Argentina

Buenos Aires Travel Guide

You are about to visit La Reina del Plata (the Silver Queen), best known as Buenos Aires. Read about the museums, tango shows you can explore in Buenos Aires and when is the best time to visit the city.

Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and it was founded by the Spanish Crown in 1580. The region was originally home to the Querandies, a community of great runners that used to run and hunt deers and guanacos. Buenos Aires sits on the coast of Río de la Plata, the widest in the world. If you cross this immense river it will take you 1 hour to reach the other coast in Uruguay! The city was named after a virgin, Nuestra Señora del Buen Aire, 

who accompanied the first Spanish explorers. Today, Buenos Aires has a vibrant cultural life, museums, galleries and theaters, and a busy nightlife that awakes early in the evenings and finishes late in the first morning hours. Buenos Aires was recently declared a “prepared destination” by the WTTC (World Tourism Travel Council) and features many open circuits to discover the different barrios of the city.  

Attractions

Caminito and La Boca

The colorful neighborhood of La Boca and its unique Caminito are two essentials during your stay in Buenos Aires. It is a very picturesque neighborhood and a photogenic street with colorful facades that attract thousands of tourists. There you will find shops, restaurants and even tango dancers on the street. Plus, a plus: eating at one of the local grills is a must. Learn more about our travel experiences to visit Caminito and other attractions in Buenos Aires

Address: La Boca neighborhood
Days and times: Open at all times, more lively on weekends.
Price: Free entry.

 

 

San Telmo and its Market

This neighborhood of the city of Buenos Aires preserves some of the colonial flavor of recent years and is full of history. It is known for hosting antique shops and gastronomic spaces that overshadow monopoly Palermo. In addition, from Defensa street in Plaza de Mayo to Parque Lezama there is a fair that has a mix of paintings, antiques and crafts, making it more chaotic and fun. Try to attend early – it gets very crowded after noon.

Address: Bolívar 970.
Days and times: On Sundays from 10am for the Market, but at all times.
Price: Free entry.

 

Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo

The Casa Rosada is perhaps the most photographed building in Buenos Aires. Officially known as the Government House or Presidential Palace, the building dates back to the time of President Sarmiento. Its construction began in 1873 where there was a fortress –the ruins of this one can be seen from inside the Casa Rosada itself and the Plaza de Mayo.

Address: Balcarce 50
Days and times: Visits to the Casa Rosada take place on Saturdays, from 10 am to 6 pm, and are free. Tours in English on Saturdays at 12.30pm.
Price: Free entry.

Metropolitan Cathedral

The cathedral is located in front of the Plaza de Mayo and inside it is the mausoleum of the “Padre de la Patria” (Father of the Fatherland), the General Jose de San Martin.

Address: San Martín 27
Days and times: Monday to Friday, from 7.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 6.45 pm.
Price: Free entry.

Colon Theater

The Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires is one of the most important opera houses in the world. Its rich and prestigious history and the exceptional acoustic and architectural conditions of its building place it at the level of theaters such as the Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera, the Vienna Opera, London’s Covent Garden and the New York Metropolitan.

Address: Cerrito 628.
Days and times: Guided tours every day from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in English and Spanish.
Price: Teatro Colón website.

"El Ateneo" Library

Located on Avenida Santa Fe 1860 in Barrio Norte, the building was designed by the architects Peró and Torres Armengol for the businessman Max Glucksman (1875 to 1946), and initially opened as a theater called the Grand Splendid Theater. Today it works as a bookstore and is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Address: Av. Santa Fe 1860.
Days and times: Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
rice: Free entry.

 

La Recoleta Cemetery

The Recoleta Cemetery is a very large ornate necropolis, it is like a mini-city of the states and marble sarcophagi. One of the most famous tombs is that of Eva Perón (Evita).

Address: Junín 1760
Days and times: Open every day from 07:30 to 17:30.
Price: Free entry

Bosques de Palermo

Located a few minutes from the center, Palermo is the green lung of the city. We could call it the most important park in Buenos Aires. It is the largest green area in the city, and where porteños love to spend their weekends, paddling in the lakes, biking, skating, running, drinking mate or even practicing hockey. The Rose Garden, the Andalusian Patio, the Japanese Garden and the Garden of the Poets are worth a visit, as well as the Galileo Galilei Planetarium, where you can learn about planetary peculiarities and participate in activities on the universe and scientific issues.

Address: Av. Infanta Isabel 410.
Days and times: Open every day at all times.
Price: Free entry.

Recoleta Fair

Much more organized than the San Telmo fair, so the crafts tend to be original and of higher quality. It is very difficult not to buy something. The area fills up on Sundays, when people usually go to the park to drink mate and play the guitar!

Address: Plaza Francia, Recoleta.
Days and times: Saturdays and Sundays from noon to approximately 8:00 p.m.
Price: Free entry.

Palermo Fair

Bohemian art and handicrafts are sold in the small plaza at the intersection of Serrano and Honduras streets, which forms the heart of Palermo Soho. Officially, the fair is organized on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but the makeshift vendors also stay at night when the restaurants are full. Those same restaurants take out their tables in the afternoon and fill the spaces with racks of clothes from young designers who can’t afford their own boutiques.

Address: Plaza Serrano, Palermo.
Days and times: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Price: Free entry.

Museum of Fine Arts

The National Museum of Fine Arts was inaugurated in 1896 and, with the passage of time, it was assimilating the largest collection of Argentine art. It is considered one of the most important collections of universal art that can be found in Latin America.

Address: Av. Del Libertador 1473.
Days and times: From Tuesday to Friday, from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.- Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Price: Free entry.

Evita Museum

In this interactive museum you will learn about the life of this important Argentine personality of which, at least, you should know some details. It shows videos, objects and magazines of one of the most emblematic political figures. It has a very nice restaurant.

Address: Lafinur 2988. Tel. 4807 0306.
Days and times: Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Carlos Gardel Museum

As its name indicates, this place located in Balvanera has been the residence of Carlos Gardel, one of the most important and representative figures of tango and also one of the referents of Argentine popular culture itself.

Address: Jean Jaures 735.
Days and times: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 to 18:00; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 19:00; Tuesday closed.

Milonga La Viruta

A must for beginners. You pay once and you can stay for all the dance classes of the day and the milonga (usually it gets better around midnight and lasts until 6 or 7am). The teachers are friendly, and although the class is in Spanish, they are happy to try and use their English. Learn more about our travel experiences to discover the best tango shows in Buenos Aires.

Address: Armenia 1366.
Days and times: Classes are all from Wednesday to Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Eating & Drinking

Patagonia Sur

Rocha 801, esquina Don Pedro de Mendoza. Tel: 4303-5917.
Regional / Gourmet food

Housed in a 1920s building, this restaurant has elegant decor lined with leather walls and velvet curtains, but the most interesting feature is a library with hundreds of cookbooks. The menu features traditional Argentine cuisine, much admired by the city’s crowds.

El Establo

Paraguay and San Martín. Tel: 4311-1639.
Grill

This grill is popular with tourists and residents for its huge servings, high-quality meat, and the home-made and pleasant limoncello that is received as a courtesy.
If you ask for appetizers, they will also treat you to a tasty Jerez. And a recommendation from the menu: don’t forget to try the spinach cream.

El Cuartito

Talcahuano 937. Tel: 4816-1758.
Pizza

The Italian influence in Buenos Aires is powerful and that can be seen, among other things, in the number of pizzerias that exist in the city. There is a lot of pica between the Italian pizza and the Argentine version pizza and the porteños love to say that their pizza is much better than that of the Italians. «El cuartito» is one of the great exponents of pizza in Buenos Aires and many think it is the best pizzeria in the country. Yes or yes you have to try it and decide if you want the «tana» (Italian) pizza or the «argenta» (Argentine) one.

El Federal

Carlos Calvo 599. Tel: 4300-4313.
Pub

This bohemian cafe in the heart of San Telmo was inaugurated in 1864. Today you can listen to tango while enjoying a delicious homemade beer and its original snacks. Don’t miss the fried ravioli!

Cabaña Las Lilas

A.M. de Justo 516. Tel: 4313-1336.
Grill

It was considered, for many years, the best grill in Buenos Aires. However, it became so notorious among tourists that its prices are now prohibitive. In any case, if there is something that cannot be said about Cabaña Las Lilas, it is that its service is not of quality. On the contrary, its meat is so tender that it can be cut with a spoon.

 

Don Julio

Guatemala 4699. Tel: 4832-6058.
Grill

The Don Julio grill, in the Palermo neighborhood, is considered one of the best grills in the world. And while its prices are quite high, the experience and quality of its products make it worth every dollar.

Café Tortoni

Av. De Mayo 825. Tel: 4342-4328
Coffee / Confectionery

Nothing more and nothing less than the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires. Antique wooden chairs, stained glass lamps and a sculpture with the most characteristic characters of Argentine art, create a unique and classic atmosphere. Warning: don’t expect too much from the waiters, they have a lot of orders and are very overwhelmed.

Las Violetas

Medrano and Rivadavia. Tel: 4958-7387
Coffee / Confectionery

It was the first bar in the Almagro neighborhood, born for the wealthy class. These days, it is always crowded, and expensive, but still retains its unmistakable character. English tea includes cakes, croissants, bread, butter, jams, and whatever else you can think of – good to share on a hungry afternoon.

La Cabrera

Cabrera 5099. Tel: 4831-7002.
Grill

It is so popular nowadays that if you go without a reservation, you will have to wait forever. However, this option is not so bad, since they offer champagne and tapas on very busy days. The meat is excellent and they have the best gizzards in the galaxy.

878

Thames 878. Tel: 4773 1098.
Hidden bar

Behind an unmarked door on a relatively quiet street, you’ll find 878, a former speakeasy with great character. Ring the bell and you will be granted entry into a low-lit space filled with comfortable sofas. The walls are exposed brick and the whole place has the feeling of being something of a makeshift.

Tips & Advices

How many days should I stay in Buenos Aires? 


It depends on your interests, but between 3 and 5 days to get the grips of the city.

 

When is the best time to visit 


Buenos Aires is a city that always offers things to do and that never sleeps. Therefore, any time is a good time to visit it. 

 

What is the weather like in Buenos Aires?


The weather of the city of Buenos Aires is humid (Pampas climate) with warm summers and cold winters.  

  • Summer: Hot and very humid. Temperature between 20°C and 35ºC.
  • Spring: The climate is very changeable, with sunny days but also abundant rains. The temperatures also suffer oscillations between day and night.  The temperature varies between 17° and 25°C.
  • Winter: The temperature in Buenos Aires is not too low during the day, although during the night the temperatures drop considerably. The coldest month is July, when average minimum temperatures of 7°C and maximum temperatures do not exceed 15°C.
  • Autumn: Temperature is from 7°C to 26ºC. The weather is hot at midday, and during the early afternoon, mornings and evenings are cool.

What you need to know is that Buenos Aires is a very humid city, and this is what makes you feel more the cold and the heat in every season.

The most frequent rains occur in autumn and spring. They are usually short rains, during the hot months, which do not interrupt normal activities and allow you to wear light clothes with only a raincoat or an umbrella.   

 

How to get to Buenos Aires?

 

  • Flight: Unless you are in Uruguay or in another city of Argentina, the easiest way to get to Buenos Aires City is the Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Better known as Ezeiza International Airport, it is the most important airport in Argentina. It is located 35 kilometers from Buenos Aires. It receives flights from all over the world. There is a domestic airport in the city, called Aeroparque, which it’s mainly used for internal flights, but also for international flights to specific locations in South America.
  • Bus: The most important bus station in Buenos Aires is Retiro, located in the same neighborhood (Retiro) in downtown. There you will find long-distance buses to travel all over the country, it has more than 70 platforms and the information is in Spanish. The best is to have an offline translator on your phone.  For long-distance buses, you can pay in cash or with a card. We recommend that you buy your ticket in advance, especially for travel on weekends or in high season.
  • Train: Buenos Aires has urban trains to connect the city with other nearby attractions. From Retiro, you can take a train to the north to enjoy a day on the river or even to get to Tigre.  To move within the city you can take the bus or the subway. For the urban trains, buses and subways you must pay with a transport card (called «sube») in which you load money and it is useful for all means of transport.  Flights and buses are the best way to reach other cities inside the country.
  • Self-drive: We highly recommend renting a car in Argentina, but not in Buenos Aires where you can use public transportation. Like every big city, traffic can be hard, and the subway is the fastest way to connect different neighborhoods. 

 

How ATMs work in Buenos Aires?


ATMs are located in banks, most of them, but are open 24hs. Each bank has a different fee that will charge you to use their system, plus your bank fee. We recommend bringing some dollar bills to exchange, so you have some cash to move around and then pay with Credit cards or use an ATM whenever you run out of money.  

 

What is the proper tipping?


In restaurants, it’s customary to tip about 10% of the bill. Note that tips can’t be added to credit-card bills, so carry cash for this purpose.

  • Estimate around USD 10/15 per person for the guide, for a full day tour and half of it for the driver.
  • Tip hotel porters for handling bags. Calculate an amount of currency equal to about $1.00 for every two bags.
  • The same amount is calculated for drivers if they help you with your suitcases. 
  • If you are happy with the housekeeping you may want to consider tipping the maid between US$0.50 – $1.00 per night. You might also tip the concierge staff if you have used them to arrange dinner reservations, transportation or leisure activities.
  • In Argentina, we don’t regularly tip taxi drivers.

 

How much money can I spend per day in Buenos Aires?


Around USD 50/100 per day, per person for daily expenses like eating, shopping and transportation, depending on how much money you want to spend on these.

 

Exchange money and using CC


Credit cards and US dollars are widely accepted in the main cities. But it will be more convenient for you to exchange pesos rather than using US dollars because the rate that shops or restaurants use might not be the most convenient for you. In Buenos Aires, the best rate is at the National Bank, but you can also go to exchange houses in the city. 

 

Pickups


Pick up at airports will be upon arrival of your flight, that’s why it is so important to have the most accurate and updated flight information. Our guide or driver will be waiting for you, outside the baggage claim area, you will only have to look for a sign with your name on it. Pick up for tours will be at the reception desk/lobby of the hotels. 

 

 

At the end of your itinerary, you will find the name and telephone number of each of our local representatives and our emergency phone number, where you can call if you have any urgency or a mismatch, so we can assist you during your trip.

 

Medical attention


Any foreign consulate can provide a list of area doctors who speak English. If you get sick, consider asking your hotel concierge to recommend a local doctor — even his or her own. You can also try the emergency room at a local hospital. Many hospitals also have walk-in clinics for emergency cases that are not life-threatening; you may not get immediate attention, but you won’t pay the high price of an emergency room visit.

For an English-speaking hospital, in Buenos Aires, we recommend The Hospital Británico (4304-1081).

 

Travel insurance


We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance. Travel insurance helps protect against unforeseen emergencies that can occur at any time. It also helps protect you against other circumstances like travel delay, lost or stolen baggage and personal items, missed connections and so much more. 

 

What to include in your luggage 


Everything will depend on the time of year in which you visit the city. 
If you come in the fall or spring, the ideal is to pack fresh clothes and the odd coat, since sometimes the wind coming from the south can generate a sudden change in temperature. Besides that, packing comfortable shoes is vital, since Buenos Aires is a city where you can (and should) walk a lot. 

If you visit in the winter months, remember to bring a warmer coat, some scarves and gloves. Finally, if you choose the summer months, it will be very important that you bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.  

A daily pack to wander the city will be really useful during your trip!

 

Where to go for a run?

 

  • Bosques de Palermo

Perhaps it is the place most chosen by Buenos Aires runners to exercise, and it is not for nothing: its wide parks become an oasis in the middle of the city. If you like running a lot, you can’t stop taking a few laps in the Bosques de Palermo and feeling like a local.

 

  • Puerto Madero

Another setting chosen by runners in Buenos Aires is Puerto Madero. In the newest neighborhood of the Federal Capital, modern architecture blends with green spaces. Little traffic, many parks and many people doing sports.

 

Where to meditate?

 

  • Hampatu Fundación

In the downtown area, the Hampatu Foundation conducts free meditations on Mondays. The only thing they ask to participate is to bring some non-perishable food for a snack. These foods will later be used in another labor inclusion initiative for people with limited resources. You can learn more about Hampatu here.

 

  • Bosques de Palermo

If you go to this sector of the city very early in the morning, you will be practically alone. Posing and meditating in front of the Buenos Aires Planetarium will connect you with something bigger than us. Furthermore, when mass meditation meetings are held, they are held in this part of the city.

 

Where to watch the sunset?

 

  • Trade SkyBar

The best rooftop in Buenos Aires, without a doubt. With an incredible view of downtown Buenos Aires and Puerto Madero. The Trade Sky Bar terrace does not require reservations, admission is on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is full. There they drink simple drinks, always with a twist of their own. It has three different spaces: on the 19th floor is the restaurant and main bar; on the 20th floor the idea of ​​a Japanese omakasé is reversed, with a menu of raw steps chosen by the chef; on the 21st floor is the kitchen and on the 22nd the outdoor terrace shines, which fills up every evening in an improvised after-office. A fact: the elevator arrives only until the 19. You can learn more about the bar here.

 

  • Parque de la Memoria

The Parque de la Memoria on the Costanera Norte offers a 360-degree panorama that allows you to see not only the infinite brown river reflecting the pink of the sky, but also undulating hills between which planes disappear and the multiple facades of the buildings of the University City reflecting the last rays of the sun. You can learn more about this park here.

 

  • Crystal bar

It is an all-glass bar that is located in the Alvear hotel in Puerto Madero. As you look west, the sunset from this glass bar looks amazing. Also, the place itself is worth a visit. Its decoration details are impeccable and its drink menu too. Of course, it is not economical. You can learn more about the bar here.

 

  • Figueroa Alcorta Bridge

At the height of the Law School of Buenos Aires, on the charming avenue Figueroa Alcorta, there is a very popular bridge to take pictures. And it’s not for nothing, the view from there is very beautiful. Therefore, it is a special place to admire the sunset (especially if it is spring since that area is full of jacarandas).

 

Sustainability

Local businesses


Buenos Aires is a huge city, full of businesses everywhere. The best thing you can do is go to the local fairs, be it Recoleta, San Telmo or Plaza Serrano where a lot of artisans and entrepreneurs exhibit their work. Also, places like Flora Almacén, in Palermo (Av. Dorrego 2082), bring together the work of many natural and eco-friendly entrepreneurs. There you will be able to buy all kinds of cosmetics and sustainable objects.

 

How to help

 

  • In churches or parishes

Most of the churches in Buenos Aires receive food and clothing for their dining rooms and for the needy people who frequent them.

 

  • Quieroayudar.org

In Buenos Aires there are a lot of NGOs and canteens that will happily receive your help. As there are so many, perhaps it is better that you use this solidarity search engine and be able to visualize what are the options that you have near your accommodation and so you can specifically target them. In addition, you can filter as needed. You can access the Solidarity search engine here.  

 

Sustainability tips

 

  • Take your reusable bag with you when you go shopping.
  • Choose the consumption of local products from artisans and small producers.
  • Travel the city by bike or on foot, it is healthy and does not leave a carbon footprint.
  • When you go on an excursion, ask for food without plastic wrap.
  • Don’t leave trash in nature.
  • Take a reusable bottle with you to carry water in restaurants.
  • Don’t feed native fauna.
  • Use rechargeable batteries and batteries.
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