Buenos Aires is Argentina’s modern, cosmopolitan capital city. Its centre is the Plaza de Mayo, lined with stately 19th-century buildings including Casa Rosada, the iconic, balconied Presidential Palace. Other major attractions include Teatro Colón, a grand 1908 opera house with nearly 2,500 seats, and the modern MALBA museum, displaying Latin American art.
How to get to Buenos Aires
From Puerto Iguacu, we arrived in Buenos Aires by air.
Taxi – you can get a taxi from the taxi stand at the airport, follow the signs out of the terminal. Make sure you get an official taxi with a metre.Avoid anyone that approaches you offering you an unlicensed taxi. It will cost around US$3-4
Bus – this is the cheaper option. Around US$.20. Bus number 33 takes you to Retiro Terminal and the bus number 37 takes you to Plaza del Congreso.
Uber – There is a very good uber network here. Uber allows you to pay via your Uber account so you don’t have to worry about getting your money out. Uber also gives you an estimate on the fare and it’s pretty accurate.
A bit of advice when paying the taxi drivers, count your money first, then hand it to them as they can sometimes switch notes to smaller denominations and demand more.
Getting around in Buenos Aires is very easy thanks to its metro system. With every line going to the city centre, no matter where you decide to stay it will be easy navigate.
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Accommodation is vast in Buenos Aires as you can imagine with any other city. Depending on your budget it can be from hostels with other backpackers to hotels to airbnb. The prices vary depending on the area you choose.
Here are some areas you may consider:
Recoletta – most cultured neighbourhood, upmarket hotels, cafes, boutiques.
Palermo – Largest neighbourhood in BA, parks, lakes, Soho like feel.
Puerto Madero – newest and trendiest part of BA.
San Telmo – the oldest part of BA, Authentic and historic buildings.
La Boca – the port of the city, best area for tango lessons or an evening show.
Downtown – shopping on Florida Street, historic buildings, Plaza de Mayo, Obelisk (national monument).
We stayed in the Palermo neighbourhood in an Airbnb on Avenida Cordoba. Not a bad location, easy walking distance from the many bars and restaurants in Palermo. Also near to supermarkets. We chose Airbnb over the other types of accommodation as they were a good price with very good cooking facilities and most are in newly built modern apartments with rooftop swimming pools and gyms.
We walked to the Plazoletta Julio Cortazar, which is full of bars and restaurants. There is a real buzz to this place, busy and bustling with locals and tourists alike. It is especially busy over the weekends.
Here we also took a wine tasting class with JA. The class lasted for about 2 hours and we were taught how to sample 4-5 different wines. We were also given, breads, cheese and cold meat cuts to accompany our wine. Delicious!
Things to do in Buenos Aires with children
Plaza de Mayo – This is the city square, known for the place where Argentina gained its independence.
Casa Rosada – The presidential offices, standout as a huge pink building.
La Boca – European feel to this place, colourful buildings, come down here for tango lessons or shows. Pull up a chair, order your wine and watch the in-house tango dancers entertain you.
Obelisco de Buenos Aires - Is a national historic monument and icon of Buenos Aires. Located in the Plaza de la República in the intersection of avenues Corrientes and 9 de Julio.
Wine Tasting in a must when in Buenos Aires (or anywhere in South America). Here you will try wines for the Mendoza region and the famous Malbecs and Merlots. Hosts usually offer cheese and meats to accompany the amazing wine.
BA is lined with bars and restaurants. Just walking around you'll see the most common thing to do in BA is to sit with friends in local cafes and bars.
Tango Dancing – there are many areas to go and see this form of dance, prices range vary depending on your chosen theatre. The most common are the evening tango shows on offer every night (usually starting from 9pm onward). As we were travelling with our son, we chose to watch some daytime Tango and spend the afternoon in La Boca, the origin for Tango in BA. Here the streets are full of souvenir shops selling all tango related figurines, and the bars have live tango dancers performing around you while you eat.
Iguacu falls - you can take a day trip to Iguacu falls, these falls border Argentina and Brazil. They are the largest waterfall system in the world.
We managed to see most of the sites downtown by foot:
We visited the cultural centre over the weekend which had numerous activities for children on the 3rd floor from painting; music classes; arts and crafts etc.
Nathan enjoyed the music class (despite the language barrier); riding around on scooters and painting his own master-piece. This place was excellent for children and we would highly recommend an afternoon here. It is located in the converted main postal sorting office for BA and many of the original features are visible today.
We took the tube from Dorrego Station (line 1) into the city, and walked to all of the major tourist sites from the Casa Rojo, the Obelisk (plaza de la Republica, Catedral, Casa Rosada, Centro Cultural Kirchner. It was pretty easy to find the locations by just grabbing a city tours map and walking it instead of seeing it by bus.
We also walked to Recoletta to visit the cemetery of Evita. The walk from Palermo is about 1 hour and we passed many restaurants and bars along route. In BA you are never more than a couple of minutes away from a coffee shop or cafe selling local sandwiches or pizza, you'll need to walk just to burn off the calories!