Discover the Magic of Buenos Aires, Argentina The Ultimate Guide
Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital of Argentina, is an enchanting city renowned for its delicious food, stunning architecture, rich culture, and passionate love for the tango. Often referred to as the “Paris of South America,” this bustling metropolis offers many attractions and experiences catering to various interests. Here is why you should visit Buenos Aires.
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Deciding to Travel to Buenos Aires
As Argentina is a Spanish-speaking country, visitors can immerse themselves in the beautiful and enchanting Spanish language. Moreover, given the favorable exchange rate, travelers from the United States often find Buenos Aires quite affordable, allowing them to experience the city’s upscale dining, high-fashion shopping, and world-class entertainment without breaking the bank. The city is also highly tourist-friendly, boasting a wide array of well-maintained tourist sites, abundant English-speaking guides and services, and a welcoming local population ready to help you discover the magic of their city.
Getting around is extremely easy and affordable as well. Buenos Aires has Uber, which is very inexpensive and was what I used to get everywhere. Their public transportation is robust as well, with access to busses and subways.
Where to Stay in Buenos Aires: Palermo and Beyond
While visiting Buenos Aires, I had the pleasure of staying in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo. Known for its tree-lined streets, chic boutiques, hip restaurants, and buzzing nightlife, Palermo is the perfect base for anyone looking to explore the many unique facets of this captivating city. We stayed at a charming Airbnb within walking distance of restaurants and close in transport to other notable areas of Buenos Aires.
Other popular areas to consider for your stay include:
- San Telmo: A historic bohemian neighborhood famous for its Sunday street fair and antique shops.
- Recoleta: A posh tourist district known for its Parisian-style architecture and upscale shopping options.
- Microcentro: The bustling heart of Buenos Aires, home to significant landmarks like the Obelisk and the historic Teatro Colón.
Must do activites in Buenos Aires
During my trip, I had the chance to participate in several unforgettable activities that truly enriched my experience in Argentina. Here are five must-try activities for your visit:
Sherpa Food Tour
One of the best ways to taste Argentinean cuisine is by embarking on a Sherpa Food Tour. Led by a local guide, you’ll spend the evening exploring traditional eateries and sampling iconic dishes such as empanadas, milanesa, and Argentinean steak.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the neighborhoods as you stroll through the streets. I loved trying the wine and meeting new people from around the world. This was a great introduction to Argentina and its flavors.
Gamboa Winery Tour and Lunch
To truly experience Argentina’s winemaking prowess, venture beyond the city and visit a local winery. The Gamboa Winery Tour is an excellent option that includes a guided tour of the vineyards, followed by a delicious lunch where you can indulge in more of Argentina’s finest wines and superb cuisine. The lunch was extensive and offered a pairing with each course. I loved the tour I booked through Viator.
Uruguay Day Trip to Colonia
Enhance your trip to Buenos Aires by taking a day off to explore the charming UNESCO World Heritage site of Colonia in neighboring Uruguay. The Colonia Express offers a hassle-free boat service that will whisk you away to the cobblestone streets and charming colonial architecture of Colonia in just an hour.
I ended up booking the experience on Get Your Guide because they make the process seamless by booking your tickets, setting you up with insurance, and facilitating a tour upon arrival. Since you are visiting another country, you must go through customs again, so don’t forget your passport. Once there, stroll through the tree-lined streets and visit the iconic lighthouse for a stunning panoramic view.
Recoleta Cemetary Tour
A trip to Buenos Aires would not be complete without a visit to the fascinating and enchanting Recoleta Cemetery. I booked a guided tour to learn the history of the famous mausoleums and their residents, including Argentina’s beloved Eva Perón. The tour was $10 a person plus admission, and I think booking the tour is essential. Otherwise, you will miss the cemetery’s necessary background and residents. The impressive collection of statues, artistic tombs, and architectural styles make this cemetery a true open-air museum.
Weekend Street Fairs
Every weekend, lively street fairs with a hint of bohemian fervor take over various neighborhoods throughout Buenos Aires. You’ll find unique handcrafted goods, vintage clothes, delightful street food, and live music, creating a memorable atmosphere that is uniquely Argentine. Be sure not to miss the lively San Telmo Fair on Sundays!
A Flavorful Experience: Food, Wine, and Argentina
No visit to Buenos Aires would be complete without enjoying one of the city’s famed steakhouses, known as parrillas. Feast on the finest cuts of Argentine beef, cooked to perfection and paired with a delightful Malbec wine. The steak is high quality and a fraction of the price you would find at home. Argentina’s culinary scene offers a range of flavors, including a strong Italian influence in the city’s pasta and pizza options. Many places like the famous Don Julio require reservations, so research them in advance!
A Cultural Wonderland: Tango, Mate, and Opposite Seasons
Immerse yourself in the sensual world of Argentine Tango, a dance rooted in the city’s identity. You can watch a professional performance at a local tango house or even take a few lessons from a seasoned instructor. There are several activities you can book for a guided experience.
An integral part of Argentine social life is the shared consumption of mate, a traditional caffeine-infused herbal drink. You will often see people carrying thermos flasks and mate gourds to enjoy with friends and family. If you want to learn about the history of mate and how to make it, there are several lessons offered.
Finally, don’t forget that the seasons in Argentina are opposite those in the Northern Hemisphere, with summer spanning from December to February and winter from June to August. This can add a unique perspective to your travels and make Buenos Aires an ideal getaway during the colder months.
A Truly Unique Experience
Buenos Aires is a city that truly offers something for everyone. From its vibrant food scene and unique cultural traditions to its stunning art and architecture, it is a destination that will undoubtedly leave you wanting to explore more. So why not set sail for Argentina’s beautiful shores and experience all this enchanting city has to offer?