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  • Janis Nunez

Argentina: Buenos Aires

Updated: Jul 1, 2023


ADAPTER: You will need an adapter for your electronics. I get my adapters from Amazon. You also need to make sure your electronics have worldwide dual voltage. With dual voltage you don't have to worry about getting an adapter AND a converter.

PHONE: Contact your cell phone provider to see what is included before you leave. T-Mobile gives unlimited data and texting, but charges $0.25 per minute for calls.

WHERE TO STAY: This really depends on who you are traveling with and what you are interested in doing. As a family of four, we wanted to stay in either Palermo or Recoleta. Both neighborhoods seemed to have exactly what we were looking for. We ended up staying in Recoleta and were very happy with our choice.

We use Airbnb when we travel. For us, it's more practical. You can have an entire apartment or house with lots of room, a washer to clean your clothes, a kitchen to keep drinks and snacks or to cook meals, and a lot more space than you would get with a hotel.

CAR RENTAL VS METRO/UBER: Most things in the city are within walking distance. We did not find a need to rent a car. There is Uber in the city and it's very affordable. Taxis are abundant as well. Several buses and the subway are also very reliable and affordable.


CURRENCY: In Argentina they use the Peso. You actually get a lot for the US dollar in Argentina. Right now 1 US dollar is equal to 60 Argentine pesos. We usually take out money from the airport ATMs when we arrive in another country. Most of the time you choose English and go about taking out money in US dollars. Unfortunately, in Argentina they do it by the peso with English subtitles. Keep this in mind when you are taking out money. When we thought we were taking out $300 US dollars, it ended up being 300 pesos, which is only $5. The airport ATM fee was more than what we took out! Just pay attention to the currency as you withdraw your cash.

When we travel, we like to take money out money in the country's currency when we first arrive. This helps us only deal with ATM fees and currency exchange fees once. This did not happen in Argentina. Some ATMs only let us take out 3,000 pesos at a time ($50 US dollars). Some ATMs didn't have money in them at all, but there were always other machines to try nearby. It was more of an inconvenience than anything. We were able to take out 5,000 pesos at another machine, so just start with that and go down from there. We prefer the ATMs to currency exchanges because usually your bank is going to give you a much better exchange rate.


Day 1: We arrived in Buenos Aires and were able to arrange early check-in with our airbnb. Our flight arrived at 9:15am and we were very excited to head out to the city and explore. Unfortunately the politics of Argentina had other ideas, and we found ourselves waiting in a line to get through customs for FIVE HOURS. Yes, you read that correctly. I think for the first 2 hours they weren't letting any foreigners through at all, then slowly started allowing us through. I'm not sure if it was a strike, shortage of workers, protest against foreigners or what, but it took us 5 long hours of standing in line along with hundreds of other people. It was not a fun start to our vacation.

Once we finally got through customs, we had to deal with the ATM issue that I stated above. Then when we were out of the airport and ready to get to the airbnb (not needing the early check-in after all), we had our next issue...Uber. So apparently Uber is legal in Argentina, but they don't like it. We got to the area for our Uber to pick us up (along with a number of other travelers doing the same thing) when police or security came out and stood there watching us all. The next thing we know the Uber drivers cancelled the rides, and none were to be found on the app. It was bizarre and I felt more then uncomfortable and tried to get my husband to just get a taxi. We walked back over by the arrival doors, and then re-ordered an Uber. Thankfully he arrived quickly and without issue. Very strange, but that was our only issue the entire trip with Uber. We used it throughout the city with no problems.

The airport is about an 35-45 from the city, so it was a bit of a drive to get to the airbnb. If you don't often request a luxury Uber, you may want to try it. Locals don't feel the need for air conditioning even in the 80-90 degree weather. You are able to choose a ride with air, so do so if you can. It will make your ride much more comfortable in the summer heat.


Finally getting to the Airbnb, which was perfect and exactly as it appeared online, we dropped our luggage and headed out to explore. We were determined to make up for the loss of 5 hours standing in line at the airport.

Our first stop was Recoleta Cemetery. It is a must see when visiting Buenos Aires. It is free to anyone visiting, but has limited open hours. Most celebrated Argentinians, including Eva Peron and her family, are buried at this elaborate cemetery. Many of the mausoleums replicate chapels, pyramids and Greek temples.

Across from the cemetery are a number of cafes, restaurants, and shops. We decided to stop at Freddo, a local ice cream shop, to taste some new flavors. I tried the dulce de leche, marscapone with figs, and tiramisu. All were delicious. When we got back to the apartment my husband had his first Argentine beer, which he said was a winner.

Day 2: We were fortunate to have this great bakery and cafe just around the corner from our apartment. We frequented it most mornings with a cafe con leche and fracturas. Fracturas are basically pastries. All flavors and kinds. Many places offer cafe con leche and three facturas for about 150.

After a bite and a cafe con leche, we headed toward Floralis Generica. On the way there we saw various parks with beautiful statues and fountains. You will find them in parks and grassy areas throughout the city. The Floralis Generica has petals that open and close with the sun. Definitely a place to check out.

Right next to the flower is Facultad Derecho UBA, which is a university building. There was a security guard at the front, but he allowed us to step inside the entrance and take a look at the architecture. Then we headed over the bridge toward the museum.

Along the way there were a number of sculptures and also Plaza Franzia. We stopped there to get some relief from the heat.

The museum had some technical issues, so we decided to go later and headed over to El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore to look around. The bookstore is in an old theater. You can go on the old stage to the cafe and enjoy refreshments and snacks. It's a fun stop if you are in the area.

There are several churches around the city. Be sure and stop into as many as you can.

After walking all around the city we decide to stop and get lunch at Parilla Peña. The food was excellent. Our waiter helped us decide on which cuts of steak we should get as well as our Malbec wine selection. The restaurant was filled with locals. They bring empanadas and bread to the table when you place your order. We enjoyed our salad, steaks and potatoes...all cooked to perfection. Definitely find a couple of parrillas to eat at while you are in Buenos Aires.

Heading back toward the museum we stopped to get a photo of the Atlas statue. The statue shows Atlas holding up one of the large tree branches from the tree in front of La Biela restaurant. This area also has live tango dancers daily.

We stopped Basilica de Nuestra Senora Del Pilar. The church is next door to Recoleta Cemetery and the second oldest church in the city.

Finally, we were able to go to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. It was well worth the wait. There were sculptures from Rodin, paintings from Renoir, Picasso and Monet to name a few. It is also a welcomed break from the hot sun.

My oldest son has a knack for finding the best local food spots that are super cheap and extremely delicious. We stopped at Don German Empanadas and were blown away by the deal they offer. We got 18 empanadas and a 2 liter of coke for 480 pesos. That's $8 US! Wow. Great take out spot. We enjoyed them a couple of nights. With boys it's always a mission to find affordable food that will fill them up! These are filled with beef (2 kinds), ham and cheese, or chicken. They also had dessert, but we didn't try it.

Day 3: We grabbed some breakfast and headed out to El Centro and the Plaza de Mayo. Here you will see La Casa Rosada where Eva Paron waved to the crowds from the balcony of the presidential palace. The Plaza de Mayo is a famous square with the oldest city buildings surrounding it. The Pirámide de Mayo, a white obelisk across from the palace, is the oldest national monument in the city. It was built to celebrate the first anniversary of being independent from Spain. The Cabildo (last photo) was used as seat of the town council during the colonial era. Today it is a museum.

The Metropolitan Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Buenos Aires. It's free to enter, just be respectful if there is a service going on while you are there.

The architecture around the city is beautiful. It's great to walk to each neighborhood or tourist site with such amazing buildings and sculptures along the way.

The Obelisk is a landmark in BA and a great spot for a photo. You can also see the Evita outline on the building in the background. On the other side of the building you will see a different outline of Evita.

Not far from the Obelisk is the Teatro Colon. We didn't take a tour inside, but you can pay for a tour in English or Spanish. I believe it's about $15 US per person. You can also watch various performances here, so be sure and check the calendar.

We headed back over by Recoleta Cemetary and enjoyed the Feria de Artesano. There are tons of vendors here on Saturday and Sundays. Definitely check it out. There are also musicians and tango dancers in the area. We loved it, and got some of our souvenirs here.

Next we headed to La Cholita parilla for lunch. BEYOND DELICIOUS. We ordered two cuts of meat and some empanadas. These were by far the best empanadas from our trip. You get all of the sides that come on the plank pictured with your steak. We enjoyed our meal along with a great bottle of malbec that the waiter recommended.

We also finally got to try Mate the traditional way. We made the mistake of ordering three of them. We didn't know that the way to drink it is to share it. The waiter told us later when he was showing us how to prepare it and what to do. Basically you fill the cup 3/4 of the way with mate, put your hand over the top and flip it over, add the straw to the side, and then add a little bit of water. Each person adds the water they will drink. We all had our own, so we just added a little at a time. It was strong, but we really enjoyed it.

Day 4: We headed out to San Telmo Market. You can go to the indoor market every day of the week, but the outdoor market is only on Sundays. It covers blocks and blocks of cobblestone streets in both directions of Calle Defensa. Tons of vendors, beautiful architecture, churches, and street art.

Next, we headed over to the famous Cafe Tortoni. Honestly, it's overrated. It's the oldest cafe in Buenos Aires, so people flock to it. The line to get in was huge as we were leaving. We waited about 10 minutes to get in. If you go, the hot cocoa and churros are a must. My husband also enjoyed his beer. My empanada was underwelming, but the espresso was decent. If you are in the area and you want to stop, do so, but definitely not anywhere you "have to see" while you are there.

Next, we headed out to La Boca. Although it is filled with tourists, it's absolutely a must do. We really enjoyed the liveliness of the area. The bright colored buildings were so fun to see and take photos of too.

While we were there we had our first choripan. Oh my gosh, get the choripan! It's a grilled sausage cut in half, grilled, put on a delicious bun, and topped with chimichuri. Mine also had a piece of pork chop on top! Favorite street food in Argentina.

There are tons of restaurants, shops and vendors all over the area. Definitely go on a Sunday so you can see the booths all set up. We had a great time.