A Local’s Guide to the Most Stunning Parks in Buenos Aires

Looking for non-touristy things to do in Buenos Aires? Wonder where the local porteños actually hang out on weekends?

Buenos Aires might not be famous for its green spaces, but relaxing in the park drinking mate with friends is one of our favorite pastimes on weekends. It is how we recharge and keep our sanity in this hectic city!

Here’s a look at the most stunning parks and gardens that I think tourists should not miss when visiting Buenos Aires.


A quick self-intro before we continue! My name is Maria and I grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At 19 years old, I embarked on a journey that allowed me to live in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and recently US. In 2018, my husband and I took a sabbatical year to travel in South America and this blog is where we document all our adventures.

Let’s connect on Instagram @inbetweenlattesblog 🙂


A Local’s Guide to the Most Stunning Parks in Buenos Aires

1. Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Parks)

If you’re renting an Airbnb, chances are you’ll be based near Palermo neighborhood (I actually think Palermo is one of the best areas to stay in Buenos Aires).

Bosques de Palermo or simply “Palermo Parks” is one of the largest and most stunning parks in the city. With a lake, plenty of trees, walking trails and classical gardens, it is a local favorite for families, fitness fanatics and couples on a romantic date.

The highlight of the park has to be the Rosedal (Rose Garden), a little piece of heaven with a diverse collection of roses surrounded by pretty bridges, galleries and statues. If you visit in November, you’ll also witness the marvelous purple Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

Fun Things to Do in Palermo Park

– Rent a paddleboat and enjoy a ride in the lake.
– Bring lunch and have a picnic under the trees.
– Rent rollerblades and get moving!
– Take some Insta-worthy photos at the Rose Garden.

Attractions near Palermo Parks

Galileo Galilei Planetarium: One-of-a-kind building featuring a museum and observatory.
Japanese Gardens: A replica of a traditional Japanese-style garden, one of the largest outside Japan.
Sívori Museum: Modern art gallery with a garden and cafe.

Best Time to Visit

For the best local experience, visit on a weekend. If you’d like to take photos at the Rose Garden, go on a weekday when it’s less crowded.

How to Get There

Bus: 10, 15, 37, 59, 60, 67, 93, 95, 102, 108, 118, 128, 130, 141, 160 y 188.
Subway: Scalabrini Ortiz Station, line D

Address: Libertador Ave. & Figueroa Alcorta Ave (Palermo)

Useful Tips

– Wear sun protection as there are many areas without shade.
– Wear comfy shoes.

Boats in Palermo Parks Buenos Aires

Riding a boat in Palermo Park

2. Plaza San Martín (San Martin Square)

This is one of the oldest squares in downtown Buenos Aires. What makes this place special is the prime location surrounded by some of the most beautiful Parisian-inspired buildings in the city. Being here gives you a glimpse into Buenos Aires’ glorious past.

Beyond being a scenic green space, the park has a lot of historic significance for us as it pays tribute to Argentina’s independence leader Jose de San Martín – you’ll probably hear his name many times while in Argentina!

San Martin Square Buenos Aires

Views of the English Tower from San Martin Square

Fun Things to Do in San Martin Square

– Find the most famous landmarks of this square: the statue of San Martín and the Falkland War memorial (locally known as Islas Malvinas).
– Take a photo with the iconic Torre Monumental (aka English Tower) in the background.
– Have a coffee in one of the many cafes and restaurant overlooking the park. I recommend Rapanui for a sweet treat.
– Look for the Kavanagh Building, a distinctive Art Deco building which used to be the highest skyscraper in South America in early 20th century.
– Visit the hidden Gothic-style church (Basílica Santísimo Sacramento) right opposite the park.

Attractions near San Martin Square

Florida Street: Popular shopping strip.
La Paz Palace: The former mansion of one of the richest families in Buenos Aires in the 19th century. Incredibly beautiful inside! Limited tours available (check their website in advance for timetable)
San Martin Palace: Beautiful palace that currently functions as the ceremonial headquarters for the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Weekly free guided tours available (check their website in advance for timetable)
Puerto Madero: Dockside area lined with restaurants and cafes.

Best Time to Visit

Weekdays are best to enjoy the park’s lively atmosphere. It gets very quiet on weekends.

How to Get There

Subway: San Martin Station, line C.

Address: Maipu St and Florida St (Retiro)

Useful Tips

While this area is relatively safe, you might encounter some sketchy characters and street vendors inside the park. Just practice common sense and take care of your belongings.

Basílica Santísimo Sacramento Retiro Buenos Aires

Basílica Santísimo Sacramento

3. Plaza Francia (Recoleta Park)

Plaza Francia has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my high school days when I used to visit with friends and spend a whole Saturday sitting on the grass drinking mate under the palm trees. It is, and continues to be, one of the many fun-filled ways to enjoy Buenos Aires for free!

As a tourist, you’ll be able to tick off some important landmarks such as the Recoleta Cemetery and the Recoleta Cultural Center and browse for unique handicrafts at the weekend open-air market.

Overall, this place wins the prize for the best local weekend experience!

Fun Things to Do in Plaza Francia

– Buy one-of-a-kind artisan souvenirs at the weekend market.
– Look out for the giant 200-old trees called “Gomeros”.
– Have a coffee at the historic café La Biela.
– Get artsy at the Recoleta Cultural Center (free!)
– Grab a spot on the grass and just relax.

Attractions near Plaza Francia

Floralis Genérica: Gigantic steel flower sculpture. Totally Instagrammable.
National Art Museum: One of the largest public art collections in South America.
Alvear Palace Hotel: The most luxurious hotel in Buenos Aires. You can have a coffee on the 1F or head for a drink with a view at Alvear Roof Bar on the rooftop.

Best Time to Visit

Saturdays & Sundays

How to Get There

Bus: 17, 61, 62, 67, 92, 93, 10, 37, 38, 41, 59, 60, 95, 101, 102, 108, 118, 124, 130.

Address: Libertador Ave & Pueyrredón Ave (Recoleta)

Useful Tips

Bring cash in case you want to buy something from the handicraft market.

Bring a picnic blanket if you can.

Statue of Atlas lifting "gomero" tree in Recoleta

Statue of Atlas lifting a “gomero” tree in Recoleta

4. Parque Lezama (Lezama Park)

Located just a couple of blocks away from the San Telmo open market, Lezama Park is an unmissable spot for tourists. It was originally a luxurious private garden belonging to a wealthy family that was later turned a public park. It features several impressive sculptures, monuments and an amphitheater.

When I was growing up back in the 90s, the park was not looked after really well but on my last visit, I was delighted to see that it is currently in a much better state. On weekends, you’ll find lots of families sit on the grass to enjoy a picnic or mate.

Parque Lezama Buenos Aires

Beautiful Statues in Lezama Park

Fun Things to Do in Lezama Park

– Learn about Argentina’s history at the National Historical Museum.
– Visit the Russian Orthodox Church and take a picture of its bright turquoise domes.
– Have a coffee at El Británico or El Hipopótomo, two famous old-school cafes located on the corner of Brasil St.
– Browse handicrafts at the open-air market on weekends.

Attractions near Lezama Park

Caseros Avenue: On Caseros Av between Defensa St & Bolivar St, you’ll be surprised to find a line up of modern and chic restaurants and cafes. For authentic and delicious Italian pasta, look no further than Napoles.
San Telmo Sunday Market (Plaza Dorrego): Colorful and busy open-air handicraft & antiques market.

Best Time to Visit

Saturdays & Sundays

How to Get There

10min walk from Plaza Dorrego (San Telmo Market)

Address: Brasil Ave. & Defensa St.

Useful Tips

Bring cash in case you want to buy something from the handicraft market.

Beautiful Statues at Lezama Park

Russian Orthodox Church at Lezama Park

Russian Orthodox Church at Lezama Park

5. Jardín Botanico (Botanical Gardens)

The Botanical Gardens might not be on top of the list of things to do in Buenos Aires, but it is a local’s favorite spot to take a breather when running errands in usually traffic-choked Plaza Italia.

This garden houses more than 5500 plant & tree species from all over the world that can be enjoyed along thoughtfully designed areas. There’s a French Garden, Roman Garden, American Garden, Argentinian Garden, Asia Enclave, European Enclave, African Enclave, Oceania Enclave, etc.

There are also more than 30 beautiful sculptures by local and international artists.

On weekends, you’ll see couples holding hands on a date. It is indeed a very romantic place!

Fun Things to Do at the Botanical Gardens

– Connect with nature, take some fresh air and recharge!
– Take Instagram photos with the red brick-built castle in the center of the park.
– Visit the beautiful greenhouses – there’s five of them!
– Bring a book and enjoy some quiet downtime.

Attractions near Botanical Gardens

Evita Museum & Café: A must-visit for anyone interested to learn more about Evita’s life. There’s a lovely outdoor cafe right behind it.
Palermo Chico: Walk around one of the most affluent and sophisticated neighborhoods in Buenos Aires – expect lots of European looking architecture.
MALBA Museum: Modern museum showcasing Latin American paintings and artwork from renowned artists such as Antonio Berni, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and more.

Best Time to Visit

Tuesdays to Sundays (Mondays closed)

How to Get There

Bus: 10, 12, 15, 21, 29, 34, 39, 41, 57, 59, 60, 64, 67, 68, 93, 95, 111, 118, 128, 141, 152, 160, 161, 188 y 194
Subway: Plaza Italia Station, line D

Address: 3951 Santa Fe Ave (Palermo)

Useful Tips

– Be mindful of the open times: Tuesdays to Sundays 8 am – 6:45 pm. Closed on Mondays.
– Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid visiting wearing heels.

Evita Museum Buenos Aires

Map of the best parks in Buenos Aires

Hope you enjoyed my selection of the most stunning parks in Buenos Aires. Which one attracted you the most? Have you visited any of them? I’d love to hear from you.


Heading to South America? Check out these travel guides to help you plan your trip.

ARGENTINA TRAVEL GUIDES

BOLIVIA TRAVEL GUIDES

CHILE TRAVEL GUIDES

PERU TRAVEL GUIDES

ECUADOR TRAVEL GUIDES

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The most stunning parks in Buenos Aires Argentina by travel blog In Between Lattes

 

2 Comments

  1. May 4, 2019 / 7:35 am

    I love exploring different botanical gardens around the world – I find them soothing! I like how this one has a different section for different places, it sounds enormous!

  2. May 4, 2019 / 6:04 pm

    Love this article! Botanical gardens are always something we seek out too. Beautiful pics! 😊

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