Top 10 Buenos Aires: Sights & Attractions in the Argentine Capital

Buenos Aires is a city of complexities. Its large neighborhoods vary significantly in styles and classifications in part because of Argentina’s tumultuous history. There’s classic Recoleta where you’ll see grand European Renaissance inspired architecture, then there’s La Boca, the colorful, yet mostly deprived part of the city. Walk down the famous Avenida de Mayo from one end to the other and you’ll begin to understand the city’s transformation, albeit not necessarily in chronological order.

There are a number of sights and attractions to see in Buenos Aires and you’ll be pressed to limit your time if you decide to see them all. If it’s your first time, however, hit these top 10 Buenos Aires attractions first and then explore each neighborhoods a little bit more.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions

El Obelisco

El Obelisco or The Obelisk is the towering monument that stands in the middle of Avenida de 9 de Julio, right where it intersects with Avenida Corrientes. It’s a popular sight for massive rallies, political or otherwise, and a symbolic figure that represents the founding of Buenos Aires.

Plaza de Mayo

It’s Argentina’s most famous square. It’s where Casa Rosada, the famous “pink house” and seat of Argentinean government, resides. It is the center for politics and finance, and it also symbolizes rebellion and hope for many Argentines.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: Casa Rosada at Plaza de Mayo
Casa Rosada at Plaza de Mayo

Café Tortoni

Café Tortoni is a French-inspired coffee house that continuously serves patrons since it first opened in the late 19th century. It’s considered to be one of the most beautiful cafes in the world and was once the hub of Argentine artists and intellectuals.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: Cafe Tortoni
Cafe Tortoni

Recoleta Cemetery

Definitely a place worthy of being part of the top 10 Buenos Aires attractions, this large cemetery in the city’s Recoleta neighborhood is somewhat a museum in itself. Grand mausoleums, elaborate burial plots, and picturesque streets make up this spiritual place. It’s also where a number of famous and infamous people are buried, including Eva Peron.

Palace of the National Congress

The neoclassical structure that caps the western end of Avenida de Mayo is the seat of the Argentine National Congress. Its striking green-colored cupola sits atop a white marble centerpiece featuring a four-horse chariot driven by Liberty and is considered the symbol of the Argentine Republic.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: Palace of the National Congress Front Facade
Palace of the National Congress Front Facade

Museo Nacional de Belles Artes

This impressive fine arts museum located in the city’s Recoleta neighborhood is one of the most visited attractions in all of Argentina. It carries a large collection of contemporary art from local artists as well as thousands of international collections ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo

Plaza Dorrego is the central square in the charming and historic neighborhood of San Telmo. It is a great place to sip a cup of coffee, observe the local life in Buenos Aires, and watch an impromptu performance of Milonga. On Sundays, it becomes a hub for antique sellers hoping to make a buck or two.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: San Telmo
San Telmo

El Ateneo

Literature lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to this famous opera house turned bookstore. El Ateneo is considered one of the largest and most beautiful bookstores in the world. The selection of English books is focused mostly on fiction and romance but it does have a wide variety of Latin American books varying from non-fiction to children’s literature. Take advantage of the box seats, which are now used as public reading spaces.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: El Ateneo Bookstore
El Ateneo Bookstore

Teatro Colon

It’s the main opera house in Buenos Aires and one of the best performance venues around the world in terms of acoustics. Its elaborate interior and exterior architecture varies in style and reflects the architectural grandeur of many Buenos Aires buildings during the turn of the 20th century.

Caminito in La Boca

The colorful streets in Caminito are a good enough reason for tourists to flock to this part of La Boca but there’s more to the vibrantly painted community housing that line these streets. Venture outside of the main tourist area and you’ll find that La Boca is a stark contrast to the more affluent neighborhoods of San Telmo and Recoleta. Eventually, the streets will lead you to the neighborhood’s most famous landmark, La Bombonera, the worshipped home of the Boca Juniors.

Top 10 Buenos Aires Attractions: Public art, colorfully painted houses, and shops in Caminito
Public art, colorfully painted houses, and shops in Caminito

Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero is the modern district of Buenos Aires adjacent to Rio de la Plata with plenty of restaurants, boutique shops, high-rise buildings and hotels. It is a great place to unwind particularly on a nice day. Visitors can stroll the pedestrian walkway and see great views of the docks and the relatively new skyline of Buenos Aires.

Have you visited any of these top 10 Buenos Aires attractions? Leave us a comment below!

About Iris A


Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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2 Responses

  1. Tips for Speaking Spanish While Travelling | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] you are in Bogota or Buenos Aires or Barcelona, it’s worth making the effort to learn some Spanish. Start with the basics, because […]

  2. Avatar for Iris A

    Analie Julie

    Hi Iris, thanks for your article and your great tips. If you have seen all these places and look for more, I would like to recommend going to Mar del Plata City, 260 miles from Buenos Aires City. You will find a combination of beauty and charm of its natural resources (vast sandy beaches ideal to enjoy summer walks) with the infrastructure and services. Mar del Plata has everything, and even in winter you can enjoy its nightlife, its pubs, discos, sea museums and the famous Casino. I travelled with the services of Kangoo Tours: .I highly recommend this trip


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