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City guide - Buenos Aires, Argentina

With such an uplifting atmosphere, it’s no wonder “Buenos Aires” translates to “good airs.” In Argentina’s capital city, you’ll find a mix of striking architecture, rich culture, and excellent museums, along with chic shopping, dynamic tango shows and some of the best steak you’ve ever had. Buenos Aires is the South America’s European capital with an edgy Latin twist.

Tipping: It is customary to leave a 10% tip or slightly more if you are dining with a large party or have received truly exceptional service. In the case of poor service, it is common to leave a lower tip or even no tip at all. Some restaurants charge for "cubierto," a cover charge that goes directly to the restaurant, not the staff, so this shouldn’t be confused with a service charge. Restaurants in Buenos Aires do not accept tips on credit cards, so be sure to bring cash. To avoid the tip being stolen, it’s recommended that you wait for your server to take the cash from the table before leaving the restaurant.

  • Language:

    Spanish

  • Currency:

    Argentine Peso

  • Airports:
    • Ministro Pistarini
    • Aeroparque Jorge Newbery
  • Time Zone:

    ART

Popular Accommodations

Transportation from Ministro Pistarini Airport

Public Bus

The bus is your cheapest, but also slowest, option for getting to the city center. You can reach central Buenos Aires by taking the 86 line to Plaza De Mayo.

Cost less than 1$
Trip Duration approximately 2 hours
Minibus/ Shuttle

The shuttle from the airport is considered safe, reliable, time saving and cost effective. Book your ticket in the airport arrival hall at the Manuel Tienda Leon counter. The bus leaves from the airport and stops at the bus company office in downtown BA. From the office, you will need to take a taxi, subway or car service to your final destination.

Cost $12
Trip Duration approximately 50 minutes
Hours departs every 30 minutes from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
Car and Driver (Remis Service)

This secure car service offers comfortable and modern cars with air conditioning and uniformed drivers. You can find reservation counters in the arrival hall; the price is fixed, and you will need to pre-pay upon booking. Note that some companies offer a 20% discount if you choose to book your return trip to the airport at the same time.

Cost about $38
Trip Duration approximately 40 minutes
Taxi

The white taxi booth is located in the center of the airport terminal, where you can book your taxi upon landing. Note that airport taxis are not black and yellow like the taxis located within the city.

Cost about $30
Trip Duration approximately 40 minutes
Palermo SoHo

Vibrant, fun and always full of action, this charming area in the heart of Buenos Aires offers a bevy of bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and parks. An exploration of the colorful neighborhood instantly reveals its laid-back vibe, full of young hipsters and creative energy. Visit the charming Palermo SoHo district day or night for an atmosphere that some say resembles Manhattan’s SoHo. Take in the arts and crafts markets and trendy boutiques (perfect souvenir shopping!), or dine on a wide variety of cuisines, including Mexican, Chilean, Italian and Asado. You can easily reach Palermo SoHo from the rest of the city by taking the subway to the Plaza Italia stop.

Recoleta

Known for being home to Buenos Aires’ high society, as well as for its vibrant nightlife, Recoleta is filled with leafy avenues and narrow streets walled in marble. Your first stop in the neighborhood should be the one-of-a-kind La Recoleta Cemetery, which requires no entry fee and features a mausoleum where the city’s most famous families are buried. Other attractions in the neighborhood include museums, parks, intimate bars and cafes, and fantastic restaurants. Check out Santa Fe Avenue for its shopping or for a drink or meal. With so much history surrounding you, it’s well worth strolling the streets of Recoleta with a tour guide. A free two-hour walking tour with Buenos Aires Free Tours begins at 5 pm in front of the San Martin statue and will bring you from Retiro to Recoleta. The area is accessible via public transportation; Las Heras (metro station) is the closest one.

Teatro Colon

This 108-year-old theater is considered the most famous, elegant and acoustically perfect opera house in Latin America and one of the top theaters in the world, having played host to internationally acclaimed singers, orchestras and dance troupes. Anyone who appreciates music, architecture and design will especially enjoy a visit to Teatro Colon, though you don’t need to be an opera fan to admire the theater’s beauty. We highly recommend taking in a concert, ballet or opera if you can get your hands on tickets. Otherwise, go to a free rehearsal, or take a guided tour. Tours are 250 pesos per person, last around 50 minutes, and are available in English and Spanish. Be sure to book in advance, as tours fill up quickly, even in the off season. A subway stop across the street (Tribunales) from the theater provides easy access.

Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires

This nonprofit art museum and cultural center's mission is to promote contemporary Latin American artists, and you’ll find something for everyone among its collections, from modern art to ancient Latin works. A unique and inspiring schedule of temporary exhibits is also worth checking out. MALBA is located in the beautiful Palermo district of the city, close to other attractions, and makes for an afternoon or evening well-spent. Admission is reasonably priced, and there is free entry on Wednesdays (though a donation is suggested). While you’re there, be sure to visit MALBA’s café, run by an acclaimed French chef, even if just for a coffee and pastry.

La Boca

La Boca is authentic BA through and through with its colorful houses, graffiti art, and fascinating history and culture that lend itself to an utterly unique character. The area is best known for El Caminito (or “The Little Walk”), where you’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops, along with local artists, musicians and Tango performers. Don't forget to bring your camera, and consider a guided tour to learn about the neighborhood’s rich history. A couple museums and La Boca soccer team’s stadium also feature as highlights. Be sure to try some authentic parilla, the local barbeque, in the yard and enjoy the live music. And, if you get a chance, catch one of Boca's football games to experience the energy, passion and partying of the real Buenos Aires. Just stay within the well-touristed areas to avoid any dicey situations.

Puerto Madero

As one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Puerto Madero combines the old city with the new. Recently renovated brick warehouses have been turned into upscale structures, mingling with modern skyscrapers and housing exclusive apartments and restaurants. Spend a day here strolling along the docks, bike riding, and enjoying a nice cup of coffee and scrumptious pastries in the riverfront cafes. Attracting wealthy Argentineans and businessmen and women, Puerto Madero is a great spot for grabbing a delicious steak or fresh seafood in one of the many restaurants. Nightlife also abounds in an array of bars and clubs. The neighborhood is located by the cinema complex, university and the art museum.

Recoleta

As the most exclusive neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Recoleta’s posh, European atmosphere is best experienced among the fashionable restaurants, boutiques, cafes, galleries, squares and parks that fill its tree-lined avenues. Populated by tourists and wealthy Argentineans, the neighborhood is well located near downtown and several attractions. We recommend visiting Recoleta on the weekend when the area comes to life with street performers, sporting events and art exhibits.

San Telmo

With its narrow, cobblestone streets, this bohemian neighborhood is one of the oldest in BA and a National Historic Monument. Shop San Telmo’s flea market each weekend, along with stores selling art, antiques, vintage furniture and unique souvenirs. You won’t want to miss the outdoor tango shows, tango themed bars, and cafes and restaurants filled with authentic historical design.

Palermo

Full of green parks, lakes and wooded areas, Palermo provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is divided into three quarters, each with its own unique identity: Palermo Chico is the high-end district, Palermo SoHo is the hip and trendy area, and Palermo Hollywood is the center of nightlife. Visit Palermo on a sunny day for a picnic, a walk in the park or a bike ride.

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