Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolis, the first thing to do if
you’ve only got one day to spend in it is plan another holiday!
However, it is fortunate that most of the places of interest for tourists are concentrated in the Recoleta, Palermo, Puerto Madero and Microcentro districts which are all close together. Any combination of the sights that are described in the ‘Places to see’ section of this guide will give you a good day. Here is an example.
You can start your day with coffee and breakfast at an old café in San Telmo, such as Bar El Federal, on the corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo. Alternatively, if your hotel is closer to the city center, go to Cafe Tortoni on the Avenida de Mayo 829. It is the oldest café in the city does many signature dishes. Walk along the Avenida de Mayo and take in the beautiful architectural sights on the way. At one end of it is the main plaza of Buenos Aires, flanked by the Casa Rosada, the president’s residence. If you wish, you could join a tour or explore the attached museum. The shops in that area could also give you some window shopping experiences.
Catch a subte at Peru station (which is beautifully built and deserves a few minutes to admire) to Recoleta, where you can have a walk through the famous cemetery. Nearby attractions such as the cultural center are worth a visit too. Get lunch at a restaurant in Recoleta, such as Lola on Roberto M Ortiz. Take a bus to classy Palermo for coffee and ice cream and relax in the Palermo gardens. Take a walk through the botanic gardens or explore the Japanese Garden. Talk to as many locals as you can, try to find a good nightspot or restaurant for dinner.
As the afternoon wears on, take a train back south again to Puerto Madero and watch the sun set over the waters. Visit the monuments in the region and have a leisurely stroll down to neighbouring San Telmo if you already haven’t been. Check out the markets and watch some Tango practices before heading back north for dinner. If you have already been, a short bus trip will take you to Boca to view the Italian artwork on the houses.
Alternatively you can go shopping at the Galerias Pacifico in Palermo.
You may wish to organize for a Tango show or opera performance for this day which would be an excellent experience. If not, head to Av. Alicia Moreau de Justo in the Microcentro to eat at Cabaña Las Lilas. In true Porteño style, eat as much meat as possible and be sure to sample Argentine wines. You can walk through the streets of Boedo to catch a milonga or head to the ritzy clubs in the Microcentro afterwards. Buenos Aires never sleeps! There will be people around and things to do all through the night.