There’s so much that’s great about Buenos Aires — the food, the wine, the art, the music, the dancing… pretty much everything about it is awesome. And while we could (and you should) spend plenty of days exploring the city streets, there is still lots to see on a short stay. If you only have a brief 24 hours in Buenos Aires, here’s the best way to get the most out of your time.
Morning: 8 – 10am
San Telmo is a great place to be in the morning. Its old buildings and tranquil, cobblestone streets are filled with character. There are also plenty of small cafés that serve authentic breakfasts of coffee and pastries — perfect for fuelling you up for a long day of exploring. As well, the area around Plaza Dorrego is especially nice at this time.
Midday: 10am – 1pm
If you feel like escaping the noise of the city, walk from San Telmo through Puerto Madero to the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve. This huge, green oasis is located on the banks of the River Plate and has walking tracks that crisscross through the wetlands. This is a great place to explore and see birds and other wildlife, and a world away from what you’d expect to find in the city.
Early afternoon: 1 – 3pm
The historic neighbourhood of Recoleta offers countless places to eat and relax. You can try cuisine from the northern provinces of Argentina at Cumaná or visit one of the city’s old bars, known as bares notables — bars that are officially recognized for having a strong sense of history, being an icon within the neighbourhood, and/or having unique architecture. La Biela is full of character, style, and old-world charm.
Late afternoon: 3 – 6pm
Get acquainted with the up-and-coming designer scene of Buenos Aires in the district of Palermo. There are dozens of boutiques and hip galleries here as well as a small handicraft market in Plaza Serrano where you can pick up unique items and gifts. The curiously named Hollywood in Cambodia is a great street art gallery packed with edgy installations, stencils, and graffiti art. If shoes and boots are your thing, then La Casa de las Botas is your place. Book lovers will enjoy searching the shelves of Eterna Cadencia for hidden literary gems.
Evening: 7 – 9pm
Buenos Aires is a late-night city, so you won’t find many restaurants ready to serve a meal at 7pm. Most locals start eating around 9pm and it is not unusual to see families with young children eating a meal together at midnight. That means this time of day is the perfect time to grab a pre-dinner drink — try the relaxed atmosphere of The Gibraltar, the historical Bar El Federal, or, for something really unique, play archery and have a drink at Jobs Bar.
Nighttime: 9pm – as late as you like
Time for the nightlife! With restaurants opening from 9pm onwards, you’ll be fine to head out and eat around that time. If you are after a big night out, don’t even consider getting to a club before 2am — you’ll be the only person there. Restaurants with a great reputation include Casa SaltShaker, Casa Mun, Casa Felix, and Cocina Sunae. Seating is usually limited so be sure to book in advance.
Want more Buenos Aires? Check out our Buenos Aires tours.