Being the biggest city in Argentina most flights will route you through Buenos Aires if you are going anywhere in Argentina so if you have a few days to kill at the beginning or end of your trip, definitely visit for the experience but don’t make it your only destination. Buenos Aires is still an up and coming city, it’s a mix of very old and developing new with some tarnish in between.
The easiest way to get there is by plane. There are two airports in Buenos Aires, EZE (international) which is farther outside the city and AEP (domestic) which is very close to the city.
Taxi EZE to Centro: 530 pesos + 20 bag tip
Taxi between airports: 450 pesos
There is also a bus service (TiendaLeón) from downtown to EZE that is much cheaper than a taxi (175 pesos one-way). You can also have your hotel call and arrange a taxi to pick you up to bring you to the bus station. It was 220 pesos for my taxi from Monserrat and bus ticket together.
If you are flying with Aerolineas Argentinas make sure you check in 45 minutes early for domestic flights and at least 1 hour for international. They are very strict about this, I found out the hard way.
You can also reach Buenos Aires by bus from destinations all over.
Most of the city is very walkable if you have the time. There is a bus and subway system but because I was with friends it was very cheap to take taxis everywhere. It was never more than about $8USD.
Buenos Aires uses the Argentinian peso and there are ATMs readily available to withdraw cash. Several hotels, stores and restaurants accept credit card but check beforehand. You can also pay with US dollars at some hotels and guesthouses.
La Recoleta Cemetery: This is by far the most unique thing about Buenos Aires and what I would recommend visiting if you only have one day. Eva Perón is famously buried here.
Recoleta Market: Right outside the entrance to the cemetery this market is more geared towards tourists with lots of local crafts and jewelry.
Palermo: Palermo is the largest neighborhood and divided in many sub neighborhoods. Palermo Chico is the fancier part of town with lots of luxury residences near the park. It’s beautiful to walk around and visit the park, the Rose Garden, and the Japanese Garden. Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood are filled with lots of art, restaurants and bars.
La Boca: La Boca is a neighborhood famous for it’s colorful houses but now has become a big tourist trap of souvenirs and tourist restaurants.
The Obelisk and the Opera House: Two iconic historical landmarks in Buenos Aires.
San Telmo Flea Market: This market is much bigger than the Recoleta market. There is an indoor section which is more of a flea market with lots of antiques and meat and vegetable vendors. Outside there are shops and street vendors with more touristy items for sale.
Dinner is late in Buenos Aires starting around 9/9:30pm and many restaurants fill up with reservations so keep that in mind.
Peron Peron: We went early at 8pm and were able to walk in and eat before the reservation crowd came in. (About 1200 pesos for 3 people with wine and dessert.)
Cafe Tortoni: Definitely worth stopping by just to see the interior at least. This is the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires.
Brandon: Trendy restaurant Palermo Hollywood. Good ceviche appetizer, drinks and food.
Trattoria Olivetti: Good place to stop for lunch in Palermo near the park. I recommend the Gnocchi.
*A friend of mine also found this great list of new restaurants in Buenos Aires to check out HERE.
I stayed in the Recoleta neighborhood which was very residential but within walking distance most places at the O-Baires hotel. Nothing special, just a decent hotel. For more upscale and trendy hotels Palermo is the neighborhood you want to stay in. I also spent one night at a guest house in Monserrat, Casona La Boheme. It was very basic accommodation but it was very charming and the staff was the most helpful and friendly I encountered in Buenos Aires. If you are on a budget I definitely recommend it.
I never felt unsafe in Buenos Aires but it is a city where you should definitely be aware of your belongings. Be conscious of your phone and camera in busy streets of motorbikes as they are easy to grab out of your hands and keep your purse secure.