Photograph by Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images
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Tango dancers take their steps, accompanied by a musician with a concertina.

Photograph by Daniel Garcia/AFP/Getty Images

Buenos Aires Must-Dos

Our experts recommend the top attractions in and around Buenos Aires—with advice on how to get the most out of your visit.


“Choose the alternative (to big tango shows): the neighborhood milongas.”—Karina Beorlegui, local tango singer. The best, most classic, and inexpensive way to see real tango danced by real people is at a milonga. Classes are often offered before the dances begin. Beorlegui’s picks include the Parakultural in Salón Canning (Scalabrini Ortiz 1331; tel. 54 11 4832 6753 or 15 5738 3850), La Viruta (Armenia 1366, tel. 54 11 4779 0030), and the Confitería Ideal (Suipacha 384; tel. 54 11 5265 8069).

Recoleta Cemetery

“This stroll is fantastic, replete with design details, messages of the occult, mysterious legends and passionate characters.”—Gonzalo Álvarez Guerrero, co-editor, Guía Total Buenos Aires. A labyrinth of haunting, gorgeous mausoleums belonging to the city’s rich, famous, and powerful families. The most famous tomb is that of Evita Perón, but many others are more interesting. Free English tours on most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. Tip: Watch neighbor ladies feed the 75-or-so cats that live in the cemetery each day. Junin 1790; tel. 54 15 5614 8869.

Feria de Mataderos

“The whole neighborhood retains its original charms, its people, its short houses, the gardens in the front yards.”—Viviana Rivelli, director, Buenos Aires tourism department guided tours. Mataderos comes alive during its Sunday fair, opposite the National Market of Cattle. Traditional handicrafts, artistic festivals, gaucho shows, lectures, games, and regional food. Sundays and holidays from 11-8 p.m. Avenida de los Corrales 6500.

Evening Walk Along Avenida Corrientes

“While the whole world abandons the crazy downtown area, go walking along the most emblematic street in the city, with the sun at your back.”—Marcelo Panozzo. Take in the frenetic buzz of workers hurrying home and spectators lining up outside brightly lit theaters. Stop for a slice of greasy pizza and faena (chickpea bread) at one of the many stand-up pizza joints, such as Guerrin, and browse the endless new and used bookstores.

Shopping in Palermo

Especially during weekends, the neighborhood of Palermo—and its sub-neighborhoods also known as Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Soho, Palermo Chico, etc.—is abuzz with Argentines shopping in the design and clothing stores and the small artisan market at Plaza Serrano and drinking coffee or wine at sidewalk cafés.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

“The best collection of European paintings in South America.”—Alicia de Arteaga. The museum in Recoleta dedicates a floor to Argentine art, from Xul Solar to León Ferrari, and features special expositions. Free entrance. Avenida Libertador 1473; tel. 54 11 4803 0802.

Day trip to El Tigre

“It’s a perfect trip on a sunny day.”—Alicia de Arteaga. About 20 miles (30 kilometers) outside Buenos Aires is Tigre, a laid-back weekend escape on an island in the Paraná River Delta, where you can stroll tree-lined walkways along the water, far away from the BA bustle. Visit the naval museum, which has a collection of model ships, dine by the riverside, and rent a boat and cruise the private canals. Take a train or bus, or rent a car to get

Museo Evita

“She [Eva Perón] really comes alive there.”—Michael Luongo. The museum in an early 20th-century mansion in Palermo, is dedicated to the late Argentine first lady Eva Perón, displaying photos, articles, and many of her own possessions, including dresses, shoes, perfume, and jewelry. Lafinur 2988; tel. 54 11 4807 0306.