If you are planning your first trip to Buenos Aires, then this post is for you. Buenos Aires is famous for its European-style flavour in architecture and is the main reason why it was nicknamed the “Paris of South America”. It can be hard to know where to base yourself as the city itself is formally divided into 48 districts (locally known as barrios).
When we were deciding where to stay, we found it to be an extremely overwhelming process. To try and eliminate these stresses for others, I have compiled a list of our favourite barrios. I have tried to offer a variety of places, so if you want to locate yourself in a place that is family friendly or somewhere near the best party districts, then I have you covered. If your preferred barrio isn’t listed here, please don’t be too upset, as I have had to limit it to 5 so as not to bombard the first-time visitor.
San Telmo is for the true romantic. Every corner you turn, you will be sure to find cobblestoned streets and abandoned antique mansions. Melodies can be heard for miles and tango still runs deep in the blood of the local people here. So much so, you are guaranteed to stumble upon partners lost in the rhythm during your evening strolls. The real attraction to San Telmo is the Antique market and artisan street fair that runs every Sunday. With literally 1000’s of stalls, you will find everything in your wildest dreams and then some. We happened to stumble upon it during our stay and it was easily the highlight of Buenos Aires for Ciarán and I. There are plenty of apartments and homestays in San Telmo within all budgets, so you will be spoiled for choice here. San Telmo is known to be a little dodgy on the outskirts so common sense and caution would be needed if you stay here and decide to go out exploring at night. However, if you wish to experience “the real” Buenos Aires then San Telmo is the place to stay.
Recoleta is easily known to be one of the wealthiest barrios in the city meaning that there is a hefty price tag on accommodation in this area. Although it might not be suitable for the traditional backpacker budget it would be the perfect location to base yourself if you have young children with you or if you are looking to stay somewhere special. Recoleta is also advantageous in regards location. It is situated near Palermo and Centro, offering classic Italian and French architecture galore. It is in Recoleta that you will find the infamous Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron.
Palermo is the trendy barrio of Buenos Aires. During the day, you can shop in your favourite designer store and at night, you can party in the chicest bars. Palermo is a huge neighbourhood and is subdivided into 8 subsections, with Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood being the best known amongst tourist. Palermo is the home to some of Buenos Aires most beautiful boutique hotels. There is also no shortage of public transport here, making it one of the best loved barrios amongst tourists. However, agencies and landlords are trying to capitalise from this. They have been known to try pass off their premise in a bordering barrio to be in Palermo. This is done to draw attention and hike up prices. For example, Palermo Queens is really Villa Crespo.
Speaking of Villa Crespo, if you don’t like being surrounded by tourists but you still want to be close enough to the action, then Villa Crespo may be for you. Because of its cheaper accommodation, it has attracted a younger crowd and offers a distinctively cool vibe. There is an abundance of artsy cafes and bohemian bars to choose from. It is still deemed to be the “up and coming” barrio so it would be worth checking it out before Palermo consumes it in what may be the pretty close future.
Puerto Madero is known to be the metropolitan part of Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, there is no denying that Puerto Madero lacks a certain charm that the other barrios hold in Buenos Aires. This may be due to its tall buildings and High-end apartments. But with the backdrop of the harbour, it is still a beautiful part of the city. Puerto Madero is extremely safe due to the constant patrol of the Coast Guard within the harbour and you won’t be short of a fine dining experience here. Puerto Madero would be the dream for anyone on a work trip, who wishes to stay within international business area but experience some delicious food during their trip.
Thanks for reading