A complete guide to Buenos Aires by barrio
Buenos Aires is an amazing city. It is vibrant, lively and bursting at the seams with things to do. Here is a break down of what we did over four days, whilst being based in San Telmo.
We regularly took Uber’s to get us around the city but we should warn you that Uber’s are still illegal in most countries in S.America so always make sure somebody is sitting in the passenger seat (makes it look less like a taxi).
Here is a guide to Buenos Aires by barrio or district/suburb, as you may know it. Enjoy planning your trip and ensure you give this city plenty of time! We would recommend a week.
San telmo is a great hub to be located in, simply for the food and bar options but also for the general vibe. If you know London, it feels like the love child of Camden and Shoreditch.
Whilst there, we would recommend staying in Circus Hostel, who have lots of fun activity options, a free pool table, a heated outdoor pool and a great combination of music playing in the chill area/reception. You’ll always be happy to return after a day of exploring.
Mercado San Telmo
Based in the heart of San Telmo, this historic market is home to some great food options to both eat in and ‘para llevar’ (to go). You’ll also find some really cool antique shops with a variety of items from Victorian dolls to 60s style tea caddy’s, old lava lamps and vintage clothes. They’ll be plenty to keep you entertained!
There is plenty of street art around San Telmo, some of our favourites were on Bolivar Road, including the awesome Biggie and Tupac mural created by resident artist Insta: @causi051. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find at least 2 more of his pieces just in San Telmo!
This restaurant/bar is amazing, it is always busy with a laid back hipster vibe. All the burgers looked great but particularly for vegetarians, there is a carrot and pumpkin burger and falafel tacos too, which are both so delicious! You’ll struggle to not go back thrice!
If you’re lucky enough to be in the city for the weekend, there is a huge market that takes over the whole of Road Defensa. You’ll find all the souvenirs you need plus most of your daily necessities such as cables, converter plugs etc. You’ll also be able to catch some Tango performers in the early afternoon too.
Palermo is another favourite area to stay in, although we felt that the area seemed quiet in the day and came alive in the night time.
Buenos Aires is a very late city, so clubs open at 2am and even Milongas don’t start much earlier than midnight! So we’d recommend taking a siesta and getting ready for a late night! Here are some of the places we visited in Palermo.
A favourite with the locals, we visited this club on a live Hip Hop evening. The club is huge, with 2 bars, good lights and great speakers. We’d recommend checking out Facebook or Resident Advisor for upcoming events!
Niceto is one of the largest and well-known electronic clubs in BA. They have events most nights of the week but their most popular event is Club69 on a Thursday night. Check it out for us as we sadly weren’t in BA on a Thursday!
Tango – Milonga
The first thing to know about Milongas - it is seen as a lifestyle, not just a dance. The general premise of a Milonga usually begins with a lesson, that group then practices for a few hours and as the night creeps into the early hours, the more professional dancers show off their routines to an enthusiastic crowd.
We visited Salon Canning around 11.30 and stayed until 3.30am, seeing the amateurs practising and switching partners, a fun group performance and an excellent couple showing all of us how the famous Argentinian dance is really done!
Once an impoverished part of Buenos Aires, La Boca today is full of colour!
Houses and pavements are covered in bright colours and art work. It really is a unique experience, so grab your brightest clothes and enjoy strolling through these beautiful streets.
Caminito is the extra colourful area in La Boca. It is a must visit for anyone in Buenos Aires and a great place to visit on a Sunday, as there is a market with really unique gifts and souvenirs to buy for friends and family. You’ll also find plenty of Tango dancers here showing off their moves in restaurants or available to have pictures with too.
Fundacion PROA is a cool modern art space by the dock where you can check out the current exhibition or simply enjoy a coffee and a small bite to eat in the café overlooking the water and some of La Boca's colourful buildings.
La Boca Football Stadium
The famous La Boca Stadium is a short walk from the pretty colourful buildings. You’ll find statues of some of their famous footballers, including Messi and there’s plenty of memorabilia to buy here. If you’re a big football fan you could always check out a game or have a tour of the stadium too. You can check this site for more information and other experiences around Buenos Aires.
If you really want to feel like a local, visiting this pizza joint is an absolute must. Argentina have a famous pizza named Fugazzetti and after speaking to locals and witnessing the constant queue in this establishment, we’re sure this is the best Fugazetti in town!
Grab a beer and one portion (slice) or two (you’ll need no more we promise!) and enjoy!
Just opposite La Mezzetta, there is a restaurant bar named 8 Esquinas. You can order a half or full bottle of wine in a penguin dispenser, so you can enjoy your famous Argentinian wine being poured from a penguin’s mouth. It looks so much cuter than it sounds, we promise!
It’s an old Argentinian tradition, from times when bars were stealing wine from the Mendoza trains, blending it down and then selling it in these inconspicuous jars. Luckily for us, the inconspicuous jars have stayed around but the wine is no longer blended down! You can also find pinguinos available to buy in local markets and souvenir shops to take home too!
Whilst it sounds slightly strange, cemeteries are a regular sightseeing attraction in South America because they are so different to most cemeteries around the world.
Recoleta Cemetery is home to the famous singer Evita, and many past presidents. Even a famous boxer named Luis Angel Firpo has his own life sized statue next to his mausoleum. As you can imagine, the tombs are extremely grand but some are so old it genuinely looks like the bodies are escaping. There are doors opened and some caskets are even unhinged!
This cemetery is huge so be sure to take a photo of the map at the front and watch out for small crowds of people gathering around tombs, it’s usually someone historic or Evita herself.
After all that walking around the cemetery, you’ll be dead ready for a break! Enjoy a respite in this delicious ice cream parlour and chocolatier. It is the perfect pit stop en route towards many of these buildings below. ENJOY!
Buildings You Can’t Miss Seeing in BA!
Casa Rosado is a brightly coloured mansion, which is also the office of the Argentinian president. It is hard to miss and looks very unique amongst the other normally coloured buildings also surrounding Plaza de Mayo.
Metropolitan Cathedral is also situated in Plaza de Mayo; this cathedral is beautiful with its unique facade of 12 columns, making it look more like a Greek temple than a church.
This theatre is very grand and is named one of the ten best opera houses in the world by National Geographic. Take the time to check out the inside by either checking out a show or taking advantage of the free tours that happen throughout the day, usually between 9-5.
The Obelisco is a historic monument in Buenos Aires. You definitely won't miss its tall structure located in Plaza de La Republica. We’ve discovered it has also been known to be covered in a condom for World AIDS day and dressed as a Christmas tree at Christmas so please share if you catch it looking a little different!
Avenue 9 de Julio
Cheeky little fact for you, Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest avenue in the world, with a whopping 14 lanes! You’ll probably drive down this road many times during your stay. If you catch the huge ‘Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice’ march on 24th March, you’ll catch this road closed to traffic and against all odds, easy to walk across! This event came as a complete surprise to us but made our stay in Buenos Aires extra special.
You’ll also be able to see the Evita memorial from Avenida 9 de Julio. Keep an eye out on the tall buildings. You can’t miss her - but if you do, she’s on both sides!
This building is very magnificent and it’s hard to believe it was once the water supplier for the city and not home to royalty! You must go and check out it’s exterior and if you have time on weekdays, enjoy a free tour around the inside too.
University of Buenos Aires
This building is a beautiful grand piece of architecture from the outside. However, we’ve been told by some of the students that it is all a façade, with the inside looking much different! Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a look whilst wandering around the city.
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