Buenos Aires, with a population of about 3 million, is a web of busy streets often clogged with traffic and people rushing and jamming to get somewhere. It can be hard to look beyond that sensory overload to see the gems of Buenos Aires parks and expanses of green spaces that are tucked here and there in the city. Many in fact can be connected in such a way to allow you to feel as if you are in a huge, green, forested park and not a densely packed urban city.

Take a quick jaunt through the must-visit Buenos Aires parks, gardens and green spaces* on your next trip to the capital of Argentina.

  1. Parque Tres de Febrero (“February 3rd Park”) is the largest park near Palermoand one that turns into a gathering of all things Buenos Aires on weekends, holidays and balmy summer evenings. From families picnicking, rockin’ street aerobics to a Latin beat, rollerbladers, runners and about anything else you can think of, the park must be experienced to gain insights into the athletic, outdoorsy, fun-loving “Porteños” (people who live in Buenos Aires). Although it fills up, you can still find space to chill in its 370 hectares (914 acres). And many a festival or fair takes place here, too. Not into the athletic side of life? Then head over to the Planetarium Galileo Galilei, Eduardo Sívori Museum of fine art, or the Japanese or Rose gardens (see below). P.S. Locals call this park the “Bosque de Palermo” (Palermo Woods).

Inline skating at Feb 3 park in Buenos Aires.

HITT Tip: If you are looking for someplace to run or walk in Buenos Aires, the Tres de Febrero is for you. If you want to do more than a loop (or two) around the lagoons, you can also cut out of the park on the path through the trees next to the Sivori Museum. That drops you right onto an extremely popular running and walking route along Avenida Presidente Figueroa Alcorta, which can thread you for many miles along and through other parks (see below). I just loved the narrow pedestrian bridge (with matted outdoor carpet) to get you safely across the huge intersection at Avenida Dorrego. Want to combine a run with tourism? Then try one of the Buenos Aires tourist offices official guided group runs, with one meeting at the Planetarium.

  1. El Rosedal (“Rose Garden”) might be one of a zillion rose gardens in the world. But if you love green spaces and, particularly, if you adore roses, do not miss this one. Essentially a sub-park within the Parque Tres de Febrero, it still requires you enter and exit through a particular gate since it is only open certain seasonal hours (which manages to keep it looking so pristine, we are sure). The World Federation of Rose Societies awarded this gem its Garden Excellence Award in 2012 and 2014. No wonder with 8,000+ roses and 93 different species. Aside from rose bushes, there are pavilions, gazebos, benches, plenty of statues and busts, and a small concert stage on the lagoon in its some 4 hectares (10 acres). The Rosedal in Buenos Aires (link in Spanish) may have celebrated its 100th birthday in 2014, but for many years it had fallen into a huge state of disrepair with renovation, which began in 1994, only completed in 2008.

Rose garden park in Buenos Aires.

  1. Jardín Japonés (“Japanese Garden”), also considered part of the Parque Tres de Febrero, and also requires entrance and exit from a special gate, this one on Avenida Casares, which is on the farthest end away from the rest of the park complex. This one charges an admission, but it is administered and maintained separately by the Argentine Japanese Cultural Foundation. The Japanese Garden can get quite busy on weekends and holidays, but it remains a serene diamond that is a must-see among parks in Buenos Aires. We happened to be there for a charming Ikebana flower show. Thread your way through the 2 hectares (5 acres) and its charming lakes, bridges, teahouses and gardens. Do not rush a visit here!

Herr Widderstein and Rascal enjoy the Japanase Garden, one of many Buenos Aires parks.

HITT Tip: From the area of the February 3rd Park, you can access what I call the string of (green) pearls. That is my name for the parks and green spaces that interconnect once you head northwest on the Avenida Presidente Figueroa Alcorta. From there, you will get to Colonel Jordan C. Wysocki Park and the Parque Lago de Regatos (Regatta Lake), via various green open spaces named after countries, like Ecuador, Armenia and Israel. Watch for the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Buenos Aires dog walkers with as many as 10 or 12 dogs each.
Dog walkers at Regatta Lake in Buenos Aires.
  1. Parque de las Ciencias (“Science Park”) is not your everyday tourist destination! It is a sprawling metropolitan park (10,000 square meters or 2.5 acres) sponsored by the Argentine Ministry of Science and Technology and located on its campus in Palermo Viejo. Only open since November 2016, the Science Park was part of an international design competition with the goal to revitalize the space, but also become a place for families, while also teaching a little bit about science. Although likely lost on the kids playing on the equipment, we found scientific theories and shapes intertwined with the structures in a totally fascinating manner: DNA as swinging equipment, neurons as climbing towers, as well as chromosome-shaped climbing equipment and globulin-shaped swings. Water fountains, walkways, varied levels of places to sit, all of which according to one woman I talked to attracts not only neighborhood residents but also families from all around. A beautifully clean and friendly place to sit and watch kids play — or just enjoy a peaceful break (check site for its hours).

Kids playing on DNA at the Science Park in Buenos Aires.

HITT Tip: Need a snack, meal, drink or have a little shopping to do? Venture into the Arcos District outdoor mall, across from the main entrance on Paraguay from the Science Park. There is a guard at the mall entrance, and it is pleasant, green and clean, with a European flair, but maintains a historic note since it is built in an old railway station.
  1. Jardín Botánico (“Botanical Garden”) is home to more than 5,500 species of plants, trees and shrubs. It too has specific opening hours with an entrance on Avenida Santa Fe. Another serene, green retreat worth a stroll with greenhouses, sculptures, a museum and garden library.

*Note: This overall Buenos Aires parks web page from the City of Buenos Aires’ website has summaries in English but unfortunately the pages with more detail about each park are only in Spanish. So use your favorite translation engine to help you along or consult with the tourist office there.