Buenos Aires 3 Day Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1Fly to Buenos Aires
Casa Rosada
Hotel 474 Buenos Aires
Day 2Catedral Metropolitana
Parque 3 de Febrero
MALBA
Floralis Generica
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Cementerio de la Recoleta
Dinner at Buller Pub & Brewery
Day 3Palacio Barolo
Puente de la Mujer
Galerias Pacifico

Attractions

1Casa Rosada
2Catedral Metropolitana
3Parque 3 de Febrero
4MALBA
5Floralis Generica
6Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
7Cementerio de la Recoleta
8Palacio Barolo
9Puente de la Mujer
10Galerias Pacifico

Buenos Aires Day 1

Flight to Buenos Aires

This morning, we are up at 3 am for our flight 700 miles south to Buenos Aires. The day does not start well with the old man vomiting between the hotel and the taxi. Once at the airport, my first challenge of the day; to spend our remaining £20 worth of Guarani in the departure lounge. I depart Paraguay clutching two glass chickens, a cap and a healthy breakfast combo of empanadas and Pringles.

Welcome to Argentina
Welcome to Argentina

In the plane I have an emergency exit seat. The steward explains that sitting here requires being able to follow crew instructions. He sounds fairly unconvinced that I’m up to the job. The flight arrives without incident and we are at our hotel in Buenos Aires by 9 am. Much to our relief, we are able to check in to our room straight away to shower and regroup.

Casa Rosada
Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada

At midday, we are sufficiently recovered to join our Casa Rosada guided tour. This is the Argentinian presidency; the place where Eva Peron sings ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ from the balcony in the movie Evita.

Note: It’s a very popular tour, with online booking required, so places need to be reserved well in advance.

Casa Rosada Courtyard
Casa Rosada Courtyard

The tour is supposed to take an hour, but the guide seems to love the sound of his own voice and goes on and on. Tours are 15 minutes apart, so they are soon backing up behind us. It doesn’t help that some of the Americans in our group refuse to do stairs and we have to wait while a separate staff member escorts them via the elevator.

View from Casa Rosada Balcony
View from Casa Rosada Balcony

Finally, we reach the bit we’ve been waiting for – the iconic balcony. We patiently wait our turn to go out, but the guard decides our group’s time is up and starts herding us towards the exit. It’s such an anticlimax. Our tour of a few rooms has taken two hours and we have missed the highlight. I make a break for it and manage to grab a balcony photo before being ushered out.

Museo Casa Rosada
Museo Casa Rosada

Once the tour finally ends, we head for the Museum which contains a potted history of Argentina, plus articles relating to the life of the Perons.

Peron's Car
Perons’ Car

We queue for another guided tour; David Siqueieros’ mural Ejercicio Plástico. Again the tour way outlasts my attention span. It’s some naked ladies in a box – Next!

Ejercicio Plástico

I’m still sulking from the lack of balcony time and the old man is not feeling well, so we decide to call it a day.

Hotel 474 Buenos Aires

We return to the very pleasant Hotel 474 Buenos Aires for an early night before a full sightseeing onslaught in the morning. The hotel is situated in the financial district, thus cheaper than more touristy areas but still conveniently situated. One disadvantage; the area is like a ghost town at weekends and most bars and restaurants are closed.

Hotel 474 Buenos Aires
Hotel 474 Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Day 2

Plaza de Mayo
Plaza de Mayo

Catedral Metropolitana

Today we are going sightseeing in Buenos Aires. There will be no guided tours, just us and my well annotated copy of Lonely Planet. We start with the cathedral, former manor of the Pope.

Buenos Aires Cathedral
Buenos Aires Cathedral

We miss it first time round, as the exterior looks more like a museum than a cathedral. However, inside it looks like most South American churches, with lots and lots of gold stuff.

Interior of Buenos Aires Cathedral
Interior of Buenos Aires Cathedral

Then we try to get a tube from Catedral underground station. It sounds fool-proof, seeing as we’re already at the cathedral. But somehow we manage to overshoot and end up at Peru, which is on a different line. By the time we realise, we’ve already passed through the barrier so have to retrace our steps, buy more tickets and try again.

Eco Parque
Eco Parque

Second time lucky, we find the station and catch the tube to Palermo. This morning is all about parks. We walk through the Eco Parque, with its cute maras grazing by the lake, to reach the Parque 3 de Febrero.

Eco Parque mara
Eco Parque Mara

Parque 3 de Febrero

This huge park is heaving on a Sunday morning; walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters, yoga, aerobics, weightlifting. It’s all going on here, there’s even a man playing the bagpipes.

Rose Garden
Rose Garden

There’s so much to see and do here, but for me the highlights are the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Japanese Garden
Japanese Garden

MALBA

Next, we visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA). As the name suggests, it’s a collection of art by Latin American artists. The old man is not a great art lover, but there is some great stuff here. Even he is impressed.

MALBA
MALBA

The temporary exhibition is by Pablo Suarez. His work is clever and a little bit crazy, which is just how I like things.

Floralis Generica

We stop briefly at the Floralis Generica, a huge metal flower sculpture that opens in the sunlight. It sits in a pool of water and reflects the nearby buildings in its silver petals.

Generica
Floralis Generica

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Next is the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. This has some South American and plenty of European art. The temporary exhibition is by Turner, on loan from the Tate, so ironically we have paid to see something in Argentina that we could see in England for free.

Cementerio de la Recoleta

Last stop is the Recoleta, the cemetery of the rich and famous. It’s like a huge city of the dead. The cemetery only has one entrance. Somehow, we manage to walk round all four sides before locating the gate some 350 degrees from where we started.

Recoleta
Recoleta

Dinner at Buller Pub & Brewery

We complete our wander round the inside of the cemetery. Tired and hungry after a long day, we spot a microbrewery opposite the exit; Buller Pub & Brewery. Unfortunately, we are by the coach drop off point where buses leave their engines running to maintain the a/c at the required temperature for their passengers. So we drink very good beer and eat enormous burgers surrounded by more diesel fuel than I’d like before dragging ourselves back across town thus completing our ten hour sightseeing extravaganza.

Beer at Buller
Beer at Buller

Buenos Aires Day 3

Graffiti

Today is rather disjointed as many tourist attractions are closed on Mondays. This morning the area around our hotel is heaving and all the shops and cafes are open, not just McDonalds, where we had to resort to breakfast yesterday. This is a problem, as the old man doesn’t cope well with choice and we have to study numerous menus before we are finally able to sit down and order some actual food.

Theatre
Teatro Colon

Most of the morning we wander around Buenos Aires admiring the city’s architecture, such as the Teatro Colon and taking an obligatory selfie in front of the Obelisk

Obelisk
Obelisk

Palacio Barolo

Then, a guided tour of the Palacio Barolo; an Art Deco tower block where each floor represents a different verse of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Note: This is another popular tour best booked in advance.

Palacio Barolo
Palacio Barolo

You start in the foyer (hell) then work your way up through purgatory to heaven. Ironically, you can reach purgatory by lift, but the final 8 floors to heaven have to be climbed on foot.

Palacio Barolo
Palacio Barolo

It’s an amazing building with the added bonus of great views across the city to the River Plate. We climb into to the glass domed lighthouse at the top for a stunning, if vertiginous view.

View from Palacio Barolo Lighthouse
View from Palacio Barolo Lighthouse

Once we have descended from heaven, we walk as far as the Congress Building, which is situated in a park surrounded by sculptures and dog poo.

Plaza Congreso
Plaza Congreso

Puente de la Mujer

Then we return to our hotel via the renovated waterfront area of Puerto Madero with its Puente de la Mujer swing bridge, boats and trendy cafes.

Puente de la Mujer
Puente de la Mujer

Galerias Pacifico

In the afternoon, we go to Galerias Pacifico; it’s primarily a shopping mall, however its domed ceiling is the work 5 prominent muralists.

Galerias Pacifico
Galerias Pacifico

We had planned to eat in the food court but three full circuits of the hall determines that there is nothing on any of the menus acceptable to the old man. Apparently, he wants to be healthy and have a salad. So we find a nearby restaurant and he orders a salad which includes fried fish in batter, cheese, ham and eggs. He also orders a beer which comes with 3 bowls of nuts. So not all that healthy…

Trip taken: January 2019

Updated: September 2022

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