Clara in the Puerto Madero neighborhood of Buenos Aires

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires (Best Areas & Places in 2022)

If you’re wondering where to stay in Buenos Aires, this guide is for you.

My girlfriend Clara is a Buenos Aires local and together we spend a lot of time in the city. Each time we visit, we stay in a different place in Buenos Aires in a different neighborhood.  In over a year total of staying in Buenos Aires, I’ve learned the city takes on a different personality depending on where you stay. So it’s an important decision!

Never fear though, because in this guide I’ll break down all the pros and cons of the popular areas to stay in Buenos Aires. I’ll also give you a few insider tips for visiting Buenos Aires like a pro. 

First, let’s summarize the best places to stay in Buenos Aires.

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Best Places to Stay in Buenos Aires

Clara sitting on a bed inside a room in Esplendor by Wyndham Buenos Aires Tango
Clara and I really love the suites and central location of the Esplendor by Wyndham Buenos Aires Tango

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Buenos Aires? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina: 

10 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a sprawling city covering 78 square miles of terrain along the La Plata River. And that’s just the city. The 13 million people in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area include many neighboring suburbs in the surrounding Buenos Aires Province.

Officially, Buenos Aires has 48 different neighborhoods, which you can see laid out on this map. Most of these neighborhoods are not ideal for tourists visiting Buenos Aires for the first time, though. In general, most visitors will want to stay in one of the following 10 areas of Buenos Aires: 

Palermo Soho

View of people enjoying their meal on outdoor dining restaurants in Palermo Soho
(photo: Diego Grandi / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Overall Area to Stay in Buenos Aires | ✨ Best Palermo Soho Hotels: Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa ($$$) • Miravida Soho Hotel & Wine Bar ($$$) • Abode Buenos Aires ($$) • Corazón de Palermo Soho ($)

Technically Palermo is a single neighborhood, but it’s so gigantic locals sub-divide it into several named areas. The most popular parts of the leafy green Palermo district are Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood, which are separated by the wide Avenida Juan B Justo, as well as train tracks.

Palermo is home to some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires, trendy coffee shops, hipster dive bars, and busy nightlife. Overall, Palermo is the “place to be” in Buenos Aires in the evenings. 

Having stayed all over Palermo, I prefer Palermo Soho. It has a better mix of shopping, residential, dining, and nightlife areas than any other part of the city. In particular, you’ll find a huge cluster of bars, restaurants, and cafes around the famous Plaza Serrano.

Moreover, I think Palermo Soho is better located than Palermo Hollywood. Palermo is a little out of the way from the most popular things to do in Buenos Aires, and that’s the biggest downside of staying here. Palermo Soho is a little further east than Palermo Hollywood, and thus it’s a shorter trip to Bosques de Palermo, Recoleta, and the downtown sites.

Pros of Staying in Palermo Soho Neighborhood:

  • Leafy, walkable streets
  • Tons of great cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops
  • A relatively safe(r) area of Buenos Aires

Cons of Staying in Palermo Soho Neighborhood:

  • Hotels in Palermo are relatively pricey, and hard to find
  • Some areas (especially around Plaza Serrano) can get loud at night

📚 Palermo Soho Mini Guide 📚
Best Overall Area to Stay
Google Map

Palermo Hollywood

Overlooking view of the Palermo Hollywood during sunset

👉 Best Area For Dining & Nightlife | ✨ Best Palermo Hollywood Hotels: Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires ($$$) • Ilum Experience Home ($$$) • Apart Hotel Shoshana ($$)

Palermo Hollywood got its name because this area historically has been home to several Argentinian TV and movie production studios. As a neighborhood, it’s very similar to Palermo Soho, but you’ll find more restaurants and nightclubs – and fewer shopping areas.

I spent the initial phase of the pandemic in quarantine in Palermo Hollywood. It was eerie to see the usually busy streets completely deserted, but these days the tourists and activity have returned.

Every night in Palermo Hollywood you’ll find packed restaurants with tables occupying nearly every sidewalk corner, plus a group of nightclubs that pump music until past dawn (even on weekdays!). 

Overall, Palermo Hollywood is the place to stay in Buenos Aires for foodies looking to dine out or for partiers looking to go out all night. 

Pros of Staying in Palermo Hollywood:

  • The best “ambiance” in Buenos Aires, with leafy and highly walkable streets
  • Home to some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires
  • Great nightlife options for the party crowd

Cons of Staying in Palermo Hollywood:

  • The location is relatively far from most Buenos Aires sites
  • Hotels and apartment rentals in Palermo Hollywood can be pricey
  • It’s a nightlife area, so some parts can get noisy

📚 Palermo Hollywood Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Dining & Nightlife
Google Map

San Telmo

Musicians performing at a street in San Telmo
San Telmo’s streets go wild on Sundays

👉 Best Area For Backpackers & Budget Travelers | ✨ Best San Telmo Hotels & Hostels: Anselmo Buenos Aires, Curio Collection by Hilton ($$$) • Ribera Sur Hotel ($$) • Circus Hostel ($)

San Telmo was the first area in Buenos Aires I ever stayed in, back when I visited the city on a backpacking trip through South America. Indeed, San Telmo is definitely where to stay in Buenos Aires if you’re a backpacker or budget traveler. You’ll find several good hostels, like the popular Circus Hostel, as well as budget and mid-range hotels.

San Telmo is one of the more historic parts of Buenos Aires, and has a bit of a bohemian vibe. It is famous for dinner tango show venues and for cobblestone streets lined with street art, musical performers, and antique shops. Even if you pick a different neighborhood for your stay in Buenos Aires, you can’t miss the Sunday San Telmo Street Fair around Plaza Dorrego.

Pros of Staying in San Telmo Neighborhood:

  • Relatively affordable accommodation
  • Easy to walk to Puerto Madero or La Boca
  • Lots of local culture

Cons of Staying in San Telmo Neighborhood:

  • Has earned a bit of a reputation for crime and petty theft, though San Telmo is slowly getting safer

📚 San Telmo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Local Culture
Google Map

Recoleta

Clara inside the El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Clara at El Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of many gorgeous historic buildings in Recoleta

👉 Best Area For Sightseeing | ✨ Best Recoleta Hotels: Alvear Palace Hotel ($$$$) • Mio Buenos Aires ($$$) • Blank Hotel Recoleta ($$) • Sileo Apart Hotel ($$) 

My girlfriend Clara says the best neighborhood in Buenos Aires is Recoleta – and she certainly should know, as she is a Buenos Aires local! Recoleta is one of the most upscale parts of the city, centrally located, surrounded by parks and green spaces, filled with restaurants and cafes, and home to some of the best places to see in Buenos Aires. 

Recoleta is filled with soaring historic buildings, Parisian townhomes, shops, cafes, bookstores, and universities. My personal favorite spot is the gorgeous El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore.

Check out the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Recoleta Cultural Center, and the weekend market at Plaza Francia. Also, weird though it may seem at first, the most famous attraction here is the gorgeous Recoleta Cemetery (home to the tomb of Argentinian icon Eva Perón). For a unique choice of where to stay in Buenos Aires, get one of the rooms at the Sileo Apart Hotel that overlooks the cemetery. Creepy or cool? You decide!

Pros of Staying in Recoleta Neighborhood:

  • One of the most walkable places in Buenos Aires, which wide strollable streets
  • Central location (perfectly situated between downtown Buenos Aires and Palermo)
  • Probably the safest neighborhood in Buenos Aires, along with Puerto Madero

Cons of Staying in Recoleta Neighborhood:

  • Street noise can be an issue (if your hotel is on a main avenue, get a room on a high floor)

📚 Recoleta Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Sightseeing
Google Map

Centro Buenos Aires (San Nicolás / Montserrat / Microcentro)

View of a theater in the crowded Centro Buenos Aires
Centro features lots of theaters and performing arts centers

👉 Most Central Area in Buenos Aires | ✨ Best Centro Hotels: Esplendor by Wyndham Buenos Aires Tango ($$) • Huinid Obelisco Hotel ($$) 

The small neighborhoods of San Nicolás (aka Microcentro) and Monserrat straddle the bustling Avenida 9 de Julio and together compose downtown Buenos Aires. This area is a mix of business and residential buildings, with a lot of performing arts mixed in. 

Avenida Corrientes in particular is famous. I call it the “Broadway of Buenos Aires,” and seeing a show here is among the top things to do in Buenos Aires. Other popular attractions in this area include Plaza de Mayo, home to the Casa Rosada (or Argentinian Presidential Palace), and the soaring Obelisco monument which dominates the center of Avenida 9 de Julio. 

San Nicolás and Montserrat are popular choices for where to stay in Buenos Aires because there are just simply so many hotels to choose from downtown. You’ll find everything from boutique hotels to luxury hotels to budget accommodation. This area is also conveniently within walking distance to Puerto Madero, San Telmo, Retiro, and Recoleta. So this is a great area to stay in Buenos Aires if you love exploring a city on foot.

Pros of Staying in Centro Buenos Aires:

  • Super central location – easy to get anywhere and see the tops sites
  • Lots of great art, cafes, pizza shops
  • Downtown has a ton of energy 
  • Many hotels to choose from makes this a popular pick for where to stay in Buenos Aires

Cons of Staying in Centro Buenos Aires:

  • Not the prettiest neighborhood in Buenos Aires (some streets can feel a little gritty in places)

📚 Downtown / Microcentro Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for a Central Location
Google Map

Puerto Madero

Clara posing for a photo during sunset in Puerto Madero
Clara and I love strolling Puerto Madero at sunset

👉 Best Area For Modern Luxury | ✨ Best Puerto Madero Hotels: Alvear Icon Hotel ($$$$) • Faena Hotel Buenos Aires ($$$$) • Hilton Buenos Aires ($$$) • Hotel Madero Buenos Aires ($$$)

If you’re looking for luxury accommodation, Puerto Madero might be your best choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires. Puerto Madero is a former dockside port area that has been converted into an affluent area and tourist attraction. 

Where the docks used to be, you’ll find a large pedestrian boardwalk running parallel on both sides of the narrow Rio Dique. It’s dotted with steakhouses, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and trendy cafes. On a nice day, it’s the perfect place for a sunset stroll along the Puente de la Mujer suspension bridge. 

In the Puerto Madero area, there are many high rise apartments and luxury hotels with modern amenities and comfortable rooms. A short walk toward the main river is the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, which has a lot of green space and trails perfect for jogging. 

Overall, if you can afford it, Puerto Madero is a solid and safe choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires.

Pros of Staying in Puerto Madero Neighborhood:

  • Puerto Madero has the most modern accommodation in Buenos Aires
  • One of the safest areas of Buenos Aires
  • Tons of fancy restaurants and places to eat 

Cons of Staying in Puerto Madero Neighborhood:

  • A very expensive choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires
  • To me, Puerto Madero feels a little sterile
  • Though a short walk to downtown, it can sometimes be difficult to get a taxi in Puerto Madero as it’s cut off from the rest of the city 

📚 Puerto Madero Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Modern Luxury
Google Map

Belgrano

People wandering in the Chinatown in Belgrano
Barrio Chino (Chinatown) in Belgrano

👉 Best Area For Families & Long Term Stays | ✨ Best Belgrano Hotels: Ker Belgrano Hotel ($$) • Argenta Suites Belgrano ($$$)

Ok, we are getting a little deeper into our list of Buenos Aires neighborhoods. If you’re a first timer in the city, I would recommend limiting your choice of where to stay in Buenos Aires to the above areas. But, if you have a longer stay in Buenos Aires or are looking for a quieter residential area, Belgrano is definitely worth consideration. 

Belgrano is a quiet area with a mix of upscale residential buildings, embassy buildings, and commercial construction. It’s also home to Barrio Chino, or the Buenos Aires Chinatown, which is worth visiting to try the various street food stalls and noodle joints. On a sunny weekend day, it’s fun to hang out at the Barrancas de Belgrano park. 

The main issue with staying in Belgrano is that’s a bit far from the rest of the city. So, while this is not the ideal choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires for first-timers, it is a great place to consider if you’re a digital nomad or looking to live in Buenos Aires for a longer period of time. 

Pros of Staying in Belgrano Neighborhood:

  • Safe, quiet, and relatively calm part of the city
  • Lots of higher-end apartments and accommodation options

Cons of Staying in Belgrano Neighborhood:

  • Very far from central Buenos Aires (a taxi to La Boca could take as much as an hour in traffic)

📚 Belgrano Mini Guide 📚
Best Area for Long Stays in Buenos Aires 
Google Map

  • ✨ Best HotelsKer Belgrano Hotel ($$) • Argenta Suites Belgrano ($$$)
  • 🏠 Apartments Browse Top Rentals in Belgrano
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Gardiner Restaurant ($$$$), Parilla El Pobre Luis ($$$)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Gate One Bar
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Barrancas de Belgrano, Avenida Cabildo shopping street, Barrio Chino (Chinatown), Museo River Plate

Villa Crespo

Small sculpture of musicians in The Osvaldo Pugliese Monument
The Osvaldo Pugliese Monument (photo: Shutterstock / NRuArg)

👉 Best Area For Staying Off the Beaten Path | ✨ Browse Apartment Rentals in Villa Crespo on VRBO

Villa Crespo is a rapidly changing local neighborhood just south of Palermo that is increasingly becoming popular with expats and tourists. Villa Crespo has quite a few bars and restaurants of its own. Plus, you’ll find a lot of art scattered around the neighborhood (it was one of my favorite places for long strolls to get outside during the pandemic). 

Take a dance class at the neighborhood club Villa Malcolm, check out one of the local Jewish delis, or shop for clothes and leather goods on Murillo Street. Whatever you do, Villa Crespo is a great choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires when you want to see the city from a different angle. Of course, at the end of the day, Villa Crespo isn’t all that far off the beaten path – you’re just a short walk to Palermo after all!

Pros of Staying in Villa Crespo Neighborhood:

Cons of Staying in Villa Crespo Neighborhood:

  • Not many hotels to choose from 
  • The location isn’t bad, but not great either 

📚 Villa Crespo Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Staying Buenos Aires Off the Beaten Path
Google Map

  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Villa Crespo
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Los Chanchitos Parrilla ($$), Don Zoilo ($$)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Vico Wine Bar VIlla Crespo, Bar 878, La Birra Bar Villa Crespo
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Villa Malcolm (sport center and tango classes)

Colegiales

👉 Best Area For Family-Friendly Living | ✨ Browse Apartment Rentals in Colegiales on VRBO

If you want a quiet and family residential area close enough to walk to Palermo, check out the underrated Colegiales neighborhood. The leafy green streets here make it another of my favorite areas of Buenos Aires for taking a stroll. 

While there isn’t as much going on here as in the Palermo neighborhood, you’ll find pockets of activity around Elcano and Federico Lacroze avenues, where young professionals and students meet up at cafes and trendy bars. Overall, it’s one of the best neighborhoods in Buenos Aires for families or younger couples looking for a quieter stay in Buenos Aires. 

Pros of Staying in ColegialesNeighborhood:

  • Beautiful leafy streets
  • Relatively safe area 

Cons of Staying in Colegiales Neighborhood:

📚 Colegiales Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Residential Living
Google Map

  • 🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Colegiales
  • 🍽️ Where to Eat – Treintasillas ($$$), Casa Bares ($$$), Catalino ($$)
  • 🍸 Where to Drink – Ruda Bar, Who Bar
  • 🎟️ Top Attractions – Mercado de las Pulgas flea market

Tips for Staying in Buenos Aires

Tango dancers performing at a restaurant in La Boca
Tango dancers at a restaurant in La Boca

Realize that Buenos Aires is a Massive City

Aerial view of Buenos Aires at sunset

Buenos Aires truly is a huge city. So when choosing where to stay in Buenos Aires, think first about finding a convenient location relative to what you want to do in Buenos Aires. If sightseeing is top of your list, consider staying in Centro or in Recoleta. If dining and nightlife if the priority, then the Palermo neighborhood may be better for you.

Thankfully, Ubers and taxis are cheap and plentiful. And the Buenos Aires Subte (subway) is pretty good too. So it’s definitely possible to move around the city during your stay. But, as Buenos Aires is such a great city for walking, it’s always better to find a place within walking distance of the things you plan to do.

Watch Out for Doggie Poo

Nate posing for a photo on a street in Buenos Aires
Me breaking the cardinal rule of walking in Buenos Aires – always look down first!

As I mentioned, one of the great things about Buenos Aires is that the city is just made for taking a stroll. Between the leafy tree-lined streets and the abundant street art, walking in Buenos Aires is a joy. 

Except, that is, that or the fact that dog poo is literally everywhere on the sidewalks! For whatever reason, many porteños choose not to pick up after their pups. I’ve been to literally hundreds of cities all around the world, and I’ve never seen a place with more dog poop on the sidewalks! It’s a real shame, but the truth is you need to always keep one eye out or else you’ll inevitably end up stepping in it! 

Get the Dollar Blue (Never Use Your Credit Card or an ATM)

Argentina has several different currency conversion rates. There is the artificial “official” rate set by the government, which is what you’ll get if you use your credit card or an ATM. 

And then there is the “dollar blue” rate, which is the informal rate that reflects the true purchasing power of the dollar. The dollar blue is often a 50-80% better deal than the official rate! 

For this reason, you should always pay in cash in Argentina, assuming you can get the dollar blue rate. To do that, bring crisp $100 bills and you can exchange them at the cambio centers on Calle Florida. Alternatively, you can also use Western Union to “send yourself” cash at a rate that is close to the dollar blue.

✈️ Traveling the World? Check out our guides to staying in London, staying in NYC, staying in LA & staying in Miami.

Watch Your Valuables In Public

Buenos Aires is a generally safe place to visit. Violent crime is rare, but petty crime, theft, and scams are honestly fairly common. This is true even (and, in fact especially) in the more touristy Buenos Aires neighborhoods. 

Keep your phone in your pocket as much as possible on the streets, as thieves have been known to ride by on motos and snatch phones out of the air. When sitting down at restaurants or cafes in Buenos Aires, be careful where you put your bags and valuables.

👉 Pro Tip: Consider bringing an anti-theft crossbody bag for added peace of mind. This anti-theft bag by Travelon is especially highly rated.

Buenos Aires Runs on a Late Schedule

Tango show performers on stage in Puerto Madero
Watching a tango show in Puerto Madero

Tourists who are used to eating dinner around 6:30 or 7 PM are in for a surprise in Argentina. In Buenos Aires, most restaurants won’t even be open then! Typically locals sit down to dinner around 9:30 PM or so.

Looking to go out and dance the night away? Realize that most Buenos Aires nightclubs will be completely deserted until 2 AM when partiers pour in and dance until well past dawn. 

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FAQs About Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Buenos Aires?

Palermo is the best neighborhood to stay in Buenos Aires for first time visitors. Palermo is home to trendy restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and some of the best accommodation in the city. Other good choices include the Recoleta, San Telmo, and Puerto Madero neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

How much does it cost to stay in a hotel in Buenos Aires?

The average price for a boutique hotel stay in Buenos Aires is about $50 to $75 USD per night. A Buenos Aires budget hotel or hostel will run about $20 to $35 per night, while a luxury hotel in Buenos Aires can cost $100 to 200 or more per night. 

Is Buenos Aires cheap for tourists?

Buenos Aires is an affordable destination for tourists, especially when exchanging dollars at the informal “dollar blue” rate. Accommodation is usually the most expensive part of a trip to Buenos Aires, while food, activities, and transportation are relatively cheap.

***

That’s it for this guide to where to stay in Buenos Aires! I hope I’ve helped you find the perfect place to stay when you visit Buenos Aires. 

For more tips, be sure to bookmark all my Argentina travel guides.

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