Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina, will steal your heart within a matter of days, with a little something for everyone.
1. Avenida 9 de Julio
Also known as the widest avenue in the world, Buenos Aires' main avenue is definitely a must-see, a great spot to wander on your first day in town. The famous obelisk, or Obelisco in Spanish, is the centre point of all the action, just next to the BA hedge sign and olympic rings pictured above. This street almost makes you feel like you're in a big city like New York or London with huge video billboards everywhere. As I mentioned before it's the widest avenue in the world and is almost impossible to cross the entire street in one go unless you're running at a pretty quick pace. If you're staying in the centre of town you'll most likely be staying just minutes walk from this street, in which case this will be one of your main access points to the metro system. The metro system is perfect to hop between neighbourhoods and I would highly recommend picking up a metro card when you arrive. Like with any metro system and big city beware of pick pockets and snatching petty theft.
2. Casa Rosada
Much like the White House in the USA, the Pink House in Buenos Aires is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina. If you're into wandering through cities then Buenos Aires has plenty of beautiful colonial buildings to feast your eyes on but most popular is Casa Rosada, a sprawling mansion with a large plaza in front of it. Usually you can get close up like in these photos but sometimes it can be closed off for what I assume is presidential business. You can also often find protests and demonstrations happening outside.
3. Calle Florida
If you're looking to shop for all your international and local brands then look no further than Florida Street a 20-30 minute walk from Avenida 9 de Julio. Most budget travellers don't have the money to spend on big international brands but I thought it was worth a mention as a good place to wander through if you're in the mood, especially due to the Galerías Pacífico mall with a stunning ceiling art reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel.
If you love a good park then Buenos Aires has plenty to choose from, take a packed lunch and a book or a journal and spend a morning or afternoon sitting on a park bench, reading, writing, planning, drawing, people watching, whatever your heart desires. This can be a perfect activity to take a break from the big city atmosphere and relax.
Palermo, the first of the surrounding neighbourhoods in the sprawling metropolis that is Buenos Aires, is the perfect coffee spot for any coffee lovers out there with its abundance of quirky hipster cafes and fun vibrant street art. Just a short metro ride away from the city centre makes it a perfect place to spend a day, especially exploring the local craft markets on display there. You can take a walking tour there or go on your own or with a friend, just ask your hostel to mark on a map where the markets are so you can find them easily.
The next surrounding neighbourhood I recommend visiting is Recoleta, often famed for its beautiful, grand and ornate cemetery, where some of Argentinas famed and wealthy are laid to rest. It can have a little eerie feeling but is mostly captivating with all of the delicate detailing in each of the graves. It also has one of the many fantastic craft markets in Buenos Aires, with plenty of options to pick up on your travels.
7. San Telmo
San Telmo Neighbourhood is known for its huge market, literally the longest street market I've ever seen! They have everything from handicrafts to food - and my favourite Choripan! Definitely a sight not to be missed, but make sure you go with enough energy to last the whole afternoon.
8. La Boca
If you come to Buenos Aires you must pay a visit to the charming neighbourhood of La Boca with its colourful buildings and famous football stadium it's not to be missed.
First up we have the famous street of El Caminito, which translates to the little walkway. Here all the buildings are painted different colours and there are people dancing tango outside cafes and artists painting in the laneway and so much life and culture happening here.
El Gran Paraiso
On our walking tour our guide took us to this cafe for lunch called El Gran Paraiso, where I had the best steak sandwich ever, as recommended by our guide. They sell many different things, what we had was "sandwich de lomo", they also have choripan and other types of meat and bread combinations. They did have a veggie option that was made with grilled capsicum and zucchini. You top it with delicious chimmichurri and fresh salsa.
9. Boca Stadium
Finally we come to Boca Stadium, or La Bombonera, home to the renowned Boca Juniors. I'm not too into football, but the Argentinians they love it, worship it almost. Our guide described it to us like "on Sundays people go to church and I come here". So even if you're not that into football I'd still recommended checking it out, and if you're lucky going to watch a game there, the atmosphere is like nothing else!
10. Tango Show
You can't visit Argentina without going to see a Tango show, you might think it's just a bunch of people dancing on a stage but its so much more, they tell a drama, sing songs and a band plays music, there are in-between acts that showcase their crazy talents with ropes and such. Grab some friends from the hostel and pay to just see the show (there are also options to go for dinner before hand), purchase a bottle of Malbec to share, and sit back and enjoy the show.
So that's it, my 10 recommendations of budget friendly things to do in Buenos Aires. I hope you found this post interesting and helpful and leave me a comment below for any other recommendations you have!