10 cultural activities to try in Buenos Aires

Discover the city’s immense array of cultural attractions

1. Dance tango

Buenos Aires is the cradle of tango, the sensual and nostalgic dance which emerged in the Rio de la Plata region in the 19th century and remains one of the city’s major draws. You can go to classes, milongas, the city’s traditional social dance events, and visit Calle Zelaya, the street dedicated to Carlos Gardel and other tango greats. There’s even an international dance championship every year.

2. Drink a coffee in one of the city’s historic bars

The city boasts more than 50 listed “bares notables,” recognised for their historical, social and architectural importance. Stepping inside and drinking a coffee in one of these cafes is like stepping back in time and seeing the city’s old traditions firsthand. Each has its own characteristics.

3. Visit a museum

The city has 160 museums, so there’s something for every interest. Some of the most acclaimed are just metres away from each other, for example the Museum of Latin American Art and Fine Arts Museum in Recoleta, or the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Telmo.

4. Go to the theatre

The Teatro Colón is the most famous owing to its extraordinary architecture and phenomenal acoustics, but it’s far from being the only theatre in the city. In fact there are more than 300 theatre spaces in the city. Avenida Corrientes, known as the street that never sleeps, is Buenos Aires’ theatre heartland, with dozens of options night and day, but the city also has a thriving “off-Corrientes” alternative theatre scene as well as the commercial circuit.

5. Discover the city’s fashion and design scene

Buenos Aires’ designers lead the way in the region, and the calendar features a number of important international events. Recoleta is the best neighbourhood for luxury design, while Palermo is one of the most popular for new fashion and design, and the scene is starting to spread to bordering neighbourhoods.

6. Admire the architecture

 The city is a complex melting pot of styles that blends colonial, neoclassical, Art Deco and more. History and the different migrant populations have left their mark on the city’s canvas, and the result is a spectacular eclecticism.

7. Discover the city’s film, literature and music

 The city’s cultural scene is the most extensive in Latin America, with big events, independent art and iconic characters contributing to the constant explosion of cultural manifestations.

8. Visit art galleries

From modern art in Calle Arroyo to the underground scene in San Telmo, contemporary art in Palermo and bold colours in La Boca, the city’s neighbourhoods offer vignettes of the city’s native artistic creativity.

9. Shop for crafts

Every neighbourhood boasts places where you can find unique items made with exceptional craftsmanship, whether it’s traditional or indigenous work, or contemporary design. What will you find as a keepsake of your journey?

10. Open your eyes to the city’s urban art

Buenos Aires is a vast urban canvas and some of the most exciting artistic expressions are in the streets, on the walls of houses, factories and apartments. Each piece has its reason for being where it is and its connection with the space. How will you interpret them?