This place is tourist hell. A lot like Times Square in New York. You have people come here because its the place everyone says to go and see. It is also located well and is a place you'll walk past to get to other places you want to go.
Unique Suggestions: Walk. Look. But realize most things you buy here can be had elsewhere cheaper.
Fun Alternatives: Go to Onze for your leathers.
If you go to San Telmo, be prepared to be asked constantly for money. Kids usually work in the weekends around the park and the cafes.
Unique Suggestions: If you really have to go to San Telmo try to go in a weekday. The cafes are empty and lovely. There's always a gentelman singing tangos in the middle of the square and you might get to see somebody dancing!
Fun Alternatives: As I said before try to go in a week day and have a coffee in the main square.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
Careful where you exchange your money!
Every time you need to exchange money goto the banks. Do never trust the men who stand in the street calling out "Cambio!" (Change!).
On the one hand they charge more than banks, and on the other hand they might give you fake or old money.
Regarding money exchange
Dont hurry up and change your money at the airport. Just change a 50 dollar note and that will get you to the city, you dont need more.
If you wait and change outside the airport you ll see you ll get a higher rate.
Beware "arbolitos" on busy streets like Florida, who are those guys on the street offering you change of dollars, its usually a lower rate than you ll get at an exchange house.
Many guide books say that the only restaurants in Recoleta are those by the cemetary. There are about eight or ten of them all in a row
Unless you want to eat with lots of other tourists and pay twice as much as the locals would, don't eat at these restaurants!
Fun Alternatives: Walk away from this area and up streets such as Azcuenaga, or Pte J E Uriburu and you will find lots of small, local bars and restaurants, where many will speak only Spanish and where you will get great food, with a local neighbourhood vibe for around 16 peso for a fillet steak, or even less.
Rincon is a great place where people queue to get in!
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
Taxis from International Airport (Ezeiza)
Dont arrange a remis (taxi) from the stands immediately in front of you as you enter the Arrivals hall - they are $5 - $10 U.S dollars more expensive than the others that are situated in the main Arrivals hall on the other side.....just pass through a little further.
Unique Suggestions: There are also authorised taxi stands just outside the airport doors which are a little cheaper. Expect to pay around 35 pesos (10 U.S).
Fun Alternatives: If you can pre-arrange an offically licensed "Radio Taxi" from the hundreds of companies in the city - they will charge around 25 pesos.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
La Boca at the mouth of the river is just a huge tourist trap. The only locals there are there to sell to the tourists. It was hard to even walk around because of all the tour busses that were there. A local young lady we know said she was sorry to hear that as she had lovely childhood memories of La Boca and hadn't been there for years.
Unique Suggestions: Go early in the day before too many tour busses arrive.
Fun Alternatives: Try the weekend craft fair in the Plaza Francia instead. There are acres of booths with all sorts of arts and crafts.
- Arts and Culture
Tourist Prices and Panhandling in Calle Florida
If you have a choice do not go to Florida Street. It has become so touristy and so many panhandlers and people who like you part with your dollars operate here. Do not buy anything on this street since they are overpriced and the same items even in ricoleta or san telmo is about half the price.
Unique Suggestions: Do not pay attention to panhandlers, ladies with children on their hips persistently begging. One lady changed a fifty peso note when a merchant did not have change. dont stay very long. and if you have been there once just avoid it the second time.
I avoid going there but if someone new is in town i might go with them grudgingly to calle florida but leave as soon as possible or become nauseated by the scene whichever comes first
Fun Alternatives: If you want good quality items, go to a shopping mall, however depressing you might get about it. I recommend Patio Bulrich and there you would get excellent quality leather goods among other things. For antiques or other souveniers go to Plaza Dorrego on a weekend. if you want cheap goods there is no place like Once the highly jewish owned but no longer operated stores. but the place is dirty and full of street operators
All you do is travel up and down a murky river. There really is not much to see around the place either.
They sell snacks on board.
Unique Suggestions: Do it without a tour guide. Just take the taxi there and walk around yourself
Fun Alternatives: Skip this all together or do the Humberto M boat tour. At least you will see some of the sites.
- Family Travel
First of all, as a tourist I think you should visit La Boca, it is something different and very local. On the other hand, living here, I dont like it at all. Its just a bunch of houses painted with different colors and EXTREMELY touristy, full of people trying to sell you stuff.
One recommendation, dont buy anything here, everything is overpriced (and not just 10% more, 100, 200% more!).
It's your call....
Last satuday may 5th i took a taxi after two passeners went out of it and when i paid 8.5 pesos and the driver told me that one of my bills was fake and so i gave him a 50 pesos bill that i had and he gave me two 20 pesos fake bills!!!! and they didn t look fake!!! because the number was shiny and the "second" face was ok! so they know how to get money from tourists!!
Fun Alternatives: GIVE NO NORE THAN A 20 PESOS BILL TO A TAXI DRIVER!!
Buying Tango Show Tickets
Make sure you shop around for Tango show tickets. In the hotels, they told us the price would be just under or just over 200 pesos depending on whether you had dinner or not for the tango show Senor Tango. We went to a tourist office called Patua Viajes y Turismo (nr Recoleta Cementary - Tel 5411-57776102) and they had a special for 91 pesos each including transportation and a drink... half the price than elsewhere. The girl there - Daniele - was very helpful. They had brochures on every Tango show and were really helpful. Their prices with dinner were about the same as in the hotel but they had lots of specials too. It is the only agency we found that had complete info and brochures for every tango show. They are 2 minutes walk from Recoleta Cementary in the Buenos Aires Design Center (on the way to Hard Rock Cafe).
Unique Suggestions: Shop around for prices and don't just buy in the hotel.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
For most of porteños, this street is not very nice, but it´s in every guide book so you´ll probably go and take a look
Unique Suggestions: Beware with the guys standing in front of the leather stores, they will try to make you buy leather products all the time, so try to avoid them (I know they are doing their job, but this is not a street market and they can be very pushy).
Another thing, be careful if you stop to watch a street performance, someone can try to pick your pocket.
Fun Alternatives: You can try to imagine this street at the beggining of the XX century, it was the place where all the rich people used to walk to catch some eyes.
And take a look at the buildings, they are very nice!
A trap, but worth it
As I said in my must see activity tip, La Boca has a bit of a tourist trap feel with all of the street performers and vendors vying for your money. I went into one store where there were individual sellers all trying to compete with each other, verbally pulling me all around the store hoping that I would buy one of their trinkets. The tango dancers don't do a lot of dancing, instead they just stand there until a tourist gives them some money to pose for a photo. San Telmo is a better bet if you're hoping to see some free tango.
Nonetheless, La Boca is a charming place and probably the most photogenic neighborhood in all of Buenos Aires, so it's still worth a look.
Unique Suggestions: Below you will find information from the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning visa requirements (15 March, 2002). You are suggested to enter the country as a tourist. For further information, please contact Mrs. Silvia Pondal at email@example.com.
COUNTRY - TOURIST
Armenia - do need VISA
Australia - VISA not required
Austria - VISA not required
Belgium - VISA not required
Brazil - VISA not required
Bulgaria - do need VISA
Canada - VISA not required
Chile - VISA not required
China - do need VISA
Colombia - VISA not required
Croatia - VISA not required
Czech Republic - VISA not required
Denmark - VISA not required
Egypt - do need VISA
Finland - VISA not required
France - VISA not required
Germany - VISA not required
Greece - VISA not required
India - do need VISA
Ireland - VISA not required
Israe - l VISA not required
Italty - VISA not required
Japan - VISA not required
Latvia - do need VISA
Malta - VISA not required
Mexico - VISA not required
Moldavia - VISA not required
New Zealand - VISA not required
Northern Ireland - VISA not required
Norway - VISA not required
Peru - VISA not required
Philippines - do need VISA
Poland - VISA not required
Portugal - VISA not required
Puerto Rico - VISA not required
Romania - do need VISA
Russia - do need VISA
Slovakia - VISA not required
Slovenia - VISA not required
South Africa - VISA not required
South Korea - do need VISA
Spain - VISA not required
Sweden - VISA not required
Switzerland - VISA not required
Taiwan - do need VISA
The Netherlands - VISA not required
Tunisia - do need VISA
Turkey - VISA not required
United Kingdom - VISA not required
Uruguay - VISA not required
USA - VISA not required
Venezuela - VISA not required
NOTE: Those who want to enter the country as a CONGRESS ATTENDEE do need a VISA along with an invitation to assist the XIIIth Congress. Should you need an invitation letter, please inform the Local Organizing Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please, consult with your nearest Embassy or Consulate.
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