Buenos Aires Travel Guide to Use for Your Trip to This Metropolis

Buenos Aires travel will mean chances to explore Argentina’s Paris of South America, and this guide has everything you need to plan your trip.

Travelers love visiting this city, which is why it’s a major destination in the region. It has culture, charm, and lifestyle.

In this guide, you will have travel tips and ideas that include when to visit, where to stay, and what to do.

You will also get a 7-day itinerary you can use for your own trip, as well as day trips to include on your list.

So, if you’re heading to Buenos Aires, keep reading.

Buenos Aires Tourism

Buenos Aires Tourism

Buenos Aires has a huge tourism industry. This Argentinian city attracts millions of visitors annually.

What’s so hot about it? Well, Buenos Aires has amazing cultural experience like tango dance, historic architecture, and delicious food.

Argentina, as a whole, is a popular tourist spot, welcoming over 6 million international visitors each year. Most come here because they are drawn to its passionate culture.

And, of course, Buenos Aires is its gateway. As a result, the three main airports serve Buenos Aires. Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, and El Palomar Airport.

Ministro Pistarini International Airport, or Ezeiza Airport, is about 32km (20 miles) from the city center. From and to this airport, you will need a taxi.

Then, there is Aeroparque Jorge Newbery or AEP. AEP is in the city’s Palermo neighborhood. Although taxis are plentiful, you won’t need them here.

Meanwhile, there is El Palomar Airport. This one is about 18km (11 miles) from the city. Another one where you will need a taxi.

Tourists from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Australia do not need a visa for short-term visits to Argentina.

That said, though, specific entry requirements and restrictions may apply. So, you definitely need to check the latest travel advisories and regulations before planning a trip.

Finally, the local currency here is the Argentine Peso (ARS). The good news is that you will find banks and ATMs at the airports.

Just keep in mind that airport currency exchange services often apply higher mark-ups. Therefore, bring your own, if you can!

Before You Go

Before You Go

Argentina is currently going through a super crazy period of economic and political instability.

The “Argentine Paradox” encapsulates the country’s decline from a once-wealthy nation to its current economic challenges.

For example, there are recurring crises, high inflation, and debt defaults.

Imported things are crazy expensive. For instance, the average price of 1 banana was recently over 800 ARS pesos or over $1!

On the other hand, meat is very cheap. You can get a nice stake in a great restaurant for less than $10.

If you use certain skin care products, make sure to bring them here. Recently, I met one tourist who paid over $30 for a lotion that usually costs less than $10 back in the United States.

Your rental, if you choose to stay in an Airbnb, will be super cheap, though. Hotels are a bit complicated, and you will have to really compare prices.

Finally, the locals are the first to tell you that petty crime is on the rise. Most people can’t afford their lives. It really sucks.

So, your Buenos Aires travel will be smooth if you can prepare for these things.

When to Go

When to Go

As the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires is a great place to visit any time of the year.

That said, some of you might benefit from specific info.

In my opinion, the best time to visit is from February to May and from October to December.

February to May is a pleasant weather. You will also deal with fewer crowds. Just keep in mind that this the end of summer and beginning of fall or autumn here.

Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere! That means when you leave the spring in the north, you will arrive in the fall in the south.

Meanwhile, October to December is another period where you will expect comfortable temperatures and colorful foliage.

Now, you should definitely know that December and January can be super hot and humid.

Plus, that is the peak tourist season. This means you will compete with a bunch of others for everything.

If you’re into that famous South American cozy winter vibes, know that this city will give you that.

The coldest period in Buenos Aires typically occurs from late June to late September.

So, yeah, that is about it.

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

Oh, my goodness, there are so many places to stay here. Buenos Aires is a city of diverse neighborhoods.

Expect everything from the historic streets to the lively energy.

Personally, I absolutely loved San Telmo. This is the oldest of the neighborhoods. It has a bohemian vibe with its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and lively arts scene.

If you love art, crafts, and local cuisine, you will definitely like San Telmo. I would say this is perfect for solo travelers.

For the most touristy part, you might decide to stay in Monserrat and San Nicolás. These are neighborhoods with grand architecture and significant landmarks.

Monserrat and San Nicolás are home to popular tourist spots like the Casa Rosada, Metropolitan Cathedral, the Obelisk, Teatro Colón, and so much more.

Then there is Palermo. I would argue that this is the most diverse neighborhood in Buenos Aires.

Palermo has trendy bars, restaurants, and nightlife, and it includes several sub-neighborhoods.

Each mini Palermo neighborhood has its own distinct character. For example, Palermo Soho is home to your typical upscale boutiques.

On the other hand, if you love expansive green spaces, then Palermo Woods is your spot.

I would recommend Palermo to couples.

Right next door to Palermo is Recoleta. This is an upscale neighborhood with elegant architecture, green spaces, and cultural attractions.

Recoleta is home to the famous Recoleta Cemetery, where many notable figures from Argentine history are interred. For instance, this is where Eva Perón or Evita is buried.

I would recommend Recoleta to families, especially to those of you who are not budget-conscious. This is a rather luxurious neighborhood.

Other neighborhoods to consider for your Buenos Aires travel include Belgrano, Balvanera, and Constitución.

Food in Buenos Aires

Food in Buenos Aires

What to eat in Buenos Aires? Try empanadas, Argentine pizza, steak and wine, and ice cream for a true taste of the city’s cuisine.

Empanadas are savory pastries. They come with a variety of fillings and flavors. Argentine empanadas are often baked rather than fried.

Argentina pizza shows you the Italian influence because the city has a large population in this community. The unique twist is that they make them in a steel pizza pan, resulting in a slightly chewy and crunchy crust.

Anyway, the wine and steaks here are incredible. The country produces huge amounts of both beef and wine.

My favorite way to do this is to visit a “parilla,” a special restaurant for meats. These are traditional eateries that serve diverse stuff, though.

Melbach is the favorite wine here, so get a glass of that. If you are not familiar with it, ask them for a taste first.

Speaking of drinks, try the yerba mate here. This tea is very popular, and it actually tastes pretty good.

Of course, go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth with decadent pastries and creamy ice cream. There are a ton of places for this!

Meanwhile, there are plenty of regional and international eateries here, too. You will find everything from Chinese to Mexican!

Chinatown in Belgrano has some awesome restaurant, and you will even find couple of Indian places over the apps.

Finally, you will really want to download food apps here. My favorite is Rappi, which you can use with American credit cards and phone numbers.

Rappi will deliver groceries, too. You can get them on a “turbo” 15-minute or schedule longer with large chains.

So, yeah, food here is plentiful for your Buenos Aires travel!

Buenos Aires Attractions

Buenos Aires Attractions

Buenos Aires has of activities for visitors. Honestly, you will feel like there is an attraction in every block.

Begin your trip in the historic San Telmo. Explore its cobblestone streets and antique markets, and take some selfies.

Then, you must visit La Boca. This is where the famous Caminito street has tango dancers and colorful buildings.

Plaza de Mayo is a historic square with iconic architecture, political significance, and cultural gatherings. Great place to see amazing buildings.

After that, go take a stroll in the elegant Recoleta neighborhood. Visit the Recoleta Cemetery for the Evita pilgrimage.

Also, take a selfie with the impressive Floralis Generica sculpture in Recoleta.

Meanwhile, plan a trip to Teatro Colon. This is one of the world’s grandest opera houses. Honestly, it’s so beautiful.

As a traveler, you would miss out if you didn’t check out the dynamic energy of Avenida 9 de Julio.

This is home to the iconic Obelisco, and the area is busy with shops and theaters.

For green spaces, relax in the expansive Palermo parks, featuring lakes, gardens, and the Rosedal rose garden.

Speaking of green, make time to visit the Japanese Garden (Jardín Japonés). If you are here in the spring, you must go here.

If you love art, visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, and Museo Evita. They are all amazing.

Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to catch a live tango show. This is the city’s passionate dance heritage.

Where to Shop

Where to Shop

Buenos Aires has a variety of malls. Every neighborhood has something great, honestly.

The ones that stood out for me include Recoleta Urban Mall, Patio Bullrich, Abasto de Buenos Aires, Alcorta Mall, and Alto Palermo.

All of these malls feature diverse shopping options, upscale settings, large food courts, and entertainment facilities.

They are popular destinations for both locals and travelers for shopping and leisure activities in the city.

Alto Palermo has the most reviews among the locals on Google (over 90k reviews!). This mall has a multilevel layout. Anything you want, they will have.

Meanwhile, the city has amazing neighborhood markets. San Telmo Sunday Market is probably the most famous.

On Sundays, especially in the afternoon, you will find an array of goods such as wood carvings, jewelry, and artisanal products.

Other notable markets like Feria de Mataderos and Feria de Recoleta have different things, too.

Expect folkloric music, traditional dance, and unique handmade items in all of these markets.

Finally, the city has a huge e-commerce website called Mercado Libre. This is Latin America’s largest online shopping platform.

You will find an extensive range of services, including a marketplace for buying and selling products.

Of course, you will need a local phone number, address, etc, but you will be able to get same-day delivery.

Mercado Libre is great for long-term visitors.

Day Trips from Buenos Aires

Day Trips from Buenos AIres

Although Buenos Aires is a great destination, if you have a longer time, I recommend visiting nearby places.

Start with Tigre, which is very close and famous for its river delta and the Museo de Arte. I think a day there is enough.

Then, head over to Mar del Plata. This is a major fishing port and seaside beach resort. Expect sophisticated tourist infrastructure.

Mar del Plata is about a 5-hour drive since it’s 250 miles (around 400 km) away, though. So, plan an overnight visit unless you want to wake up super early and return late.

A lot of travelers like the nearby “Campos del Tuyú” National Park. This is a coastal reserve with diverse wildlife, including penguins, sea lions, and birds.

Meanwhile, Rosario is a great city about 3 hours away. It’s a great day trip with historical sites, charming cafes, and a relaxed ambiance.

Finally, I really recommend Colonia del Sacramento. This is in Uruguay, but it’s easily accessible by ferry. It takes about 2 hours to cross the Río de La Plata.

If you can visit those places, you will feel like you had a good Buenos Aires travel experience.

7-Day Buenos Aires Itinerary

7-Day Buenos Aires Itinerary

This city has a ton of things to do and see, and I don’t think it’s possible to see them all.

That said, a 7-day Buenos Aires itinerary can be a good way to get to know this Argentine metropolis.

On day one, get out there and explore popular landmarks like the historic Plaza de Mayo, the majestic Obelisco, and the famous Teatro Colon.

For your day two, visit the colorful La Boca in the morning to experience the artistic tango lifestyle.

In the afternoon, head to the charming San Telmo and end the day in the chic and upscale Recoleta.

On day three, explore Palermo’s trendy shops, beautiful parks, and diverse dining options. This will be a long day.

For day four, take a day trip to Tigre. This charming town has pretty canals, an artisanal market, and relaxing boat rides along the Paraná Delta.

On day five, head to the charming town of Colonia del Sacramento. This UNESCO World Heritage site has cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and a peaceful vibe.

Back in the city, on day six, explore the food scene by taking a culinary tour or visiting local markets. Sample the traditional Argentine dishes.

On day seven, do last-minute shopping at the malls, visit any tourist spot you missed, and just enjoy your last day.

Your Buenos Aires travel will be awesome with those done!

What to Avoid

Like any other major city, Buenos Aires has certain things to be aware of. First of all, make sure to get your essentials.

In every part of the city, you will want to avoid carrying valuables like watches, jewelry, and large amounts of cash.

With that out of the way, avoid shanty towns near Retiro train station because of safety concerns. Locals avoid this area altogether.

Likewise, Constitution Station is another place to be super cautious. Expect a higher tendency for petty crime there.

La Boca is lively, but be cautious at night. Plus, the area has been described as a total tourist trap, with pushy owners, particularly on weekend afternoons.

Talk to your local friends because there are plenty of no-no places to avoid.

Final Thoughts

Buenos Aires has the famous name of “Paris of South America” because of its similarities to the French capital.

Like Paris, Buenos Aires has gorgeous architecture, European-style boulevards, and colorful café culture reminiscent of the City of Light.

To experience that reputation, neighborhoods like San Telmo, Palermo, and Recoleta will give you ample opportunities.

Plus, you will get to enjoy the food, wine, and other unique things about Argentina’s melting pot culture.

Enjoy Buenos Aires!

AJ Paris is a travel photographer based in New York. He is the editor of Caravanzers.

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