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Complete Buenos Aires Travel Guide: Tips & Advice from a Local

Last updated to ensure up-to-date information: September 2018

Well, an almost local. I’ve lived in this ciudad de la furia for eight years now, for most of my adult life. We have a love/hate relationship with each other, the kind most passionate people, uh, I mean cities, can often illicit. Below I’ve written out all of the information I always give to my friends, and their friends and friends of friends (and on it goes) when they plan their vacations to Buenos Aires.  If you have any questions about planning your own trip, just ask in the comments! I’d love to help anyone enjoy their time in my adopted hometown.

El Caminito in Buenos Aires La Boca

First & Foremost, Forget about “Paris of South America”

First off, I apologize if I’m offending any porteños reading this. But Buenos Aires is absolutely nothing like Paris. It’s true that Buenos Aires is far more European than the rest of its neighbors in South America, and the locals take great pride in this. French, Spanish, and mainly Italian immigrants flooded Buenos Aires at the beginning of the 20th Century and there is no denying the impact all of this had on the local culture.

However. Big BUT. Buenos Aires is not Paris. And that’s not a bad thing! Buenos Aires is vibrant, lively, and also a little grungy. It’s a hodgepodge. Right next to a building that would fit right in Paris you’ll find a rundown abandoned 1990’s office building. This is what I love and hate about this city. But isn’t that contradiction in feelings perfect for a city full of contrasts?

So my advice to anyone planning a visit to Buenos Aires, let go of any expectations and you’ll be open to love Buenos Aires exactly for what it is. 

A boy riding his bike in La Boca Buenos Aires

Language: Argentine Spanish

Like most of South America, Spanish is the mother tongue here. But unlike most of South America, locals of Buenos Aires speak with a unique accent and vocabulary to the rest of the continent. Castellano Rioplatense, or River Plate Spanish, or even more simply Argentine Spanish, refers to the Spanish spoken around the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) here in Buenos Aires.

The “ll” and “y” is pronounced with a “sh” sound. Calle becomes cashe, pollo sounds like posho. Buenos Aires is also home to its own  slang, called Lunfardo. If you’re interested in Spanish and want to sound like a local check out the books below (Che, Boludo is a great and fun resource).



READ MORE: Lunfardo: Everything you need to know about Argentine Slang

Complete Buenos Aires City Guide | Where to stay in Buenos Aires Neighborhood Guide | When to visit Buenos Aires, when to go to Argentina | Public Transportation Guide for Buenos Aires #BuenosAires #Argentina #SouthAmerica

How to Get Here

EZE – Ezeiza, Ministro Pistarini International Airport

The international airport is located 22 kilometers outside town but feels much further. If you read something about a reciprocity fee required for citizens of the US, Canada or Australia, FEAR NOT. This has gone by the wayside for all three countries. You won’t have to pay any reciprocity fee to enter Argentina. How to get into town from here?

Manuel Tienda Leon

Manuel Tienda Leon is a trusty classic. You can get your ticket for their bus from their booth located just after you exit customs. They have two stops: their station in Puerto Madero and the Aeroparque airport. It currently costs $290-310 pesos, to confirm current prices check here.  They also offer a Remis service for $1200 pesos if you’d prefer a taxi.

Remis/Taxis

  • Remis: For a taxi, book one of the remis services you’ll see just as you leave customs. After customs but before you’re out in the public area there’s a tiny room with booths offering taxi services. Prices differ on what area of the city you’re going to. You can pay with a credit card.
  • What’s a Remis? Private town cars. Similar to taxis but always with a set rate, like UBER before UBER existed and without the handy app.
  • Taxi Ezeiza: After you leave customs and pass the remis desks, there is a large desk for Taxi Ezeiza. You can check their prices and even reserve ahead of time here.  Prices will be set depending on where you’re going. They also accept credit cards.
  • Do not hail a taxi outside the airport. They will charge you whatever they feel you’ll pay. It is safest to arrange for a taxi/remis at one of the booths inside. 

Book an Airport Transfer

While you can absolutely get a taxi or remis at the airport upon arrival, sometimes there are waits if a lot of flights have arrived at the same time. If you want to avoid a wait or just feel more comfortable knowing the set price ahead of time, you can reserve your airport transfer before your trip. You’ll have someone waiting for you with your name on a paper like in the movies! Check here to reserve one before your trip.

UBER

UBER’s status in Argentina is unstable. It’s technically illegal here but in pure UBER style, it’s still operating in Buenos Aires. Taking UBER or one of its competitors is a great option for returning to the airport at the end of your stay. UBER in Buenos Aires is much cheaper than taxis and more comfortable. But don’t use these services from the airport. They’re not allowed to pick up passengers from the airports.

For more information about UBER in Argentina, scroll down to the section about Buenos Aires public transportation.

Casa Rosada in plaza de mayo in Buenos Aires

AEP – Aeroparque Jorge Newberry Airport

Aeroparque is the smaller airport reserved mainly for domestic travel. If you’re flying into AEP, count yourself lucky. Aeroparque is in Palermo on the Costanera Norte (on the river). Transportation is much cheaper than from Ezeiza, you’re already in town!

Taxis from Aeroparque

There’s an official taxi line out front where you can grab a taxi straight to your hotel/Airbnb. If you’d prefer to have a driver waiting for you at arrivals, you can reserve one ahead of time here.

Manuel Tienda Leon from AEP

Already being within the city center makes a taxi very affordable and the most convenient option. However if interested, Manuel Tienda Leon is also an option here. You can take their bus to their Puerto Madero terminal or connect to the international airport.

A colorful street corner in San Telmo Buenos Aires

Argentina Weather: When to Visit Buenos Aires

Spring & Fall

Like in most places, spring and fall offer the best weather. Spring (mid-September through November) is ideal, and November is the best month to visit Buenos Aires (in my personal opinion). The purple jacaranda flowers begin to bloom throughout the city, lining the streets and parks with tones of lavender. Fall is another great time to visit, with mild weather in March and April. 

Jacarandas purple flowers in Buenos Aires in Spring

Summer & Christmas in Buenos Aires

Summer (December-February)  is a BEAST in Buenos Aires. It is hot as hades and humid as hell, very similar to Houston in July. Visiting Buenos Aires during the holidays? Christmas Eve Buenos Aires is the big holiday, not the 25th. Argentines get together for family dinners and shoot off fireworks at midnight. Find a terrace to enjoy the show.

New Year’s Eve may sound tempting, but beware that NYE is a family-centered holiday here, just like Christmas Eve. Don’t expect a massive Times Square-style party in the streets. Locals will be counting down the clock with their families. In January the city empties when the locals leave to spend their summer vacations in Mar del Plata, Punta del Este or Miami.

Winter

Winter (June-August) is dreary in Buenos Aires. While the weather never drops to insufferable lows, it is a wet, humid cold. And what fun is the cold without any Christmas cheer? When you’re cold in Europe or NYC, at least you have the contagious holiday cheer to keep you going! But if you can only visit in Winter, fear not, it’s not insufferable.

A man buying newspapers in Buenos Aires

Dining Hours & Norms in Buenos Aires

The daily schedule in Buenos Aires runs a few hours later than the average American’s daily routine.

  • Mornings are sleepy with light breakfasts of pastry, toast, and coffee.
  • Lunch is available from noon until around  3.
  • Dinners are late. Restaurants open at 8 but most don’t fill up until around 10 pm. But don’t worry if you’re hungry early, I go out to eat at 8 pm all the time, ain’t no shame in my game.
  • Happy Hours, when offered, are usually between 7-9pm, sometimes starting earlier but not usually ending any later than 9.
  • Boliches (dance clubs/discos) don’t start to get wild until after 2 or 3 am. But I have no further tips for that, I’m far past that life stage haha.

Tipping in Buenos Aires

Tipping is the norm in Buenos Aires, around 10% is acceptable. You can definitely leave more if you feel the service was spectacular, but don’t feel like you need to follow US standards. If you’re tipping on a credit card, you’ll have to ask them to add it to the bill when you give them the card. You cannot add the tip afterward like you can in the US. But only do this if you really don’t have the cash on hand. Cash tips are clearly the only way to ensure the server ends up with his or her tip.

What’s a “cubierto” and why is it on my dinner bill?

You also may see a charge called “cubierto” on your bill at the end of a meal. What’s cubierto? It’s an obnoxious fee that technically should include a glass of water and bread. It’s a thing of the past and a lot of new restaurants no longer charge cubierto, (which translates to “cover charge”).  But for those that do, most include nothing at all, bread if you’re lucky. This does not count as your tip. The cubierto fee goes to the restaurant, not the server.

Complete Buenos Aires City Guide | Where to stay in Buenos Aires Neighborhood Guide | When to visit Buenos Aires, when to go to Argentina | Public Transportation Guide for Buenos Aires #BuenosAires #Argentina #SouthAmerica

Money Issues and Currency of Argentina

The official Argentine currency is the peso. To check the day’s exchange rate click here (with the way it fluctuates I’d prefer not to put any set rate in print). In the not so distant past, there existed a black market to exchange your dollars at a more advantageous rate than you’d receive from a bank. The government had banned currency exchange in what was referred to as the “cepo” (translates to “clamp”, I don’t think I like that translation haha).  The new government has opened up the market and this black market (referred to as the “dolar blue”), no longer exists. You can now exchange your money at any ATM without being ripped off (aside from the ATM fee that is). 

Do I need to bring pesos with me?

Short answer? No, you do not. And even if you want to, you’ll be hard pressed to find banks abroad with pesos available to sell to you. You can use a credit card when you arrive at the airport to pay for your taxi into the city. Once in the city, stick to the ATM’s or legitimate exchange houses there.

High ATM Fees

Now that I’ve recommended that you use ATM’s, I feel obliged to let you know that ATM fees here can be astronomical. When I use my foreign debit card to take out cash, the ATM charges me the equivalent of $10 US. If you have a bank that refunds your ATM fees, bring it! My Fidelity debit card refunds me these fees immediately. If you don’t, take out as much as you can at a time to avoid repeat transactions and multiple fees.

Buenos Aires Currency Exchange

You will also hear cries of “cambio cambio cambio cambio” as you walk down Florida street downtown. These people are referred to as arbolitos, or “little trees,” in reference to their green “leaves” of dollars. I don’t recommend exchanging money with them. It’s always possible you’ll be slipped a few fake bills (or all fakes). With the exchange rate as it is today, just use an ATM.

A Maradona mural in Buenos Aires

Where to stay: Buenos Aires Neighborhood Guide

Buenos Aires is a huge, sprawling city, so where you stay can really have a huge impact on your trip. Here’s a quick breakdown of the main neighborhoods in Buenos Aires.

Barrios In The Heart of the Action

Stay in one of these neighborhoods if you like to be in the middle of everything and close to main attractions, shops, and restaurants.

Palermo Soho & Palermo Hollywood

This is the go-to neighborhood for most expats and tourists for where to stay and live in Buenos Aires. Soho and Hollywood are two sub-barrios within the enormous umbrella neighborhood that is Palermo. They border each other, separated by Avenida Juan B Justo. They’re both full of sidewalk cafes, bars, restaurants of all types and offer the best nightlife in the city. They’re hip and beautiful. Enjoy the street art and picturesque streets covered with canopies from the trees lining the streets.
Stay here if being close to the best restaurants and nightlife is what you’re after.

Recoleta

Recoleta is full of beautiful mansions, luxury hotels, and stunning architecture. You may see Barrio Norte also appear as an option. Barrio Norte is technically part of Recoleta but consists more of large apartment towers rather than historic mansions (and it is intersected by commercial Avenida Santa Fe). For that old-school Recoleta vibe, try to find a place near Plaza Francia.
Stay here if you booked your ticket with your heart set on seeing the infamous “Paris of the South.”

the San Telmo market in Buenos Aires

San Telmo

San Telmo lies towards the south of downtown, sitting between Plaza de Mayo and La Boca further to the south. This was my first home in Buenos Aires and will always hold a special place in my heart. With cobblestoned streets and historic buildings, it has a certain charm. However, don’t come with any illusions of grandeur. Many of these old buildings are crumbling and decaying. However, I think this creates its own sort of unpolished beauty. San Telmo is full of historic cafes, bars, and parillas where you can find some of the best beef in town. It’s centrally located to plenty of tourist attractions to make your daily explorations easy.
Stay here if you appreciate a bit of history. Try to stay on or near Defensa or Balcarce streets (the streets closest to Avenida 9 de Julio can be less agreeable after dark).

Puerto Madero Buenos Aires

Puerto Madero

Crossing Avenida Paseo Colon from San Telmo, you’ll find Buenos Aires’ youngest neighborhood. It feels polished and modern, with new luxury apartment towers lining the docks. It can feel a bit isolated from the rest of the city as it isn’t very easily connected with public transportation and you can only get in and out via certain streets.
Stay here if you prefer things clean and modern. However, I find it a bit sterile. I don’t personally recommend staying here but definitely come for a stroll.

A man walking his dog in Palermo Soho Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods to Live Like A Local

Villa Crespo

Villa Crespo borders Palermo, separated by Avenida Cordoba. Despite being home to some great restaurants and bars of its own, Villa Crespo is much quieter than its popular neighbor. The neighborhood is also home to some of the city’s best street art, outlet shopping (if that’s your thing) and its own futbol team (Atlanta).
Stay here if you want to stay within walking distance of Palermo’s nightlife but enjoy a more residential feel.

Colegiales

Moving northwards past Palermo Hollywood you’ll find Colegiales. Colegiales is a residential neighborhood with smaller houses and apartment buildings. It’s getting more lively with new restaurants opening up every year but it’s still full of young families and cute homes. You’ll require taxis or public transportation to get to the heart of things, but it’s not far.
Stay here if you like to live like a local when you travel.

Green canopies of trees in Belgrano Buenos Aires
Avenida Melian in Belgrano R is my favorite street in all of Buenos Aires

Belgrano

Even further north, after Colegiales, you’ll find a behemoth of a neighborhood, Belgrano. Belgrano is enormous, just like Palermo. Avenida Cabildo is its commercial center, full of shops and chain restaurants. Closer towards Libertador Avenue you’ll find Chinatown and large apartment buildings near Barrancas de Belgrano. Or stay near Plaza Castelli to experience the posh Belgrano R area, with historic old homes and tree-lined cobblestoned avenues. Subte line D on Cabildo will have you in Palermo, Recoleta or downtown in a flash. If you stay near Plaza Castelli the train at Belgrano R Station will have you in Palermo in 5 minutes or downtown in 20.
Stay here if you’re looking a quiet, residential feel that’s family friendly.

Almagro

While in Belgrano you can live like a quiet, relaxed local, in Almagro you’re in the middle of it all. This is a bustling commercial neighborhood and is a more middle-class barrio in comparison to Recoleta’s very upper class demographic. To continue the needless Recoleta comparisons, it’s also less easy on the eyes. Almagro is grungy and busy. It’s not the Paris of the South, it’s pure Buenos Aires, you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Random fact: Almagro is home to Pope Francis’ favorite football team!
Stay here if you want to live like a local but not lose the big city hustle and bustle.

People drinking mate on the grass in Recoleta

Where to stay in Buenos Aires: Hotels or Airbnb?

Airbnb in very affordable Buenos Aires accommodation. You can get cozy studios or homes big enough for a large family at just $50 a night. Airbnb has really taken off here and there are stunning properties. You can rent a historical home in San Telmo or a high rise with a roof-top pool in Palermo. Whatever suits your fancy, you’re sure to find it.

If you’re more of a hotel person, I’d be wary of the hotels that are on Avenida 9 de Julio or in Microcentro downtown. A lot of hotels are located in this area and while they’re nice, and yes, central, I don’t find the area to be too beautiful or as safe when the sun sets. I’d instead stay in Palermo, Recoleta or San Telmo.

Buenos Aires Hotel Recommendations

Luxury Hotels

Hyatt Palacio Duhau: Want to feel like a princess in her palace? This is the place. Palacio Duhau is located on one of the fanciest streets in Recoleta, amidst luxury hotels, mansions and designer boutiques. It’s only a few blocks away from the Recoleta Cemetery and Avenida 9 de Julio, making the location priceless. Check rates here.

Four Seasons: You know you’re always going to receive the best service imaginable in a Four Seasons. It also doesn’t hurt that the 4 Seasons is home to two of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires. Order a charcuterie plate and a sirloin in Elena and you’ll think you’ve gone straight to heaven. The hip lobby bar, Pony Line, makes a mean burger and great cocktails. Check rates here.

Boutique Hotels

Home Hotel in Palermo Hollywood is a great small hotel. It has a gorgeous green interior patio, pool and a spa to use a refuge from the city streets. In Hollywood, it’s smack in the middle of the city’s best restaurants and bars. Check rates here.

BE Jardin by Coppola: Did you know that Francis Ford Coppola owns boutique hotels? His property in Palermo Soho is a beautiful old home. It’s an oasis to escape the city streets, with a beautiful pool and patio (perfect to sip on a glass of Malbec to end the day). Check rates here.

Hotel Babel: Prefer historic San Telmo? Hotel Babel is a modern and chic boutique hotel in the heart of the colonial, cobblestoned neighborhood. You’ll be near the weekly market, La Boca, Plaza de Mayo and Puerto Madero. Check rates here.

Hostels & Backpackers

Milhouse Hostel Avenue: A friend of mine stayed in Milhouse and had a great experience. It’s on Avenida de Mayo, walking distance to San Telmo, Plaza de Mayo, and 9 de Julio. You have access to the kitchen and grills on the roof to prepare your own food. The rooms have lockers to secure your belongings. There’s a common area to socialize and the rooms were comfortable to relax in. Check rates here.

Art Factory Palermo: Art Factory is one of the coolest hostels in the city! The walls are covered in murals and graffiti artwork. This hostel really represents the creative side of Buenos Aires. This one is in Palermo, they also have on in San Telmo and one in Soho.  Check rates here.

Buenos Aires public transportation and the 152 city bus

Buenos Aires Public Transportation

SUBE Transportation Card

The SUBE is the travel card you’ll need if you want to take any form of public transportation. Buses don’t accept cash, and subway stations no longer sell tickets. If you want a SUBE, check this map here for an official selling point. Under the Provincia drop down, select CABA, and then under Localidad, select your neighborhood of choice.

The easiest way to purchase your SUBE card is at Subte ticket windows. They cost 50 pesos each and they will sell you only one per person.  Kioskos (convenience stores) that have the SUBE logo in the window also sell them sometimes. Load money onto your SUBE card in kioskos or in the subway stations.

SUBE cards in Buenos Aires Public Transportation
These blue signs are in the window of any kiosko that will load money on your SUBE for you

How to Navigate Buenos Aires

The city government has their own answer to Google Maps called “Como Llego.” Visit the website here to map out your route, or download the free app from the iTunes store here. It offers public transportation options as well as walking and biking directions. This app is a great resource, I use it over Google Maps 10 times out of 10.


Bus and traffic on the tiny streets of Downtown Buenos Aires

Los Colectivos: City Buses

In Buenos Aires, the bus is king. There is absolutely nowhere that a colectivo (bus) won’t take you. There are so many it can be very intimidating to try. If you’re brave, start with the 152. The 152 line will take you anywhere a tourist could possibly want to go. Starting at its terminal in La Boca, it passes through San Telmo, snakes behind the Casa Rosada on it’s way to Plaza San Martin in Retiro where it hangs a left up Avenida Santa Fe. It crawls northwards along Santa Fe, crossing 9 de Julio into Recoleta, then into Palermo, and continuing northwards to Belgrano and the northern suburbs.

To take the bus, tell the driver where you’re going (the price depends on distance traveled), then pay by placing your SUBE card on the little machine. Respect the line, porteños aren’t messing around, they respect the order of the line when boarding the bus. The elderly, pregnant women and children have priority to a seat, so don’t pretend to not see them unless you want a tongue lashing from everyone on the bus, including the driver.

A map of the Buenos Aires subway system
map courtesy of http://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/subte/mapa-y-combinaciones

El Subte: The Metro System

The subte (short for subterraneo, or the underground) lines in Buenos Aires are in the shape of your hand. The lines all originate downtown (or in your palm) and branch out, never to meet again. The government has ramped up construction on the H line (the yellow line above) in recent years, which has made connecting lines a bit easier. See map above.

Trains

The train station you’ll most likely visit is Estacion Mitre in Retiro. There are three lines that leave this station. The Tigre Line takes you to, you guessed it, TIGRE (to visit the river delta). The station has been recently remodeled and is in impeccable condition. It is worth a visit whether or not you plan to take the train.

Everything you need to know to visit Buenos Aires, ridesharing and UBER in Argentina

Ridesharing & UBER in Buenos Aires

Uber in Buenos Aires is technically an illegal operation. This doesn’t keep their driver’s off the street, however, and I use UBER all the time here. Why? I’ve had countless negative interactions with taxi drivers here trying to rip me off and I am tired of it. But that is neither here nor there, should you take UBER in Argentina?

Safety of UBER in Argentina

Taxis here are still no fan of UBER (are taxi drivers anyway friends with them?). If you take UBER here, then sit in the front seat with the driver. Don’t take Uber from the airport where official taxis will retaliate.

Also, expect longer wait times (averaging around 10 minutes) and don’t be surprised if your drivers repeatedly cancel your trip. They accept cash payments here (because Argentine credit cards won’t work in the app). I’ve been told by one driver that since they prefer cash to credit cards, that he sometimes cancels rides when he sees an obviously foreign-looking name (since foreign tourists, and people like me, tend to always use credit cards).

UBER Alternatives in Buenos Aires

If you want to avoid these hassles, there are a few great (read: legal) alternatives. Download these apps ahead of your trip to make things easier.

  1.  Cabify is a great option (if you use my code, ERINM7, you’ll receive a credit to use towards your first ride). Cabify is from Spain and internationally recognized, with friendlier business practices than uber. 
  2. BA Taxi is an UBER-like app made by the city government for the official yellow taxis. You can order a taxi like you would with UBER or Lyft and pay with credit card. You can download their iOS app here or in the Google Play store here.
  3. Easy Taxi is another great app for hailing taxis from your phone.

Is Buenos Aires Safe?

Just like you would in any large city, exercise caution. But don’t stress, overall Buenos Aires is a safe city. You don’t need to worry about violent crimes or kidnappings or anything of the sort. However, you do need to be careful with your belongings as there is a lot of petty theft. Your pockets or purses can be picked on a busy subway so keep your valuables in a closed bag in front of you. The most common occurrence is the motochorro (moto-thief), where someone on a moto will just grab your bag or phone while they speed past you.

One thing is certain, if anyone demands your belongings, don’t argue with them. Hand it over. An iPhone or a camera is never worth risking your life for. Also, keep in mind that while certain neighborhoods (La Boca for example) have bad reputations, you should be equally aware everywhere you go. Thieves follow the money and that is usually in the nicer neighborhoods.

Complete Buenos Aires City Guide | Where to stay in Buenos Aires Neighborhood Guide | When to visit Buenos Aires, when to go to Argentina | Public Transportation Guide for Buenos Aires #BuenosAires #Argentina #SouthAmerica

If you’re planning your trip and have any questions at all, ask away in the comments! I want everyone who visits to have a great experience so don’t hesitate.

Guided City Tours of Buenos Aires

Don’t forget to pin this for later

Resources

Want more great info to plan your trip to Buenos Aires? Check out this Buenos Aires city guide by a local.
Also traveling to Colombia, check out this great Colombia itinerary!


 

37 Comments

  1. Wow! That sounds so amazing! I hope one day to visit Buenos Aires, thanks to your inspiring article! I love how colorful is this place! Your pictures are amazing! Thank you for providing all this helpful information about Buenos Aires! ❤

  2. i loved buenos aires when i was there in 2014! its an amazing city! your insider view is amazing! thanks for sharing ❤️

  3. Ive been wanting to visit Buenos AIres for a while now! Thank you for sharing your experience, now I can start planning! : )

    • Erin Reply

      I hope you make it down here! If you ever have any questions just let me know!

  4. Great post! I live in the US, but I’m getting married there on August 22, 2018. I know it’s winter, I hope it won’t be as dreary! I’m still really excited!

    • Erin Reply

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Argentine weddings are quite the party, are you marrying a local or just planning a destination wedding? Fingers crossed for some good weather for you!

  5. I think 8 years is long enough to call yourself a local! This is such a great, comprehensive guide. We haven’t been to Buenos Aires yet but it is definitely on our radar!

    • Erin Reply

      haha I definitely feel like a local at this point!! I hope you make it down here someday 🙂

  6. Ah this has been on my bucket list for so long and you have definitely sparked my wanderlust again! Great guide, don’t think you’ve missed a thing 😊

  7. What an informative article! I am planning to visiting quite a few South and Central American countries. And Argentina is definitely on the list. This post will come in handy

    • Erin Reply

      Sounds like a great trip, traveling across both Central and South America! Happy to help 🙂

  8. It’s been a while since I read a blog post with so many interesting and useful informations. Unfortunately I still don’t have plan to visit only big desire. But my friend is leaving in 3 weeks, I will share this with him. 🙂

  9. I have never been to Buenuos Aires, but I would def refer to this guide as you have everything covered. I have stayed in Airbnb in South America and enjoyed them. I would much rather hang out with the locals to get a feel for the places I am staying.

    • Erin Reply

      I agree, I love the connection with a place and the locals you get with Airbnbs

  10. I’d love to visit! The city looks so magical in your photos – your experience sounds amazing, will definitely be returning to read for inspiration when I finally visit myself 🙂

  11. This is such a comprehensive guide about Buenos Aires. It is always great to have advice from locals. The city looks so beautiful. I have never visited it, but I think it should be there in my list.

  12. I really want to visit Buenos Aires. I didn’t realise it was so colourful and vibrant. I would love to check out Palmero and the tango shows. Thanks for the bit on safety too, I know it has a reputation as a city!

    • Erin Reply

      It definitely has a reputation. It’s getting a lot safer than it was but it’s still always good to be careful anywhere you visit somewhere unfamiliar.

  13. Loved this post! It was incredibly comprehensive and appreciate your humorous writing style. Buenos Aires is somewhere we’re considering for an extended visit in a year or so, and while we’re learning Spanish, the unique dialect has been intimidating. Thanks for providing resources and for breaking down the ins and outs of the city so fully. And also for suggesting an Uber alternative that isn’t terrible.

    It’s funny, I’ve heard the city referred to as the NY of Latin America. It always seems people are trying to promote places by ascribing some poorly-fitting comparison.

    • Erin Reply

      Thanks so much! It’s a very unique accent and they have so many words that don’t exist anywhere else! Sometimes it’s just best to jump in, immersion is the best way! You’ll pick it up faster than you’d expect once you’re here. That’s funny you’ve heard it referred to as the NY of Latin America, they LOVE NY so much. I don’t get it, they even have a bar that recently opened that is designed to make you feel like you’re in the NY Subway system…I’ll never understand why they look outwards so much when they have such a vibrant culture of their own.

  14. Hi! I’m heading to Buenos Aires for the first time this month. I will be flying in from Santiago. Since I am American will I need to pay the entry fee? You mean toon it falling by the waist side. What do you mean by that? Also, any additional advice for a female solo traveler?

    Thanks!!

    • Erin Reply

      Hi Anna!! I’m sorry, I hadn’t even thought about how that saying might not be very clear! I’ll edit the post to make it clearer, But good news, you do NOT have to pay any entrance/reciprocity fee when you arrive in Argentina. When Obama came to Argentina on a state visit with President Macri they made changes and no longer charge the reciprocity fee.
      As for tips for a solo female traveler, I’d follow the same precautions you’d follow in any large city. Be careful for pickpockets and keep yourself aware of your surroundings always. Don’t be flashy with your smartphone on the sidewalks etc and taxis are plentiful, if you feel nervous walking alone you can always take a taxi. But overall, enjoy yourself!

  15. I just found your website and I think it’s great! I’m from Argentina and I think you did a very good and complete job explaining everything. It really flatters me (as a local) to know you chose here to stay. I mean, we usually complain about everything (you probably know this already hahaha) We, as locals, would always prefer living in North America or Europe instead.
    I got carried away sorry. I’m from San Martin by the way!

    • Erin Reply

      Thanks so much! I’m glad to have a local’s approval! I’m very used to hearing people ask why I’m here when I could be in the US! hahah complaining is a national hobby! Nice to meet you!

  16. Great article on the ins and outside Buenos Aires, love all the information provided. Excellent insights to plan my trip next fall.

  17. How many days do I need to spend in Buenos Aires to experience and see the best there is to see? I plan to go to Iguazu for 2-3 days and then fly south for a cruise around Patagonia, 4-5 days, then flying to Santiago de Chile for 2-3 days. Thank you,

    • Erin Reply

      Hi Diana, I’d spend at least 4-5 days in Buenos Aires to see the highlights without being too rushed. It’s a very large city! I’d add a few days if you’d like to do some day trips to the delta in Tigre, a “dia de campo” day on an Estancia ranch, or to Colonia in Uruguay. Your itinerary sounds amazing, you’re going to have such a good trip!

  18. Thank you for the easy to read information about Buenos Aires! I will be making my first trip to the area December 2nd and have booked an apartment in Monserrat for the 1st week. I don’t know how long I will be in BA, since I am going to take things day by day and have 2-4 months to explore Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Since salsa dancing is a passion of mine ( Cuban style), I wanted to ask you if you know of any places to dance that might have a Cuban band? Also, since it will probably be hot when I arrive, do you know of any great rooftop bars or restaurants? Muchas Gracias, Miguel

    • Erin Reply

      You’re so welcome, I’m glad to hear it was helpful! Amazing that you have so much time to explore the region, you’ll be glad you do. To answer your questions, I’m not a dancer so I can’t offer any personal recommendations but I did find this link (in Spanish) with a list of bars that offer Salsa. It’s from 2016 though, so I could double check with the bars’ websites and Facebook pages to make sure the information is still accurate as things can change often. http://www.salsasocial.com.ar/12-lugares-para-conocer-la-salsa-en-buenos-aires/
      And yes, it will be HOT when you get here. A couple great bars with terraces are the Sky Bar (in Hotel Pulitzer) and the Roof Bar at the Hotel Alvear Palace (this is pricey for here, but likely much cheaper than something of similar quality on the States or Europe).
      I hope you have a great trip!

  19. Thank you Erin! I did find the salsasocial website and will use that to check out dance places. And will certainly have a drink at both of the outdoor bars you have suggested. Here is another question – if you had plenty of time and a budget of about $100 a day, where would you travel to in South America? I am 70 years young, but still dancing, hiking and am a major walker. I love cities with great architecture, but also love the beach – my rough plan is to take a short trip to Uruguay after a week in BA, then back to BA and get down to Patagonia somehow, then do the Chilean coast, maybe all the up to Peru by bus. I would love to hear your idea of a great trip, world traveler that you are. Gracias y que tenga buen dia! Miguel

  20. One more question Erin. It concerns politics and you may not want to address this on your blog, but I figure that since you are a world traveler, politics may be of interest to you and you probably have opinions. Like most people in the U.S., I am appalled and embarrassed by the words and actions of our current president and the people in the government who support him. What has your experience been, as an American living in Argentina, during the past couple of years of this disaster? Also, how is it going with the new Argentine administration? Gracias, Miguel

  21. Hi Erin, thank you for you’re fantastic write up. It’s refreshing to hear candor and frankness about a place and its neighbourhoods, very insightful. I’m coming to stay for 3 months to BA in October, it’s not going to be a holiday as such but a place where I can make art and learn and be inspired by places. I’m looking for apartments to tent and also ideally a small artist studio so I can get messy. I’m struggling to find any websites for short term rentals and art studios and am having to resort to Airbnb which is obviously. Ore pricey. So I’m thinking to book a place for a month (found a couple of places with 2 beds in SAN Telmo and Colegiales that look cool) but then I’m thinking of looking for cheaper places – a live/work studio ideally when I’m here. Do you have a recommendations on where I could find listings for studios to rent or apartment sublets? Many thanks for your time Erin! Heidi

    • Erin Reply

      Buen dia Heidi!! You’ve picked a great city to come to as an artist, it’s a very creative place! There’s a group on Facebook called “Buenos Aires Expat Hub” that has a lot of helpful information, and they have another group dedicated to real estate, maybe someone there will have something for you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BuenosAiresExpatHub.RealEstate/
      I have a post similar to this one but for tips and things to know about living in BA that will hopefully be published by the end of this week and maybe it will be helpful for you as well! Keep an eye out 🙂
      Also, a random tip, there’s an event in San Isidro called Puertas Abiertas every year (around end of Oct or beginning Nov) where artists open their workshops and show their art, it’s a really cool event!!

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