A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Buenos Aires

Finding where to stay in Buenos Aires, the massive capital of Argentina, can be a daunting task. But with the insightful information you’ll find here, you won’t have to worry about it.

The capital of Argentina is the obvious starting point to explore the country. Whatever your interests, you can rest assured that you will find something to keep you busy; there is always something happening in the city. Buenos Aires has a rich cultural heritage, interesting architecture, an excellent selection of fine arts and even street art. You can easily spend weeks exploring it, without ever being quite done.

Bs. Aires, as locals call it, is chaotic, yet peaceful; it is colorful, artsy and sophisticated at the same time. And what’s best it is accessible to all budgets and tastes, with a fantastic array of luxury and boutique hotels and an excellent selection of backpacker hostels.

In this post, I will help you find where to stay in Buenos Aires, selecting the best neighborhoods and a few places to stay in each of them.

where to stay in Buenos Aires

What To Know When Looking For A Place To Stay In Buenos Aires

I have been to Buenos Aires several times, and truly love the city. Each time I go, I pick a different area to stay – to get a different feel for the city, experience a bit of local life, and take in all that the city has to offer. The Argentine capital is a great place to visit, but where you stay will definitely influence the outcome of your trip. Before you even start looking for a place to stay in town, there are a few things you may want to consider. 

IT CAN GET UNBEARABLY HOT IN THE SUMMER – Comes December, when summer hits the southern hemisphere, and unless a thunderstorm hits the city (which actually is quite a common thing in the summer), Buenos Aires becomes almost unbearably hot. We are speaking 32° C (around 90° F) or more, with terrible humidity. You will want a room with air conditioning – trust me!

YOU NEED TO BOOK IN ADVANCE – Although there are many good places to stay in Buenos Aires, if you are planning to visit in peak season – between the end of October and the end of March – you really have to book in advance as the city gets packed with tourists.  

IT’S A HUGE CITY – Greater Buenos Aires has something like 17 million inhabitants – that’s a massive city. And traffic is hectic. The public transportation system works really well – there are buses, taxis, city cabs and a metro for which you will need a SUBE Card (you can get it at any kiosk or at the airport), but honestly if you don’t pick where to stay carefully you will end up spending your time commuting. 

DIFFERENT AREAS OFFER DIFFERENT THINGS – Some areas of Buenos Aires are incredibly lively during the day, with markets, shop and museums – but they don’t offer much in terms of nightlife. Some areas are significantly more chaotic than others, with lots of traffic or noise coming from nearby bars (Porteños go out and stay up much later than we do in other countries!). You definitely need to consider the surroundings of the place you are selecting, especially if you are a light sleeper. Pick your accommodation based on your priority!

SOME AREAS ARE MORE BUDGET FRIENDLY – Buenos Aires is slightly cheaper than most capitals in Europe or North America, but there is quite a bit of variation between a neighborhood and another, with some being the best option for travelers on a tighter budget.

SOME AREAS ARE STILL A NO-NO – Buenos Aires is generally a safe city, and if you stay in the tourist areas I will be mentioning in this post, you will be perfectly fine. Some parts of San Telmo – backpackers’ favorite hub – and La Boca are fine to visit during the day, but best avoided at night and you are overall better off opting for a different area.

PALERMO IS THE OVERALL BEST AREA – When I visited Buenos Aires for the first time I stayed in the Centro. I honestly regretted it. The area is modern, full of offices and easy to travel to and from, and with some nice attractions. But it lacked the charm and nightlife I was hoping for. The overall best area to stay in Buenos Aires is Palermo. That’s where you will find the best hotels, the nicest restaurants, cafés, and bars, and a great local scene.

Continue reading to discover where to stay in Buenos Aires.

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Palermo Soho is where to stay in Buenos Aires for good nightlife

Where To Stay In Buenos Aires: Best Neighborhoods 

Palermo Soho 

Palermo is more like a city within a city. It’s pretty much as big as its Italian cousin, and it can be divided into various areas – Soho and Hollywood, which I focus on here, but also Palermo Viejo, Palermo Nuevo (where the Bosques de Palermo is located) Alto Palermo (home to Parque las Heras) and Villa Freud. 

The first time I visited Buenos Aires I opted not to stay there as I thought it was too far from the most important landmarks in town – the Obelisk, the Casa Rosasa, Plaza de Mayo, La Boca, San Telmo, Recoleta… but – interesting fat – as soon as I put my bags down as I arrived, I headed there to rent a bike and go around. Because the area is simply that pleasant. 

Within Palermo, Palermo Soho easily qualifies as the best area to stay in Buenos Aires, especially if you are interested in nightlife. This neighborhood is packed with cafés, bars, restaurants and beautiful boutiques. It’s hip, incredibly chic and oh so young. Palermo Soho is the place to be for designers, and the street culture there is thriving.

This is an upper-middle class area, where you’ll find a great mix of locals and tourists. It’s very green, with large boulevards and lots of urban parks (you’ll especially notice it from above, when you land in Palermo’s airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery). The streets are lined with houses with nice gardens at the back. Lots of them have now been turned into shops and even bars.

Some of the best restaurants, bars and cafés in town are in Palermo, so this is where you will end up most of the time for dinner. 

TIP: Quiet during the day, Palermo Soho is thriving with life at night. This is not where to stay in Buenos Aires if you are a very light sleeper. Alternatively, if you are convinced this is where you want to stay, make sure to pick a hotel located on a side street and far from bars or restaurants.

These are the best places to stay in Palermo Soho – tried and tested!

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Palermo Hollywood is home to some of the best street art in Buenos Aires

Palermo Hollywood 

This is my favorite neighborhood in Buenos Aires. I love the artsy feel, the nightlife scene, the hip bars and restaurants, the markets and the unique boutiques. This is where to stay in Buenos Aires if you like the idea of walking around an open-air art gallery. The name Palermo Hollywood was given to this part of the city in the mid-1990s, when a lot of television and radio broadcasters established their stations in the area. It is right next to Palermo Soho and much like its neighbor it’s packed with nice bars, cafés and restaurants.

These are some excellent places to stay in Palermo Hollywood:

TIP: Make sure to go on a street art tour in Palermo. Not only this is a great way to discover some beautiful murals; but – provided you have the right guide – you will learn loads about the history, culture and overall vibe of Buenos Aires. For more information, click here.

Colegiales

North of Palermo Hollywood, Colegiales is actually a great compromise. You will be close to all the fun things to do at night in Palermo Hollywood, but in a much quieter area – though you can count on a fair selection of nice bars and restaurants too. There is a great flea market, and a lot of street art too. Big hotels are somewhat lacking in this part of town, so you may be better off looking for an Airbnb.

If this area intrigues you, you may want to check out the following places:

where to stay in Buenos Aires
A common scene in the streets of Buenos Aires

Villa Crespo 

Villa Crespo is one of the most interesting neighborhoods of Buenos Aires that has yet to be discovered by the masses – so perfect to escape the tourist crowds. It is located southwest of Palermo Soho and it has often been associated with Buenos Aires’ Jewish community, as there are several synagogues located in the area and plenty of places that serve kosher food. It’s a fantastic place to go for a walk; it is artsy (you will see some incredible street art), yet still budget friendly – so go before it changes. 

The following are some good places to stay in Villa Crespo:

where to stay in Buenos Aires
San Telmo is a great budget option

San Telmo

If you are traveling on a smaller budget, San Telmo is where to stay in Buenos Aires. Connected to the rest of the city via Metro line C, it’s one of the most scenic parts of town, with cobblestone streets, airy squares, an incredible Sunday street market (Feria de San Telmo) and a romantic feel thanks to the impromptu tango shows at every corner (well, at Plaza Dorrego, really). Adding to this there is a fabulous covered market where you’ll find all sorts of specialties (especially empanadas) and a series of antique shops to go in search of hidden treasures.

Once thought to be a dangerous part of town, this neighborhood is actually gentrifying so it is not nearly as bad as it used to be – though you will want to keep your wits about, especially at night.

Want to stay in San Telmo? Check out these places:

TIP: Make sure to visit Casa Minima. It’s a very narrow house that was built by freed slaves after slavery was finally abolished in Argentina in 1812.

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Make sure to visit the cemetery of Recoleta when in Buenos Aires

Recoleta

Recoleta is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, the kind of place where upper class Porteños live. It’s home to the cemetery of Recoleta, one of the nicest places to visit in town, packed with mausoleums – that’s where the tomb of Eva Perón is located.

Other places of interest such as the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and El Ateneo Grand Splendid, once a theater, now a massive bookshop located in a building that dates back to 1919. Make sure to also pay a visit to the Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo, which has artwork from around the world.

Recoleta is slowly but steadily becoming one of the trendiest places in Buenos Aires, where you will find excellent restaurants, bars and some of the best shopping opportunities in town at malls such as Patio Bullrich or Recoleta Mall. There also are some lovely boutique stores.

These are the best places to stay in Recoleta:

TIP: Recoleta Cemetery is impressive, but you may want to get a guide to fully appreciate its history and thus get to know the city better.

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Microcentro has some of the best hotels in Buenos Aires

Microcentro 

Microcentro – or Centro, as some call it – is Buenos Aires Downtown and truly is the heart of the city, not only geographically, home to some of the most important attractions in Buenos Aires (ie the Obelisk, the radio tower with Eva Perón mural, and even Plaza de Mayo with the Casa Rosada to name a few). This is the financial hub of Buenos Aires, where businesses and corporate offices have their headquarters, so there is a lot of traffic and noise.

Personally, this isn’t my favorite neighborhood in town. However, I do agree that Microcentro is one of the best places to stay in Buenos Aires if you want to be centrally located, if you like the idea of using public transportation to get around, and if you want to be close to all the attractions. Many would agree this is the best area for first timers in town.

If you think the Centro is where you want to stay, you may want to check out these places:

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Puerto Madero is where to stay in Buenos Aires if you want to be in a trendy, safe and quiet location

Puerto Madero 

Every time I visit Buenos Aires I tell myself that Puerto Madero is where I would want to live (except I also love Palermo!). This is an incredibly interesting neighborhood, where a serious amount of renovation and regeneration has occurred in the last decade. Once a dockland, this barrio has benefited by the work of star architects such as Calatrava, creator of the Puente de la Mujer.

Among the unmissable attractions in the area, aside from Calatrava’s bridge, there is the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, which is free to visit, and the Sarmiento Frigate Ship Museum. Puerto Madero is also a great spot for picnics!

If you are keen on staying in Puerto Madero, you may want to check out the following places:

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Belgrano has some excellent accommodation options

Belgrano 

Belgrano is one of the most tranquil yet interesting neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, perfect for families traveling with children. It’s an affluent parts of town, the center of which is Avenida Cabildo, where you’ll find upscale designer stores and even smaller independent boutiques. This neighborhood is packed with gardens and one or two story buildings; and it is not uncommon to come across people walking up to 10 dogs here.

Among the best places to visit in Belgrano, there is the Mistorical Museum Sarmiento, located in what used to be Belgrano’s town hall, and the Larreta Museum of modern art, located in the former residence of Argentine writer Enrique Larreta. But Belgrano is not all about the arts. Here, you’ll be able to attend a football match at River Plate Stadium (but you need to get tickets in advance!).

This is where to stay in Buenos Aires if you’d rather be in a quiet area that is well connected to the rest of the city.

Keen on staying in Belgrano? Check out these places:

where to stay in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is packed with excellent accommodation options

Retiro 

Retiro is a nice, central location that suffers a bad reputation because the area around the train and bus station is not a great place to walk around at night. But if you avoid that part of Retiro, it can be a good place to stay. There is a lot to see and do in the area – Plaza General San Martin and Torre Monumental, the clock tower that the British community donated to the city in 1916 – are landmarks you should not miss.

These are the best places to stay in Retiro:

Final Tips On Where To Stay In Buenos Aires

If you are still worried about where to stay in Buenos Aires, please stop: the city is fantastic, with a lot to offer in every neighborhood. The good news is that, for as large as it is, it’s fairly easy to navigate and to get from one place to the other; public transportation is dirt cheap and even taxis are more than affordable.

Have you ever been to Buenos Aires? What are your favorite places to stay in Buenos Aires?

Further readings about Argentina

If you are planning a trip to Argentina, these posts will come in handy:

And, if you are planning to head to Uruguay, head over to my posts:

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Discover where to stay in Buenos Aires - via @clautavani

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