3 tourist sites worth seeing in Buenos Aires

September 17, 2023

If you’re anything like me, the best trips are the ones where you set aside the travel guide and explore like a local.

No plans, no commitments — just off-the-beaten-track adventuring.

I still stand behind this philosophy when it comes to visiting Buenos Aires… most of the time. While some of my best memories have come from wandering around new neighborhoods, stumbling upon a whole-in-the-wall bar, and befriending the owner who’s been cooking his mom’s recipes for 30 years, there are three major exceptions to the rule.

Got your pen and paper ready?

Here are three tourist sites absolutely worth seeing when you’re in Buenos Aires.

Recoleta Cemetary

Junin 1760, Recoleta.
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I had never seen a cemetery like this before visiting Buenos Aires.

In fact, I don’t think the word “cemetery” does it justice. Rather, it’s a mesmerizing labyrinth of shrines dedicated to the wealthiest and most prominent Argentine families — some shrines well maintained and regal, others broken, haunted, and ominous.

The entire cemetery has over 6,400 statues, sarcophagi, coffins, and crypts, the most famous of which belongs to Eva Peron. Funny enough, her sarcophagi feels underwhelming after you walk by countless towering marble mausoleams, adorned in Art Nouveau designs, to arrive at hers.

The entire experience is eerie, enchanting, and rich in history.

Trust me: you’ll be dying to go back.

*The cemetery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance.*

Teatro Colon

Cerrito 618, Recoleta.
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Even if you’re not a fan of the theater, a show at the Teatro Colon is a jaw-dropping experience.

The theater is recognized internationally for its architecture and acoustics, making it one of the top opera houses in the world. Thanks to its reputation, the theater has hosted some of the most prominent singers, dancers, and conductors over the years.

It took an entire 20 years to build the theater, and when you walk inside, you’ll see why. Nothing in this theater is understated. From the horse-shaped balconies to the beautifully painted dome, it’s a piece of artwork in itself.

And this is important: don’t just do the walking tour. You have to see a show here. The theater comes to life during a performance, mesmerizing everyone from a tourist to a local.

*Buy tickets for a show at the Teatro Colon here. Under upcoming events, filter by: Teatro Colon.*

Feria de San Telmo

Humberto 400, San Telmo.
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Taking place every Sunday, this street market is a bustling assortment of artisan vendors, food carts, tango, and live music. Yes, it fills up with tourists, but it’s worth every second.

Nearly 300 sellers set up shop across block after block, with leather goods, mate gourds, paintings, jewelry, and more artisan products overflowing into the cobblestone streets. You’ll smell the sweet aroma of garrapiñada, peanuts roasted in sugar, water, and vanilla, on one corner and then savory empanadas on the next.

Behind the street vendors, you’ll notice antique shops and vintage bookstores that have been in the neighborhood for years. San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, and it holds on to its bohemian charm.

If you’re in need of finding souvenirs for friends and family back home, there’s no doubt: this is your place.

*The market happens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s free to enter, but bring cash for purchases.*

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