Where do I even start? I loved this city, more than most. It is easily in the top five for me of my personal favorites in the world, and after having spent a full month living there, I can’t wait to come back. I’d even consider moving to Buenos Aires. High praise, I know. But seriously, this place has it all: cool things to do, an amazing vibe, great food, beauty, and your dollar really goes a long way.

Teatro Colon at night

So maybe you’re considering a visit? This guide will help you with how to plan your own Buenos Aires trip, whether for just a couple days, or much longer. Remember, I can only talk about things I’ve personally done, and even in a full month I didn’t get to everything on my list. So while I’ll mention a few popular things I didn’t personally experience, I can’t recommend them one way or the other. Links within the guide will take you to more detailed articles about specific aspects of the city, so be sure to click through.

If you enjoy this guide, please click here to read our Ultimate Guides from destinations all over the world!

How to Get There

If you’re going to Buenos Aires, you are almost certainly flying. Flights from the US (a few gateway cities with direct flights exist, like Atlanta, Miami, Houston, and I believe JFK) will arrive into the city’s main international airport, EZE. It’s about a 30-45 minute cab from there into the main portions of Buenos Aires in which you’ll be staying, a trip that cost me around $13 with today’s ridiculous exchange rate (much more on that later). There are buses, but they are time consuming and will require at least 1-2 changes.

Some flights from within South America will arrive into AEP, the smaller airport located in the Palermo district of the city along the Rio de la Plata. While you will likely not be flying into here initially, it is important to note, as if you change planes in Buenos Aires to a smaller destination, like the wine region of Mendoza, you may have to change airports.

The smaller airport, AEP

If you happened to be in Montevideo, Uruguay prior to coming to Buenos Aires, ferries dock mainly in the city’s center, as does the occasional cruise ship.

Getting Around

For the most part, the portions of Buenos Aires you’ll want to be in front a turn in the Rio de la Plata that goes to the west and then the south. At the junction is the central city and Puerto Madero. To the south is San Telmo and then La Boca. To the west is Recoleta and then Palermo. These areas are where 98% of what you’ll want to see within the city itself is. From Palermo to San Telmo would be about a two hour walk, to give an idea of the scope.

The city has a pretty great subway system with several lines, most of which meet in the central city by Plaza de Mayo. If you are close enough to a station to make it usable, it is my primary suggestion as to how to get around. A few tips to using the subway, called the Subte. First, you will need a Sube card. Those are purchased at kiosks with the Sube symbol. They do not come with money loaded, so take your new card to a station and hand it and cash to the attendant at the window to fill it. When I was in Buenos Aires in April/May 2023, Sube cards cost 400 pesos, and a one-way ride was 67. With inflation in Argentina currently at over 100%, those prices are almost certainly out of date now. (Rides were 58 pesos when I first arrived.)

A Subte station fronts the iconic obelisk

The subway gets very crowded, so just squish in and hold on. Cars are mainly air conditioned, though stations are not, and warm days can make waiting (fortunately not too long as trains run every 5-10 minutes) uncomfortable. Some cars announce station names (Spanish only); others don’t. You can ask a local or just follow along on the maps above the doors. Also note that if two or more lines meet, the station will be called something different for each line. For instance, the D Line’s 9 de Julio station and the C Line’s Diagonal Norte station connect.

The city also has a TON of bus lines, though I never took one, as my flat was just a 15 minute walk to the subway. Locals swear by them. I can’t speak to them at all, though I can tell you that you will still need the aforementioned Sube card. (Same for local surface trains to suburbs, which I also never used.)

Uber seems to go back and forth in Buenos Aires as to legality, so before you go, download Cabify, the local alternative, and hook it up either to a credit card or PayPal. You can also – with either Cabify or Uber – use cash.

Within a neighborhood, walking is easy. The city is almost totally flat, sidewalks are wide (although watch for potholes), and drivers are respectful of pedestrians. It is fine to cross a street against the red if no cars are coming, though jaywalking in the middle of a block is rare.

What to Do

Buenos Aires is not a city of must-see attractions. In fact, I don’t think there is a single sight that if you missed, you’d be doing your trip a severe injustice. To give you an example, one of the top rated things is the colorful neighborhood of La Boca, and I didn’t make it there at all.

But what the city lacks in world-recognized iconic landmarks, it more than makes up for in cool things to see and do. So let’s run through some of them.

Museums. There are several worth seeing. If the story of Evita Peron interests you, Museo Evita in Palermo is a nice visit. (Click here to read more about Evita.) If you want some exposure to Latin American art, MALBA, also in Palermo, is pretty lovely. There are a few history museums (one of the city and two national ones), but those are nearly entirely in Spanish. They are, however, free. Finally, Buenos Aires has art museums, natural history, and other things all major cities have. I didn’t visit those.


Plaza de Mayo is the city’s main square. It is fronted on one side by the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace (tours are currently not available, sadly), on another by the Cabildo (one of the aforementioned national history museums), and on a third by the Metropolitan Cathedral. Poke your head into the cathedral just to see the tomb of Jose de San Martin, Argentina’s liberator. (Click here to read about San Martin and the early history of the country.)

Casa Rosada

Buenos Aires is a city of street markets, and the biggest is the Sunday market in San Telmo. It’s worth an hour or more to stroll the stalls.

If you like old cemeteries, Recoleta Cemetery is spectacular. The mausoleums, featuring that of Evita Peron, are varied and stunning. An admission fee was recently added, so just be aware of that.

Recoleta Cemetery

However, the best part of Buenos Aires is just walking the neighborhoods, which each has a different feel, taking in the amazing green spaces the city is known for, as well as the remarkable architecture that is more European than anywhere else I’ve been in Latin America. There is an amazing old synagogue (click here to read about Jewish life in Buenos Aires), the spectacular Teatro Colon, and cool government buildings (click here to read about Argentine politics). Below, you can find some specific neighborhood guides I wrote.

Palacio Barolo is just one of a number of amazing buildings in Buenos Aires


San Telmo


Puerto Madero

And finally, do yourself a favor and see a tango show. Argentine tango is awesome, and the city has some amazing shows at varied price points. You can read more about my tango experience here.


If you want to get out of town and have a couple days, make the trip to Iguazu Falls. Click here to read about it and see the amazing photos. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Iguazu Falls

Where to Stay

If you are looking for a US hotel chain, you’ll likely be in the central city or Recoleta. However, if you want a more authentic experience, try renting an Airbnb in Palermo, an upscale neighborhood with the most awesome vibe. There are a ton of parks, so many dogs I can’t count, great restaurants and cafes, and tree lined streets.

Palermo from my Airbnb

Staying too far outside those areas can be a bit less safe (more on safety in a bit), so I’d stick to those central places. And of course, if you can be near a subway line (the D seems to be the best to get most tourist places), so much the better.

What to Eat

The food is easily one of the best parts of a trip to Buenos Aires, and especially with the power of the dollar currently, it is cheap. It’s a tough place to be vegan, however, so be aware of that.

Let’s start with street food, which is so good I wrote a separate article just about that. (Click here to read it.) Empanadas, choripan (sausage sandwiches), unique pizza, pastries… this is the heart of the food experience here.

Empanadas were a regular part of my life in BA

Buenos Aires is known for its beef. Try a traditional parrilla, a grill restaurant that will do varied cuts of beef, pork, and chicken. Or take the plunge and go to one of the city’s upscale beef experiences. (Click here to read about beef in Buenos Aires, including one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.)


Milanesa is the Argentine version of chicken parm. Made with chicken or veal, breaded and fried, and then topped with any number of options, it is something worth having here. El Club de la Milanesa is a chain that offers a sample platter of six different ones, and I highly recommend trying that.

Milanesa variety pack

Finally, make sure you try something with dulce de leche, whether a jar of it from a shop or a traditional alfajor (cookie sandwich with dulce de leche between). It is good on everything, even just your fingers.

Other Useful Information

Let’s talk about the exchange rate for a moment. Argentina is known for explosive inflation, which in 2023 is over 100%. Compound that with a legal black market for hard US currency, and your dollar goes a LONG way, since the “blue dollar” is worth more than double the actual exchange rate at the moment. It sounds weird, but I wrote all about it here, so take a read.

If you research safety in Buenos Aires, you’ll read a lot about seemingly constant mugging and pickpocketing. While it is an issue here, as in many places, I didn’t have any problems. Just be aware of your surroundings, don’t set your phone down on a table, and don’t wear flashy stuff, and you should be ok. (I also didn’t walk around solo after dark unless it was only a few blocks.)

Water here is safe to drink, although some claim it has a “flavor.” I was fine drinking tap water from my flat, though I also supplemented with local red wine.

If local water scares you, the wine is great here!


Buenos Aires is truly amazing, one of my favorite places I’ve been since I started writing. It is a place I felt comfortable, at home, and joyful to spend my time. I will definitely be back, maybe even to live. And if you haven’t been, you should!

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