I spent five days in Buenos Aires in September 2013, as part of a longer solo trip that included Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro. The following are some of the highlights of the BA portion of the trip:
Airport Arrival/Departure Transportation
I arrived at Newberry airport, on a flight from Iguazu, on a late afternoon. The airport was very hectic and the arrival of luggage was very slow. I used Manuel Tienda Leon car service to get from the airport to The Glu hotel in Palermo Soho. I think it was about $25 (US).
I left from EZE on a Monday evening. My hotel called a cab for me; I think it was about $45 US. At 6pm, it took over an hour to get to the airport, so leave plenty of time, if you have a night departure.
Weather was variable. The first day was quite cool and I was glad I had a down vest with me. It got progressively warmer and most of the time it was in the high 60s, low 70s. One day, there was heavy rain the entire day.
I had no problems but I was very careful. I only used my Nikon DSLR at the cemetery and around Recoleta; the rest of the time I used my Canon point and shoot camera. I used a purse from PacSafe that is designed to prevent pickpockets, and I felt more comfortable on the trains because of this feature.
I’m a good walker, but the city was vast and at times I used the subway. I was nervous, but taking Buenos Aires Local Tours gave me the confidence to use it. On weekends, it was not as crowded. Overall, though, I walked a great deal.
During the five days I was in Buenos Aires, I saw the following sights
Madres de Plaza de Mayo - very moving sight. They march on Thursdays at 3:30.
Palacio Barolo - magnificent art nouveau building on Av. De Mayo - worthwhile to see the lobby
Recoleta Cemetery - worth a couple of hours or more than one visit
San Telmo Market - go early on a Sunday to avoid crowds. Lots of vendors and things to see and photograph
Evita Museum - worth a short visit; beautiful building
Teatro Colon - worth seeing, but finding the entrance for the tour was not marked and was difficult to find.
Ateneo book store - beautiful book store, but I thought there selection of travel books was poor.
Puerto Madero - nice, easy walk; I enjoyed seeing the Calatrava designed bridge. There are a lot of food stands by the ecological park.
I wanted to buy a leather jacket in Buenos Aires. My hotel recommended Uru in Recoleta. They had beautiful things but were not cheap, and I was nervous about having something custom made. I ended up getting a jacket for about $150 at Murillo 666. The quality was not as good as Uru, but it was fine for my tastes. Notes that Murillo 666 is open on Sundays, although the staff at my hotel told me it was closed. I also like walking around the outlet stores in Villa Crespo, near Murillo. It was a fun thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, although I did not buy anything. Note that the outlets are only about a 15 minute easy walk from Palermo Soho; the leather stores are about 5 minutes further away.
I originally was torn between staying in Recoleta and Palermo Soho, and I’m glad I chose the latter. To me it was a more interesting neighborhood, although not as central, and I enjoyed walking around and exploring the neighborhood. I had originally planned to stay at a hotel across from the Recoleta cemetery, and I found that area very touristy and somewhat run-down.
While I am glad I spent the time in Buenos Aires, it is not a city I would be in any hurry to go back to. While people were very nice and helpful, much of the city is run down with lots of graffiti, broken sidewalks and too much trash. This was true of Palermo Soho, even though this is considered one of the better areas. There were especially so many beautiful buildings in the Microcenter than have seen much better days. Overall, much of the city just felt sad to me, rather than charming as others have stated.