What to do in Buenos Aires | Itinerary 1 – A Day on Foot

What to do in Buenos Aires in one day is a common question, so we kick off our itinerary series with a walking day, starting from Palermo to the Casa Rosada, or vice versa.

As an enthusiast of Argentinian culture, I’m always in search of authentic local experiences to share with you. Lace up your walking boots, because we’ve got an unmissable itinerary ahead!

Buenos Aires is a city that reveals itself in its details and there’s no better way to uncover its secrets than by walking, getting lost and found in its streets, avenues, and squares, way beyond what any travel guide can offer.

The Buenos Aires Habit of Walking!

First things first, it’s important to understand the portenho, the Buenos Aires resident.

In a city that breathes culture and history at every corner, the portenhos have walking as one of their favorite activities, and above all, as a way to appreciate the essence of their city.

what to do in Buenos Aires
People moving through Plaza Holanda | photo by argentinaguia.com

Whether out of necessity, leisure, or simply to enjoy the day, the portenhos live the streets, avenues, and parks intensely. They let themselves be carried away by the urban trails, immersing themselves in the majestic architecture, the cozy cafeterias, the books in their famous bookstores, and the antique fairs that seem to open windows to the past.

So, walking around Buenos Aires is much more than just a means of transportation, it’s a way to live and feel the city, it’s like feeling the pulse of the Argentine capital.

Walking the city like a portenho is, undoubtedly, the best way to connect with the local culture and create unforgettable memories.

The Geography Facilitates What to Do in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires’ geography invites walking because the city is predominantly flat, greatly facilitating foot travel, whether for a portenho or for you who will be traveling.

The urban layout, inherited from the Spanish colonial period, is organized into a grid system, making orientation very simple, even for those not familiar with the city.

what to do in Buenos Aires
Av. 9 de Julio – Por Pavel Špindler, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54401411

This way, the wide streets and well-maintained sidewalks also make walking easier.

In addition, the distances between the city’s main tourist spots and neighborhoods are relatively short, which further encourages exploration on foot.

Itinerary 1 – From Palermo to Casa Rosada (or vice versa)

This incredible walking itinerary was thought out for you to visit 10 Free Tourist Spots, covering 11 kilometers of distance through five neighborhoods.

In this way, if you start at 9 a.m., you complete the journey around 7 p.m., still with sunlight.

Neighborhoods explored by the itinerary

The starting point is in the Palermo neighborhood, more precisely in Palermo Nuevo, an itinerary designed for those who decided to stay in the region.

The tourist spots of this walk are located in 5 main neighborhoods of Buenos Aires:

  1. Palermo: This is the neighborhood where you will start your journey. Plaza Holanda and Parque Tres de Febrero are located here. Palermo is a quite extensive neighborhood famous for its parks, restaurants, boutiques, and nightlife;
  2. Recoleta: It is the neighborhood where Floralis Genérica, UBA Law School, the Dr. Alfredo Roque Vítolo Pedestrian Bridge, and the Recoleta Cultural Center are located. Recoleta is an elegant neighborhood, known for its European-style architecture, its street cafes, and the famous Recoleta Cemetery;
  3. Retiro: The Mercado de los Carruajes is located in this neighborhood. Retiro is a neighborhood of contrasts, with bus and train terminals, the sophisticated Florida Street, and the elegant Plaza San Martin;
  4. Centro/Microcentro: This neighborhood houses the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK), the Puente de la Mujer, and the Casa Rosada. Buenos Aires’s downtown, also known as Microcentro, is the financial and commercial heart of the city, with many tourist spots, historic buildings, and the famous Avenida Corrientes, known for its theaters and bookstores;
  5. Puerto Madero: The Puente de La Mujer is located in this revitalized neighborhood, being the most modern area of the city with its glass and steel buildings, elegant restaurants, and riverside boardwalks.

For this reason, although the walk is mainly concentrated in Palermo, Recoleta, and Center/Microcentro, it also includes a touch of modern Puerto Madero.

Route Map

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Casa Rosada, the endpoint of our itinerary!

  1. Plaza Holanda is located in the Palermo neighborhood, known for its green areas, such as the Botanical Garden and the Japanese Garden. Palermo is also one of Buenos Aires’ cultural centers, with several museums and art galleries.
  2. When walking to Parque Tres de Febrero, you will still be in Palermo. This park is one of the largest green areas in the city and is perfect for walking, cycling, or picnicking.
  3. Floralis Generica and the Faculty of Law (UBA) are located on Avenida Figueroa Alcorta, known for its beautiful views of the Rio de la Plata and for housing various museums and cultural institutions.
  4. Crossing the Dr. Alfredo Roque Vítolo pedestrian bridge, you will be moving towards the Recoleta neighborhood. Recoleta is known for its European architectural style, with beautiful squares and historic buildings.
  5. The Recoleta Cultural Center and the Carruajes Market are also located in this neighborhood. The Carruajes Market is closer to the city center and is an excellent opportunity to try Argentine cuisine.
  6. Moving to the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK), you will be entering the San Nicolás neighborhood, which also houses the famous Obelisk.
  7. The Puente de La Mujer is located in Puerto Madero, the most modern neighborhood in Buenos Aires. It’s a great place to walk by the river and enjoy restaurants and cafes.
  8. Finally, Casa Rosada is located in the Monserrat neighborhood, being part of Buenos Aires’ historic district.

Nearby points of the route, to do even more activities in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a vibrant city, full of cultural, historical, and leisure interest sites, so the suggested walking route already encompasses a significant amount of attractions.

There are other nearby points that may be of interest, but not all have free admission:

  1. Near Plaza Holanda and Parque Tres de Febrero in Palermo, you can visit the Japanese Garden, the Galileo Galilei Planetarium, and the Botanical Garden, all popular and frequently visited tourist spots;
  2. Next to the Floralis Generica and the Faculty of Law of the UBA in Recoleta, you might consider a visit to the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón is buried;
  3. On the way to the Recoleta Cultural Center, it is worth going through the Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar, one of the oldest churches in the city;
  4. Near the Carruajes Market in Retiro, you can go through the Monumental Tower, formerly known as the English Tower, one of Buenos Aires’ historical landmarks;
  5. As you head to the Kirchner Cultural Center (CCK), you will be able to see the famous Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Julio;
  6. On the way to the Woman’s Bridge in Puerto Madero, it is interesting to stroll along the Paseo de la Gloria, a route along which are sculptures of famous Argentine athletes;
  7. Near Casa Rosada in Microcentro, consider visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, the Cabildo, and the Bicentennial Museum.

Conclusion on what to do in Buenos Aires

Please note that while this route includes many of Buenos Aires’ landmarks, the city is large and there is much more to see.

Also, please check the operating hours and entry requirements for all the places you plan to visit.

However, visiting all these extra attractions may require more time, so plan according to your preferences and available time.

Therefore, Buenos Aires is a city to be enjoyed leisurely, so feel free to explore at your own pace.

If you have any questions or have any additional tips you would like to share, then please leave a comment below.

Finally, if you have friends or family members who are planning a trip to Buenos Aires, don’t forget to share this article with them.

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