Buenos Aires' attractions can keep you busy for months. La Boca is the most visited tourist spot, famed not only for its soccer team, but also for the artsy Caminito street, full of colorful houses and arts and crafts shops. You can also catch free tango performances here. Additionally, you can see tango in San Telmo where there is a weekend flea market and crafts fair. Don't forget to make a pilgrimage to Recoleta, home to the famed Cementerio de la Recoleta where luminaries like Evita are buried.
Caution: A popular scam in tourist areas involves someone spilling something sticky on you and then offering to help clean it up, while an accomplice relieves you of your wallet in the process. Be vigilant.
Accommodations in Buenos Aires range from palatial opulence to budget hostels and hotels to fit anyone's wallet. There are several preferred neighborhoods to choose from. Elegant Ricoleta, home to the famous cemetery, has many 4 and 5 star hotel chains. Palermo is a fashionable neighborhood with parks and trendy eateries and is the location of many boutique hotels like the Palermitano. Another area lots of travelers stay in is Puerto Madero, the old port, where there is excellent security, tons of restaurants and where many big hotels like the Hilton have set up shop. The bohemian San Telmo area is the best budget option.
Hot Tips: Book well in advance during the annual Tango Festival or other big B.A. events and Argentinian summer holidays.
Restaurants in Buenos Aires will have you tipping the scales. If you like meat, this is a carnivores paradise. The parilla grills serve up asado (beef steak) and some of the best barbecued cuts in the world. Wash all this down with a bottle of local Malbec wine and make sure to save room for gourmet helado ice cream for dessert. Breakfasts in B.A. are no slouch either. Enjoy a medialuna (local version of the croissant) along with a perfect cafe con leche at one of the many cafes like Cafe La Biela.
Hot Tips: Argentinian meat tends to be very tender, and so is usually well cooked. If you like your steak rare, make sure to tell your waiter "undercooked" or "sangre" (bloody), as an order for rare will usually come out as closer to well done!
Be Sure to Sample: Asado and medialuna.
The nightlife in Buenos Aires never stops, with midnight dinners before clubbing is the norm. While many of the top and trendiest clubs are found in upscale Palermo, some may prefer to try the lesser known areas, such as Villa Crespo, where you can find B.A.'s currently most popular bar, 878. In high end Recoleta, there are fancy boliches (nightclubs) and suave drinking establishments like Milion, set in an elegant converted mansion. San Telmo has many cafes and some funky bohemian bars and is another good spot for nightlife.
Caution: Many bars and clubs are open until the early morning. Finding a taxi home at this time may be a challenge due to the large number of people all going home at the same time.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Buenos Aires. The Palermo and Retiro neighborhoods are full of boutique shops to empty your wallet in, while Florida, the city's pedestrian shopping street, has tons of international fashion and just about everything else. The Galerias Pacifico Mall, in a beautiful old building, is located here. For mate gourds and other souvenirs, head to the Feria Plaza Francia weekend market, located in Recoleta by the cemetery.
Best Local Souvenir: Mate cup, leather goods, tango shoes, bottle of Malbec.