In the way of first impressions, Buenos Aires is nothing short of fantastic. It is the capital of Argentina and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America (after São Paulo). It has a distinctly European feel, lots of beautiful architecture, culture, fine food and a vibrant nightlife. The city is busy, exciting, and basically never sleeps. Dinner starts around 9 pm, and most people stay out well past 2 am each night.
Buenos Aires is one of my all-time favourite cities and a great starting point to my South American journey. Try to plan your trip during the Argentinian spring or fall when the weather is mild and make sure you spend at least 4 or 5 days exploring the city. With so much to do in Buenos Aires its hard to pick and choose.
Here are my top 5 favourite things to do in Buenos Aires:
Sunday Market in San Telmo
This hippy market is the best you’re going to find in Buenos Aires. It consists of 15+ blocks of artisan vendors, set amongst the cobblestone streets of the old San Telmo barrio. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The Recoleta Cemetery
This is considered one of Buenos Aires most prized historic and artistic sites. This huge cemetery is incredibly ornate with detailed graves, statues and monuments. Evita’s grave is one of the most famous graves here and well worth a visit.
Shopping on Florida Street
For the shopping-lover, this street is a pedestrian walkway full of neat shops and vendors. Whether you are looking for a Boca Junior football jersey or a mate mug, this place has it all.
Visit La Boca Barrio
This is a working-class neighbourhood on the edge of the waterfront. The buildings are painted in bright colours and there are street vendors, tango shows, shops and restaurants. A great place to spend a few hours, just make sure you stick to the tourist streets and don’t wander there at night.
Watching a Tango Show
This is a classic way to spend an evening in Buenos Aires. Look for combination tickets with a half-hour Tango lesson before the show (mostly to show you how hard it is). Some shows included a set dinner and feature different styles of Tango. Amazing!
Where to Stay
The key to an enjoyable time in any city is finding a good home base. We were lucky to arrive in Buenos Aires and find a great hostel to stay in – Hostel Estoril is a well-located hostel right on Avenida de Mayo. It’s clean, comfortable, and has many wonderful features such as an on-site bar, huge rooftop patio, free baggage storage, free internet, a kitchen, very affordable Spanish lessons, phone cards, and much much more! The staff are very helpful and friendly, and they made us feel very much at home.