10 Travel Tips for Buenos Aires, Argentina
How to fully enjoy the capital of Argentina
1) Be careful with your belongings: Everybody will tell you — never text on the subway! Don’t wear your backpack on your back when you’re walking around! Never take out your wallet on the street! — and that can be a little too much, but do watch your purse or bag. I have multiple friends who have gotten their phones or wallets stolen, and that always puts a damper on your vacation. You can take photos or buy some food on the street, but do keep an eye on your things. Just be aware of your surroundings!
2) Try to bring cash with you: I know this might sound sketchy, but taking out money from banks or changing your dollars into pesos in an official bank is the way to lose money. Best decision I made was bringing money with me and going to Calle Florida to change my USD into pesos. There are a few unofficial changing shops, or people who are yelling “cambio!” on the street. You get the best rate from them if you’re daring enough to try! And there are no ATM extraction fees, which can be very high in Argentina.
3) Get a SUBTE card: Best form of transportation: the Sube system and the colectivos (buses). Buying rides as you go without a card can get expensive, but if you have a card then you’re saving money, and you can go as low as -20 pesos on it if you forget to recharge it! So you’ll never be stuck in the station at 8AM, running late and scrambling for bills in your purse.
4) Take a day trip: There aren’t many places near Buenos Aires that are accessible without a car, but taking a day trip to Tigre in the summer to swim or a day trip to Uruguay (Colonia or Montevideo) is worth it! Not too expensive, an extra stamp on the passport, and doable in a day or two if you have the time.
5) Go to markets for the best food and gifts: Markets like the Feria de San Telmo or the Feria de Chacarita are great for souvenirs, jewelry, original art and food! You can witness live tango shows, music shows, and people cooking allthe meat you can imagine on parillas. A unique experience for a Sunday afternoon!
6) Take advantage of free passes in museums: There are a lot of museums in Buenos Aires, all with student discounts and free days. Head to the MAMBA on a Tuesday for free entry, or MALBA on Wednesday for a unique experience. Bellas Artes in free for students any day. Get cultured for free!
7) Go to the Congreso: Want to see how Argentinian government works? Go for a free tour of the Congreso! See the chambers of Congress, the library used by Argentinian senators, and a unique chance to hear how the country is run. Free tours are every Monday-Friday, at 11AM, 1PM, 3PM and 5PM. They are about 45 minutes long and worth the trip!
8) Buy your drinks in supermarkets and chinos rather than waiting to buy a mojito in the club: Drinks can be very expensive when you go out, while bottles of wine in supermarkets can be 40 pesos ($3) and bottles of hard liquor 50 pesos ($4 approximately). It’s worth it to play bartender and relax at home! No watered down drinks and wonderful for the wallet.
9) Take a tango class: Want to feel authentic and witness some beautiful moves? Take a class! At Catedral del Tango or countless of other locations in Buenos Aires, you can have classes where you learn the beautiful dance moves, are paired with a partner, and listen to beautiful music. At the very least you’ll have fun with your friends and get a photo to prove you’re a real Argentinian.
10) Check out the Bubble: Best blog for info on Buenos Aires, with weekly posts about weekend events you shouldn’t miss and restaurant guides. They have all the info you’ll every need! And let you know about underground parties and events you may not hear about as a tourist. Have an amazing trip!