Discover Buenos Aires Best Parks
One of the greatest things about Buenos Aires is the vast amount of beautiful, world-class parks and lovely green spaces that are available to the public. On any given sunny day, you can find groups of porteños lounging while sipping mate, sunbathing, walking their dog, or skating through one of the city’s numerous and wonderful, leafy parks. As a large, metropolitan center, Buenos Aires is no stranger to the hubbub and commotion that comes with city life. To avoid feeling overwhelmed at times, one can take advantage of the escapes the city offers. Narrowed down from the 250 parks within the city’s limits, here is an introductory guide to the seven best green spaces in Buenos Aires.
Bosques de Palermo / Tres de Febrero
One of the largest parks in the city, Tres de Febrero, also known as Bosques de Palermo (Palermo’s Woods), sprawls 63 acres right off Avenida Libertador. It is so big that the park and its surroundings are referred to as a Palermo Botanico (Botanical Palermo) as sub-barrio of the city’s large neighborhood.
The park boasts many pedestrian and bike paths, several lakes, forested refuges, and perfect picnic spots. Speaking from personal experience, if you do decide to have a picnic just beware of the geese! They are known food-stealers. On the weekend, the main loop within the park closes off to traffic, making it a perfect time to take a stroll along with the many joggers, speedy cyclists, and rollerbladers.
Wake up and smell the roses! In the heart of the park, you will find the world-famous Rosedal, a beautiful rose garden home to over 8,000 roses and more than 90 species. The Rosedal is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 am to 6 pm in winter, and until 8 pm in summer. Free tours take place on Wednesdays at 9 am.
Near the Rosedal, you will also find the Jardín de Los Poetas (the Garden of the Poets) where you can spot the busts of famous literary heroes– including Jorge Luis Borges and Dante Alighieri. An indisputable weekend hotspot, the park frequently hosts fairs and city events all throughout the year, including live jazz music and food trucks. The park is open 24/7 daily.
Find your inner zen at the Jardín Japanese (Japanese Garden) located in the northeast corner of the Bosques de Palermo. The small retreat found in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the busy avenidas and is surrounded by towering skyscrapers. The beautifully-planned, little garden boasts a pond replete with koi fish, a tiny, picturesque island, authentic bonsai trees, Japanese-style bridges and gazebos, a Japanese cultural center, and even a sushi restaurant! The Japanese Embassy donated the land and built park in 1967 as a gift to the city of Buenos Aires. Today, it is administered by the Argentine Japanese Cultural Foundation.
The peaceful sanctuary is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. The restaurant is open from 10 am to 6 pm and reopens for dinner from 7:30 pm to midnight. Please note that there is an entry fee of 120 ARG pesos. Children under 12 and senior over 65 enter free with proper identification. All proceeds go to the Japanese Cultural Foundation towards the maintenance of the park.
Location: Av. Casares 3401; Entrance is on Av. Figueroa Alcorta at the corner of Caseres.
A personal favorite of mine, the Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays (the Carlos Thays Botanical Gardens) located off Santa Fe right before Plaza Italia, is a recluse and shady botanical paradise. Designed by renowned French-Argentine landscapist Carlos Thays (who also designed Bosques de Palermo, Parque Centenario, among others), the botanical garden is home to nearly 6,000 species of plants and trees from all over the world. A stroll through the garden’s enchanting, winding paths is an absolute must-do.
The gardens feature three distinctly decorated sections of the gardens– one of French, Roman, and Oriental design. Beautiful sculptures and regal glass greenhouses scatter the garden. Visitors will also find a botany museum, a library dedicated to the study herbaceous plants, and a community of locally protected cats.
The park is open Wednesday to Friday from 8 am to 6:45 pm; Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays from 9:30 am to 6:45 pm. In the wintertime, the gardens close at 5:45 pm. In the case of inclement weather, such as strong winds or heavy rain, the garden remains closed.
Location: Av. Santa Fe 3951
Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur is an expansive ecological nature reserve located on the banks of the Rio de la Plata in the swanky Puerto Madero neighborhood. Although the sanctuary is located just a few blocks from Buenos Aires’ most modern neighborhood, the busy financial center, and the city’s tallest buildings, once inside, it feels like a different planet. With a dramatic, Jurassic park-esque landscape, the reserve is completely disconnected from city life. The peaceful sanctuary is THE spot to contemplate nature and is arguably the closest you can get to the wild within the city’s limits.
More than 200 species of birds call the reserve home making particularly perfect for birdwatching, so don’t forget to pack your binoculars! In addition to excellent bird watching, visitors can observe different species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and the native vegetation of grasslands and wetland forests.
Bikes are available to rent at the entrance to the park. The reserve is open free to the public daily except on Mondays. There are free tours in Spanish available on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 am and 4:30 pm. For tours in English call or email ahead to reserve ([email protected]; +54 11 4893 1853 / 4313 4275).
Location: the main entrance is on Av. Tristán A. Rogríguez 1550
Barrancas de Belgrano
In the heart of the upscale and residential neighborhood of Belgrano that borders Palermo, one can stumble upon the inviting, green hillside park known as the Barrancas de Belgrano. Especially popular with neighborhood dog walkers and picnickers, the park is surrounded by towering and regal trees that separate the park from the outside noise and traffic. In the evenings, the park’s very own bandstand is used to host open-air milongas and low-key folk concerts where talented locals show off their dancing skills. The Barrancas are a great place to relax and get lost in a good book.
Location: Av. Juramento and 11 de Septiembre
A circular-shaped park located in the neighborhood of Caballito, Parque Centenario was built in 1910 to celebrate a century of Argentine independence. A great place to get active–fit locals flock to this scenic park to walk or jog around the artificial lake and make use of the outdoor gym equipment, skatepark, and football field. The large park, artfully scattered with murals, sculptures, and fountains, is also a tranquil retreat for sunbathers and students catching up on some schoolwork.
In addition to the second-hand book stalls open daily, the park hosts an extensive arts and crafts fair on the weekend– an excellent alternative to more expensive tourist-oriented weekend markets in Palermo and Recoleta. The park also boasts the Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences (open daily from 2 pm to 7 pm) and the Eva Peron Amphitheatre which hosts events and shows year round. The offerings can be found on the City’s website cultural agenda.
The park is open daily from 8 am to 10 pm in the summer, and 8 am to 8 pm in the winter.
Location: between Av. Angel Gallardo and Río de Janeiro
The Plazas of Recoleta: Special Mention
In the area surrounding the eerie cemetery of the posh neighborhood of Recoleta, several leafy green plazas and squares are teeming with life. Right next to the grand and impressive UBA law school building, you will find the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas (United Nations Plaza). The plaza is known for its giant metal flower sculpture– the Floralis Generica– that is unique in that it opens and closes depending on the time of the day and the position of the sun. The sculpture, erected in 2002, has since become an icon for the city.
Plaza Uruguay, further along Avenida Libertador, is the weekend venue for variety colorful cultural celebrations that highlight Buenos Aires’ incredible diversity. Past events include celebrations of Afro-Caribbean, French, and Colombian heritage, just to name a few, showcasing traditional food and dance.
Across the street from Museum of Fine Arts is Plaza Francia, which sports a lovely hill overlooking the busy avenue of Libertador, making it an excellent destination for people watching. On the weekends, a bustling arts and crafts market fills up the sidewalk. Catered towards the tourist crowd and locals alike, the market is a great place to pick out souvenirs and gifts for friends and family at home.
Location: Av. Libertador 1400