15 Important Things to Know Before You Visit Buenos Aires

While residents of Buenos Aires spurn the moniker, there’s
really no denying that Buenos Aires’ nickname as the “Paris of
the South” is fitting – the architecture doesn’t lie.

But the most European city of South
, and the Argentine capital is more than that.

Things to know before you visit

It’s a cosmopolitan city with a clearly defined Latin America
twist and is a must-visit on any
South America itinerary.

If you’re planning to visit Buenos Aires Argentina for the
first time, here are a few things you need to know before you land
in this whirlwind of a city.

This is the sort of Buenos Aires travel guide I would have loved
to have had before moving to Buenos Aires!

Things to Know Before You Visit Buenos Aires Buenos Aires has Two

First things first: after your flights to Buenos Aires, when you
land you’re most likely arriving at Ezeiza airport (EZE) which
serves international flights.

If you’re then heading somewhere domestically within
, you’re probably going to be flying out of
Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP).

This is important to know if you have a connecting flight upon

Important to know because these two airports are 41 kilometres
apart and the trip between the two can take more than two hours in
peak-hour traffic, so plan your travels accordingly.

Stay for Three Days (Minimum)

15 travel tips for Buenos Aires, Argentina

This is not a city to breeze through. It’s deserving of at
three days
– or even a week!

Buenos Aires sightseeing includes museums to see, parks to
lounge in, trendy neighborhoods to explore, tango to be danced, and
more steak to eat than you can poke a stick at.

There are so many things
to do in Buenos Aires
, so plan a few days here.

Transportation is Cheap

Getting around Buenos Aires is easy – and fairly cheap.

Buses will get you to most areas of the city. You’ll need a
SUBE card which can be purchased from most kioskos (convenience
store) or subte (the metro system) ticket windows.

You can’t purchase them on board the bus!

Once you have a SUBE card, you’ll be able to ride colectivos
(buses), the subte or the aboveground trains (which tend to go to
the outer neighborhoods).

The Cómo Llego app is
handy to check how to get from A to B.

Taxis are everywhere – it’s rare to step out on to a street
and not have a taxi pull up within a few minutes!

Simply raise your arm to hail a taxi.

Check a map before you head out, as it’s handy to know the
cross streets of where you’re headed to; most taxi drivers use
those to navigate.

Make sure your driver turns on the meter when you get in.

BA Taxi and EasyTaxi are both apps that hail taxis from your
phone if you prefer.

Uber is in Buenos Aires, but it’s not legal so take care if
you do decide to use Uber (i.e. Sit in the front of the car so it
doesn’t look like an Uber!)

Bring Cash With You

Things to know before you visit Buenos Aires

Argentina’s economy is in a constant state of flux – it’s
really hard to keep up with where the peso is going.

Prices change regularly and the inflation rate hovers around 40
percent or more.

While Argentina can be an affordable destination, some things
may be more expensive than expected.

If you find yourself complaining, spare a thought for the
Argentine’s who work hard but watch their salary stay the same
while prices continually creep up.

Take cash with you, U.S. dollars or Euros, and have it changed
in Argentina!

Bring large bills that are free of tears, creases or marks.

Ask your hotel for a recommendation for a money changer – they
literally stand in some streets but it’s intimidating for a
visitor to change money this way!

Change your pesos into smaller notes so you have change to use
in shops.

Credit cards are accepted in hotels and restaurants that are
used to tourists, but you’ll find that most places don’t have
the infrastructure to accept credit cards or will add a

Don’t Think You Know How to Speak Spanish

So you think your high school Spanish will get you by when you
visit Argentina? Think again!

Argentine’s speak Spanish, but in Argentina it’s

You’ll hear vos used instead of tú, and the “ll” sound is
more like “zh” that’ll leave you scratching your head. Buena

Vegetarians Be Warned

Places to eat in Buenos Aires

Don’t expect to be eating veggies when you explore the city of

Buenos Aires.

The closest you’ll get is the salad that’s served at every
steakhouse before your steak comes out.

Argentine’s eat around 120 pounds of beef each year, which
puts them in the number 2 position for consumption of beef (just
behind neighboring Uruguay, also a country of meat lovers!).

One of the top Buenos Aires things to do is eat some amazing
steak. Make sure to visit a parrilla (steakhouse) during your

Some of my favorites are:

  • Don Julio (Address: Guatemala 4691)
  • Parrilla Peña (Address: Rodriguez Peña 682)
  • La Carnicería (Address: Thames 2319)
  • Secret Parrilla Tito’s (Address: Dorrego 2720)
  • La Brigada (Address: Estados Unidos 465)
  • Proper (Address: Aráoz 1676)

To order steak, you can ask for it jugoso (medium rare), a punto
(medium) or bien cocido (well done).

Beyond steak, Buenos Aires has
restaurants of all cuisines and to suit every budget

Buenos Aires is Ice Cream Heaven

Things to know before you visit Buenos Aires

I never realised how much I needed ice cream in my life until I
lived here.

On every corner is an ice cream shop selling the creamiest, most
flavorsome ice cream I’ve ever had in my life.

The Italian influence in Argentina is to be thanked for this
gift. Make sure you try dulce de leche flavour, a creamy

My favorite ice cream shop is Rapa Nui (address: Uruguay 1284)
where you will be overwhelmed with the amazing flavors for

Freddo and Volta are chain stores which are all across the

What Is That On My Bill?

When you get your bill (la cuenta) at the end of a meal, you may
wonder what a few charges are.

The cubierto is not a tip – it’s actually a small charge to
cover bread and the cutlery you’ve used.

While it’s old fashioned, you’ll find it on the bill in most
restaurants. Tipping isn’t usually expected but 10 percent is
pretty common.

North Americans may find it strange that water isn’t free –
you will pay for sparkling (con gas) or still (sin gas) water, but
it’s quite cheap.

Discover the City’s Hidden Cocktail Bars

Buenos Aires nightlife tips

While Argentina may be rightly famous for wine, it’s worth
checking out a few of the city’s secret cocktail bars – some of
which require James Bond-style methods to get in to.

At Frank’s Bar (Arévalo 1445), the race is on to crack a few
codes, the final one of which you’ll need to enter into a phone
booth to reveal the bar.

Florería Atlántico (Arroyo 872) is a popular bar, which can
only be entered through a huge refrigerator door inside a florist

At Victoria Brown (Costa Rica 4827), you’ll need to find the
door to get into the bar (spoiler: push the brick wall at the back
of the café, it’s actually the door!).

Make sure to try fernet, a bitter liqueur usually served mixed
with Coca-Cola. It’s a bit medicinal tasting for me, but when in

Buenos Aires is a City of Night Owls

If you’re usually in bed by 9 p.m. then you’re in for a
shock – people are barely even heading out for dinner at that

Restaurants in Buenos Aires start filling up between 9 and 11
p.m. (and later) and it’s easy to tell who the tourists are by
walking past a restaurant at 7 p.m.

If you’re up for some Buenos Aires nightlife, you’ll need a
nap to get you ready – nightclubs and bars aren’t really
happening until 2 a.m.!

You Can Get a Leather Jacket Made in a Few Days

In the land of beef, of course there’s leather.

You can have a leather
jacket custom made
in only a few days. Bring a picture of
something you like, have your measurements taken and voilà,
you’ll be taking home a stylish souvenir.

If a leather jacket isn’t what you’re after, you can have
something else made: skirt, boots, overnight bag, gloves –
anything you want, really.

Keep an Eye Out For Theft

Top things to do in Buenos Aires

This is generally a safe city, but like most major cities,
it’s best to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

The city isn’t immune to petty theft and pick pocketing does
occur – it happened to me and those guys are fast!

Also be careful inside taxis if you have the windows down or
while walking along the street – thieves do come by on motorbikes
to steal items right out of your hands.

Never leave your mobile phone or handbag on a table or on the
back of your chair in a restaurant – the thieves are so good here
they’ve even been known to steal from
right under the Secret Service’s nose

Having said that, if you’re sensible you’ll have no troubles
in Buenos Aires.

Best Time to Visit Buenos Aires Is Spring

Things to know before you visit Buenos Aires

While you can visit Buenos Aires year-round, spring is the best
time to come.

The weather is milder and the jacarandas that line the wide
boulevards are in full bloom – it’s a beautiful sight.

Summers are hot and humid so prepare to be sweaty. There are
plenty of parks, however, to cool off in.

Keep in mind that Christmas and New Year are times to be with
family, so you’ll find the city to be quieter than at other

I was surprised to find that there was no wild New Year’s Eve
party given porteños’ propensity for a good time!

There’s no snow, but winters in Buenos Aires can be miserably
cold and rainy. Still, it’s not a bad time to visit the city if
you can stand the weather.

Places To Stay In Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires travel guide

There are many trendy barrios (neighborhoods) to stay in Buenos

is made up of many smaller barrios and you’re most
likely to end up here at some point. If you like restaurants,
nightlife and shopping, Palermo is where you’ll be right in the
thick of it.

is one of Buenos Aires’ most elegant neighborhoods,
lined with luxury stores and ornate statues. It’s a quiet
neighborhood but there’s still plenty to do here.

It’s also home to some of the most popular Buenos Aires
attractions, including Recoleta Cemetery, Museo Nacional de Bellas
Artes and El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore (inside an old

This is the neighborhood I lived in when I lived in Buenos

Every Sunday, San Telmo hosts the bustling San Telmo Market, a
huge street fair over dozens of blocks.

For the rest of the week, the barrio is a tranquil and
interesting place to stay, with its cobblestoned streets and
historic buildings.

Watch Out For Dog Poop!

Travel Buenos Aires tips

There are so many beautiful buildings, you may find yourself
constantly looking up in awe. But make sure you keep an eye on the
footpath as well!

Porteños don’t seem to be that good at picking up after their
dogs, so it’s inevitable that you’ll step in some dog sh*t at
some point during your trip!


Planning a Trip to Buenos Aires Hotels in Buenos Aires

For the top hotels in Buenos Aires check out the options

through our partner, Booking.com

We find they have the widest range of properties. You get free
cancellation on most rooms, a best price guarantee, and they have
verified reviews from guests who have actually stayed at the

Mid-Range hotels

A good mid-range option is Republica
 in Palermo Soho.

High-End hotels

If you want something more luxurious but still good value,
Own Hotel
in Palermo Soho or
Casa Calma
in Recoleta.

Luxury hotels

Super-luxury travelers will be thrilled by world-renowned
options such as the Alvear
Palace Hotel
and the Faena
Hotel + Universe.


If you fancy a home and living like a local, or have a large
family or traveling with a group of friends, consider Airbnb. They can be a better
option than booking several hotel rooms.

Tours of Buenos Aires

Find the best
Buenos Aires tours and attractions
with our preferred partner,
Get Your Guide.

More South America Tips

Do you have any questions about visiting Buenos Aires? Or have
any of your own tips on what to do in Buenos Aires? Share in the
comments below!

Important Things to Know Before You Visit Buenos Aires

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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
15 Important Things to Know Before You Visit Buenos Aires