Buenos Aires has over 250 parks and green spaces, the largest concentration of which are on the city’s eastern side in the Puerto Madero, Recoleta, Palermo and Belgrano neighbourhoods. You'll find a pick of the best listed below.
The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur is a 350-hectare nature reserve on the eastern side of Puerto Madero.
While close to the city centre, it’s nonetheless a tranquil spot on the river bank to observe local nature, and is a particular attraction for bird-watchers. You can walk around the reserve in about an hour, or hire a bike (bikes are available for hire at the entrance).
You will find the main entrance to the Reserve on Av. Tristán A Rodríguez 1550 (Puerto Madero). It is open every day except Mondays. Entrance is free and tours, also free, are run on weekends and public holidays at 9.30am and 4.30pm. More information can be found on its Facebook page.
For an English tour, email or call ahead to reserve (email@example.com; +54 11 4893 1853 / 4313 4275).
Tres de Febrero (also known as Bosques de Palermo, or Palermo Woods) is the largest park in the city, designed by French-Argentine landscape architect Carlos Thays.
Its forests, lakes, plazas and pathways extend 370 hectares across the neighbourhood of Palermo, between Av. de Libertador and Av. Leopoldo Lugones, two of the city’s main traffic arteries. It hosts fairs and festivals throughout the year, and on weekends and balmy evenings it fills up with festival-goers, picnicking families, joggers and cyclists, strolling couples and dog walkers.
The park is the first in the city to manage its organic waste through the BA Compost initiative. Learn more (in Spanish) here.
The Tres de Febrero is home to the Rosedal, a rose park with over 8,000 roses and 93 different species. Walk through its Jardín de los Poetas and you’ll spot busts of various famous literary figures, from Dante Alighieri to Jorge Luis Borges.
In 2012 and again in 2014 the Rosedal won the Garden Excellence Award, awarded by the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS).
Close by the Rosedal you’ll find the gorgeous Patio Andaluz, built and bestowed by the Spanish city of Seville to the city of Buenos Aires in 1929.
The Rosedal is open Tuesday-Sunday, from 8am to 6pm in winter, and until 8pm in summer. Free tours take place on Wednesdays at 9am.
Administered by the Argentine Japanese Cultural Foundation, the Japanese Garden (entrance on Av. Figueroa Alcorta, corner of Casares) are a little two-hectare haven on the northeast corner of the Tres de Febrero.
The Gardens boast a lake, an island, a collection of koi carp and bonsai trees, a cultural centre, Buddhist temple, sushi restaurant and garden centre.
Open daily, 10am to 6pm. The restaurant opens 10am-6pm, 7.30pm-midnight. Entry has a cost.
The Carlos Thays Botanical Gardens (entrance on Av. Santa Fe 3951) in Palermo contain over 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs from Latin America and across the globe, plus an assortment of local cats that live on the premises.
The Gardens’ distinct Roman, French and Oriental gardens contain intricately designed greenhouses and sculptures, and visitors are welcome to visit its Museum and use its Library.
Opening times are Tuesday to Friday, 8am to 6.45pm; Saturdays, Sundays & public holidays, 9.30am to 6.45pm. In winter the Gardens close an hour earlier, at 5.45pm.
In case of inclement weather (rough winds or rain), the Gardens remain closed.
On the corner of Av. del Libertador and Av. Callao in Recoleta, the 4.5 hectare Parque Carlos Thays used to house the Italpark amusement park, a major feature of porteño childhood and cause for much wistful nostalgia when mentioned.
Today it’s home to a collection of interesting sculptures, including the eye-catching ‘Nude Male Torso’ by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, ‘Humanity & The United Nations’ by Marta Minujin and ‘The Tree’ by Néstor Basterretxea.
You’ll also find the Architecture Museum on its grounds, inside a former water tower, once part of the Retiro railway system.
The park is open 24 hours a day.
Located in the neighbourhood of Caballito (between Av. Angel Gallardo and Río de Janeiro) and another design of the ubiquitous Carlos Thays, the circular-shaped Parque Centenario (12 hectares) is a hub for joggers and exercisers. It contains outdoor gym equipment, a special consultation and exercise point for older persons, a lake, skatepark and football pitch.
On its grounds are the Bernardino Rivadavia Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences (open daily 2pm-7pm), and the Eva Peron Amphitheatre which hosts festivals and spectacles all year round. Its agenda can be found on the City’s Cultural Agenda.
Located along its extensive perimeters you’ll find a daily book fair, and on Saturdays and Sundays a much more extensive neighbourhood arts, crafts and clothes market, an off-the-beaten track alternative for city visitors and bargain hunters.
The park is open daily, from 8am to 8pm in winter, 8pm to 10pm in summer.
The Parque de la Ciudad is one of the largest parks in BA, covering 75 hectares. Located in the southern neighbourhood of Villa Lugano (on Av. Cruz as it intersects with Av. Escalada), it contains wooded areas with over 200 native tree species, a number of lakes and a variety of wildlife, plus a public library, amphitheatre for big events (such as the free Ciudad del Rock concerts), and various murals and sculptures. At one point the park was home to an amusement park with various rides and rollercoasters, and the abandoned remains of many of the rides are still in place.
One of the park’s major attractions is the Space Tower (Torre Espacial), which offers a fantastic panorama of the city at 176 metres up. The tower is open on Saturday, Sundays and public holidays from 10.30am to 5pm.
The Parque de la Ciudad is open daily, from 10.30am to 6pm, with an entry fee of AR $10.
Parque Lezama in San Telmo (corner of Defensa and Brazil) is one of the city's oldest parks.
It is thought the park came into existence as far back as the foundation of the city of Buenos Aires in 1536. A statue of Pedro Mendoza, the city’s founder, pays homage to this. Today, Lezama’s hilly walkways and banks are a treat for sunbathers and amblers. The park is open 24 hours a day.
On Defensa, on the western side of the park you’ll find the National Historical Museum (Museo Histórico Nacional), which opened its doors in 1897. On it’s north side you’ll easily spot the bright blue domes of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity (Brasil 315), designed by Alejandro Christophersen.
Close by the park, on the corner of Brasil and Defensa, are two of the city’s historic bars, El Británico and El Hipopótamo.
Located in the south-west (intersection Av. Directorio and Av. Lacarra) is Parque Avellaneda, formerly a herbal remedy plantation and home to the country’s first agricultural research station in the mid-nineteenth century, under the ownership of the Olivera family.
Today, the 30 hectare park houses a large variety of bird, tree and plant species, a neighbourhood theatre, several cultural venues and a little railway which takes visitors to the original house on the grounds owned by the Oliveras.