17 Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina

On the shores of the Beagle Channel and at the footsteps of Tierra del Fuego National Park, a quaint city on the edge of the Argentine Patagonia. While researching my trip to Antarctica, I learned that most cruises leave from Ushuaia. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, giving it the nickname “del fin del mundo” – or the the end of the world. 

Dad and I got to Ushuaia early since I’m paranoid – I have anxiety. So we had plenty of time to explore the area and find some of the best things to do in Ushuaia! 

Learn more about Argentina & get your FREE country guide!

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase something, I may make a small commission at no cost to you. 

Jumping photo in Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia

Top Attractions in Ushuaia

Riding Ushuaia's train is one of the best things to do in Ushuaia.

Ride the Train to the End of the World 

The Tren del Fin del Mundo (the train at the end of the world) is a steam train that runs for 7 km into Tierra del Fuego National Park. The train was built by prisoners to help bring wood from the National Park to build the town of Ushuaia. Riding the train is one of the most popular attractions in the area – and should be at the top of your list of things to do in Ushuaia. Read more about the train here

One of the best things to do in Ushuaia Argentina, is get your passport stamped!
Dad and I getting our passport stamped!

Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego – Tierra Del Fuego National Park 

At the end of the train ride, you can either take the train back, or you can explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park. If you don’t want to take the train, there are buses and taxis in town that can take you. At the visitors center, pick up a map of all the trails in the park. They can also stamp your passport! 

You can go hiking on your own at a number of paths. The Correo del Fin del Mundo (which looks out to the Beagle Channel) begins an 8km coastal path. It goes through the forest before ending at the Alakush Visitor Center (which also has a cafeteria for snacks). There are a variety of shorter trails around as well/ – you can go to the Black Lagoon, Mirador Bahia Lapataia, or Lago Roca.

One of the best things to do in Ushuaia Argentina is hiking in Tierra del Fuego!
Route 3 runs from Alaska to Ushuaia!

Travel Tip: You can hike the Hito XXIV trail all the way to the border of Chile! From the visitor’s center, it’s about a 3 hour round trip. It’s illegal to cross into Chile this way, but you can say that you hiked to another country!

Shop at Feria De Artesonos – Handicraft Fair

I absolutely LOVE any kind of market – so when I saw this I absolutely HAD to go in. It’s an artfully decorated building that is home to incredible art. From jewelry to Christmas ornaments – you’ll find some fun and quirky souvenirs! 

Wander and Shop along Avenida San Martin

The main shopping and dining area in town is the Avenida San Martin. It’s impossible to miss because it’s central to the town. Spend a few hours popping into shops and restaurants along the road. It’s definitely one of the most fun things to do in Ushuaia – for both tourists and locals. 

Travel Tip: Keep an eye out for the city’s unusual and colorful churches. On Avenida San Martin you can spot the Iglesia Nuestra Senora de la Merced which stands out in red and yellow! It was built by the prisoners when it was still open.

Spot street art in Ushuaia, Argentina
Some of the street art in Ushuaia

Enjoy a Churro at Dooley’s Churros 

I was casually walking down Avenida San Martin when a captivating scent entered my nose and my body forced me to find the source. The delightful scent? Freshly made churros. I’m not one for impulsive buys, but I literally couldn’t get the money out of my pocket fast enough. Dad and I got chocolate-stuffed churros but you could also get dulce de leche stuffed or original churros. They also had donuts that were chocolate covered and stuffed with chocolate or dulce de leche depending on your preference. Remember – calories don’t count on vacation! 

Travel Tip: Ushuaia is very walkable. The main area of town is so easy to walk around. You can easily find a taxi or uber for getting out of town or to an attraction. 

Visit the Ushuaia Prison Museum

Ushuaia was originally built as a prison town. The prisoners built the prison and even part of the town using wood from the Tierra del Fuego Park. Public works projects and houses were often built by prisoner labor as well. The prison got shut down in 1947 and has gone through numerous renovations. 

It’s now the home four museums under one roof: the Maritime Museum, the Prison Museum, and the Marine Art Museum. There were 600 cell mates in 380 cells across 5 cell blocks. Four of those blocks have the artifacts while the fifth is is the condition the prison was found in before the renovations. 

Since there are four museums in one, it feels a bit more disjointed than other museums. Entrance is 1,900 pesos but allows access to all the areas and is valid for 48 hours. There’s a lot of historical artificats, model ships, clothing and equipment. Give yourself plenty of time to explore this museum.

Taking a tour of the Prison museum is one of the best things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina.
A train outside the prison museum.

Explore Museo del Fin del Mundo

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse

if you don’t have a lot of time in Ushuaia and don’t want to spend it in the prison museum, this is a good alternative. The Museum at the End of the World is a small museum in an old bank. It has artifacts from the Selk’nam and Yamana indigenous people and the earliest explorations – shining a light on the beginning of civilization in the area.

Seasonal Activity: Dog Sledding

If you’re there in season, which I wasn’t (of course) you can visit Las Cotorras Siberian Huskies Kennel. It’s supposedly one of the best things to do in Ushuaia. 

Sail the Beagle Channel

The Beagle Channel is 150 miles long and 3 to 8 miles wide depending on the coast. You can take a sailing trip along the channel can last a few hours to a full day depending on the tour. There are a variety of types of ships and boats that typically leave from the harbor – so select the type of boat you like – whether it’s a catamaran or a yacht! Keep an eye out for the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. The red and white lighthouse is not open to the public but is beautiful.

Walk along the waterfront at sunset

From the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is built on an uphill slop to the mountains. Near the edge of the water is a long coastal walking path. It travels parallel to the Avenida Precetura Naval Argentina. This is one of the most beautiful things to do in Ushuaia.

Take photos at the Ushuaia Signs

I always love taking photos of me at signs in front of places – so when I had the opportunity to mark that I was at the end of the world – I took it! I did not realize that Ushuaia actually has TWO pretty cool signs! 

The first is the Fin del Mundo Ushuaia sign. Located along the water and really shows the end of the world, this is the easier one to get to. 

The second Ushuaia sign is a bit further down the waterfront – past the old shipwreck. You can climb on the giant letters that spell Ushuaia but be careful – they can be slippery!  This one gets crowded, so if you want a picture without others be sure to get there early.  These are great ways to have a free souvenirs from your time in Ushuaia.

Me and Dad at the end of the world!

Enjoy some a LOT of Chocolate

There are several chocolate stores in town that have some incredible varieties to try! Many of them also have fresh hot chocolate. Learn about the chocolate making process and the different types of dark chocolate.

Travel Tip: You can find coupons at attractions around town that will get you free samples or a free hot chocolate. Our hotel gave us a coupon for a sample of chocolate and we got a free hot chocolate at the Tourist Pier Information Office (near the Ushuaia sign). 

Visit Martial Glacier for the views

Located about 7 km outside city center, Martial Glacier (or Ushuaia Glacier) is a great location to see the city. You can take a chairlift or hike up the ski slope. It’s a moderate hike if you choose to go that route – taking about 3-4 hours round trip. Even if you can’t get all the way to the glacier, you can stop at Mirador Wallner for a beautiful view of the city. It’s a great way to get an aerial view of the city – and one of the best things to do in Ushuaia.

The view of Ushuaia from Mirador Wallner.

Day Trip from Ushuaia Idea: Estancia Harberton! 

Estancia Harberton was the first ranch in Tierra del Fuego, founded in 1887. It’s about 85km (52 miles) outside of Ushuaia. You can stay overnight if you have the time, visit the Acatushun Museum, and even go hiking. 

Have you been to Ushuaia? Let me know your favorite things to do in Ushuaia in the comments. 

Pin “Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina” for later!

17 Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina
17 Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina
17 Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina

Read More about Argentina

Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Best Day Trips from Buenos Aires

Free Things to Do in Buenos Aires

Ride the Train at the End of the World

13 Movies Set in Argentina

18 thoughts on “17 Best Things to do in Ushuaia, Argentina”

  1. I’ve mostly heard of this place for it being where most of the Antarctica cruises go from, but it’s really nice to see some more about the town itself too. Love the idea of the train journey, one of my favorite things to do anyway but especially when I can say I’ve been on a train ride to the end of the world

  2. I’m still planning my Patagonia trip and I knew I wanted to get to Ushiaia – I still can’t work out how to pronounce it though.. I hadn’t found many sites that list what to do when I get there so yours came along at just the right time. It looks like I may be spending a bit longer here than I thought with all the sites you commented on. That train ride sounds just what I would do so am already looking forward to that!Thanks for the great info that I will definitely be using

  3. I honestly have never heard of this city and have never even been to South America, but it sure sounds intriguing. It is interesting that it was a prison town built by the prisoners. I would love to hike in the region especially around the glacier lake. Looks beautiful.

  4. I can only imagine being there in person and seeing, or doing, a lot of these activities and places! This sure is a great location to mark for future travels!

  5. You had me at chocolate-stuffed churros! I think I would have my fill and then take a walk around the waterfront. It’s a pretty cool idea to get your passport stamped- what a unique memory. I like the idea of taking a train ride to take in all of that gorgeous scenery. What a special trip you were able to take with your dad.

  6. Freshly made churros sold me! Argentina looks like such an amazing place definitely lvoe all the tips! Thinking of a Patagonia trip soon so think this will need to be a stop!

  7. I have never been to Argentina. Now I have a great list of things to check out! You definitely have some cool photos. Ushuaia would be at the top of my list to see first.

  8. I will be there in January and I am just starting my research (and we all know that there isn’t a whole lot out there), so this is timely. Thanks so much!!

  9. Wow, what an amazing place! Would have to ride that train and obviously try some chocolate! Hopefully going to venture to South America next year so will add Ushuaia to my list.

    1. South America is awesome! It’s easy to get to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires so I hope you get to enjoy both cities!

  10. Always wanted to visit the Fin Del Mundo! I hope one day I can do it! This article is very inspiring! Argentina looks incredible!

  11. Looks like such a fun area to explore, especially the hike up to the glacier and waterfall. I also love that you mentioned eating a LOT of Chocolate – sounds like a perfect holiday.

  12. I would love to visit Ushuaia Glacier – not only is it great to find a glacier anyway, but it seems to have a great view overlooking the city! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Ushuaia sounds like such an interesting place! I’d love to take the train to the end of the world and hike up the Martial Glacier. Thanks for these recommendations – definitely saving for later 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top