Last updated July 24, 2016
Buenos Aires is one of the most fascinating cities in the western hemisphere. It is very rich in culture boasting it’s european influences from the food they eat, clothes they wear and the art they admire. Although a very european like culture it still remains true to its latin roots being known as the Tango capital of the world.
With a population over three million (12 million including Metro) the city has tons of different neighborhoods all buzzing with restaurants, nightlife, and street markets. You can easily spend an entire month in Buenos Aires without getting bored, not to mention all the side trips you can take from BA including several famous wine regions .
Airport to City Center
I would strongly suggest that you take either Taxi Ezeiza (white taxi) or the Remis service to avoid having to change your mode of transport at any point, these two options are just the easiest. We paid roughly between $30-$40 USD to get from the international airport to San Telmo and it took between 30-40 minutes depending on traffic. Definitely avoid taking the black and yellow taxi’s from the airport.
Taxi’s (Black & Yellow) – Note: This is a thread talking about various scams that you should be aware of, so check it out!
Taxi Ezeiza (white taxi) – Find a white booth, usually located in the center of the terminal. Speak to the agents about taking you to capital federal and give them the address you’ll be staying at. The driver will then proceed to help you with your luggage to the car and in about 40 minutes you should be arriving at your destination. To make reservations here is their contact info: Tel (54 11) 5480-0066 or Email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Bus service – The bus is the cheapest option but I wouldn’t recommend it. If you do end up having to here is the information you’ll require: Bus 394 that runs to Monte Grande railway station and Camino de Cintura. Bus 502 runs to Ezeiza City. Bus 51 runs to Constitución via Monte Grande. Bus 86 operates between the airport and central Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo.
Mini bus /shuttle – It costs about 12 USD to get to the companies main offices located downtown Buenos Aries, where you’ll have to find another way to get to your final destination: hire a car, take a cab, take the train or if your hotel is walking distance from the office you can walk. You can make a reservation for the shuttle in the arrivals hall. There’s a shuttle leaving every 30 minutes and it takes 50 minutes to get from the airport to the main office down town located at 1299 E. Madero Av, Buenos Aires.
Remis service (car & driver hire) – Another option that can be found at the arrivals hall. Costing around 38 USD you’ll have all the flexibility, security and time saving that comes with having your own personal driver!
Car rentals – There is no need to hire a car unless you intend on driving to the outskirts of the city or if you intend on road tripping outside of Buenos Aires. If you do intend on hiring a car do be cautious as there are large amounts of cars, taxi’s and buses that stop every two to three blocks, not to mention that drivers in Bueno Aires disregard driving in lanes. Things can be quite stressful! There are four booths you can find in the terminal A for car rentals:
Alamo (national) (5411) 0810-999-25266 / (5411) 5480-5580/5581
Annie Millet- (54 11) 4480 0054 / www.milletrentacar.com.ar
Avis (54 11) 4480 9387/ 4378 9640 / 0810 9991 Avis (2847) email@example.com www.avis.com
Localiza (5411) 4816-2799 / 5480-5337 / 0800 999 2999
Walking : Buenos Aires is a walking friendly city, even though things are spread out it is easy to cover quite a bit of distance on foot and you’ll get to enjoy seeing :the architecture, monuments, character statues, sights and other attractions along the way.
Uber: Uber is now legal in Buenos Aires. This is always my preferred mode of transportation. When i visited in ay 2016 it was brand new and Ubers weren’t always available but i would guess they are plentiful by now. If you haven’t used Uber you use this link for your first ride free up to $20
The subway : This is a cheap, quick and easy way to get around the city, here is a map and a few notes:
*Runs from 5am to 11pm Monday – Saturday 8am to 10:30pm on Sundays
*You can buy tickets from the Subte station (subte= subway) a single ride is 5 pesos and 4.50 pesos with a subte card
*The subway is extremely crowded during peak hours so it may be best to avoid during these times
*Make sure you know where you’re going look at the entrance for more information eg:trenes a Catedral = trains to central,
*If you need to get off a crowded train politely say, “bajas” or people won’t move
*Each line is color coded making it easy to follow
*Pick pocketing is common on the trains so be aware of your surroundings and your possessions.
Taxi’s : The classic black and yellow taxi’s that you’ll frequently see in Buenos Aires. Here’s a few points to note:
*It’s relatively cheap option to get from point A to point B.
*Taxi’s can be hailed on any street
*Be sure to give the intersection of where you want to go to make it easier for the driver to find
*Taxi’s are usually safe but do be cautious as their is still crime.
Bus: The cheapest way to get around the city is extensive, taking you everywhere you want to go! complicated at first but they’re extremely easy once you get the hang of it.
*Argentinians line up on the right side of the road.
*If there is no one who is lined up for the bus you hold out your hand and signal that you want to get on.
* Tell the driver the intersection that you want to go to and he’ll charge you accordingly, it should be between 3- 3.5 pesos
*The bus gets crowded and you’ll probably have to stand most of the time so hold tight, you’re in for a bumpy ride!
Districts & Accommodation:
There are two parts to Palermo Viejo, Palermo Soho & Palermo Hollywood, Avenida Juan B. Justo divides the two sides. Palermo is the main area where people come together to hang out, this is where all of the most popular bars, restaurants, clubs, monuments, parks and so much more can be found. It is also the trendiest neighborhood in Buenos Aires where the cobble stone streets and low ride houses coupled with the trees that give shade to the sidewalks give the illusion that you’re in some small town. This is the heart of the city and where everything is happening and where you’ll probably be spending most of your time.
This is the perfect area for anyone who loves being close to shopping and with all of the subte lines running through this area, why not stay here. It’s has easy access to the rest of the city and the teatro Colón is within walking distance as an added perk. If you flew to Buenos Aires having made no reservations, this is probably the best area to come to due to the array of hotels and if you need to make or change travel plans you’re in luck because this also happens to be mecca of travel agencies.
The romantically historic area of San Telmo is paved with cobble stone streets that lead to all sorts of hidden treasures in the form of organic food markets, breathtakingly beautiful European styled buildings that have stood the test of time. Amongst the delightful mix of old, new and modern streets san Telmo has an eclectic mix of young professionals, artists and the homeless. The combination of it’s appearance combined with the eclectic people who reside there not to mention the large variety of restaurants, cafes, clothing stores and antique goods gives this area a unique charm unlike anywhere else. Every Saturday you can find an organic food market that sells meat and fish and every Sunday there’s a massive street market that runs along Defensa street.
Known for it’s historical dock district and it’s overflow of hotels and restaurants. This area is quiet and secluded somewhat feeling removed from the rest of the city, it has this stillness that’s tranquil. If you’re looking for place to relax where not much is going on except for a few museums, the Puente de la Mujer (a rotating foot bridge) or the reserva ecologica.
Closed Door Restaurants:
You may be wondering, ” what exactly is a closed door restaurant?” Basically it’s an underground restaurant that is usually operated out of someones home allowing the business to bypass local zoning and health code regulation. It’s quite popular amongst politicians and celebrities as they have privacy. These restaurants usually have 3-6 tables so if you have a big group ,you could hire the entire place out for the night. Attending at least one closed door restaurant during your visit is an ABSOLUTE MUST.
La cocina discreta
Address: 1425, Av. Córdoba 6162, C1427BZO CABA, Argentina
Type of food: International fusion , Argentinian
Attire: smart casual
One of the original closed door restaurants in Buenos Aires. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions you’ll have four courses of deliciousness in store for your taste buds. They opened the restaurant on a Monday on our request so our group of 6 had the whole place to ourselves, it was great! I love feeling as though I’m at a friends home having a diner party and that’s exactly how it felt.
Address: Given with reservation
Type of food: south American, pescatarian, vegetarian
In the Chacarita neighborhood you have the unique opportunity to dine at chef Diego and his wife Sanra’s beautifully quaint home. The food is inspired by the couples travels around South America, you’ll walk through their garden where many of the ingredients for the meal is grown and socialize with the other guests in the courtyard while enjoying your welcome cocktail. Although Argentinians loves their steak, Casa Felix is serving up a refreshing meal mostly for pescatarians and vegetarians.
Address: Av. Caseros 454, C1152AAN CABA, Argentina
Type of food: Vegetarian, Vegan, Healthy, South American
This is a great brunch spot! They offer three options for their brunch special: One vegan, One chicken and One sandwich. They have a big selection of juices and smoothies. This place is great because there really is something for everyone. They also have a bakery next door, where they sell baked vegan and gluten free goods along with household items such as coconut oil, nuts, lentils and other useful items. They do also serve diner and get pretty full so i would recommend reserving a table.
Address: Defensa 855, Buenos Aires C1065AAO, Argentina
Type of food: Steak house, Argentinean barbecue
This mom & pop shop is a great spot any time after breakfast! The meat top notch and of course it’s always fresh, always on point and the empanadas are killer! If you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet this is the last place on earth you want to be! This is Meat lovers paradise! Try the “Lomo” I personally couldn’t get enough of it!
La Fabrica del Taco
Address: Gorriti 5062, Buenos Aires 1414, Argentina
Type of food: Mexican
The owner of this place is from Mexico city so expect to taste an authentic taste from Mexico right in the heart of Palmero’s Plaza Serrano. They mostly serve tacos with a twist and they make some mean Margaritas! The atmosphere is relaxed yet still vibey, prices are great and the quality of the food is good. It does get busy especially on a Wednesday when they have their two for one special so be sure to get there early to be seated.
Address: José Antonio Cabrera 5099 C1414BGQ Buenos Aires, Palermo
Type of food: Argentinian steakhouse
Thank you Argentina for yet another brilliant steak house! At La Cabrera the selection of meats is wide and i’m sure that everything on the menu is as good as the dishes that we indulged in. Our meats also came with tones of little sides that made every bite new and exciting! They don’t offer anything for vegetarians so I advise meat eaters to be mindful of this, so that you only dine with other carnivores at this particular restaurant.
Address: 1100 Thames, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Type of food: Turkish, Middle eastern
This mom & pop shop serves up some superb middle eastern inspired tapas dishes. They open at 8pm and we arrived at 7:45 to a group of people waiting for the doors to open, so naturally we joined the group and it’s a good thing we did. Once the doors opened the entire restaurant filled up within 30 minutes. The wait staff are super helpful and the food comes out quickly! Every dish was excellent and they have options for vegans and vegetarians. Try the Empanadas and the Kufta. We were incredibly satisfied leaving this place.
*Naturaleza sabia: vegetarian, vegan
*Le pain Quotidien: Healthy brunch, gluten free
* La Brigada: Argentinian Steak House
La Recoleta Cemetery
Address: Junín 1760, 1113 CABA, Argentina
The most elaborate of tomb stones can be found in the heart of the Recoleta neighborhood. Tombs of some of Argentines most noble can be found here including Evita Peron, Presidents of Argentina, Napoleon Bonaparte’s grand daughter and many more! Walking through the site that holds 4691 vaults is not only beautiful but it is feels surreal. It truly is the crown jewel of Recoleta.
Buenos Aires Botanical Gardens
Address: 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Located in the bustling neighborhood of Palermo, the triangle that is perfectly tied into the main road of Santa fe avenue, Las Heras avenue and República Árabe Siria Street. Forget that you’re in the heart of a busy city and clear your mind while exploring and being closer to nature and all of the species of plant life that is native to this beautiful land. The sculptures, monuments and greenhouses fit so wonderfully into the gardens and give the space that much more of a tranquility.
With it’s strong European influence originating from Italian settlers from Genoa. La Borca lies on the south east near the old port, mostly recognized by it’s colorful houses and pedestrian streets. It’s old Italian charm is what makes it such a popular place for tourists to visit. Also popular in this area the tango dancers that perform shows in Caminito and where tango souvenirs are sold and of course the Theatre of La Ribera. Be aware of your surrounding as outside of the few blocks that has basically been built for tourism , the surrounding neighborhoods are poorer so pick pocketing and other crimes have been reported.
Off the beaten path:
Graffiti & street art tour
Here you can find Graffiti & Street art tours. Buenos Aires street art scene is exploding with talent of epic proportions and this talent can be seen on the streets both hidden and in plain sight. The street tours take you on the journey starting at the fiery origins of the movement to the context in which it stands today. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the artists and see their work from their perspective and from their stories.
Behind Puerto Madero, a little slice of haven can be found in the form of a natural reserve where you can hike to see one of the most phenomenal views of the city. The area is around 360 acres of open land filled with hundreds of species of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. over 50 types of butterflies can be found as well. There is a picnic area over looking the beach of Rio del la Plata, which is a perfect way to spend a sunny day. Another cool thing about the park is that on weekends and public holidays there are free guided tours at 10:30am and another at 3:30pm.
Escape the craziness of city life at an estancia and experience a taste of the cowboy culture. The old ranches can be found an hour outside of the city and promise to offer a relaxing and cultural experience. Spend time in the rolling hills of Argentina and learn the ins and outs of gaucho living, learn why Argentina is obsessed with beef and experience a classic Asado (BBQ) where it all began. Go horse back riding, where open fields and coastal views can all be taken in and where lakes may provide fishing. Here is an option that is both authentic and easy to reach from Buenos aires.
When in Argentina you must experience the rhythm and dance of the country and where better than a tango bar located on the boarder of San Telmo and La Boca in a place called Barracas. Bar Los laureles is a rustic tango bar that is more popular amongst locals where the live music plays till the early hours of the morning. It opens at 8pm and there are free tango lessons until 9:30pm and the live music only stops at 2am, leaving loads of time for you to drink, dine and dance the night away.
Address: Costa Rica 4803, C1414BSM CABA, Argentina
We ended our night Victoria Brown a high end speak easy, where you walk through the door to meet the hostess in what seems to be an empty room, don’t be alarmed you will be lead through a secret door and you’ll be seated and served. The ambience is everything you would expect from a speak easy styled sit down bar, the room was dimly lit with touches of an industrial warehouse spread throughout the place. They have a big variety of high quality cocktails that are a great mix of both classics and originals. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and chill out over some drinks and conversation it wasn’t crowded or too loud which I loved. Their menu in the evening is rather limited but they do have good finger food options.
Of course you can find this cool outdoor bar in Palermo. The atmosphere is relaxed, warm and welcoming to expats. This is a place where locals come after work to grab a drink or sit down and have diner with some friends. Great place to start your night and a nice way to wind down if you’ve had an intense day.
One of Buenos Aires hottest and most exclusive night clubs! Attracting celebrities and beautiful people from everywhere, so put on your best or you won’t make it past the door. The beginning of the nigh starts in the chic cocktail lounge where you have a view of the marina. You can sit down, order tapas or sushi and sip on some of the most delicious cocktails but as the night goes on the scene transpires as the music takes you from house all the way to electro. Naturally all the younger clubbers only come out to play around 3am.
San Telmo street market
Every Sunday one of the main streets in San Telmo comes to life with musicians, artists and crafty creators alike. Defensa street becomes one long market that has everything from fur to hand made jewelry to antiques. All of the stalls display everything that Argentinians themselves love, so this is the perfect place to go to buy unique gifts for your loved ones back home. The atmosphere is light and the music played on the street makes it feel as though there’s something to celebrate. The night ends with the most epic drum session that is not to be missed!
As far as high end shopping look no further than Plaza Serrano. You can also find some great restaurants here in Palmero Soho, much like New York City’s Soho area this is where some serious damage can be done! Both the clothing stores and restaurants are the best you’ll find, you can find really unique garments that aren’t mass produced therefore quality is excellent! It is possible to find decently priced items I should mention and roaming around this little area trying to find those can be quite fun!
This is a pedestrian friendly street filled with little malls, clothing stores, restaurants and electronic stores. This is where you can find both high end and lower end items so it’s a great middle ground. This is a tourist area so there will be people throughout the street trying to exchange money, I would suggest to not do that. almost anything you want can be found here so if you don’t have much time and want to shop i’d suggest checking out Calle Florida.
* Most restaurants and some small stores in Argentina don’t accept credit card and if they do they usually add and extra 10% to the bill, so be sure to have enough cash on you or ask your waiter if they accept card before ordering just to make sure.
* The Subte (subway) is busiest from 8-10am and from 5-7 so try avoid traveling on the subte during those times, it does get extremely crowded
* You will usually tip your waiter 10% unless the service was displeasing
* You may be walking a lot so bring comfortable shoes
* You may have heard about the famous blue rate exchange rate where you can get good rates on currency exchange. Due to changes in policy the blue rate is barley anymore competitive than the regular exchange rate now and not worth the hassle to pursue.