The Argentine capital is a city like no other. It has a hint of a European feel, but with a distinct Latin American flavour. It is cosmopolitan, yet autochthonous. Every street corner and narrow alleyway is teeming with art and culture, history and personality, tango, rock n' roll and football. It is a city of museums, of galleries, of classical-style cafes and world-class steakhouses, of antique markets and bookstores, a city for screams of joy at the Bombonera Stadium and midnight strolls along the majestic River Plate. Buenos Aires is a true world city in every sense of the world, and none who visit can resist its charms.
1 ARS = 100 centavos
Medical Emergencies: 107
Buenos Aires Herald (English)
Most shops open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm and Sat 9am-12am. Some shops also open on Sundays. Malls generally open daily 10am-10pm. Restaurants and bars stay open very late, opening at about 8pm and serving until well after midnight.
Metropolitan Area: 12,800,000
Centro de Información Turística (CIT)
Av. Santa Fe 883
+54 11 4312 2232
Open daily 9am-6pm
Buenos Aires is an extensive city, and every area has something new to offer. Recoleta and Palermo are widely considered the trendiest neighbourhoods, the former being a more cultured area with fashionable boutiques and galleries and high-end hotels lining its broad tree-lined avenues, the latter being a greener, more peaceful area, whose parks and lakes attract weekend crowds for fun and relaxation. The former port area of Puerto Madero has been thoroughly refurbished, turning old brick warehouses into hip bars and nightclubs.
Those seeking a more bohemian vibe will prefer to visit San Telmo and La Boca. As one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, the whole of San Telmo, with its narrow cobblestone streets and colonial style buildings, is considered a national historical monument, and both locals and tourists flock here on weekends to browse the antique boutiques and markets. The historic and more working-class La Boca also attracts huge crowds on weekends to admire the colourful steel shacks that were once the dwellings of migrant workers and catch a sensual tango show.
The city has even more to offer, if you still have time. Las Cañitas is Buenos Aires' gastronomic hub, old aristocratic Retiro boasts some of the city's most beautiful architecture, residential Belgrano mixes mansions with skyscrapers, and of course, the downtown area is home to most of the city's monuments and important national buildings. Those who take the time to really explore the city will marvel at the sheer amount and diversity of things to see and do, and will surely feel that one visit is not nearly enough to take it all in.
It's difficult to fit everything there is to do in Buenos Aires into any itinerary, no matter how hard you try. Art-lovers will have plenty to enjoy at the world-class museums and theatres, shopaholics will splurge at the numerous markets selling everything from antiques to leather, fans of architecture can admire the art nouveau, art deco and neoclassical style buildings that dominate the different neighbourhoods, foodies will delight at the top-notch steakhouses and fusion restaurants, and the list goes on. It is above all, however, a city that begs to be walked, and wise travelers will take their time exploring broad avenues and narrow alleyways alike, taking in all they have to offer.
Plaza de Mayo
Cementerio de la Recoleta
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
La Bombonera Stadium
Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires
Centro Cultural Borges
Feria de San Pedro Telmo
The first thing that pops into people's minds when they think of food in Argentina is without a doubt steak. The whole country is famous for its juicy and flavourful steaks from grass-fed Pampas cattle. 'Parrilla' (meaning both steakhouses and the grill itself) is key to the country's cuisine and culture, but be sure to explore other culinary trends during your visit. The popular 'bodegones', or neighbourhood eateries, serve meats, pasta, chicken Milanesae and other comfort foods, and a large number of new restaurants are opening regularly, bringing a larger variety of international specialties to the dining scene in Buenos Aires. And then there's always everyone's favourite street food: the 'choripan'.
Steaks by Luis
Una Canción Coreana
Porteños take their coffee seriously. They usually like it black, strong and with lots of sugar. They also like to take their time with it, lingering for hours at one of the city's many historic cafes. The romantic images of bohemians, artists and writers working away on their next masterpiece in the secluded corner of a crowded cafe come to life in Buenos Aires. Take your time to discover some of them and spend the afternoon people watching and taking in the incomparable vibe of a porteño cafe. And don't forget to accompany your coffee with a 'medialuna'.
Café La Biela
El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Confitería Las Violetas
Like most great cities, Buenos Aires is best experienced at night. Not only is it a city that never sleeps, it is a place where the fun is just getting started after midnight. There is music everywhere, theatres have late-night showings, restaurants and bars start to get crowded for dinner at about midnight, and 'boliches' (nightclubs) don't even open until about 2am, and the partying continues until well past 7am. The city's unique nightlife is sure to have visitors sleep deprived, but always wanting more.
Theatro on Avenida Corrientes
Tango at Cafe Tortoni
Wine Tasting at Palacio Duhau
Culture at Centro Cultural Borges
Buenos Aires is known to be one of the shopping capitals of South America, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. From the trendy boutiques and luxury shopping of Recoleta and Palermo to the antiques and handicrafts of San Telmo to the exquisite high-quality leather products of Villa Crespo to the ubiquitous bookstores spread out all over the city, every corner of the city seems to have its own specialty when it comes to shopping, and it can keep even the most avid shopper busy for days.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Feria de San Pedro Telmo
Feria Artesanal Plaza Francia
Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), more commonly referred to as simply Ezeiza International Airport, is located about 22 kilometres outside of Buenos Aires. It is the largest airport in Argentina, handling about 85% of the country's international air traffic, and is the hub for Aerolíneas Argentinas and LAN Argentina.
The easiest way to get to the city from the airport is by taking one of the authorised taxis from the stalls just outside the terminals. The ride should take about 30 minutes and cost about ARS 150 (about USD 35).
There are also minibus and shuttle services that are cheaper, but only have services to each company's terminal, so travelers must switch to local transportation for the rest of the journey.
Some public buses run to central areas of the city. Bus 51 goes to Constitución and number 86 goes to Plaza de Mayo.
Address: Autopista Tte Gral. Ricchieri Km 33,5, Ezeiza
Phone: +54 11 5480 6111
Public Transport in Buenos Aires is efficient and affordable and by far the best way to get around. There are two types of buses (regular 'colectivos' and Metrobus), as well as Latin America's oldest subway system, or 'Subte'. All public transport in the city is paid using the rechargeable SUBE card, which can be purchased at post offices and corner shops.
Bus stops are ubiquitous. Be sure to stand in line at the bus stop, as they are strictly respected. Tell the driver where you're going and he'll let you know how much the fare is, as it varies depending on how far you are traveling. Colectivos run 24 hours, though less frequently at night. Metrobuses have dedicated lanes along major roads to speed across the city, and many stations have free WiFi.
The Subte is clean, reliable and both the fastest and cheapest way to get around. Trains run often, every 3-10 minutes, Mon-Fri 5am-10:30pm, Sun 8am-10pm. Several lines run parallel East to West, while line C crosses them going North to South.
Buenos Aires' black and yellow taxis are ubiquitous and can be flagged down anywhere. Rides are metred, and fares go up 20% at night.
Onda Verde: +54 11 4867 0000
Premium: +54 11 4374 6666, +54 11 5238 0000
New Taxi: +54 11 4551 1110
Address: Uruguay 1069, Buenos Aires
Phone: +54 11 4891 9191
Address: Paraguay 615, Buenos Aires
Phone: +54 11 4312 9883
Country code: +54
Area code: 11
220-240 V, 50 Hz, AC
Plug types C, I