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Buenos Aires is a wonderful city with a number of interesting neighborhoods, or barrios, to explore. While studying Spanish here, I spent much of my free time getting lost in the streets of all the beautiful neighborhoods. Here are my favorites to explore, along with recommendations on where to stay in each.
San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, dating back to the 17th century. It’s a beautiful area to stroll around with cobblestone streets, good places to eat and drink, and tango dancers performing on the street.
My favorite thing about San Telmo has to be the incredible market that happens in Sal Telmo every Sunday.
There you can pick up interesting and unique arts and crafts, as well as yummy typical street foods. Indulge yourself in some of Argentina’s best delicacies, such as churros and parrillas, grilling more meat than you could ever eat.
The market seems to go on forever through the streets. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re around this Buenos Aires neighborhood on a Sunday.
Recommended Hostel: America Del Sur is a chain of hostels in Buenos Aires that offers excellent quality. With modern decor and comfortable accommodation in the heart of San Telmo, this hostel is a great option. The staff are friendly and can help you plan your activities around Buenos Aires!
Recommended Hotel: Tango de Mayo Hotel is in the heart of Avenida de Mayo, a short distance from the main historical attractions. This hotel was made from a renovated historical building built in 1913 by the Italian Architect Fausto di Bacco.
The building is characterized by large glass surfaces, symmetry, and the notable Parisian style of the nineteenth century. I love hotels with character!
Palermo is among the largest neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.
There are two sections of it, Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood. Palermo Soho is a relatively new neighborhood with the name stemming from the similarity to New York’s Soho.
I haven’t been to the original Soho yet, so I can’t comment on whether this is a true statement or made up by smart developers. Either way, the area is loved by backpackers, hipsters, and designers, including myself.
Palermo Soho features a great market every weekend where you can find unique clothing, crafts, and jewelry. But my favorite part about this neighborhood is all the amazing graffiti you can see on the streets.
There are even graffiti walking tours you can join if you want to know more information about the pieces.
At night, head to neighboring Palermo Hollywood to eat and drink. This area is Buenos Aire’s largest concentration of bars and restaurants; you can find anything there to meet your desires.
Buenos Aires is a drinker and late-night partygoers’ paradise, with many bars staying open until 7 am.
Recommended Hostel: Benita Hostel is located in the heart of Buenos Aires, in the popular area of Palermo, and just a few minutes walk to Recoleta. The hostel is in a 19th-century building and has maintained its character, but comes with modern amenities and furnishing.
Recommended Hotel: Home Hotel is aimed at the partying crowd drawn to late-night Palermo Hollywood. This 17-room hotel sits among the coolest bars and restaurants in the area. The decor in the hotel is gorgeous, and the hotel has excellent service.
Monserrat is in the business district neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and houses some of the most significant and historical buildings of the city. Free walking tours run daily which will take you through the most important buildings and explain the interesting history.
Plaza Del Mayo is the square containing the government’s house and on any given day, you will likely find protestors camped out (Argentinians are very passionate about politics).
Many of the hostels and hotels in the city are in Monserrat, and it’s where I stayed for most of my time in Buenos Aires. I found the area safe and pleasant to walk around, even at night.
Recommended Hostel: Rayuela Hostel Boutique is where I spent most of my time in Buenos Aires, and it was an excellent base. The hostel is in a beautiful historic building, but the best part about it is the atmosphere.
I met so many great people here, as the staff creates an easy environment to socialize. Once a week, they host an Asado night for all the guests, which was some of the best food I ate while in Buenos Aires.
Recommended Hotel: Lemon Suites & Apartments is a great option if you’re looking for a spacious place to stay in the heart of the city for the longer term, as they have rooms with a kitchenette. Plus, they have an outdoor pool to cool off from the heat!
La Boca is a famous neighborhood in Buenos Aires for its two main attractions: the Football stadium (what we call soccer in Canada) and Caminito, the colorful artists’ street near the water.
The name La Boca means ‘the mouth’, and comes from the location at the mouth of the river. Today, La Boca is a working-class neighborhood that has a reputation for being very dangerous. Despite that, it’s a popular place for tourists to visit.
We walked through the main tourist streets of La Boca quickly and tried to venture off to go further into the neighborhood. We were stopped not once, but twice, by locals telling us to not go any further.
It seems to be a fact that muggings are common here, so stick to the tourist streets if you visit. Despite its reputation, La Boca is definitely worth a visit to admire its colorful features. It can be easily done in the afternoon.
Recoleta is among the most elegant neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, known for its Paris-style townhouses, palaces, and boutique stores.
The neighborhood started establishing itself in the 1800s when an outbreak of yellow fever forced the residents to move elsewhere from the river/insects carrying the infection. Thus Recoleta was born due to its higher terrain.
When the neighborhood was developing, the aim was to be the ‘Paris of the South’, and due to that, the architecture was heavily influenced by the French.
This neighborhood is also home to the famous Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. While going to a cemetery may seem like a strange thing to do on your vacation, it’s quite a popular spot to visit because of the thousands of intricate architectural details on the tombs.
It also serves as the resting place for some of Argentina’s most important families, including the grave of Evita Peron. While Recoleta may not be the best place to stay on a budget, it makes for a nice afternoon to stroll around.
Recommended Hostel: Voyage Recoleta Hostel is set in a historic French-style building, offering both shared and private rooms. The hostel has a large kitchen and beautiful common areas, including a moonlit terrace to meet new friends.
Recommended Hotel: Casa Calma Hotel is devoted to the culture of wellness. This urban oasis hotel features a beautiful vertical garden. It’s in the heart of the city, yet hidden away from the city in its own healing atmosphere.
Buenos Aires was one of my favorite cities in all of Latin America. I fell in love with it, and that was in large part because of the charming neighborhoods. If you find yourself there, I highly recommend taking a walking tour around the city!