Hidden Gems: 8 Alternative Buenos Aires Day Tours

by on 30th August, 2023

You’ve seen the traditional tours. Now try alternative Buenos Aires day trips.

Classic day trips include a walking tour, a great way to take in the highlights, Recoleta cemetery, a tango show, and the antiques on display at the Feria de San Telmo.

Opera fans may visit a show at Teatro Colon, and football fans head to see Boca Junior’s famous Bombonera football stadium in the must-see neighbourhood of La Boca.

But this metropolis, home to 16 million souls, has a panoply of hidden gems for the traveller to uncover. Let’s dive into the alternative Buenos Aires and peel back the layers of this fascinating, multi-faceted city.


Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Alternative Buenos Aires: Things To Do

Our hidden gems offer variations on classic Buenos Aires day trips. Many people want to try Argentina’s famous wines and steaks; this is the cool and unusual way.

Some alternative Buenos Aires tours require a little more travel, so be prepared.


Where’s the Best Wine Tasting in Buenos Aires?

Mendoza is Argentina’s wine-tasting capital. But oenophiles will be satisfied in Buenos Aires. Locals demand the finest wines, and here’s where to find the best wine tasting.

We recommend wine tasting at JA! by Joaquin Alberdi, where the best wines come accompanied by tasty tapas. Another cracker is the ProVinCia Vinoteca, where we can organise a private wine-tasting session.


Enjoying the experience, Casa Coupage, Buenos Aires, Argentina



The Best Steak, BBQ, and Asado: Visit an Estancia

Hierro Parrilla in San Telmo and La Cabrera are famous Buenos Aires steakhouses. Fogón Asado is another popular grilling restaurant offering a personal and intimate asado (BBQ) experience.

Those willing to travel for steak will love the Gaucho Experience at San Antonio de Areco. This historic city, about 70 miles (90 minutes) from Buenos Aires, offers visitors the chance to learn about the cultural legacy of Argentina’s gauchos, or cowboys, at a traditional Estancia.

The trip out involves visiting a goldsmith workshop and a vermú (vermouth) in a local pulperia before heading to an estancia. Learn about rural life, including horse whispering, guitar playing, and wildlife, or explore the grounds on foot or bicycle. All this happens while gaucho experts prepare a traditional BBQ. Where better to appreciate the flavours and roots of Argentina’s famous asados than sitting around the embers in the countryside with original cowboys?





Alternative Buenos Aires: Play Polo

Argentina is famous for its horses and skilled riders. British colonisers brought polo to the country in the late 19th century, kickstarting a tradition that continues today.

You can feel the rush of playing polo with a visit to a team’s rooms and learn more about the game. Those with horse riding skills can saddle up and take part in a game!


Buenos Aires’ Architectural Masterpieces

Buenos Aires is famed for its eclectic architecture, ranging from colonial to brutalism to art deco. Here are a few to check out; we can organise a tour or hop on the local buses called bondis and explore independently.

  • Colonial: Check the Cabildo (Town Hall), the former Jesuit mission Manzana de los Luces, and the Basílica Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Recoleta.
  • Neoclassical: Greek and Roman influences come to town at the National Congress building, Teatro Colón, and the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires. Affluent Recoleta’s Avenida Alvear features many elegant townhouses and mansions.
  • Art Nouveau: The attractive curved lines of the Gaudi-influenced Casa de los Lirios best showcase this style alongside Palacio Barolo, inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy. The Balvanera area has plenty of Art Nouveau for fans.
  • Art Deco: Visit the Kavanagh Building and Abasto Market to see this style.
  • Eclecticism: The exuberant Water Palace (Palacio de Aguas Corrientes) is the best example of this mishmash of ideas.
  • Modernism: The National Library in Aguero 2502 and the brutalist style of the Banco Hipotecario at Reconquista 101 will leave most agog. Or perhaps the clean lines of the YPF Tower are more you?


Street scene Buenos Aires Argentina



Hidden Gem Cafés in Buenos Aires

Hidden among Buenos Aires’ signature buildings are some remarkable cafés, perfect for sampling the city’s fantastic coffee and cakes. Anything with the famous dulce de leche makes for a sweet treat, particularly alfajores.

Café Tortoni and La Biela are two we recommend for their fantastic service and dapper interiors.


Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Tigre Delta Day Trip from Buenos Aires

Some 20 miles from Buenos Aires exists a natural paradise starting at the Tigre. A web of waterways crosses the 14,000 sq km Delta Terra Nature Reserve. In this unspoiled verdant area, time passes like a gentle lapping wave.

Thousands of islands make up this Paraná River Delta. We offer nautical tours around the delta, with a delicious riverside lunch included, topped off by a visit to the Paseo Victorica and its Museum of Fine Arts.


Tigre Delta houses Buenos Aires Argentina



The Most Alternative Buenos Aires Tour: Head to Uruguay

Across the River Plate lies Uruguay and the beautifully petite Colonia.

Our suggested tour starts with the comfortable speedboat across the coffee-coloured River Plate to Colonia, a laid-back, ochre-coloured port. Crumbling colonial buildings often have classic cars parked outsid. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed town is a treat to wander and enjoy lunch.

Colonia may be small, but there is plenty to see: the Portuguese Museum, the Municipal Museum, the Tile Museum, and the Spanish Museum, to name a few. Don’t forget to check the old city gate (Portón de Campo) and the historical street Calle de Los Suspiros (Street of Sighs).

In Buenos Aires and Uruguay, you’ll no doubt spot Argentinians and Uruguayans out with their thermos flasks and gourds, sipping on yerba mate and watching the world go by. We can add mate tasting to this trip, and you can enjoy life like a local. Mate is more than a drink; it’s a tradition.


Colonia, Uruguay



Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur

Nature lovers or anyone wanting some fresh air need not miss out in Buenos Aires. The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur is perfect for anyone wanting a run, walk, or even some bird watching while staying in the city.

The reserva is a large, green area, accessible from downtown Buenos Aires, with lakes and paths to enjoy. Entry is free and the park is open every day except Mondays, Bank Holidays, election days, and when there is bad weather.

Opening hours are usually 8am to 6pm (April to October) and 8am to 7pm (November to March). Check the Reserva website for more.


Some of the Other Best Day Trips in Buenos Aires

Alternative Buenos Aires trips complement any Buenos Aires city break.

Remember to read up on the Top 10 things to see and do in the city, plus our street art guide to Buenos Aires.


Is Two Days Enough in Buenos Aires?

Most visitors will find 2-3 days to be enough time to see the main travel highlights of Buenos Aires. Note that the city’s public transport system depends heavily on slow-moving bondi buses. While cheap and offering an insight into local life, bondis do take time to move you between sites.

With two days, assuming you take some city tours to speed up moving around, you can take in La Boca, Recoleta, a tango show and dinner, wine tasting, an asado and BBQ, and some of the city’s main buildings.

Short on time? Check our guide to 24 hours in Buenos Aires.

But whether you take a day or a week, Buenos Aires will always have something on offer.


Cookery experience, Buenos Aires, Argentina



What Are the Best Day Trips in Buenos Aires?

We recommend the following trips in Buenos Aires.

  • Full-day walking or city tour
  • Tango dance show and dinner
  • Wine tasting
  • Asado (BBQs)
  • Learn how to make empanadas
  • Visit an Estancia (if not doing it elsewhere on your trip)
  • Visit El Tigre
  • La Boca
  • San Telmo market and neighbourhood


San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Alternative Buenos Aires Day Tours to Enjoy

As you can see, alternative Buenos Aires day trips offer a fantastic way to catch the pulse of Argentina’s vibrant capital city.

Whether you visit an Estancia, try polo, head to Uruguay, or wonder at its architecture, the alternative Buenos Aires is actually the real Buenos Aires. Ask our travel consultants for more information about this city, Argentina, and more.


Obelisk Buenos Aires Argentina



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