barolo

From Plaza de Mayo, take Avenida de Mayo towards the National Congress. On the way, you can stop at Café Tortoni, a historic bar in the city founded in 1858 that was frequented by important personalities of that time. I honestly never been to Café Tortoni but it’s very popular amoung tourists.

Keep walking to Palacio Barolo, a beautiful building with a lot of history. I recommend you take a guided tour of the Barolo Palace because you’ll be able to go up to the highest floor of the building from where you have a panoramic view of the city, including the imposing dome of Congreso (The National Congress). Visiting this building is one of the best things you can do if you are going to visit Buenos Aires in 3 days. The building makes reference to the Divine Comedy by the poet Dante Alighieri. 

  • Av. Corrientes 

  So that your first night in the city of Buenos Aires ends in the best way, walk along Avenida Corrientes, where you will find many bookstores, restaurants and theaters. It is something like the “Broadway” of Buenos Aires. I recommend that you stop for pizza in Güerrín, one of the best pizzerias in the city. If you are also interested you can choose to attend a tango show, here are some options:

 Piazzola tango show with optional dinner

 Tango Porteño show

DAY 2 – Recoleta and Palermo

MORNING

  • El Ateneo Grand Splendid

 Start the day visiting this bookstore classified as the most beautiful in the world by National Geographic. It is a unique bookstore in the world because it is located in an old theater.

The ultimate Buenos Aires city guide and tips according to a local
  • Recoleta Cemetery

 From the bookstore you can walk (about 10 blocks) to the Recoleta Cemetery. You will wonder why I make you visit a cemetery on your visit to Buenos Aires, and believe me it is one of the most interesting places in the city. This cemetery has the most famous tombs in the city, including the one from Eva Perón. The cemetery is planned as a city with blocks, streets with names, alleys and small squares. I recommend you take a guided tour if you want to find out about the ghosts stories and legends of the cemetery:

Click here to book a guided tour of the Recoleta Cemetery

To know more about the cemetery read: Visiting Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

 After visiting the cemetery, you can explore the surroundings a bit. Right next to the cemetery is the Recoleta Cultural Center, Plaza Francia, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Law School of the University of Buenos Aires.  The Recoleta neighborhood is considered the most elegant and one of the most exclusive in the city.

  • Floralis Genérica

 Next to the Law School you will see a large square with a giant metal flower. This curious monument has an electrical system that automatically makes the flower close its petals at night and open again in the morning.

  • MALBA

 From the Floralis you can continue walking along Avenida Figueroa Alcorta to MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art). If you are interested in art, you can’t miss visitin MALBA. This museum has a unique collection of works by artists such as Antonio Berni, Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera and Fernando Botero, among others. For more information on museum prices and hours, visit MALBA official website.

AFTERNOON

  • Bosques de Palermo

 After visiting MALBA, continue walking along the same avenue towards Bosques de Palermo. This whole area is full of parks and squares that you can visit. On the way you will notice a giant ball-shaped building that stands out, this is the Galileo Galilei Planetarium. At night, the stars on the planetarium roof light up and illuminate the city.

Buenos Aires in 3 days. Planetarium in Bosques de Palermo

 Bosques de Palermo (Palermo forests) are a set of parks and squares with free access. There are several lakes and a rose garden that you can’t miss if you travel during spring. On weekends, access to cars is closed and the forests are filled with people who go to practice sports, have a picnic or just enjoy the day at the parks. 

Another park that I recommend you visit in this area is the Botanical Garden of Buenos Aires. It is located on Santa Fe Avenue and its access is free.

  • Palermo Soho

 To end the afternoon, you can walk or take a bus to the youngest and most fashionable area in the city, Palermo Soho. This neighborhood is full of shops, bars, restaurants and a lot of street art. I recommend that you arrive during the day so you can see the incredible murals. 

Check out this post before your visit: Best street art in Palermo Soho (includes free map!)

You can end this great day in Buenos Aires in one of the trendy bars in Palermo Soho. Some of my favorites are: Dársena Bar, Rey de Copas and Desarmadero Bar.

DAY 3 – Contrasts of Buenos Aires: La Boca, San Telmo and Puerto Madero

MORNING

  • La Boca and Caminito

 Start your last day in Buenos Aires visiting one of the most historic neighborhoods in the city: La Boca. Here is the famous “Caminito”, a street full of colorful painted houses that is usually the most recognized postcard in Buenos Aires (in addition to the Obelisco).

 La Boca was once the old port of the city, and it was the place where immigrants arrived back in 1830. With the little money they had, they lived in these precarious houses known as “conventillos” where many families lived together. To give some joy, they painted the facades with vibrant colors and today they are one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.

La Boca is also known for being the neighborhood of one of the most famous soccer clubs in the city: Boca Juniors. Its main rival is River Plate club, located in Nuñez neighborhood. 

For your walk around La Boca, I suggest you follow the tourist route since it’s not the safest neighborhoods in the citt. If you feel more comfortable you can take this La Boca guided walking tour with an english-speaking guide.

  • San Telmo

 From La Boca, take a bondi (that’s how we call buses in Buenos Aires) to San Telmo. This is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city. San Telmo is a historical neighborhood and has many corners that make you travel back in time. 

If you arrive at noon, I recommend that you have lunch at Pulpería Quilapán, a restaurant located in an old colonial house that you will love! You can’t miss visiting Mercado de San Telmo, an old market where you will find antique shops and food stands. This is another good spot for lunch or coffee.

If you visit San Telmo on a Sunday, on Defensa street you will find the feria de San Telmo, a local fair that extends to Plaza de Mayo.

 In San Telmo begins the Paseo de la Historieta, a circuit that passes through the neighborhoods of Monserrat, San Telmo and Puerto Madero, which pays tribute to the main comics in Argentine history: Mafalda, Isidoro, Patoruzú, Clemente and Gaturro, among others . You will see several figures of these characters with whom people take pictures. More information about the comic circuit here.

AFTERNOON

  • Puerto Madero

 Once you finish visiting San Telmo, walk towards the river to reach Puerto Madero. This neighborhood is the completely opposite to La Boca or San Telmo. Puerto Madero is a modern neighborhood where its skyscrapers and luxury complexes stand out. Here are also some of the most expensive hotels and restaurants in the city.

Puerto Madero used to be the commercial port of the city. You can still see some old brick buildings that used to be warehouses, now converted into restaurants, shops and offices.

How to spend 3 days in Buenos Aires, complete itinerary

 The icon of Puerto Madero is Puente de la Mujer, designed by Santiago Calatrava. It’s a pedestrian bridge with a mobile section that rises to allow the passage of boats. The bridge represents the image of a couple dancing tango.

I recommend you stay in Puerto Madero until night to see how the bridge and dams light up. To end the day you can have dinner at a restaurant in this area or go to the city center to see a show.


 This is the end of the 3-day itinerary in Buenos Aires. If you have extra time and want to see something different, I recommend that you leave the city, read my post about the 10 best day trips from Buenos Aires.

I hope you enjoy my city! Any questions you have do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send me an email to ivana@postcardsfromivi.com 🙂

 Other things to do in Buenos Aires:

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