Is Buenos Aires Worth Visiting

Is Buenos Aires Worth Visiting? 14 Great Reasons To Visit

Buenos Aires is a city that captures the hearts of travellers from around the world. Known as the "Paris of South America," this vibrant metropolis offers a unique blend of European elegance and South American charm. From the tantalizing tango shows to savouring the world's finest steak, Buenos Aires has something for everyone. Here are 12 great reasons why Buenos Aires is well worth visiting.

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Why Is Buenos Aires Worth Visiting?

Buenos Aires is worth visiting for so many reasons:

 

  • Firstly, it’s the capital and is the hub for all other travel throughout the country. So to get to Iguazu Falls or Patagonia, you have to start here.
  • It’s referred to as the ‘Paris of South America’ and mixed European charm with South American passion.
  • Whilst the country is in a huge recession, the ‘blue dollar’ exchange rate means tourists can exchange American dollars at a much better rate and enjoy a cheaper trip

These are just some of the many reasons why I love visiting Buenos Aires.

 

For the rest of the list that includes world-class steak and wine, passionate football games and vibrant nightlife, keep scrolling. 

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14 Great Reasons To Visit Buenos Aires

1. Buenos Aires Is Known As The 'Paris Of South America'

Buenos Aires is often compared to a European capital, and for good reason.

 

The city’s stunning architecture, wide boulevards, and charming neighbourhoods feel strikingly similar to Europe, making it feel like a distant cousin of Paris or Barcelona. 

 

A free walking tour around Centro is the best way to start getting to know this city.

 

Buenos Aires Free Walks offer a free 2–3-hour walking tour that takes you from Plaza de Mayo (pictured below) to Casa Rosada – the presidential palace.

 

I loved this tour as I learnt so much about the history of the country.

 

 

Plaza De Mayo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

2. The Blue Rate Will Make Your Money Go Further

Argentina has been facing high inflation for many years, with rates reaching over 100% in recent years.

 

Many Argentinians have turned to the black market to purchase US dollars as a store of value.

 

Travellers can also take advantage of this black market rate known as the  ‘blue rate’.

 

As of January 2024, you could get around 1000 pesos to the dollar.

 

Argentina travel prices are some of the lowest in the world now.

 

Here are some tips to make the most of it:

 

  • Bring cash in dollars when you first arrive, Make sure you bring $100 bills as you’ll get a better rate for these
  • Find a ‘cambio’ on Calle Florida and change up your dollars into pesos for double the rate.
  • Once you run out of cash, use Western Union to transfer yourself dollars and then take it out in pesos. You’ll get a rate close to the blue dollar
  • Use a good currency card like Monzo or Revolut who give you close to the blue rate

TOP TIP:  This website gives you live updates on the official and blue dollar exchange rates. 

Visiting Buenos Aires is one of the highlights of a trip to Argentina. But there’s so much more to see in this incredible country.

 

To see how to combine Buenos Aires into a three-week or one-month itinerary that covers the entire country, head to one of the post below:

 

 

Table: Why Argentina Is Worth Visiting.

3. Watch The Best Tango Dancers In The World

No trip to Buenos Aires would be complete without experiencing the sensuous rhythms of the tango.

 

La Ventana, one of the city’s premier tango venues, promises an unforgettable evening filled with passionate dance performances and soul-stirring music.

 

Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the world of tango and witness the moves that have become synonymous with Argentina.

 

Or if you are interested in learning, La Vitura in Palermo is the best place to try.

 

This is one of Buenos Aires’ most renowned milongas (tango dance venues).

 

This establishment attracts top talent from the local tango scene.

 

However, for those who are new to tango, they offer classes tailored to six different levels of experience. So, if you’re a tango newcomer, there’s no need to feel self-conscious.

 

 

If you are thinking of planning a long stay in Argentina and South America, then seeing an extended backpacking itinerary is essential to help you plan your trip. Check out the post below to help you plan your next trip:

 

 

Tango dancers outside Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

4. Top Quality Hostels

Milhouse is also famous across Argentina and South America and known as being one of the best party hostels on the continent.

 

This hostel can host hundreds of guests and they are always organising events to keep the huge crowd of backpackers entertained.

 

They host in-house DJs, tonnes of themed party nights and get you discount on selected nightclub events in BA.

 

However, some of the best nights will be on drinking on the rooftop as the staff work away on an asado (Argentinian barbeque), whilst bringing round jugs of wine to keep your cup refilled.

 

Then at the late hours of the morning, finally heading out to a club to carry on until the early hours of the morning.

Milhouse is one of my favourite party hostels in South America. For a full list of the others, check out the post below:

 

 

5. Unreal Steakhouses and Argentinian Asado

Argentina is renowned for serving some of the finest steaks in the world, and Buenos Aires is no exception.

 

For an authentic Argentine steakhouse experience, head to Don Julio, where succulent cuts of meat are cooked to perfection.

 

Savouring a mouthwatering steak alongside a quality Malbec is a memory you won’t soon forget.

TOP TIP:  It's hard to get a reservation at Don Julio as it's one of the most popular restaurants in Buenos Aires. You often have to book months in advance as this is place is so famous, but as the Argentinians like to eat so late, if you just rock up at 7 when it opens you should be able to get a walk-in easily. You get free champagne and empanadas whilst you wait in line so it’s worth a try.

Another big recommendation of mine is an asado experience. 

 

An Argentinian asado (barbeque) is a must if you’re a meat lover. 

 

I booked this one which was hosted on a rooftop in Palermo. It was me and a friend and 4 other travellers, and we sat around drinking wine and trying different barbequed meats. 

6. World Class Wine

Wine enthusiasts will find Buenos Aires to be a paradise for their taste buds, offering a chance to savour some of the finest vintages from across the country.

 

There are two regions that produce high quality wine, Mendoza and Cafayate. Look out for Trapiche wines which come from Mendoza and Piattelli wines which come from Cafayate.

 

Make sure you explore the city’s wine bars and indulge in exquisite Argentine wines, particularly Malbec.

 

Here are some of my favourites:

 

  • Pain et Vin: A cozy wine bar with an extensive selection of Argentine wines and delectable cheese and charcuterie platters.
  • Bar du Marché: Known for its rustic charm and a menu that pairs exquisite wines with French-inspired cuisine, offering an authentic and upscale wine and dine experience.
  • Wine O’Clock: A trendy and vibrant wine bar that caters to both novice and seasoned wine enthusiasts.

Or book a wine tasting tour for a guided experience instead. 

Mendoza is the perfect place to visit for wine lovers. For more information on Mendoza including 8 great reasons why you should visit, head to the post below:

 

 

Vineyards In Mendoza (Argentina)

7. The Colourful 'La Boca' Neighbourhood

La Boca is famous for its vibrant, colourful buildings that line the streets.

 

This is the place where tango was born as a result of the bohemian and artistic culture of the immigrants. 

 

The neighbourhood’s houses, known as “conventillos,” are painted in an array of bold colours, creating a visually striking and Instagram-worthy backdrop.

 

The most famous street for this colourful architecture is Caminito, a pedestrianized street lined with brightly painted buildings, art displays, and tango performances.

 

Buenos Aires Free Walks offer a 2 hour walking tour for $10, or you can visit yourself.

 

8. Atmospheric Football Matches

If you love soccer (or as it’s properly named in the UK – football), then going to a match in Buenos Aires is a must.

 

Whilst in La Boca, you can visit the iconic La Bombonera stadium to witness the famous stadium of Boca Juniors. 

 

The Superclásico, pitting Boca Juniors against River Plate, is perhaps the most famous and intense rivalry in the world of soccer. The atmosphere in the stadium during this match is electric, making it an unforgettable experience for any fan.

 

The league typically begins in August and runs through to May. 

 

Foreigners can’t get tickets to Boca Junior games anymore but you can go to any other games.

 

Check out the tour company below which will organise it for you:

Are you struggling to work out how many days you need in Argentina overall? Head to the post below to see a selection of itineraries that can help you:

 

 

Buenos Aires - La Boca's colourful streets

9. Wander The Trendy Neighbourhood Of Palermo

One of the best things to do in Buenos Aires is spend leisurely afternoons in Buenos Aires’ trendy neighbourhood of  Palermo.

 

It’s known for its fashionable boutiques, cafes, and street art.

 

You can wander around and explore its unique shops and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many charming cafes.

 

I recommend Cuervo Cafe for great brunch options.

 

After some food, enjoy a tranquil afternoon stroll through the green expanses of Bosques De Palermo, a beautiful park that’s home to picturesque lakes and gardens. 

 

Also, the bars in Palermo are perfect for an evening drink:

 

  • Bar 878: Bar 878 is an intimate and stylish speakeasy-style bar that specializes in craft cocktails. It’s known for its extensive cocktail menu, knowledgeable bartenders, and a cozy ambiance.
  • Frank’s Bar: Frank’s Bar is a hidden gem, often requiring a secret password to enter, giving it an authentic speakeasy feel. Once inside, you’ll discover a cozy and sophisticated atmosphere with jazz music and a diverse cocktail menu.
Parque El Rosedal, Palermo - Buenos Aires

10. Quick Getaways To The Beautiful Iguazu Falls

Buenos Aires serves as an excellent gateway to some of Argentina’s natural wonders, including the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls.

 

These breath-taking falls are made up of 275 individual cascades, which stretch over 2 miles and create a stunning natural barrier between Argentina and Brazil.

 

 

A short flight from the city will transport you to this UNESCO World Heritage site, where you can witness the sheer power and beauty of one of the world’s most remarkable waterfalls.

 

The 2-hour flight to Iguazu Falls means it can easily be visited in one or two days as a brief escape from the city.

To see how to combine a few days in Buenos Aires alongside a trip to Iguazu or Mendoza, check out the selection of itineraries in the post below:

 

 

Iguazu Falls - waterfalls in Argentina with walkways

11. Snack On Empanadas And Alfajores

Alongside a good steak and a bottle of wine, there are two other food items you need to try whilst in Buenos Aires: empanadas and alfajores.

 

Empanadas are savoury pastries filled with beef, pork or chicken mixed in a sweet, slightly spicy sauce. They’re more of a snack than a main meal but my god they are addictive and you can end up eating 3 or 4 at a time. 

 

Alfajores are traditional Argentinean desserts. They can only be described as a ‘sandwich cookie’ withsweet filling in the middle such as dulce de leche. 

 

You can buy them almost anywhere but if you want to go a step further then try this cooking class and make them yourself:

If you want to combine a trip to Chile alongside Argentina, then there are several ways to do this with a simple border crossing. The three itineraries in the post below can help you cross the borders a 3 different points in Argentina to see Chile:

 

 

The road towards El Chalten and Mt. Fitzroy (Argentina)

12. Recoleta Cemetery

Buenos Aires Free Walks have a Recoleta tour that starts at 10.30 AM and lasts 3 hours if you prefer a structured day.

 

Or if you prefer to wander, there’s so many weird and wonderful buildings to check out in Recoleta. Wander around Plaza Francia, dip into the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and check out the Floralis Generica.

 

My favourite is El Ateneo Grand Splendid – one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve seen set in an old opera house.

The cemetery is a must visit. This is where the most famous Argentinian people from history and politics can be found; the tomb of Eva Peron being the main sight.

 

It costs $3768 ARS (as of November 2023). You won’t learn much visiting by yourself though so if you want a more informative tour.

 

This top rated company offer a tour for $10 which is the cheapest I’ve found.

 

After a wander around the cemetery, head across to one of the bars opposite the exit – either Buller Brewing or Temple.

 

If it’s late enough, they should have opened the rooftop up and you’ll be able to enjoy a drink in the sun and see the cemetery from a different perspective.

Recoleta Cemetery - Buenos Aires

13. The Gateway To Patagonia

For adventurers seeking to explore the untamed natural beauty of Patagonia, Buenos Aires serves as the ideal gateway.

 

From the city, you can book flights to any Patagonian destination that takes your fancy.

 

Here are my favourites:

 

  • Bariloche, the lake district region of Patagonia, is only a 2-hour flight away. Here you can go skiing, hike in the Andes or kayak among the lakes surrounding the town.
  • El Calafate is a 3 hour flight away and the town where you can visit Perito Moreno Glacier
  • El Chalten is considered the trekking capital of Argentine Patagonia, as it offers access to some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in the region. 
Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate (Argentina)

14. San Telmo Market

San Telmo is one of Buenos Aires oldest neighbourhoods.

 

You can spend your morning exploring the bustling San Telmo Market, where you can shop for antiques, handmade crafts, vintage clothing, and try local street food delights.

 

Come at the weekend for the antique market to be in full swing.

 

This isn’t just any old market full of cheap items bought in bulk. Each stall seems to have a unique selection of antiques that are worth something.

 

If you have an eye for this sort of thing, then you’ll be in heaven.

 

Or if you wanted a guide, this tour costs $10 and runs on Sundays

San Telmo Market - Buenos Aires

How Many Days Do You Need In Buenos Aires?

I would personally recommend a minimum of 5 days in Buenos Aires to see its best sights and get a feel for the city. 

 

Here’s what I would recommend if you were unsure of how many days to spend in Buenos Aires:

 

  • 3 Days in Buenos Aires – Excluding your arrival day, 3 full days  is ideal for seeing the three best neighbourhoods – Palermo, Recoleta and Centro/San Telmo. 
  • 5 days in Buenos Aires – This option is perfect for exploring at a relaxed pace and diving deeper into the culture. You can split the above 3 days into five and see Palermo, Recoleta, Centro, San Telmo and La Boca all on different days. 
  • 7 Days in Buenos Aires – A week is essential if you want to immerse yourself fully and take day trips outside to explore beyond Buenos Aires. 

See how you can do all the amazing things Buenos Aires has to offer with these expertly curated 3, 5 and 7 day itineraries:

 

 

Plaza De Mayo from above (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Where To Stay In Buenos Aires

I recommend staying in two areas in Buenos Aires – Recoleta or Palermo.

 

  • Recoleta is more central and has better transport links. There’s also lots of great restaurants and cafes.
  • Palermo is where most of the nice bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes are.

If you want to party and meet lots of other backpackers then Milhouse Hostel is a good pick, which is just south of Recoleta.

 

There are lots of great Airbnbs in Palermo or if you’re looking to meet other backpackers then Selina is another good hostel but can be pricey compared to others.

Is Palermo Or Recoleta Better To Stay In?

I personally prefer Palermo.

 

It’s a lot calmer and there’s so many great cafes, restaurants and bars to check out. You could spend weeks there and not visit them all. 

 

The only downside is it’s further away from all the other areas. It’s about a 30-40 minute cab from Palermo to San Telmo.

 

Recoleta is still a nice area but it’s much more built up.

 

There’s more high rise buildings, busy roads and more people in general. It’s like to equivalent of central London or New York in my opinion. 

Where to Stay In Buenos Aires (Map)

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