Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, spans an enormous 202 square kilometres (78 square miles), hosting a plethora of distinct neighborhoods. With the city’s sheer size and the variety of accommodation options available, deciding where to stay in Buenos Aires can be a daunting task.
But fear not, this guide will walk you through the seven best neighborhoods to stay in Buenos Aires, offering you a taste of what each area offers and recommending the finest hotels and hostels for all budgets.
What is the best zone to stay in Buenos Aires?
Introduction To Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is huge and its sprawling size makes choosing accommodation difficult, particularly for first time visitors to the city. Yet Buenos Aires is unlike other Latin American capitals. Both public and private transport options within the city are cheap, reliable and plentiful.
Getting around Buenos Aires is incredibly easy. The city has a functional and well developed subway system, surface bus lines and ubiquitous taxi cabs. Mobile ride sharing or ride hailing apps work throughout the city and safety is almost a non-issue when it comes to Buenos Aires.
Visitors to Buenos Aires can easily move from one side of the city to the other. And there are very few Bogotá style traffic jams.
Tips For Planning Your Trip To Buenos Aires
Before we explore the best neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, it’s worth noting that planning your visit during peak season (November to February) requires booking your accommodation and tours well in advance.
Likewise, flights should be booked a minimum of 3 months in advance for the best prices. And you should book your mode of transfer from Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE) airport to your hotel when you book your flights.
Buenos Aires is served by the Ezeiza (EZE), Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) and El Palomar Airports. Yet almost all visitors to Buenos Aires will fly into Ezeiza (EZE) airport.
In any case, upon arrival there are several transport options including taxis, Uber and private airport transfers. For convenience and to save money, it’s advisable to pre-book a private airport transfer.
Here’s a handy list of resources to help you plan your holiday in Buenos Aires:
- Packing for a trip to Buenos Aires
- Getting from the airport to the city in Buenos Aires
- Using Uber in Buenos Aires
- The most important mobile apps for Argentina
- Avoid scams in Buenos Aires
- Use Western Union in Buenos Aires – Not your foreign bank card
- The best tours and day trips in Buenos Aires
- The best free tours in Buenos Aires
- City guide for Buenos Aires Argentina
Getting To Buenos Aires Argentina
To get to Buenos Aires you have multiple transport options and routes. You can fly into one of the three airports in the city, namely Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), Aeroparque Jorge Newbery or El Palomar Airports. These airports have international connections from major cities all over the world, including the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
When booking flights to or from Buenos Aires, it can often be worth also checking the flight prices to Montevideo Uruguay. Montevideo is only an hour away on the Buquebus (ferry). And quite often the flights are significantly cheaper to and from Uruguay.
Another option to get to Buenos Aires is to travel by long haul bus or coach. Backpackers arriving into Buenos Aires will often arrive by long range bus from Salta in Northern Argentina. Additionally, if you prefer traveling by sea, there is a port and cruise terminal in the city.
Once you arrive at the airport, bus terminal or Buquebus port, you can take a taxi, Uber, bus or private transfer to your accommodation. Yet you should be on the lookout for taxi scams around major points of entry into the country as these are about the only place you will encounter them.
Personally, I pre-book my transfers from the airport. Because transfer services like Civitatis are cheaper and safer when arriving into Buenos Aires. Plus you won’t have to run all over the carpark trying to find your Uber when you realise the Uber’s won’t stop near the taxi areas for fear of violence.
Best Suburbs In Buenos Aires Argentina
Now before I explain each suburb, it’s worth stating at the outset that I spend a year or more at a time in Buenos Aires. It’s one of my favourite cities globally, particularly in summer which runs from December to February.
Over time, I’ve lived for a minimum of 3 months in each of the suburbs discussed in this article. And I’m currently staying once again in Palermo Hollywood. Palermo is, in my opinion, the best neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.
Palermo and in particular Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho have the highest density of dining and nightlife options in the city. They’re incredibly walkable and their tree lined streets feel like one big urban forest.
So, without further ado, here is my list of the best suburbs in Buenos Aires:
- Palermo Hollywood
- Palermo Soho
- Greater Palermo
- Villa Crespo
- Puerto Madero
- San Telmo
Palermo: A First Time Visitors Best Choice
If you’re visiting Buenos Aires for the first time, Palermo is the ideal place for you to stay. Regarded as the city’s heartbeat, Palermo is bursting with top-notch restaurants, lively bars, fashionable cafes and a vibrant nightlife scene.
The Palermo neighborhood is divided into several sub-sections or districts. But the most popular are Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood, which are parts of Palermo Viejo.
Palermo Soho brims with an array of shopping, dining and nightlife options. The neighborhood is home to award-winning restaurants and the best shopping in Buenos Aires.
Plaza Armenia and Plaza Serrano are the most active areas in Soho, teeming with cafes, art galleries and boutiques. If you’re looking for dining options or somewhere to just sit with a beer and watch the world go by, consider pulling up a table at one of the many bars around Plaza Serrano, particularly in summer.
Where To Stay In Palermo Soho
Luxury seekers might find solace in BE Jardin Escondido by Coppola, a charming boutique hotel with rooms surrounding a lush garden. It’s ideal for couples.
For a modern boutique hotel experience, Hotel Palermitano by DOT is a fantastic choice. Yet the budget-conscious traveler might find Malevo Murana Hostel a perfect fit with its clean shared spaces, great terrace and multi-lingual staff.
Adjacent to Soho, Palermo Hollywood sits on the other side of Av. Juan Bautista Justo. And it offers a similar vibe but with a heavier focus on restaurants and bars.
Palermo Hollywood is the perfect spot for those seeking the best nightlife Buenos Aires has to offer. The neighborhood’s high-rise apartments and luxury hotels offer a more polished and modern feel.
Where To Stay In Palermo Hollywood
For a luxurious stay, consider Home Hotel, known for its lush green garden and in-house spa. Hotel Fierro offers excellent value for money, with a rooftop pool and sleek rooms. For budget-friendly stays, check out Boutique Suites Palermo, offering stylish studio apartments.
Or, alternatively, try the Studio FR Palermo Hollywood. I personally stayed in Studio FR Palermo Hollywood for 8 months in 2022 and I do highly recommend the staff and location. Staying at Studio FR Palermo Hollywood is like living in a forest and the trees change throughout the seasons.
I’d recommend Studio FR Palermo Hollywood for solo budget travelers and digital nomads. The wifi is excellent, it’s surrounded by co-working spaces and cafes, is conveniently located near to the subway and the best laundry service in the area is just a 10 minute walk away.
How To Get From Buenos Aires Airport To Palermo?
If you’re flying into Buenos Aires and landing at Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), Palermo can seem like it’s far away. It’s roughly 30km (19 miles) and it takes approximately 1 hour in a car to reach Palermo from Ezeiza International Airport.
Your easiest and cheapest option to get to Palermo from Ezeiza (EZE) is with a pre-booked airport transfer. With a transfer, an English speaking driver will be waiting for you on arrival at the time you’ve set. They will load and unload your luggage and chauffeur you directly to your accommodation in complete comfort.
Recoleta: The Luxury Haven
For those seeking an upscale, luxurious vacation, Recoleta is the neighborhood to stay in. This elegant part of Buenos Aires is reminiscent of European cities like Paris, boasting beautiful historic buildings, statues and a tranquil atmosphere.
Recoleta can be the perfect place for those who prefer quieter surroundings and luxury, but still want to be close to the city’s sights. Yet this depends entirely on the part of Recoleta you choose to stay.
Where To Stay In Recoleta
For a taste of luxury, consider Alvear Palace Hotel, a grand hotel offering spacious rooms, a rooftop pool, and state-of-the-art facilities. Mid-range options include Mio Buenos Aires, a boutique hotel with a polished and modern feel. Budget travelers might find Up Recoleta Hotel a convenient and affordable choice.
San Telmo: Budget-Friendly Bohemia
San Telmo, the city’s oldest neighborhood, is perfect for travelers on a tight budget. Known for its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, antique shops and affordable accommodations, San Telmo exudes a bohemian vibe that’s hard to resist.
Yet it’s worth noting here that San Telmo can be far from the action if you want to dine in Buenos Aires best restaurants or partake in Buenos Aires famed nightlife. As these are located in Palermo and Recoleta. And the taxi trips each evening can be quite long.
Where To Stay In San Telmo
In terms of accommodation, L ‘Adresse Hotel Boutique offers charming rooms in a restored mansion. Yet budget travelers might find America del Sur Hostel a better fit, boasting modern facilities and a central location.
Villa Crespo: The Hippest Area
For those looking for the coolest area to stay in Buenos Aires, Villa Crespo is the place to go. This neighborhood is conveniently located to the south-west of Palermo and offers a wealth of trendy bars, restaurants and affordable accommodations.
Where To Stay In Villa Crespo
1828 Smart Hotel is a luxury option on the border of Palermo Soho and Villa Crespo, featuring a rooftop pool, an excellent spa and a fabulous breakfast. For more budget-friendly options, consider Miliño Apart Hotel or Acevedo 716.
Belgrano: The Family-friendly Area
Belgrano, located north of Palermo, is an ideal neighborhood for families, offering a safe and relaxed atmosphere. It’s home to the city’s Chinatown, beautiful large gardens and upscale shopping.
Where To Stay In Belgrano
For a luxurious stay, consider Argenta Suites Belgrano, offering a swimming pool, spacious rooms and a great breakfast. Mid-range options include Urbanica The Libertador Hotel, which offers a swimming pool, a sun terrace and spacious rooms.
Microcentro: The Place To Stay For Short Stopovers & Sightseeing
Microcentro, located in the heart of the city, is an ideal area for sightseeing. It’s home to many major attractions, including the Presidential Palace (Casa Rosada) and the Obelisco.
Yet for me, personally, I won’t often choose to stay in Microcentro. The area is always congested with traffic and is noisy at all hours. At night the area of Microcentro around Calle Florida is filled with sex workers and smells like a nightclub bathroom. It also has the highest density in the city of scammers, pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Yet if you’re only in Buenos Aires for a short trip (2-3 days) Microcentro makes for a convenient base. If you’re planning on staying in Buenos Aires longer, I recommend you opt for Palermo, Recoleta or Belgrano.
Where To Stay In Microcentro
NH Collection is a stylish hotel featuring a fitness center and excellent breakfast. For budget travelers, Efe Hotel & Cowork offers rooms with a spacious terrace and easy access to the main city attractions.
Puerto Madero: The Modern Marvel
Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires’ modern marvel, featuring skyscrapers by the river and offering a serene atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for those looking for a different vibe in Buenos Aires.
Where To Stay In Puerto Madero
Hotel Madero offers a unique stay with its indoor swimming pool, sun terrace, comfortable rooms and fabulous breakfast.
Where To Avoid In Buenos Aires
While Buenos Aires is generally safe for tourists, some areas like La Boca and certain Villas, are known for their higher crime rates and should be avoided at night. La Boca’s vibrant buildings and tango shows are worth visiting but it’s recommended to do so during the day and through guided tours.
Buenos Aires is a city of contrasts, offering a variety of neighborhoods each with its unique vibe and charm. Whether you’re seeking luxury, a budget-friendly option, a hip area or a family-friendly neighborhood, you’ll find a spot that suits your preferences.
Remember, choosing the right place to stay can make a significant difference in your travel experience. So, consider your options carefully, book your accommodation in advance and get ready to explore the vibrant city of Buenos Aires!
Where Can I Get More Information About Buenos Aires?
I’ve made my Buenos Aires City Guide available on this website. And I recommend you read it before traveling to Argentina. It will help you navigate Buenos Aires and Argentine society.
My Buenos Aires City Guide will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Argentina. And it will make your trip just a little more fun!
Read the most complete Buenos Aires City Guide.