Buenos Aires Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Buenos Aires. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Buenos Aires travel tips. In this article I’m going to take you through the in’s and out’s of this great city so that you can get the basic knowledge on how to get the most out of your Buenos Aires experience before booking your next adventure there.
Buenos Aires is nicknamed La Reina del Plata, the Queen of the Plata River and is located in the far corner of Argentina, South America. About a quarter of Argentina’s 42 million people live in Buenos Aires. The beautiful capital of Argentina combines European architecture with Latin a passion for soccer, juicy cuts of meat and of course tango!
Buenos Aires was established as a gold and silver port in the 16th century and was named after the fair winds that blow in from the ocean. Thanks to the great weather, wide avenues and the city’s classic hotels and restaurants, Buenos Aires really is a breath of fresh air. Vamos!
Buenos Aires Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires was shaped by European immigrants and you can see why it’s also nicknamed “the Paris of South America”. When looking for Buenos Aires travel tips and how to best get to this magnificent city from the airport, there’s a couple of things to have in mind to get you the safest and best way into town. Let me walk you through those now.
Buenos Aires is served by two airports: Ezeiza International airport and Jorge Newbery Airport. If you’re coming here internationally you’ll most likely be arriving at Ezeiza Airport and that’s the one we will be focusing on here.
Ezeiza Airport is located 35km southwest of the centre and it handles mostly international flights. The time it takes to get from Ezeiza International airport to the city is about 45 minutes – 1.5 hour depending on the traffic on the time of day, what type of transport you choose and what part of this big city you are going.
Buenos Aires Traffic
Taxis in Buenos Aires are called Remís and are by far the most comfortable way to get to and from the airport. Ranging from about $40-50 per direction, it is nice to be picked up at your doorstep and driven directly to the airport or vice versa, particularly when carting around a lot of baggage or after a 13 hour flight. Tienda León and Taxi Ezeiza are two big taxi companies, so make sure you pay for your taxi at the booth at the airport and then wait in the queue. You can either request a taxi in advance or contract with one in the airport.
Tip: Don’t ever take an unmarked car at Ezeiza, even if the fare sounds tempting! This could get you into trouble.
The next best and most convenient way to get to the airport is by getting a private transfer bus. Relatively quick, but actually won’t leave you at your doorstep. The private transfer bus brings you to a station in the city center. From there you can take a cheap taxi ($4-10USD) or public transport (200-600AR pesos) to your hotel or prefered location.
Minibus Ezeiza is one of the companies that offers a very cheap transfer range from $4-8USD depending on the amount of luggage that you have. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes, but only on weekdays between 8am – 6pm.
Buses, also known as Colectivo, are the cheapest (about 20 pesos) but arguably the least comfortable way to get to and from the airport. The ride lasts about 2 hours and it is a coin toss whether or not you will get a seat or not. Within the airport the bus 8 stops in Plaza de Mayo as well as in Plaza Congreso. Be sure to take the bus that specifies that it stops at Aeropuerto Ezeiza on its front. Line 51 also will take you from the airport but leaves you in a neighborhood called Constitución. Due to safety reasons, it’s recommended that you take the 8 bus and avoid Line 51.
Buenos Aires Travel Tips – How To Get Around Buenos Aires
The spanish colonizers brought their trading skills to Argentina, making it one of the richest countries in the world. Since then the fortunes may have faded, but its splendor remains. Buenos Aires is now one of the world’s cheapest capitals and that’s great to know when searching for Buenos Aires travel tips. Let’s see how to best get around this city and have a look at the public transport system.
Buenos Aires Traffic
City buses are called colectivos and cover a very wide radius. They are clean, frequent, efficient and very fast. Colectivo fares are calculated in 3-km sections, US$0.50-0.60, but fares are cheaper if you have a pre-paid smart card called Sube. If not using a smart card, have coins ready for the ticket machine as drivers do not sell tickets, but may give change. The bus number is not always sufficient indication of destination, as each number may have a variety of routes, but bus stops display routes of buses stopping there and little plaques are displayed in the driver’s window.
Driving in Buenos Aires is no problem, provided you have eyes in the back of your head and good nerves. Traffic fines are high and police look out for drivers without the correct papers. Car hire is cheaper if you arrange it when you arrive rather than from home. Sixt, Cerrito 1314, and national rental agencies, such as Dietrich, Cerrito.
The Buenos Aires subway system includes 7 lines linking the outer parts of the city to the centre. The fare is $0.45 for a single ticket and you can change between lines freely with that ticket. Before boarding the train you have to buy your ticket card at the station. The different values for the card are valid for 1, 2, 5, 10, or 30 journeys.
Taxis are painted in yellow and black, and carry Taxi flags.
While the fares are displayed in pesos, let’s talk dollars right now so that you know just how much it costs to ride the taxis. The taxi meter starts at $1.50 when the flag on the taxi goes down and you step into the car. Make sure the meter isn’t running when you get in the car. A fixed rate of $0.15 for every 200 m or 1-min wait is charged after you get going. Note that the fare increases to $1.80 from 10pm to 6am. The driver expects around a 10% tip, be aware of that. For your own safety, take a remise or radio taxi booked by phone or at the company’s office. Check that the driver’s license is displayed and lock doors from the inside.
Easy Taxi is an app that you can use similar to Uber, to get a taxi quicker to your destination and avoid getting scammed because the trip gets paid by the app.
Old-fashioned street cars operate on a circular route along the streets of Caballito district and is a nice way to get around the city when you want to explore.
Best Places To Stay In Buenos Aires
Argentina’s capital, long considered the Paris of South America, has a rich history in its own right. Looking into Buenos Aires travel tips and the best places to stay, you’ll have a wide range from popular attractions to little-known gems. There are a million sights to see in this metropolis, which never sleeps. Hang on for the top three best places to stay in Buenos Aires.
Nightlife: Palermo Soho
Palermo Soho easily qualifies as the best area to stay in Buenos Aires, especially for people who enjoy a bit of nighttime action. Palermo Soho is the place to be for designers, and the street culture there is thriving. It’s hip and packed with cafés, bars, restaurants and beautiful boutiques. It is green, with large boulevards and lots of urban parks. The streets are lined with one or two story houses with nice gardens at the back and lots of them have now been turned into shops and even bars.
Palermo Hollywood is an artsy neighborhood, with its nightlife scene, hip bars and restaurants, markets and unique boutiques. The name Palermo Hollywood was given to this part of the city in the mid-1990s, when plenty of television and radio broadcasters established their stations in the area. It’s located right next to Palermo Soho and is packed with nice bars, cafés and restaurants. This is where to stay in Buenos Aires if you like the idea of walking around an open-air art gallery filled with culture and history.
Recoleta is slowly but steadily becoming one of the trendiest and most affluent neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, the kind of place where upper class Porteños live. It’s home to the cemetery of Recoleta, one of the nicest places to visit in town, packed with mausoleums, tombs and where the tomb of Eva Perón is located. Here you will find excellent restaurants, bars and some of the best shopping opportunities in town at malls such as Patio Bullrich or Recoleta Mall. There also are some lovely boutique stores.
When you’re looking for Buenos Aires travel tips the first you’ll learn about this culinary city is most definitely steak and wine, what most people associate with traditional food in Argentina. And more than that, there are so many other foods to try. Buenos Aires was built by immigrants, mainly Italian who had a huge impact on the city’s cuisine. You’ll find plenty of pizza and fresh pasta sharing a menu with all that steak among with other great food!
While Argentina was settled largely by Italian immigrants, the pizza actually tastes nothing like a thin Neapolitan one. If you want to try proper Porteño pizza, skip the takeout and head to the restaurant Avenida Corrientes. A street that comes to life at night, reminiscent of New York’s Times Square, lined with theaters and neon lights. The crust is thick, light on the sauce and heavy on the cheese. Best enjoyed with a great argentinian red wine. If you really want to sound like a local, order a slice of fainâ to go with it. Faina is a chickpea pancake or pie, placed on top of the pizza!
Empanadas are the most common food in Argentina and you just can’t visit Buenos Aires without eating one… or ten. The countless empanada shops all offer more or less the same menu because why would they fix what ain’t broke. When you’re in Buenos Aires, eat plenty of empanadas at the restaurants and then take a cooking class to learn how to make proper Argentinian empanadas!
Chori + pan makes the choripan, simply translated bread and chorizo, and it’s such a perfect combination. It’s actually the only street food that really exists in Buenos Aires. It’s great to get from a street cart in the park or along the riverside. Or why not as the first thing off the grill at any family barbeque (asado). Enjoy with chimichurri sauce on top and you’re good to go!
This is the Argentine equivalent of a charcuterie plate. Picada is a platter filled with delicious salamis, ham, cheeses and pickled vegetables. Perfectly enjoyed at
parties where you don’t want to actually cook for your friends but still look fancy, or to snack on while you sip on a large glass of wine. Served at many restaurants around town, but best at Cafe Blue’s.
Provoleta is a disc of provolone cheese that is put straight on the flaming grill in a special dish. Once it’s good and melted, sprinkled with some oregano and crushed red pepper, it’s ready and served up hot. If you’re eating at a parilla in town, order it as a starter to go along with your chorizo or sweetbreads, you’ll love it!
Merienda: Delicious pastries like Facturas and Medialunas
There’s plenty of sweet and delicious pastries in Buenos Aires. The break between lunch at noon and dinner at 9 pm is called the merienda. At around 6 pm, it’s time for coffee and pastries, they call “facturas.” The most enjoyed pastry at the facturas is the ‘medialuna’. It’s like a croissant but a bit denser and gooier, baked to perfection. The ‘merienda’ invention is mostly because of the late dinners in Argentina that don’t start until 9pm, to keep the hunger away and energy up. So why not live like a local and try it out yourself!
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Buenos Aires
Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires
One of Argentina’s premier contemporary art museums features pieces by iconic Latino artists including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as well as less known local talents. If you set aside a couple of hours to explore this sprawling art wonderland you will leave with an improved knowledge of the Latin-American art scene of the past century.
Explore the markets in San Telmo
At this cool market you’ll find everything from clothing to antique housewares and souvenirs to artisanal crafts, the San Telmo’s outdoor weekend feria has it all. Enjoy local foods like empanada or alfajores as you peruse the wares at the market’s assortment of stalls. San Telmo is the oldest neighbourhood (barrio) in Buenos Aires, and its cobblestoned streets are ringed with beautiful old homes and churches as well as contemporary art spaces and cafés.
Take a walk down El Caminito
La Boca is home to the beloved local football team Boca Juniors, its neighborhood is bursting with life and color, particularly on its most famous road, El Caminito. Check out the myriad shops selling blue and yellow Boca Juniors merch as well as sky-blue and white Argentina national team jerseys. Most of them are printed with the names and numbers of legends like Maradona and Messi. Don’t go off the main roads here, though; the area is rough around the edges.
Cementerio de la Recoleta
This elegant neighborhood (barrio) of Recoleta is home to the equally elegant eponymous cemetery, which gives the impression of a miniature city. Complete with streets lined by beautiful stone mausoleums and monuments. And if you follow the crowds you’re going to find the grave of Argentina’s most iconic First Lady, whose
Cementerio de la Recoleta
mausoleum is generally covered in flowers from visitors. A historic place well worth a visit.
Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur
Whether you’re into bird watching, exercising, or simply enjoying a bit of sunshine, take some time out to relax in The Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur. The nature reserve is a lush and verdant stretch of nature in the middle of the city, offering trails for walking, running and cycling, four lakes, as well as more than 200 types of birds and other wildlife.
Buzzing nightlife in Palermo
Crobar is a nightclub (boliche) located under a railway bridge in Palermo. This flashy nightclub brings in all sorts of huge international DJs. And head over to Niceto Club, a place that hosts an iconic Thursday night event that mixes everything from techno music to cabaret to break-dancers. A tip in Buenos Aires: Don’t try to show up to a nightclub before at least 2am, because they’ll actually be
Couple tango dancing
empty until then.
Go tango dancing
While undoubtedly a touristy experience, the tango show at Bar Sur in San Telmo features top notch dancing and a small, cozy venue, making the entire experience feel authentic and intimate. When in Argentina, try out tango dancing, or at least watch the professionals if you feel like your hips aren’t what they once was. Perhaps another glass of wine will change that.