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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic. The name means fair winds, or good air, in Spanish. The official name is Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires/ the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, also called Capital Federal/Federal Capital. It is one of the largest cities in Latin America, with many cultural offerings, and is the point of departure for traveling to the rest of the country. Inhabitants of Buenos Aires are called porteños, "people from the port," implying that many of the inhabitants are immigrants in some ways or another. Buenos Aires is a singular, open, and integrating destination that allows the visitor not only to view the city but also to have an exceptional urban adventure.

The city is geographically contained inside the province of Buenos Aires, but it is politically autonomous.
The city extends... Read more

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Destination:

Buenos Aires is the capital of the Argentine Republic. The name means fair winds, or good air, in Spanish. The official name is Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires/ the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, also called Capital Federal/Federal Capital. It is one of the largest cities in Latin America, with many cultural offerings, and is the point of departure for traveling to the rest of the country. Inhabitants of Buenos Aires are called porteños, "people from the port," implying that many of the inhabitants are immigrants in some ways or another. Buenos Aires is a singular, open, and integrating destination that allows the visitor not only to view the city but also to have an exceptional urban adventure.

The city is geographically contained inside the province of Buenos Aires, but it is politically autonomous.
The city extends on a plain covering 19.4 km (12 mi) from north to south and 17.9 km (11 mi) from east to west.
Approximately three million people live in the City of Buenos Aires (the Federal Capital of Argentina with 202 km² 78.3 mi²). The City is divided into 48 districts or barrios (neighborhoods). Together with its metropolitan area or Great Buenos Aires (Gran Buenos Aires), this is one of the ten most populated urban conurbations in the world with over 15 million people. Most of Argentina's activity is highly concentrated in this single city and its surroundings.
Buenos Aires constantly receives tourists from all over the world and offers a large choice of cultural events, nightlife, restaurants, and pubs. So you can expect good services and a wide range of options.
Buenos Aires also has one of the largest homosexual communities in Latin America, and there is a receptive attitude towards gay society in the federal law, same-sex marriages are legally performed and recognized in Argentinian federal law. In recent years there has been an increase in gay-oriented businesses such as real estate, apartment rental, travel agents, language classes, tango classes, bars, restaurants, hotels, and guesthouses. Since 2007, the city has seen the arrival of more gay cruise ships, the opening of a gay five-star hotel and a general increase in gay tourism.

Climate

Buenos Aires enjoys a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Because it is located near the coast, extreme heat and cold are rare, and the weather allows the city to be visited throughout the year. Winters are cold though frosts are rare. Though daytime temperatures are mild, nights are much colder. It is necessary to wear a coat. Dull, foggy and damp weather characterize winters in Buenos Aires although there is the occasional warm day. At the end of winter, heavy storms are common, and it is popularly known as the Santa Rosa Storm which marks the beginning of Spring. Spring and fall are changeable weather with heat waves pushing temperatures up to 38°C (100°F) and cold, polar air masses pushing temperatures down to -4°C (25°F). Even in November, temperatures can drop down to 2°C (36°F). Summers are hot and humid with heavy thunderstorms. It is the sunniest and least cloudiest season. Heat waves can bring periods of muggy weather with high humidity, making it uncomfortable. However, these heat waves do not last for long, and cold fronts bring thunderstorms followed by cooler temperatures and lower humidity, bringing relief from the heat.


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Buenos Aires, Argentina: Port Information


The passenger cruise terminal (Benito Quinquela Martin) is located about half a mile from the center of Buenos Aires. 
If a ship is moored at one of the outlying docks, a shuttle bus is provided to deliver passengers to the ship. Taxis are also available. 

Get around Buenos Aires, Argentina


The public transport in Buenos Aires is very good, although crowded during rush hour and the bus network can be confusingly complex. The metro (or underground railway) here is called the "Subte," which is short for Subterraneo (underground). The network itself is not very large but reaches most tourist attractions of the city, and there is a large range of bus routes and several suburban railways used by commuters. Trains, subte, and bus are most easily paid for with a SUBE card (20 pesos), which is a magnetic card that you recharge with money in stations or kioscos (grocery shops) equipped with the relevant machine. One card can be shared by any number of people (provided it has enough credit) since it is used only once, upon entering the transport.
Some electronic resources can help you find bus routes: the websites ComoViajo and CómoLlego, or the iPhone App miTinerario.
Finding your way around is relatively easy. Most of the city grid is divided into equal squares with block numbers in the hundreds, using a grid system similar to Manhattan, New York. Most streets are one way with the adjacent parallels going the other way, so beware that the bus or taxi won't follow the same route back. If traveling by taxi, you simply need to tell the driver the street and block number, e.g., "Santa Fe 2100"; or two intersecting streets, e.g., "Corrientes y Callao."
City maps are issued by many different publishers (Guía T, LUMI) and the local tourist authority. They are indispensable for those wanting to use public transportation since they include all bus routes. As always, check towards which direction the map is pointing, because some maps are bottom-up (South on the top of the map). This is true for the maps at the official taxi booth at Ezeiza airport.

By foot

Walking is a great way to get around Buenos Aires during the day. With the grid system it is relatively easy to get around, and because of the traffic, it may even be quicker than a taxi or bus. The larger avenidas are lined with shops, so there is plenty to see. In the Micro centro calle, Florida is a pedestrian shopping street where you can walk from Plaza San Martin to Avenida de Mayo near the Plaza de Mayo. It crosses Lavalle (also pedestrian only) which takes you to the Plaza de la Republica and the Obelisk. For safety reasons do not walk to La Boca; take a bus or taxi instead.

By taxi

Taxis are not the quickest way to move around the more congested parts of the city, especially during rush hour, as traffic jams are common. Still, you will find that taxis are usually rather inexpensive, convenient, and exciting (in a white-knuckled, classic-wooden-roller-coaster kind of way). Make sure to take the "radio taxi," as some taxis do no turn on the meter and will ask for a very expensive fare.

It is relatively safe to travel by taxis. For details refer to Stay safe. If you are uncomfortable hailing a taxi on the street, you can have your hotel or restaurant call a taxi for you. You should always check the driver´s personal information is legible in the back part of the front seat, and make sure they turn on the meter after they set off, to avoid any disagreement over the fare later. It is suggested to use small bills and exact or almost exact changes with taxis since as with many large cities around the world, it sometimes can be quite problematic of getting changes back from a taxi driver.

As of December 2016, Uber is readily available. You will often have a 5-10 minute wait compared to a taxi which can be hailed in seconds, but there are few of the risks associated with catching a taxi as a tourist. Since taxi drivers are against Uber, it's not recommended to order an Uber from a taxi stop, or from other places with taxi lines, as some big hotels or the cruise ship terminal. It is never a bad idea to send an SMS to the driver to arrange the pickup location.

By bus

The principal means of public transportation within the city are the buses (colectivos). Tickets must be bought on the bus through a machine using a prepaid RFID proximity card named SUBE, since April 2016 it is the only way to pay for transportation. You can expect to pay AR$8-9, each ticket price depending on approximate distance and rising at 0.25 intervals.

In case of an emergency, ask a local to pay your ticket with his/her SUBE and then pay him/her back: it is an unorthodox but frequent way to travel, but locals are aware of these difficulties and most of the times helpful. In no case will the driver accept money for a ticket; he (rarely she) will simply deny you entry. The reason that this is doable is that a SUBE card can be shared between multiple people and subsequently scanned multiple times when getting on a bus or at a ticket gate. If you are traveling in a group or a couple, it is possible to purchase just one SUBE card and simply scan it twice when necessary.

There are more than 150 lines covering the whole city. They work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but run less frequently on holidays and late at night. For each route, the bus is painted differently making them easy to distinguish. The best way to figure out the bus system is using the BA Como Llego app or buying a Guía "T" (which might not be up-to-date). It's essentially a little book with a directory of streets, which corresponds to map pages, and has bus listings on the facing page for each map. These can be bought at many kiosks around the city or subway stations; once mastered - not a simple task - it is fairly easy for a seasoned traveler to get pretty much anywhere in the city at any time by combining two or more bus and subtle lines.

On most services, board the bus and tell the driver your destination (or if you already know the fee, do what Argentines do—just yell how much the ticket is); he will press a button instructing the SUBE machine to deduct the fare from your card, you will notice the amount to be paid on the display of the reader with the SUBE label next to him. You can then use the card against it, and the payment will be processed, and the balance of the card will be shown. Please note that no actual ticket will be given to you when paying by SUBE card. Do not use the card before the driver selects your destination, since he may still be in the process of processing your order and say "no, todavia no" ("No, I'm still selecting the destination," or "not yet!")

You can also use buses to move in and around the suburban area (Gran Buenos Aires), but navigating Buenos Aires' immense metro area (10 million people) while avoiding dangerous areas can be a daunting task. The suburban-only lines (you can differentiate them because their line numbers are above 200) have less comfort, and many of them don't run after 23:00.

By Subte (subterranean)

The city has a subway network ("subtle", the short form of "tren subterráneo," which means "underground train"). It is very efficient, and you can save a lot of time by using it. It is cheap (in 2017, AR$7.50 for unlimited transfers as long as you keep underground traveling throughout the network). If you need to be somewhere by 08:00-09:30 or 17:00-18:00 on a weekday, however, the Subte will be incredibly crowded and depending on where you are catching it from, you may have to miss several trains in a row before there is space for you. Once on board, during peak hours it can get very crowded. Factor this into your timing arrangements to make sure that you make your meeting on time.

The subtle runs approximately from 05:00-22:00, except on Sundays, when service starts at 08:00.

Many subtle stations have interesting murals, tiles, and artwork. The "Peru" station is the oldest subway station and still has the old trains that require passengers to open the doors manually. Transferring between lines is indicated by combinación signs.

Remember to know which way your destination lies from your starting point, as the network uses its cabeceras (head stations) as way pointers and it can get confusing which way is the one you are supposed to ride. If you happen to realize that you are headed in the wrong direction, ask a local if they know of which the next station with a andén central (central platform) is, there you can easily get on the right train by just going across the platform.

For example, if you want to get from Palermo to El Centro using the D line, you will use the platform headed to Catedral because that's the one in Plaza de Mayo. If you instead go for Congreso de Tucuman, this one in Cabildo Avenue, simply wait to get to Palermo, Plaza Italia, or Carranza station and the take the other train.

As for the bus, you can use your SUBE card to pay your trip (simply swipe the card at the turnstile to get to the station). Also every station has a SUBE charging post, either automatic or attended, this can be quite useful because sometimes its easier to walk to a close known Subte station than trying to find a kiosk that charges.

The current network comprises six underground lines, labelled "A" to "E" and "H" which all converge to the downtown area and connect to the main bus and train terminals.

The A line used to be a destination on its own because of the old wooden carriages. It was built in 1913 making it the oldest metro system in Latin America, the Southern Hemisphere, and the entire Spanish-speaking world. The old wooden carriages were replaced in 2013.

In the southeast branch (the E line), the service is extended by a trainway known as premetro, but beware; it goes to some of the least desirable places in the city. Premetro is AR$0.60, or AR$0.70 with a Subte Transfer.

The subte and premetro services are own by the city transport and operated by Metrovias S.A. authority. You can reach their Customer Service personnel by calling - toll-free (within Argentina)- on 0800-555-1616 or by sending a fax to +54 4553-9270.

By train

There is a good deal of railway connections to the suburban area, and nearby provinces (commuter trains) laid out in such a way that it resembles a shape of a star. The quality of the service ranges from excellent to not quite so desirable, depending on the line; ask before using them at night time. They mostly cater to local commuters and not tourists, except perhaps Tigre branch of Mitre Line. The terminal stations are the same station you can take the Mitre Train to the Tigre Delta. Those trains are modern, and all of them have A/A. There you can do a boat cruise and see the wetland and recreational area of the porteños.

The main railway terminals are Retiro, Constitución, Once and Federico Lacroze. From all of these, you can then use the metro and bus network to get right into the center. The suburban fares are very cheap.

More information:

  • Metrovias: Urquiza trainway and metro - Good service, safe for traveling at any hour.
  • Trenes Argentinos: Sarmiento, Mitre, Roca, San Martín and Belgrano lines. The Sarmiento line is the most used one. It is however overcrowded and can be very difficult to use in rush hours; also covers less desirable places. Mitre line takes you to some really beautiful places like "Tigre", a very picturesque small town with old French-style little houses and a beautiful walkside by the river near a theme park, Parque de la Costa in the north of the suburban area. Be careful as every line has its own branches, so be sure you are boarding the correct train, which would be the Tigre one (there are displays on each platform, and a huge display oncentral hall). Mitre, Sarmiento and most Roca trains are new and all of them will have A/A and loudspeakers
  • Tren de la costa (site available in English): It's a small touristic cosy train which runs from Maipu st (change from TBA's Mitre Line, Mitre Branch, Mitre station) to Parque de la costa in Tigre, with stops in very exclusive zones such as San Isidro which is worth a couple of hours walk. As a tourist attraction, tickets are far more expensive than regular trains: one way daily ticket costs 16 pesos for non-residents and allows you to hop on hop off as many times as you want. Be sure to check their website as it offers a brief description of each station and its attractions.


All trains are paid with SUBE card, and in most cases, you'll have to approximate it to a turnstile, both when entering the departure and exiting the arrival one.

By Helicopter

Buenos Aires has a large fleet of private and commercial helicopters from all over the world and all models and makes. There are helipads and heliports all over each sector of the city and most tourist areas and destinations outside the city. Argentina Flight Adventures charters and rents the helicopters and some fixed-wing alternatives for tours, transport, evacuation, and special events and filming. www.argentinaflightadventures.com

More information:

  • Metrovias: Urquiza trainway and metro - Good service, safe for traveling at any hour.
  • Ferrocarriles Argentinos: Mitre, Sarmiento, San Martín, Roca and Belgrano Sur lines - Quality of service varies from line to line and from branch to branch, although it is getting better in general altogether.
  • Tren de la Costa (site available in English): It's a small touristic cosy train which runs from Maipu St (connection from Ferrocarriles Argentinos's Mitre Line, Mitre Branch, Mitre station) to Parque de la Costa in Tigre, with stops in very exclusive zones such as San Isidro which are worth a couple of hours' walk. As a tourist attraction, tickets are far more expensive than regular trains: one way daily ticket costs 16 pesos for non-residents and allows you to hop on hop off as many times as you want. Be sure to check their website as it offers a brief description of each station and its attractions.
  • Ferrovias: Belgrano Norte line, to the northern suburbs.

If departing from Retiro station, it's a good idea for a whole day journey (specially in summer where daylight lasts much more) to buy a one way ticket at Mitre station, stop for a small walk at some of the stations and arrive to Tigre where you can find lots of attractions, and in then go back to Retiro using the Tigre branch of the Mitre line.

By car

If you are truly adventurous (and a bit of a risk-taker), cars are available to rent in Buenos Aires. There are several things to keep in mind before renting a car in Buenos Aires. First, Buenos Aires is such an excellent city for walking that if something is within 20 or 30 blocks, it is often worth the extra effort to go on foot and get to know the city on a more intimate level. The terrain is flat so that it can be easily walked on. Second, if you aren't much of a walker, the public transportation system in Buenos Aires is cheap and efficient. It can get you anywhere fast! Third, and perhaps most important, the traffic in Buenos Aires is extremely unpredictable. Stoplights, signs, traffic laws—for many porteño drivers, are mere references. Picture yourself trying to get several thousand heads of cattle to move down the street and stay inside the lanes, and you have a decent idea of driving in Buenos Aires. It's also very difficult to find where to park your car in many neighborhoods, and close to impossible in downtown. Do not leave your car parked where you're not supposed to because it will be towed away, and the recovery fee is very expensive. Many hidden speed control cameras have been installed lately (especially in avenues), so be sure to stick to the speed limit, even in routes outside the city. DO fasten your seat belt and have your lights turned on or you will be fined.

If driving outside the city, you should not only stick to the speed limit (which varies a lot depending on where you are) but have your identification and driving license with you, as it's possible that you get stopped by traffic control policemen. National routes are in a good state of maintenance, but be careful in the province only routes as there may be unexpected and dangerous potholes in the pavement.

There is also the option to do private car tours. One (fun) option is to go for Buenos Aires Vintage Tours, which offers original Citroën 3CVs to do the tour. Check Buenos Aires Vintage for details on available tours.

By bicycle

Buenos Aires is not the most suitable city for cycling. Traffic is dangerous and hardly respectful toward bicycles; the biggest vehicle wins the right of way, and bikes are low on the totem pole. However recently a bicycling network has been developed, and it's constantly expanding. Check the web site for the updated map: http://mejorenbici.buenosaires.gob.ar/ It can be a very hectic experience, but by no means impossible if you have ridden a bike in traffic before. Be sure to avoid avenues, especially if busy.

Some spots call out for two-wheeled exploration, such as Palermo’s parks and the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur; on weekends and some weekdays you can rent bikes at these places. Here are some tips:

  • In Buenos Aires, traffic is good at anticipating the green light: some cars/buses start going when it's still red, knowing that it will turn green in the next second or few.
  • Indicators and head lights seem to be used randomly, don't be surprised if a car suddenly cuts into you without indicating first.
  • On one way streets, stick to the left lane to avoid the buses which go fast and stop all the time as well as the taxis that go at a snail's pace and stop or change direction suddenly to pick up a fare.

What to see in Buenos Aires, Argentina


If you are a fan of walking in green open spaces and parks in big cities like Buenos Aires, be sure not to miss a promenade in Palermo, a beautiful area in the northern part of the city. Here you will find not only open spaces to walk in but also a large lake where you can rent paddle boats and a huge flower garden that is free to enter! Although the Japanese and the botanical gardens and the surroundings are very nice, they are also very noisy as several major roads traverse the area. For a quiet, shady walk or jog head to the golf course north of the railway tracks.

Another great place to walk along and experience Argentine street life is El Puerto de Buenos Aires. Its personality, however, is quite contrasting during the day and the night.
La Boca has the Caminito pedestrian street with arts and crafts. There is also a river cruise you can take from there where you can see a huge picturesque metal structure across the river. You can try and catch a rowboat to Avellaneda on the other side of the water for 0.50 pesos, but you will have to try your luck as the rower may not allow you on citing that it's dangerous. La Boca is famous for Tango, and you can often catch glimpses of Tango dancers practicing in the streets. If you fancy having a picture taking with a tango dancer, you can but expect to pay a small fee. In addition to tango, La Boca is famous for its football, and you can take a tour of the La Bombonera Stadium where the buildings are painted in bright colors.

The prices for almost everything in La Boca tend to be 2 to 3 times higher compared to the rest of the city. It's very touristy since it is an enjoyable place with some authentic Argentine sights. La Boca is probably best to be enjoyed during the day when the streets are crowded, and there are other tourists around; it is advised to be avoided at night.

There is no Subte to La Boca, but many buses go there.

  • The Cementerio de la Recoleta: (La Recoleta Cemetery) This is where all the rich families in Buenos Aires have their final resting places. Expect to see big ornate tombs. Be sure to visit the tomb of Eva Perón, the daughter of an aristocrat and beloved First Lady who, despite having the most visited tomb in the cemetery, is considered by many to be too close toward the people for eternal interment in Recoleta.
  • Remembrance Park (Spanish: Parque de la memoria) a public space that is situated in front of the Río de la Plata estuary in the northern end of the Belgrano section of Buenos Aires. It is a memorial to the victims of 1976–83 military regime during the Dirty War...pack some sandwiches and perhaps something stronger to relax on the hillside (and watch the planes landing overhead at the airport nearby) contemplating things after learning more about this tragic yet important part of Argentina´s history that is a must visit for any visitor.
  • The Palermo Viejo district: This is a trendy neighborhood with charming cobblestone streets, bookstores, bars, and boutiques; definitely better than the touristic San Telmo area for a nighttime excursion. The Palermo station, on D line, is the closest metro stop.
  • San Telmo: Best visited on Sundays when tourists and locals alike flood in to attend the weekly street fair and flea market. Be watchful for good deals, and bring in your water, as it's quite expensive here. On Sunday nights, there is a tango performance in the lovely plaza, which is specifically for tourists. (Visit an underground tango club for the most amateur experience. If there is advertising or disco ball, then it's not an amateur).
  • Jewish Areas: Argentina is one of the largest Jewish communities in the world. They established at some areas and concentrated in the urban life. By walking or car, you can discover the famous Kosher McDonalds, the oldest synagogue, visit the area and the Jewish museum and some art. There were 2 bombs against Jewish institutions so you can find memorial places. Is important to be with a Jewish tour guide to escort you and have the access everywhere. There is a group of guides on blog LizFlor2 that can lead you.
Explore our https://www.cruisebe.com/all-categories/buenos-aireslist of attractions in Buenos Aires!

What to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Football Games

Argentina has a renowned football reputation and the sport is big throughout the whole country including of course, Buenos Aires. The capital is the home town of two of the most appreciated football teams in the world, Boca Juniors (which resides in Boca) and River Plate (Núñez). A game between these two legendary teams is called the "Super Clasico." This is by far the hottest ticket in the city and one of the most intense rivalries in the world, and it is often necessary to buy tickets well in advance. Also, the Argentine National Team is very, very popular. Tickets to their World Cup Qualifying matches can difficult to come by, involve waiting in very long lines, and should be ordered in advance for more convenience.
Argentinian fans are known for their passion and the songs (which practically love songs) which they sing to their teams. Even if you are not a huge football fan, going to a game is worth it just to take in the atmosphere and to observe the fans singing and cheering. While this is an experience you don't want to miss while visiting Buenos Aires, it can also be dangerous for tourists to go on their own depending on the stadium.
Tourists are often advised to go with large, organized groups with bilingual guides, in particular to a Boca Juniors game. This ensures that you can watch the game in peace and still have a great time. If you want to see a match on your own, the best choice is to see River Plate, in the rich northern suburb of Belgrano. Best to purchase a (more expensive, approx $100 pesos) Plateas (grandstand) ticket rather than being in the Populars (terraces, approx $60 pesos).
In the Plateas you can safely take your camera and enjoy the show. Don't worry about purchasing tickets in advance, often tickets go on sale only on match day, and as the stadiums are huge matches rarely sell out (except the above-mentioned Superclasico).

Tango

A trip to Buenos Aires is not complete without some experience of the Tango, the national dance of Argentina. A good place to go and watch some authentic Tango is at the Confiteria Idéal Suipacha 384 (just off of Corrientes, near Calle Florida). However, Tango is best experienced not in La Boca and on Calle Florida, but in the Milongas. A milonga is both a place where a Tango dance will take place, as well as a specific type of tango dance.
Milongas take place either during the day or late at night. "Matinée Milongas" usually start in the early afternoon and go until 8-10PM. They are popular with tourists who may struggle to stay up until 5 AM every night. Inside milongas, you will find many locals who will be more than willing to show you how to dance. The night Milongas officially start at around 11, but don't fill up until around 1:30. They may go on until 5 or 6 in the morning. Some Milongas to note are Salon Canning, El Beso, and Porteno y Bailarin.
There are many milongas held in different parts of the city every day. There's a free distribution guide called TangoMap Guide which contains all the information of the milongas day by day, including times and location. This guide also informs about tango teachers and tango shops, so it's the best reference for any tango lover. It is edited by Caserón Porteño, a Tango Guest House in Buenos Aires (http://www.caseronporteno.com) that also gives free tango lessons every day for its guests.
You can start learning tango through the group lessons offered at many studios. Some popular schools are at the Centro Cultural Borges, on the very top floor. It can be very hard to find the actual place as there are some stairs you have to go up, and then you have to go through a museum. Ask the security officer where the "Escuela de Tango" 19 is. Take note that in the summer time the rooms can get very hot. The Centro is within the Galerias Pacifico, the American-style mall near Calle Florida on San Martin. The best way to learn, and the quickest, even if you do not have a partner, is with private lessons. You can find instructors who charge as little as US $40 per hour, all the way up to ones that will charge US $100 per hour. If you want to try the authentic style that the Argentines dance socially in the milongas, look up some of the milongueros who teach tango, like Alejandro Gee, Juan Manuel Suarez, Jorge Garcia, Jorge Kero. They will not only teach you traditional tango or milonga, but you can also find out a lot about the culture by hanging out with them. You can google them up for videos or in order to find them. Many of the more 'famous' instructors command a premium price. Be warned if you start taking tango lessons it will seduce and consume your life and you will then be force to make many pilgrimages back to Buenos Aires to dance.
If you prefer to start taking lessons in reduced groups and have personal attention, there are two tango oriented hotels with professional tango teachers who offer group tango lessons every day (free for their guests). One option is Caserón Porteño (http://www.caseronporteno.com) and the other one
Tango Lodge (http://www.tangolodge.com). You can check the complete schedule for the tango lessons at their websites.

Gaucho party

Spend a night seeing what it is like to be a real gaucho. Live the life of an Argentine cowboy; ride horses, eat traditional gaucho foods, drink traditional gaucho wines, and dance like they used to do back in the day. A great way to get out of the city for a day and see another side of Argentine culture. Great for adults, kids, or anybody who ever wanted to be a cowboy when they were younger.

Skydiving

Buenos Aires hosts exhilarating skydiving activities within its clear blue skies. You can experience a 20-minute flight, followed by a 35 seconds freefall, and a slow descent of nearly 7 minutes to enjoy a breathtaking view. Discover a unique bird's-eye view of Buenos Aires and its expansive pampas as you dive through 3,000 meters (9,000 feet) of open air. There is no better place to feel the adrenaline of a Tandem Skydiving Jump.

Food Tours

Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires 20 leads walking tours around different neighborhoods several times a week. During the tour, participants stop and sample traditional foods at 4 restaurants, 3 parrillas (steakhouses) and an artisanal ice cream shop, as well as learn about the history and culture around Argentine cuisine. The stops chosen tend to be a hole-in-the-wall, locals only, establishments not in guidebooks.

Wine events

Argentina is renowned for its excellent selection of wine. The most popular being Mendoza which is rated among the worlds most popular regions due to its high altitude, volcanic soils and proximity to the Andes Mountains. The terrain seems to complement the European grape varietals with interesting notes not present when produced in other climates; this allows the Argentine wine to be positioned in a league of its own.
The best way to experience and understand the selection of Argentine varietals is a wine tasting, which is offered by quite a few companies and bars around the city.
Anuva Wines 21 is one of the best wine tastings in Buenos Aires. They offer you 5 different wines to taste, 5 different food pairing to go with those wines, a general chat about wine culture in Argentina, and much more.
Check Wine Tour Urbano 22 for information on wine tasting events. Usually, they are organized in Recoleta or Palermo and consist of several designs and fashion stores along a street that open their doors to wineries who want to offer their wines. The very nice atmosphere, sometimes with jazz and classic live musicians playing in the streets.

Polo

Argentina is well known for having one of the best polo teams and players in the world. The largest tournament of the year takes place in December at the polo fields in Las Cañitas. Smaller tournaments and matches can also be seen here at other times of the year. For news on tournaments and where to buy tickets for polo matches, check Asociacion Argentina de Polo at http://www.aapolo.com/
Around Buenos Aires there are plenty of Polo schools. Most Polo courses run for a week and include accommodation on site. A popular option for a day-trip is Polo Elite 23, who operate polo lessons for beginners as well as guided trips to polo matches. They provide transportation for the 45min drive from downtown to their school.
Another option is Argentina Polo Day which runs professional polo games every day of the year, as well as polo lessons for beginners and pros. Its full-day program also includes a typical Argentinean BBQ with unlimited wine and refreshment. The Polo Clinics also includes accommodation. Transportation is provided, for the 45 minutes drive from downtown to their polo ranch.
Puesto Viejo Polo Days 24 is another option. These full-day experiences collect participants from the city and take them to a luxury polo estancia in the countryside. They offer transport, snacks, Argentine lunch with wine, lesson, mini-match, use of hotel infinity pool, and an opportunity to watch a full polo match.

Gay travelers

In recent years, Buenos Aires has become a popular destination for gay travelers. For international gay travelers, the "Paris of the South" has also become the gay capital of South America. Same-sex marriage is legal in the country, and in the central districts, you will find most people helpful and amiable. There are many gay oriented services to help you make the best of your stay.
If you are looking for accommodations, you can start by visiting BA4U Apartments 25 which specializes in finding rentals for the gay-friendly community. They can also direct you to tours and services their clients use like Day Clicker Photo Tours
26 and Pink Point Buenos Aires 27 tourist services. While you are visiting, you might also want to stop in to see Chef Mun at the popular closed door restaurant Casa Mun 28.

Helicopter tours

The city of Buenos Aires and its suburban surroundings cover a tremendous expanse of land that cannot be easily and quickly walked, biked, or driven. That is what helicopter rides are for. You can discover Buenos Aires from a unique perspective: see the skyline of Puerto Madero's skyscrapers, the grid of concrete streets filled with taxis and colectivos or buses, the tourist attractions including the Obelisco, Casa Rosada, and Cementario Recoleta. Tour the skies above the human traffic on an exciting helicopter ride, a different way to explore the city.

Golf

You might not think of it as you walk around this big city of skyscrapers, but there is some very good golfing very close by. There are many trips to the golf courses that make it easy and relaxing for tourists to enjoy a day on the green. Packages include any greens fees, equipment, and a caddie who you can blame when you hook that shot into the woods!

Jewish travelers

Buenos Aires is home to one of the biggest Jewish communities in the world and the biggest in Latin America. There are many sights and activities specifically for Jewish people. There are museums, beautiful synagogues, monuments, barrios and history for all travelers to soak up and enjoy. Tours are given around the city to hit all the major Jewish landmarks. This is a great way to see a different side of Buenos Aires that most people wouldn't think about seeing.

Spas

Recently, more urban spas or day spas have flourished, some of them at large hotels such as the Alvear, Hilton, Hyatt among others. Furthermore, some green spas have opened shops and offer a great range of eco-friendly treatments.

Medical tourism

Making medical procedures part of your overall vacation package is a growing trend, and since Buenos Aires is relatively affordable for Westerners, it is at the forefront. If you decide to go the medical vacation route, there are some firms that have established relationships with local medical clinics who can deliver a total package. Make sure you check out the credentials of the doctors and other healthcare professionals before making your decision; that said, Buenos Aires is home to plenty of well-trained doctors with excellent reputations.

  • Buenos Aires City Festivals. The official listing of city-sponsored events and festivals.

What to eat and drink in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Eat

While the primary consumption of Argentinians is beef, there are other options in this cosmopolitan city. Italian food is pervasive, but in neighborhoods like Palermo, pizza joints are seeing heavy competition from sushi, fusion, and even vegetarian bistros. Just about everything can be delivered - including fantastic, gourmet helado (ice cream).

Meat

You will want to try asado (beef/steak barbecue) at a parrilla, restaurants specializing in roasted meats. There are expensive parrillas, and more simple and cost-effective ones, In either case, you will likely have some of the best "meat" you have ever tasted. The bife de lomo (tenderloin) is unbelievably tender.
As a matter of fact. The first regular refrigerator ship is the Steamers Le Frigorifique and Paraguay that carried frozen mutton from Argentina to France.
Jugoso means rare (literally "juicy"). However, the Argentine concept of rare is very different from that of someone from the States (perhaps it's a tourist thing, but an American ordering rare is likely to get something between medium well and hockey puck). Argentines cook their meat all the way through, and they can only get away with this method because the meat is so tender that cooking it well does not necessarily mean it's shoe leather.
For Westerners, don't be afraid to order "azul" ("blue"), you will not get a blue steak, more like an American Medium Rare. If you like your meat "bloody," or practically "still walking" it might pay to learn words like "sangre" ("blood") or to make statements like "me gusta la sangre" ("I like the blood"). Don't be afraid to spend two minutes stressing how rare you want your steak to your waiter- this is something no one talks about in guidebooks but every other American and Brit, once you arrive, will tell you the same thing, if you want it rare, you have to explain exactly how rare.
Only the most old-school parrillas (grills) don't offer at least one or two pasta dishes, and pizza is everywhere.
​Parrilla Tour Buenos Aires 34 leads walking tours around different neighborhoods of classic parrillas. During the tour, participants stop and sample traditional foods at 4 restaurants, 3 parrillas (steakhouses) and an artisanal ice cream shop, as well as learn about the history and culture around Argentine cuisine. The stops chosen tend to be hole-in-the-wall, locals only, establishments not in guidebooks.

Pizza

Italian and Spanish food are almost native here, as the cultural heritage heralds in great part from these two countries. Other popular meals are pizzas and empanadas (small pastries stuffed with a combination of cheese and meats). They are a popular home delivery or takeaway/takeout option.
Pizza is a strong tradition in Buenos Aires. It comes al molde (cooked in a pan, usually medium to the thick crust), a la piedra (baked in a stone oven, usually thin to the medium crust), and a la parilla (cooked on a parilla grill, very thin, crispy crust). Best places: "Los Inmortales", "Las Cuartetas", "Guerrín", ·El Cuartito", "Banchero's", "Kentucky".
"El Cuartito" in Recoleta has a delicious "Fugazzeta rellena" pizza. This restaurant can be packed with families and friends even at midnight.
In "Guerrin," ask for a slice of pizza mozzarella with a glass of Moscato.

Vegetarian

Vegan food is available at these restaurants:

  • Artemisia - 3877 Cabrera
  • Bio Restaurant - Humboldt 2199
  • Bodhi - Chile 1763
  • Granix - Florida 165 2nd floor
  • Green Life - Paraguay 2743
  • Los Sabios - Corrientes 3733
  • Lotus - Cordoba 1577
  • Prana Cocina Vegetariana - El Salvador 5101
  • Sattva - Montevideo 446
  • Siempre Verde - Arribeños 2127

Sweets

One incredible and typical Argentinian kind of "cookie," is the alfajor, which consists of two round sweet biscuits joined together with a sweet jam, generally dulce de leche (milk jam, akin to caramel), covered with chocolate, meringue or something similarly sweet. Any kiosk, supermarket, bakery and even cafe is crammed with a mind-jamming variety of alfajores, and every porteño has its favorite. Be sure not to leave without trying one.
Also, all bakeries offer a wide selection of facturas, delicious sweet pastries of all shapes, doughs, and flavors, most of them of French, Spanish and Italian inspiration but with a twist of their own. Porteño's are very keen of these, which are served by afternoon, with -of course- some mate.

Service

Do not expect service to be comparable to large cities in Europe or the USA. Don't expect your waiter to take your drinks order when the menu is delivered and don't expect the menu to arrive very quickly. If you want service, attract the waiter's attention. S/he will never come over to take your empty plate, etc. unless they want to close.
Patience is the key. Argentinians are so accustomed to the relaxed service that they don't bother to complain directly to the waiter but only comment toward fellow Argentinians. Speak out to the waiters if you feel it is appropriate.

Budget

There are a lot of al paso (walk through) places to eat; you eat standing up or in high chairs at the bar. Meals vary from hot-dogs (panchos), beef sausages (chorizos, or its sandwich version choripán), pizzas, milanesas (breaded fried cutlets), etc. Don't forget to indulge in the perennially popular mashed squash - it is delicious and often comes with rice and makes a full meal in itself. It is perfect for vegetarians and vegans to fill up on.

Mid-range

You can go to a huge variety of small restaurants, with cheap and generous servings, most notably the ones owned by Spanish and Italian immigrants. There are also many places which offer foreign meals, mostly Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Arabic, Spanish, and Italian.

  • Siga la Vaca. Several locations throughout the city, notably in Puerto Madero and Costanera, offers buffet-style asado fresh off the grill and includes a well-stocked salad bar. Including wine, approximately $80 per person.
  • Las Cholas, Arce 306, ☎ +54 4899-0094. Great parrilla specializing in Northern Argentine found in Las Cañitas. The rooftop seating upstairs is a great environment. Don't expect to see many tourists here, just a lot of Porteños out for a three-hour weekend meal. Try the Humita (made with mashed corn, cheese, and spices) and Tamales (a sort of flour with minced beef) or anything off of the parrilla is great. Do not skip dessert.
  • Guerrin (pizza), Corrientes 1368, ☎ +54 4371-8141. Go for a great pizza in a really noisy environment
  • El Farol, Estado de Israel 4488 (y Rocamora), ☎ +54 4866-3233. "Typical Argentinian food": Spanish + Italian + meat. Very high quality.
  • La Biela (near the Recoleta cemetery). Very nice cafe just outside of the cemetery, shaded by an enormous rubber tree. In very ancient times, it was a saying: If you are not greeted at La Biela, you do not exist. When the bill comes, remember that the largest part of the cost was not the meal, but the right to show yourself there.

Splurge

The most expensive and luxurious restaurants are found in the Puerto Madero zone, near downtown, heading to the River Plate.
But the nicer places regarding decoration, food, and personality are in Buenos Aires/Palermo.

  • The Grill at the Marriott Plaza Hotel. Acknowledged as a five-star restaurant, it offers the finest international cuisine and is considered among the best restaurants in Buenos Aires.
  • Primafila, ☎ +54 4804-0055. Av. Puyerredon 2501. The classy Italian restaurant where you will find thin crust pizzas due to their brick-oven (dinner only, not available during lunch hours). Extensive menu including salads, pasta, pizza, meats, and seafood. Expect to pay around 20 dollars for a pizza.
  • Cabaña Las Lilas, ☎ +54 4313-1336. Alicia Moreau de Justo 516. This place had the reputation of being the best place to eat steak in Buenos Aires. The steaks are enormous and succulent. Be warned if you eat here, count on them having to roll you out as you will be near explosion (prob best to wear trousers with elasticated waists!). It's a constant struggle not to stuff yourself with the mouth-watering appetizers before your steak even arrives. When it does, you may chuckle at the little plastic cow figurine jabbed into the meat, smiling at you and bearing the words “Estoy jugoso," - "I am juicy" (meaning rare). Count on spending around 85 pesos for a steak, 12 for a beer, and 80 for a bottle of wine from their extensive list of Argentine and international vintages. You can also share an order of steak, which the restaurant will serve on a separate plate. The doneness is different in Argentina than in the U.S., for medium rare, order rare.
  • Restaurantino & Cafetino, ☎ +54 515-0707. Olga Cossetini 791, Puerto Madero East; In this up scale Italian restaurant expect to find cloth napkins, fine silverware and snooty waiters in starched uniforms and long aprons. As alluring as these characteristics sound the real highlight is the food which is rich and decadent. Wide selection of main courses including fresh pasta in homemade sauces ($15–30AR), traditional chicken dishes including Chicken Marsala $20AR-$30AR), and a variety of meats including Argentine parilla style steaks ($35AR). The menu of seafood is worth considering with rareties such as fresh Yellow-fin Tuna steak in a pesto sauce ($30AR).
  • Rodizio (is THE place to go if you want to eat the world famous Argentine asado. It is not cheap, but you can eat as much as you can of the highest quality steak, which is served with 'swords.' There are 3 branches: Puerto Madero, Costanera Norte (unbelievable view to the coast line). And a recently opened one in the tourist city of Mar del Plata.

Drink

The main areas to go out are Puerto Madero, close to the Casa Rosada. Safe during the day and night, due to the obvious reason (Casa Rosada). At Recoleta area (close to the famous cemetery) there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and a cinema complex. This area used to be trendy, but it is now mainly for tourists. Palermo SoHo and Palermo Hollywood are full of trendy stores, restaurants, and young and trendy bars. Palermo Las Cañitas is another nice area close to the Polo stadium. Also, San Telmo has a very bohemian, and very fun, nightlife scene. Buenos Aires has a popular cafe culture.

  • Cafe Tortoni Avenida de Mayo 829 between Piedras and Tacuari. Opened in 1858. The hot chocolate is incredible.
  • La Biela Quintana 596 and RM Ortiz. Luxurious. You can sit outside underneath a huge ancient ficus tree for a little extra cost.
  • Las Violetas, Av. Rivadavia 3899 (Esquina Medrano). A lovely cafe, a bit off the beaten (tourist) path but you can take the oldest subway line in the city, Line A, to get there. Well worth the trip.
  • Krakow Café Bar (Krakow Bar), Buenos Aires, Venezuela 474, San Telmo/Monserrat (betw.Defensa & Bolivar), ☎ +54 11 4342 3916?. 6pm-3am, F,Sat to 5am. This popular pub offers the best selection of tap beers in San Telmo, a huge variety of cocktails and top shelf liquors in a beautiful period location. Great European menu includes moderately priced tapas, picadas, pizzas, hamburgers, mains and Polish specialties. An international crowd enjoys a large projection screen for sport events, Nintendo Wii, board games, free WiFi and comfortable sofas in the living room/club section of the pub. The staff is multilingual and modern music is kept at the right volume. Happy Hour is every day until 10PM.
  • Confiteria Ideal is ancient and less modified but full of character; located at Suipacha 380.

Clubbing

Buenos Aires has a great variety of clubs and discos that are open until late hours (6AM or 7AM) and bars that stay open 24 hours a day. Have in mind that at closing times the streets will be swarmed with people trying to get home, so it isn't easy to get a taxi, and the public transportation will be very busy.

Young teens are used to staying out and by-passing the little security, so be cautious when engaging girls in provocative clothing. They might try to hit off with foreigners as part of a dare with their friends. The famous Palermo Barrios (SoHo, Hollywood, Las Cañitas or simply "PalVo") have many hip restaurants that turn into bars as it gets later.

  • Pacha, ☎ +54 4788-4280. Av. Costanera Norte y Pampa, A world renowned chain of club has a franchise in Buenos Aires showcasing local and international DJ's.
  • Casa Bar, ☎ +54 11 4816 2712. Rodríguez Peña 1150 (@Santa Fe), Recoleta, Popular Recoleta bar with a fantastic international beer and liquor selection, excellent American-style bar food, DJs and live music and all international sporting events on several large flat-screen TVs on the first floor and a huge projection screen on the second floor. Happy Hour specials seven nights a week from 7PM until 11PM and other drink and food specials are announced daily.
  • Bahrein. Lavalle 345, Microcentro. Metro Line B, station Florida. One of the trendiest clubs in Buenos Aires with a good selection of electronic music. Tuesdays are popular among locals, with accelerated drum & bass rhythms. Thursdays are also a good option. The club is located in an old bank building, check the vault on the bottom floor.
  • El Alamo, ☎ +54 11 4813 7324. Uruguay 1175, Recoleta. Free beer for girls M-F until 11PM and low prices all the time. Satellite quality feed on 10 large flat screen TV's.
  • Jack the Ripper, ☎ +541148167508. London style pub in the heart of Recoleta. Libertad 1275.
  • Late Night Tango Late night tango shows are also very popular among tourists and locals alike. They often include dinner, a great show, dance lessons, and a few complimentary drinks. The dancers are all professionals and bent on putting in their best shows every single night. These shows start around dinner time but can go well into the night. They can be a great starting block for the rest of your crazy night in Buenos Aires.
  • Magdalena's Party, ☎ +54 4833-9127. 1795 Thames y Costa Rica, A social bar with an "indie" crowd in Palermo SOHO with live DJs on weekends. They serve American style brunch on weekends.
  • crobar, ☎ +54 4778-1500. Paseo de la infanta, Palermo, A large night club located near the Palermo lakes. Known for their international DJs and electronic music.

Rock Concerts

Buenos Aires has a tradition of rock concerts going on all the time. Most of the time top international artist include several dates on their tour in Buenos Aires. Football stadiums are frequently used for the concerts. People from Argentina is often claimed as "Best crowd of the world" because of their behavior in Rock concerts. They constantly jump, sing as loud as possible, do Pogos (They usually push each other while jumping following the music, but it's not a kind of violence, it's a friendly and common thing), they also do Moshpits, and sometimes, Walls of death. If you're not accustomed to this, we recommend not trying to get to the front row because there is where it happens. People don't stop for a second not even to take pictures. Fans also go to the airport to receive artists and give them gifts, take pictures and ask them for sign things. They follow them to their car/van and sometimes they even follow it. Many artists also love Argentinian crowd, for example, Foo Fighters, AC/DC (Who made a live DVD of 3 sold out concerts, called "Live at River Plate," in 2009, sold in 19 countries), etc.

Shopping in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Opening times

Shops at shopping malls and Supermarkets are usually open from 10:00 to 22:00 hrs, 7 days a week. Non-chain, small stores usually close around 20:00 and stay closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays except on big avenues and touristic areas. All of the main avenues are full of kiosks and very small convenience stores that stay open 24 hours. You will find no less than 2 for every 100 meters you walk. In the Recoleta area, several bookstores and record stores close as late as 2:30AM daily.

Money

The Argentinian currency is the Peso (Argentinian Peso; ARP). A 100 Pesos bill can be hard to break, so avoid changing round numbers, so you get some change (e.g., when changing money change the amount that will give you 90 Pesos instead of 100 Pesos). Coins are rare, and they are required for buses, so try not to spend them in stores.

Exchanging money

Money can be exchanged at Banco de la Nación Argentina at the airport and any of the cambios (changes) along Florida or Lavalle, but, if you have the time, shop around for the best rate at the zone known as "La city." This zone is the banking district of Buenos Aires, and numerous exchange places are located right near one another. This mean fierce competition and options to check the best rates. In addition to this, in this zone is possible not only to change US Dollars or Euros, but also some other major currencies from Latin America (such as Brazilian Reals, Mexican Pesos, Colombian Pesos, etc.), Canadian Dollars, Asian (Japanese Yens, Chinese Renminbis, etc.), and Europe (Swedish Kronas, Swiss Francs, etc.). This can mean a saving of time and money by not having to convert 2 times. Take into consideration that wherever you go to an official money changer, you are always officially required to present your passport and copies are not acceptable.

Traveller's checks

Traveller's Checks are rarely used and may be difficult to exchange, but there is an American Express office at San Martin Plaza that will take American Express' Traveller's Checks. Banco Frances will cash them with proper identification and are located all over B.A., including around tourist attractions such as El Obelesco.

Banks

Banks open from 10:00 to 15:00 and only on weekdays. Banelco or "Red Link" ATMs can be found around the city, but banks and ATMs are few and far between in residential neighborhoods like Palermo. Try major roads near metro stations. ATMs are the most convenient source of cash but should be used only in banks or ATMs that acted as the banks' branches. Just like in most cities, independent ATMs (not affiliated with any bank) are considered less safe.

Banking Fees

Fees for banking may be from both your bank and the Argentinian bank. Specific fee amounts depend on your bank and the ATM you use; most ATMs will charge foreign travelers around the US $5–7 per transaction, which will be added to your withdrawal amount. Sometimes the machines also dispense US Dollars for international bank cards that are members of the Cirrus and networks. Visitors from Brazil can find many Banco Itaú agencies all over the city.

Change

Change is not a problem in Buenos Aires anymore since the implementation of the SUBE card for urban transport. However of you haven't acquired your SUBE card yet, be sure to always have some spare change in coins, as these are required in large numbers for the bus (Subte and urban train lines do have cashiers).

Credit cards

As of July 2011, credit cards are very widely accepted in the city center and Recoleta, and it is not an issue to use a card for a small purchase such as lunch.
Credit cards are used less common in Argentina than in the USA or Europe. However, most of the tourist-oriented businesses accept credit cards, although sometimes with additional handling fee to offset the fee that the merchants have to pay to the credit card networks.

Souvenirs

  • The mate: It is a sort of cup made from different materials, commonly from a desiccated vegetal core (a gourd), sometimes with silver or gold ornaments; which is used to drink mate, the most traditional social non-alcoholic beverage. The mate is drunk in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.
  • Other gaucho items: Traditional clothes, knives, etc.
  • Leather items: The cow is used here: meat, milk, sausages, and leather; all high quality. You can find coats and other leather products on Murillo street though the quality of the goods here varies widely. The best place to find high-quality leather goods may be the malls and other major shopping streets.
  • Alfajores: These traditional cake/cookies, often containing dulce de leche, are delicious.
  • Football Jersey: Football ('soccer' for Americans) is a huge part of Argentine culture, so it is normal to bring home a jersey to represent your time there. Shirts from River, Boca or the Argentine National Team are always very popular and make great gifts.
  • Tango Shoes The zona de calzados is just Past Diagonal Norte on Suipacha. You will see many shops grouped that sell tango shoes. As with many things in Buenos Aires shop around and make sure you are not getting the gringo price. Men can buy excellent hand made leather shoes. For those of you with time on your hands, you can ask them to make you a pair. They will draw your foot on a piece of paper, and you can design your shoe for the same price. Do be aware that if they tell you that it will be ready in a week, that probably means about 10 days (or around 7 business days).
  • Handmade Ponchos: The Native Americans in Argentina wear ponchos made of handwoven materials, usually distinct from other regions of South America. Some are seasonal; many are considered unisex. A good deal can be found, especially on the outskirts of the city.
  • A Bottle of Malbec: Argentina is famous for its wine, and Malbec is the signature grape of the land. A fine quality Malbec can be a fine gift. If you know nothing about wine, go to a liquor store and look for the same brands/years found in nice restaurants.

Shopping districts

  • Florida Street and Lavalle Street (from 500 up to 1000) are for pedestrians only and is the place to find the majority of tourist's shops in MicroCentro. At the intersection of these two pedestrian streets, there is often some interesting street performance going on, especially at night.
  • The Palermo Viejo in Palermo has many shops that will appeal to young or artsy people (think New York's SoHo). Nearby is Murillo Street, a block full of leather houses.

Book stores

One of the Porteño's passions, which they are very proud of, is to read. Buenos Aires is believed to be the city with the most bookstores per citizen in the world, it hosts some of the biggest and prettiest bookstores of the continent, and it hosts some of the most prestigious publishing houses in the Spanish speaking world. Expect to see people reading at the bus, metro, at the park, and even at the streets! There are several options:

  • Santa Fe Avenue offers not only lots and lots of clothes and book shops but also a nice atmosphere where you can walk along. You can start at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue with 9 de Julio Avenue, and walk along Santa Fe up to the Alto Palermo Shopping (Av. Santa Fe 3253).
  • In the Corrientes Ave. from the Obelisco (big obelisk landed in the intersection with 9 de Julio Avenue) up to Ayacucho St., you will find a lot of cheap bookstores with tons of books mostly in Spanish. Some remain open as late as 3AM, Monday to Monday.
  • For second-hand books, try Parque Centenario and Parque Rivadavia's kiosks, both in the Caballito neighborhood. Open from Wednesdays to Sundays; they offer a great variety of books, many long out of print, for convenient prices. You may also find food stands and a very relaxed and familiar environment.
  • El Ateneo, originally a theater (Teatro Grand Splendid), has now become in one of the top 5 most beautiful bookstores in the world 32. It has a reasonable offering of books in English. Located in Santa Fe 1860.
  • For that rare, collectible, antique or hard-to-find book, try ALADA, the Asociación de Libreros Anticuarios de la Argentina (Argentina's Guild of Antique Booksellers). In their website, you will find an index of the most prestigious bookstores of the city, some of them of international prestige. Most of these are located at Microcentro and Recoleta.

Markets and fairs

Saturdays and Sundays are great days for the outdoor markets, especially in the summer.

  • Recoleta: The Feria Recoleta (in Plaza Francia) is an assortment of all sorts of artisan products, from jewelry to shawls.
  • Palermo: Plaza Serrano in Palermo viejo comes alive in the afternoon with more artisan's handiwork and freelance clothes designers. Another nearby Plaza (in Palermo viejo) between Malabia, Armenia, Costa Rica and Nicaragua streets has stalls with items for sale. The Último Taller at Jorge L. Borges 1975 (between Soler and Nicaragua streets) sells funky candles and street address plates and markers; there are charming cats, and photos can be etched onto these plates as well. The shop is open Monday to Saturday 10AM-9PM;
  • San Telmo: On Sundays, Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo offers tango and antique products. Defensa street from Chile to San Juan comes to life with live performers and vendors. The crowds are thick, so keep an eye on your possessions.
  • San Isidro: Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, the "Feria de Anticuarios" at the train station of Barrancas have a nice atmosphere. It offers nearly 70 stands of antiques, from toys to books and stuff for your home. Check their website for pictures and more info
  • San Fernando: Saturdays from 10 to 18 hs., and Wednesdays from 10 to 16 hs. This is a market where you will be buying items directly from producers, with the condition that goods are produced with social and environment ethics in mind. You'll find books, vegetables, hand made clothing, musical instruments, etc. If you plan to buy things, remember to bring your bag. The market is located at San Fernando train station, in Madero and Rosario streets (between Sarmiento and 9 de Julio).

Safety in Buenos Aires, Argentina


Emergency numbers

  • General Emergencies Line - Toll-free call 911
  • Emergency - Ambulance emergency service SAME (Immediate Health Emergency Service), Toll-free call. 107
  • Tourist Ombudsman - Communicate with the Tourist Ombudsman, phone number: +54 (11) 4302 7816. To contact personally, can go to Ave. Pedro de Mendoza 1835 ("Benito Quinquela Martin" Museum) in the neighborhood of La Boca. From Monday to Sunday, from 10AM-6PM.
  • Tourist Police Station - Corrientes 436. 0800 999 5000 (toll free)/4346 5748 (turista@policiafederal.gov.ar). Provides information in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Ukrainian.

Crime

Many people travel in Buenos Aires without incident, but as with any large city, crime is an issue for tourists and residents alike. Conduct yourself intelligently as you would in any large city.
The most frequent incidents of crime involve distraction theft, bag snatching, and armed robberies in the street, in taxis and restaurants. Distraction thefts commonly occur in public areas such as internet cafes, train stations, and bus stations. You should keep a close eye on your possessions and bags at all times. In some public spaces, you will find that chairs with webbing and clips to clip to your bag or purse to the chair. An aid in avoiding problems is, dress to blend in and avoid carrying lots of items. It is safer to travel just the bare necessities in your front pocket.
While using public transportation or walking around common sense should be used (as in every big city).
In a common scam, one person sprays something on the victim like hand cream mustard or the like. Another person tries to help the victim. There can be several people at once working in coordination. The object is to distract you from your belongings and, in the chaos, steal from you. Avoiding confrontation is their object so do the same. Ignore their 'help,' just focus on your belongings and extracting yourself from the scene.
Another common occurrence is the slitting of handbags in crowded places. Be particularly attentive in popular tourist areas, such as San Telmo. You should avoid carrying large amounts of cash or wearing ostentatious jewelry.
For kidnappings (very rare with tourists), victims are grabbed off the street based on their appearance and vulnerability. They are made to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs, the victim is usually quickly released unharmed.
The dangers of hailing a taxi have received lots of press but are not common. Petty crime continues (like taking indirect routes or incorrect changes during payment). Taxicabs that loiter in front of popular tourist destinations like the National Museum are looking for tourists, and some of these drivers are less honest than others. Do things like the locals would be a good choice, like stopping a cab a block or two away on a typical city street.
If a woman (or even a man) apparently normally calls you on the street to see an "apresentación" and earn massage girls for free, without commitment, the first time, do not pay attention and leave! In fact, they are agents of brothels. Once taken "inside," they do not let you out, physically preventing you, until they disburse a large sum of money. This type of scam is relatively common in the center, especially in Corrientes Avenue, Florida Street, and Lavalle Avenue.

Rough Spots and Neighborhoods

As with any major city, some spots are suggested to be visited carefully, and others avoided entirely. Common dangerous spots are the three biggest train terminals in the city: Constitución, Once and Retiro. They are very busy and centric, so it is highly probable that a tourist shall pass by any of these. While mostly safe during the day, petty thefts are common, so be sure to keep an eye on your belongings, avoid any confrontation and be cautious; avoid them entirely past 10:00pm. The same goes for some touristic spots like La Boca or the vast city parks of Palermo.
Dangerous neighborhoods that should not be visited without the guidance of locals are Barracas, Nueva Pompeya, Villa Lugano, Villa Soldati, Villa Riachuelo, Bajo Flores and Mataderos.

Money

Counterfeit money is frequent, especially from a regular exchanger of currencies from people of various lifestyles (like taxi drivers), so be on the lookout for counterfeit bank notes being given with your change. Some counterfeit notes are very well done and may even have what appears to be a watermark. Get to know the notes and exactly what they look and feel like, also identify the water marks and serial numbers. When exiting a taxi, hold up your notes to the light to check them before final exit, or better yet, use exact change in taxis.
Be careful of counterfeit money. There have been occasions where genuine bills have been exchanged for counterfeit ones. Counterfeit bills are mostly fifties, given as changes. Hundreds are frequently given back to tourists by deceiving exchangers claiming that counterfeit bills were given to them after they have switched the bill given to them with a fake one. Using exact or almost exact changes will pretty much solve most of this kind of problems.
Don't accept torn or damaged bills, as they are difficult to use.
Characteristics of good currency can be found at the Argentine Central Bank web site 38.

Stay healthy

The plumbing water in Buenos Aires, unlike in many Latin American cities, is drinkable straight from the tap.
Public hospitals are available for tourists, with 24 hr emergency service, without charge.
There are many stray animals in the city. They usually do not cause harm, but be careful not to touch them as they may harbor diseases and you may not be aware of their temperament.

Language spoken in Buenos Aires, Argentina


The Spanish in Buenos Aires is pronounced differently from elsewhere. "Calle" and "pollo" sound very different and the ll sound like English sh instead of Spanish y or h. The difference in pronunciation probably reflects the influence of Italian traders in the port in the 19th century—many of the words that Porteños pronounce differently from the rest of the Spanish-speaking world are pronounced identically to an Italian word for the same thing.
Much has been written in the Spanish language in Buenos Aires. It was influenced by the many nationalities that immigrated here as well.
If you have studied Spanish, you will find these differences enormous. Also, vocabulary differs a lot from Iberian Spanish or other Latin American varieties of Spanish, so may be useful to get an Argentinian dictionary or take some lessons from Argentinian Spanish before getting there. Despite these differences, any person who is fluent in Spanish should have no difficulty navigating through conversations with Porteños or with any other Argentinians. Anyway, most of "Porteños" (inhabitants of Buenos Aires City) speak a little English, but it is very easy to find people who are very fluent, especially if you stay near the tourist areas.

LOCAL TIME

10:02 am
December 10, 2018
America/Buenos_Aires

CURRENT WEATHER

27.84 °C / 82.112 °F
sky is clear
Tue

21.56 °C/71 °F
heavy intensity rain
Wed

24.4 °C/76 °F
sky is clear
Thu

19.54 °C/67 °F
heavy intensity rain
Fri

19.76 °C/68 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

ARS

1 USD = 37.37 ARS
1 EUR = 42.7 ARS
1 GBP = 47.29 ARS
1 AUD = 26.98 ARS
1 CAD = 28.07 ARS

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



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Average: 10 (10 votes)

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1 verified review