Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Where to go and what to visit in the most cosmopolitan city of South America when you only have few days!
Buenos Aires is a great city and quite unique in its way. But it should be seen mainly as a gateway to Argentina or maybe a city break and not necessarily a destination on its own. Or, at least, this was our impression.
This article will focus on our experience for few days in Buenos Aires, what we liked and what we didn`t, where to stay, what to visit and some other tips and tricks.
Buenos Aires is a city where it feels super nice to just walk, sometimes even without having a destination. There are a lot of park and green areas combined with both old and new architecture. The shops, however, feature a bit of the old fashion style.
The city is generally safe and during our stay we haven`t encountered anything dodgy. We even visited La Boca neighborhood, which has quite a bad reputation and we must say that we didn`t feel unsafe at any time.
However, it might be prudent to avoid the notorious areas, mostly at night.
So, first things first: finding a place to stay!
When you think about hotels in Buenos Aires, just subtract a star or two from the beginning, as the standards are much lower here.
If you think about saving money and buying a bed and breakfast, just forget it as you will probably spend more money on buying another breakfast than on the accommodation itself. Because food is SO expensive here!
The good news is that the hotel prices aren`t that high and you could get, for example, a 4 star hotel for about 80 -90 dollars per night. Mostly if you think that booking a 40 dollars hotel will probably mean buying your breakfast afterwards for another 40 dollars, it`s actually a good deal!
We initially did this mistake, booking a cheap hotel, and then we realized that we are actually loosing more time and money.
So we booked again another hotel which we highly recommend Hotel Pulitzer. You can either book directly on their website or via Booking.com and if you do it in advance you should get a decent price. We paid around 75 Euros per night in 2017.
The good thing with this hotel is that is located right in the city center, it has amazing buffet breakfast and on top of that you get an amazing sky bar on the top!
Just check if they have any private events during your stay, as we had a private party going on and we weren`t allowed to access the bar. ☹
Where to go
On a first search on Google one can find the list of the important points of interest in Buenos Aires. We haven`t been to all of them, but the idea is not to run like crazy from one point to another just for the sake of ticking everything but to have where to choose from and just enjoy the city.
Buenos Aires is pretty much split in two halves, the Northern being the nice one and the Southern being the notorious one.
The city center is quite compact and hosts most of the important places, so if you stay in the hotel mentioned above you`ll have most of the things within walking distance. The places you should tick over there are:
Teatro Colon and Obelisco de Buenos Aires which are very close to each other. The Obelisco is on Corrientes Avenue, also one of the main streets in Buenos Aires.
Plaza de Mayo which hosts Casa Rosada and Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral are basically all in one.
Just few hundred meters to the West from here you can find Cafe Tortoni, the oldest coffee house in the city. Here you could grab a snack, a cafe con leche or a medialuna ( local croissant ).The prices here are a bit more expensive than average and most of the times you`ll need to make a reservation or just wait in line.
If you move further South you can find Plaza Dorrego and San Telmo Market. This area is famous for the Milongas ( tango shows ) which can be held either outside or in the small bars around. This is a must!
Also, if you are around San Telmo market on a Sunday, there is a very nice flea market, Feria de San Telmo, which you shouldn`t miss.
On the opposite side of the center stands Puerto Madero which has two promenades, one each side. This area seems to be one of the best areas to live in, with luxurious residences and few sky scrappers.
Abeam Puerto Madero there is Reserva Ecologica Costanera Sur which is kind of a delta in the middle of the city. There is a big park surrounding it and it is very relaxing to bike, walk or jog around.
If you take a bus and go further South, there is the famous Caminito in La Boca neighborhood. We thought twice about going there or not as this area has a bad reputation, but there are a lot of tourists in the area and a lot of policemen so you don`t have to worry.
Caminito (little path, in Spanish) is a street museum comprising colorful painted houses typical of the immigrant dwellings that came to characterize the port area towards the end of the 19th century.
The caminito followed the route of an old stream that once flowed into the Riachuelo, and later, after the river dried up, formed part of the route of a railroad. After the closure of the railroad, the street was abandoned, until in the 1950s, a group of neighbors decided to regenerate the area and local artist Benito Quinquela Martín began using the buildings as a canvas.
Today, there are several works by Argentine artists incorporated as part of the street museum and the caminito has become a favorite with visitors to the city. Several restaurants offer tango and folk dance shows.
This was actually one of our favorite places in Buenos Aires.
In the North of the city there is Palermo district which is famous for its design shops. Once there, you can chill a bit, have a beer and eat some empanadas in Plaza Serrano.
Not far away from here you can find the Botanical Garden Carlos Thays then further South the Recoleta Neighborhood with the famous Recoleta Cemetery and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
If you have some more time around Buenos Aires, you can try some day trips to visit Tigre Delta, have a Gaucho day Tour or even take the ferry and go to Montevideo in Uruguay for a day.
Next, you can find some more photos, all taken with our Olympus OM-D M5 camera, 12 mm and 25 mm.