Tips for Planning Your Trip To Buenos Aires
By Nora Wallenius.
Planning a trip to a foreign city may seem daunting and just a little bit nerve racking. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available, many of them easily accessible over the internet before you hit the ground running. Tourists, expats, and locals all have amazingly helpful advice, plus specific do’s and don’ts that can be life savers. Organize your next trip to Buenos Aires with ease, as you focus on what really matters- your exciting adventure!
1. Read Reviews on TripAdvisor
Reading other travelers’ opinions and suggestions is key to a disaster-free journey. TripAdvisor is a major resource that will help you scout out hotels, tour companies, restaurants, and travel services, all before you’ve left your home country. Reading personal reviews of hotels is a great way to decide where you want to stay in the city and where you don’t want to stay.
2. Peruse Insider Guide LandingPadBA
LandingPadBA is an all-inclusive insiders guide to all things Buenos Aires, from traveler tips to restaurant suggestions to various tour companies. Book a city tour or adventure excursion from the wide-range of options. Check out tickets to a futbol game or take a ride on the beautiful river delta. Be sure to read over their security and safety tips for foreigners in BA, some of which I’ve listed below.
3. Research Travel and Lifestyle Blogs
With so many ex-pats living in BA, personal blogs have exploded across the web. Many of these blogs are centered on a specific topic such as food/drink or city tours. From these blogs, you will be able to plan you own foodie tour, complete with wine tasting, steak parilla, and closed door restaurants. You will also find personal tips and advice that you probably won’t find in a traditional guidebook. For example, Pick Up the Fork is a great go-to guide for all things food and drink in BA.
4. Plan Sample Itineraries for your Stay
Buenos Aires is a huge city with so much to see and do that it can get overwhelming trying to squeeze it all in. Before you arrive, sit down and plan a sample itinerary of a few days of your trip. Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide to Buenos Aires is a small portable guidebook that highlights the “top ten” of many aspects in the city. From neighborhood guides to restaurants and museums, you can easily figure out what you should see in one day. Once you arrive, your plans may plans change and new opportunities will arise. Of course, that’s the beauty of travel!
5. Meet People
Once you’ve arrived in BA, there’s nothing better than a local’s opinion. Whether Argentine or foreign, talking to people actually living in Buenos Aires is the key to a truly authentic experience. Chat up the couple sitting next to you at the bar or the waiter for your table. Fortunately, Porteños (citizens of Buenos Aires) are extremely friendly and will welcome you to their city with their personal recommendations. Expats living in BA will also have plenty of local tips that are more tourist friendly.
6. Book Spanish Classes
If you’re planning on staying in BA for at least a couple of weeks, taking spanish classes is a great way to improve your Spanish language, make friends, and discover the city. Expanish is a well-established language school that offers its students city excursions, a home-stay experience, and a chance to be a part of a community, while improving your Spanish in a variety of class choices.
7. Try Tango Lessons
Tango is the favorite Argentine cultural experience for foreigners and locals alike. Whether it´s encountering spontaneous dances in the street or attending a sophisticated dinner and tango show night out, the dance and music infiltrates the city. Research a few milongas, tango dance halls, to stop by and check out. If you’re interested in partaking in the dance yourself, taking lessons is a great way to feel the rythym of Argentina. Choose a teacher and book a lesson. We recommend Alejandro Puerta in San Telmo, for the quintessential tango experience.
8. Experience a Closed Door Restaurant
Buenos Aires is chock full of secret hideaways, from restaurants, hotels, bars, and galleries. Closed Door restaurants are a delicious way to enjoy some amazing, local food in an intimate setting with unforgettable memories. We’ve had some great meals with NOLA Chef Liza Puglia, integrating a mix of cuisine from New Orleans, Mexico City and Buenos Aires. If you´re looking for some latin flavor, MASA Club de Tacos hosts amazing closed door dinners with delicious tacos combinations that will blow your mind. Recoleta 1343 is a lovely, welcoming dinner in Recoleta for all palettes.
9. Try an “Out of the Box” Tour
What makes Buenos Aires so special is its unique personality so blatantly splashed across the city. Trying an out of the ordinary tour rather than a typical “touristy” one is a great way to see this. Whether its a street art tour of the city with Buenos Aires Street Art, or a city photo tour with Day Clicker Photo Tours to capture the uncapturable, there are plenty of options to see Buenos Aires through a different lens.
10. Some Safety Tips
Buenos Aires is a generally safe city, but you should always use precaution and keep your guard up. Pickpocketing and minor theft is the most common danger. Always keep an eye on your personal belongings and have a hold on them at all times. Carry your purse/backpack in front of you, firmly shut, and don´t carry anything of value in your pockets. Do not share private information with strangers and watch out for seemingly ¨friendly¨ people on the street, who might be scamming you. Stick to lit and populated streets and always take a cab at night.
Enjoy this city unlike any other in the world- Buenos Aires. You are sure to fall in love with this elegant, emotional, and seductive city.