Buenos Aires: From Malbec to Street Markets
January 1, 1970
Having been lucky enough to visit this gorgeous country not once, but twice, and having spent my time there two very different ways (one being a long weekend in a hostel and the other being a ten day trip in a four star hotel), I believe I have just what you need to rustle yourself up an unforgettable trip around the Latino City that Never Sleeps.
Being the capital city of the second largest country in south America, it will come as no surprise that Buenos Aires is super-accessible.
With two airports (EZE for internationals and AEP for domestic/south American arrivals) you will have absolutely no trouble flying your way in.
If you happen to be in Santiago Chile, and prefer a longer, more economic and picturesque mode of travel, coaches are also available to take you right across the country!
And if any lucky travellers are in Uruguay before setting off the Buenos Aires, ferries ran by Buequebus (my personal recommendation) and Colonia Express can be found across the coast in Colonia, Punta del Este and of course it’s gorgeous capital Montevideo.
So it’s safe to say, if travel confusion is your only setback to visiting, pack your bags and take your pick! You only have air, land and sea to choose from!
Where to stay
Whether its friendly hostel or luxury hotel, I’ve done them both and if I’m being perfectly honest, the hostel wins hands down!
If you’re looking for a fun, friendly and welcoming place to spend your time with beer on tap and a gorgeous patio covered by avocado trees. Che Lagarto Hostel is the place for you!
Although, I mustn’t be biased. There are a hundreds and thousands of hostels, hotels, apartments for you to choose from. It’s like finding Ice in an igloo. Buenos Aires is made of ‘em!
Where to Eat
Some like to call Buenos Aires the capital of Argentina, or the Latino city that never sleeps. I call it a carnivores paradise.
When your tummy starts to rumble and you’re looking for a good place to eat, you will see ‘parrilla’ meaning ‘grill’ on almost every restaurant. Buenos Aires also looooves their pizza, so you will never find a bad pizza joint if you fancy some carby treats. Argentines are known for their exceptional culinary skills so you would have to look extremely hard for a bad place to tuck in. But let me highlight some of the MUST EATs for you.
Sagardi, San Telmo – I warn you, once you have their steaks, you will never find another in your life to even match their quality!
With a gorgeous dark and wooden interior, huge parrilla and a whole wall of wines to choose from, you feel like you’ve stepped out of the busy city and into an impressive vineyard nook filled with all the good things in life – good steak and good wine
Oh, and their vanilla ice cream is to die for! If you manage to fit it in!
Guerrín Pizzeria, Theatre District – This place would make Papa John want to throw in his little chef’s hat! There are two different sections of Guerrin’s; You have the hustle and bustle seating area making you feel like you’re in a real authentic New York pizza joint where you can enjoy a jug of Quillmes (the beer of the Argentinians) along with a choice of any of their 30 something pizzas. There is also the front of house which consists of breakfast bar type tables where people looking for a quick bite will stand up and enjoy a slice or two. Be warned! It gets SO busy so make sure you get there in plenty of time so you’re not waiting, sometimes out the door!
Steak By Luis – I cannot recommend this experience enough. A lovely chef named Luis has transformed his beautiful apartment into a place where 12 guests can come to experience a real authentic asado. With wine pairing, meat selections and some incredible steak, what more could you need? Oh, a fun, friendly atmosphere where you meet new people? Yep, they have that too!
Where to Drink
There are countless, and I mean countless pubs, clubs and bars in Buenos Aires. They vary from hidden speakeasys to the big loud irish pubs. I’m going to give you a quick breakdown of bars to help you find your perfect watering hole.
Palermo – with more bars and clubs than you could shake a stick at, this place varies from the stylish and secret cocktail bars to the bold and vibey student pubs and clubs.
If you’re looking for a bit of a sultry and stylish feel, then you should definitely visit Club Verne. On the corner of Costa Rica and Av. Medrano, you will find (or struggle to find) this hidden bar dressed with a very large plain black door. Do not be fooled by the bland exterior as you walk into a jazzy room with décor and drinks all associated with the famous novelist Jules Verne, well known for his book “Around the world in 80 days”.
On the other hand of Palermo you have the very lively Plaza Serrano, filled to the brim with students and young travellers all you have to do is take your pick from any one of the tasty bar restaurants.
Being a Manchester gal, I lost my mind when I found The Manchester Pub just off this square – Cheap beer and cocktails and as much Oasis and Stone Roses as you could possibly want!
Puerto Madero – For the bigger spenders, Puerto Madero is the perfect place to go for late evening drinks. Enjoy the impressive skylines while you sip your bevs at the gorgeous Universe Bar at the swanky Hotel Faena
Obelisco – This bar was my definite go-to for those who don’t mind a cheeky pint in the early afternoon. Café de la Ciudad has the perfect location and prices for a tourist pit stop and pint mid sightseeing! All you have to do is get to the big white Obelisco and its right in front of you… impossible to miss!
Where to Party
As a university student I went straight back to Plaza Serrano to party. From stand-up comedy to electronic raves, it really has everything.
I headed over to Club Niceto which is probably the most well-known party venue. And for good reason! I’m not a huge listener of electronic music but even I LOVED it
Where to visit
There is simply too much in Buenos Aires for me to write detailed descriptions about. So trust this – Ferne’s list of Buenos Aires Fun!
Recoleta Cemetery – Truly spectacular and kinda creepy. But in a good way
Teatro Colon – Magical!
La Feria de San Telmo – No ifs or buts, you have to visit this place on your early Sunday afternoon! You will find the long road of market stalls filled with artisanal gifts and gadgets along with asado stands and street performers. It’s the best way to experience the creativity and ingenuity of the Argentine people (and buy some nice gifts)
Japanese Gardens, Palermo – Pure tranquillity and beauty!
La Flor – Lovely stop on the way to visiting the MALBA
MALBA – Is raved about a lot but there are definitely more impressive galleries such as..
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Definitely a lot more interesting with more history
Museo Bicentenario – Built from underneath the Casa Rosada grounds. It is an extremely interesting place to learn about the history of Buenos Aires amongst some of the original brickwork of the Palace from hundreds of years ago.
Casa Rosada – An impressive Palace with gorgeous gardens surrounding it
Obelisco – Kinda impossible to miss! Bang in the middle of the widest road in the world, this place is a MUST
Tango show at Teatro Piazzolla – We got an amazing deal with this Theatre – an absolutely BEAUTIFUL three course meal, followed by a very well-choreographed variety of Tango numbers followed by a meet and greet of the lead dancers. You can even get a professional picture with them if you like!
El Caminito – A must see! Full of colour and history, one of the oldest and previously cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, El Caminito, La Boca is just brimming with fun and history
La Boca, La Bombanera – Home to the famous football club, Boca Juniors, La Bombanera is full of success stories and atmosphere if you are lucky enough to see a match there. But the museum and the stadium tour is just as fun! It’s just a ten minute walk from El Caminito too, so you could do the both in just one afternoon!
I hope this helps with your trip to this gorgeous city. However my biggest tip for anyone with Buenos Aires on their travel books would be to not plan too much. There is something incredible on every corner of this city, and part of the magic of Buenos Aires is to be surprised by the beauty and amazing creations that appear before you without you knowing about it!