Last week I spent several days exploring Buenos Aires and I was pleasantly surprised. When it comes to Central and South America capitals I haven’t been overwhelmed but B.A. was the exception. I arrived around midday after taking the bus from Mendoza (Cata International- cost $2,000 pesos and it included a snack). That afternoon I decided to take it easy and I walked around the San Telmo neighborhood where my hostel was. I stayed at the Puerto Limon Hostel and it cost $220 pesos a night which was among the cheapest I found and it was also the recommendation of a friend. I would definitely stay at this hostel again because the price, cleanliness, and location were all great!
Travel Tip: I definitely warn everyone traveling there to do their research in terms of neighborhoods to stay in (I recommend San Telmo but be careful at night, Congresso, or Palermo) and always watch for pickpockets.
On my first full day in the city I walked from my hostel to the Bellas Artes Museum in the morning and took the path by the Casa Rosado and Plaza de Mayo. I also got lucky on my walk and happened upon the statue of Mafalda on the corner of Defense and Chile streets. After my not so great experience in Santiago at their Bellas Artes Museum I was a little hesitant but the museum was great and it was free!! I then decided to walk along Avienda 9 de Julio which is one of the main streets in B.A. to the Teatro Colon. I then made a great discovery in the Plaza Lavalle behind the theatre and in the Cafe Negro coffee shop where I was able to have my first cold brew coffee in 6 months! After my coffee I walked back towards the Bellas Artes Museum to the Recoleta Cemetery. The cemetery is really neat and is filled with prominent people from Argentinian history (it reminded me of the cemeteries in New Orleans a little bit). After the cemetery I walked down Avienda Alvear which is filled with beautiful, historic homes and tons of high end boutiques. For anyone looking to buy some designer clothes while in Buenos Aires this is your spot. I, however, am on a backpackers budget so I just enjoyed window shopping. Afterwards, I walked to the congress building and then found this amazing artisans market on Avienda de Mayo on my way back to the hostel. I definitely recommend checking it out if you enjoy local, handmade goods!
That evening my friends Gabe and I along with a couple people from our hostel went to the Palermo neighborhood for dinner (traveled by metro and the cost was $8.50 pesos). This neighborhood was really pretty and filled with tons of bars and restaurants. If I were to live in Buenos Aires I think this area would definitely be a top runner!
Travel Tip: If you are going to be in B.A. for a few days chances are you will need a Sube card to take the bus and metro. If you can, try to by one off of another backpackers but if you can’t find one the cost is around $30 pesos. Good news it also works in Bariloche!!!
On my second full day, Gabe and I explored the neighborhood called La Boca. This area is definitely more up and coming than some of the other areas I saw but I loved the artistic feel and beautiful colors of the building on El Caminito (the most famous street in La Boca). After exploring El Caminito and the surrounding streets we wandered to the Boca Juniors soccer stadium. For those who don’t know, Boca Juniors and River Plate are the two biggest rivals in Division 1 soccer in Argentina. It was great to see one of the stadiums and take in some of the very important soccer culture.
After visiting the stadium, we went to lunch at a restaurant on Defensa Street (I can’t recall the name) and it was good, but not amazing, meal. However, I really enjoyed the eclectic atmosphere. After lunch, I decided to enjoy a little siesta at the hostel and then Gabe and I walked through downtown towards the train station enjoying the different architecture and sites. On our way back from our walk we found a GREAT happy hour spot with $60 pints of artisanal beer called Bar Chin Chin.
On my last day in B.A. I simply walked around and took in the local energy and vibes. Overall, I really enjoyed Buenos Aires and I’ve found it to be my favorite capital city so far in Central and South America!