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 (including a crucial tip for saving money on exchange rates!).
First, let’s summarize the best places to stay in Buenos Aires.
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Best Places to Stay in Buenos Aires
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Buenos Aires? Here are my top picks:
- 🌟 Best Overall Hotel – Fierro Hotel Buenos Aires
- 🗺️ Best Location – Esplendor by Wyndham Buenos Aires Tango
- 🏘️ Best in Palermo Soho (My Top Neighborhood): Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa
- 🍸 Best Luxury Hotel – Alvear Palace Hotel
- 👪 Best for Families – Hilton Buenos Aires
- 🏨 Best Boutique – Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa
- ✨ Best Hostel – Circus Hostel
- 💸 Best Budget – Sileo Apart Hotel
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:
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
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Palermo Soho
🍽️ Where to Eat – Don Julio ($$$$), Tomate Estación de Sabores ($$$), La Choripaneria Palermo ($$), Chacaito Caribbean Food Station ($)
🍸 Where to Drink – Backroom Bar, Victoria Brown Bar, Rey de Copas Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Plaza Serrano, Distrito Arcos Shopping Center
Palermo Hollywood got its name because this area historically has been home to several Argentinian TV and movie production studios. As a neighborhood, it’s very similar to Palermo Soho, but you’ll find more restaurants and nightclubs – and fewer shopping areas.
I spent the initial phase of the pandemic in quarantine in Palermo Hollywood. It was eerie to see the usually busy streets completely deserted, but these days the tourists and activity have returned.
Every night in Palermo Hollywood you’ll find packed restaurants with tables occupying nearly every sidewalk corner, plus a group of nightclubs that pump music until past dawn (even on weekdays!).
Overall, Palermo Hollywood is the place to stay in Buenos Aires for foodies looking to dine out or for partiers looking to go out all night.
Pros of Staying in Palermo Hollywood:
- The best “ambiance” in Buenos Aires, with leafy and highly walkable streets
- Home to some of the best restaurants in Buenos Aires
- Great nightlife options for the party crowd
Cons of Staying in Palermo Hollywood:
- The location is relatively far from most Buenos Aires sites
- Hotels and apartment rentals in Palermo Hollywood can be pricey
- It’s a nightlife area, so some parts can get noisy
📚 Palermo Hollywood Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Dining & Nightlife
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Palermo Hollywood
🍽️ Where to Eat – Osaka ($$$$), La Pescadorita ($$$), Sacro ($$$), 13 Fronteras ($$$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Uptown, Temple Craft Hollywood, Niceto Nightclub
🎟️ Top Attractions – Street art, restaurants, cafes
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
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in San Telmo
🍽️ Where to Eat – Sagardi Argentina ($$$), El Refuerzo ($$), Café San Juan ($$)
🍸 Where to Drink – The Gibraltar, La Puerta Roja, Doppelganger Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Tango dinner shows, Sunday San Telmo Street Fair, Parque Lezama, Italianate Museo Histórico Nacional
My girlfriend Clara says the best neighborhood in Buenos Aires is Recoleta – and she certainly should know, as she is a Buenos Aires local! Recoleta is one of the most upscale parts of the city, centrally located, surrounded by parks and green spaces, filled with restaurants and cafes, and home to some of the best places to see in Buenos Aires.
Recoleta is filled with soaring historic buildings, Parisian townhomes, shops, cafes, bookstores, and universities. My personal favorite spot is the gorgeous El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore.
Check out the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Recoleta Cultural Center, and the weekend market at Plaza Francia. Also, weird though it may seem at first, the most famous attraction here is the gorgeous Recoleta Cemetery (home to the tomb of Argentinian icon Eva Perón). For a unique choice of where to stay in Buenos Aires, get one of the rooms at the Sileo Apart Hotel that overlooks the cemetery. Creepy or cool? You decide!
Pros of Staying in Recoleta Neighborhood:
- One of the most walkable places in Buenos Aires, which wide strollable streets
- Central location (perfectly situated between downtown Buenos Aires and Palermo)
- Probably the safest neighborhood in Buenos Aires, along with Puerto Madero
Cons of Staying in Recoleta Neighborhood:
- Street noise can be an issue (if your hotel is on a main avenue, get a room on a high floor)
📚 Recoleta Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Sightseeing
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Recoleta
🍽️ Where to Eat – Aramburu ($$$$), Jardin de Invierno ($$$), El Burladero ($$$),
🍸 Where to Drink – Presidente Bar, Buller, Alvear Roof Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Recoleta Cemetery, National Museum of Fine Arts, Recoleta Cultural Center, El Ateneo Grand Splendid
Centro Buenos Aires (San Nicolás / Montserrat / Microcentro)
The small neighborhoods of San Nicolás (aka Microcentro) and Monserrat straddle the bustling Avenida 9 de Julio and together compose downtown Buenos Aires. This area is a mix of business and residential buildings, with a lot of performing arts mixed in.
Avenida Corrientes in particular is famous. I call it the “Broadway of Buenos Aires,” and seeing a show here is among the top things to do in Buenos Aires. Other popular attractions in this area include Plaza de Mayo, home to the Casa Rosada (or Argentinian Presidential Palace), and the soaring Obelisco monument which dominates the center of Avenida 9 de Julio.
San Nicolás and Montserrat are popular choices for where to stay in Buenos Aires because there are just simply so many hotels to choose from downtown. You’ll find everything from boutique hotels to luxury hotels to budget accommodation. This area is also conveniently within walking distance to Puerto Madero, San Telmo, Retiro, and Recoleta. So this is a great area to stay in Buenos Aires if you love exploring a city on foot.
Pros of Staying in Centro Buenos Aires:
- Super central location – easy to get anywhere and see the tops sites
- Lots of great art, cafes, pizza shops
- Downtown has a ton of energy
- Many hotels to choose from makes this a popular pick for where to stay in Buenos Aires
Cons of Staying in Centro Buenos Aires:
- Not the prettiest neighborhood in Buenos Aires (some streets can feel a little gritty in places)
📚 Downtown / Microcentro Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for a Central Location
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Centro Buenos Aires
🍽️ Where to Eat – Santos Manjares ($$), Tomo 1 ($$$$), Petit Colón $
🍸 Where to Drink – D’oro Italian Bar, International Center Coctelería
🎟️ Top Attractions – Obelisco, Teatro Colón opera house, Avenida Corrientes, Plaza de Mayo
If you’re looking for luxury accommodation, Puerto Madero might be your best choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires. Puerto Madero is a former dockside port area that has been converted into an affluent area and tourist attraction.
Where the docks used to be, you’ll find a large pedestrian boardwalk running parallel on both sides of the narrow Rio Dique. It’s dotted with steakhouses, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and trendy cafes. On a nice day, it’s the perfect place for a sunset stroll along the Puente de la Mujer suspension bridge.
In the Puerto Madero area, there are many high rise apartments and luxury hotels with modern amenities and comfortable rooms. A short walk toward the main river is the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, which has a lot of green space and trails perfect for jogging.
Overall, if you can afford it, Puerto Madero is a solid and safe choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires.
Pros of Staying in Puerto Madero Neighborhood:
- Puerto Madero has the most modern accommodation in Buenos Aires
- One of the safest areas of Buenos Aires
- Tons of fancy restaurants and places to eat
Cons of Staying in Puerto Madero Neighborhood:
- A very expensive choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires
- To me, Puerto Madero feels a little sterile
- Though a short walk to downtown, it can sometimes be difficult to get a taxi in Puerto Madero as it’s cut off from the rest of the city
📚 Puerto Madero Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Modern Luxury
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Puerto Madero
🍽️ Where to Eat – Happening ($$$), Puerto Cristal ($$$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Boleo Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Puente de la Mujer suspension bridge, Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve
Ok, we are getting a little deeper into our list of Buenos Aires neighborhoods. If you’re a first timer in the city, I would recommend limiting your choice of where to stay in Buenos Aires to the above areas. But, if you have a longer stay in Buenos Aires or are looking for a quieter residential area, Belgrano is definitely worth consideration.
Belgrano is a quiet area with a mix of upscale residential buildings, embassy buildings, and commercial construction. It’s also home to Barrio Chino, or the Buenos Aires Chinatown, which is worth visiting to try the various street food stalls and noodle joints. On a sunny weekend day, it’s fun to hang out at the Barrancas de Belgrano park.
The main issue with staying in Belgrano is that’s a bit far from the rest of the city. So, while this is not the ideal choice for where to stay in Buenos Aires for first-timers, it is a great place to consider if you’re a digital nomad or looking to live in Buenos Aires for a longer period of time.
Pros of Staying in Belgrano Neighborhood:
- Safe, quiet, and relatively calm part of the city
- Lots of higher-end apartments and accommodation options
Cons of Staying in Belgrano Neighborhood:
- Very far from central Buenos Aires (a taxi to La Boca could take as much as an hour in traffic)
📚 Belgrano Mini Guide 📚
Best Area for Long Stays in Buenos Aires
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Belgrano
🍽️ Where to Eat – Gardiner Restaurant ($$$$), Parilla El Pobre Luis ($$$)
🍸 Where to Drink – Gate One Bar
🎟️ Top Attractions – Barrancas de Belgrano, Avenida Cabildo shopping street, Barrio Chino (Chinatown), Museo River Plate
👉 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:
- Somewhat off the beaten path, while still fairly safe and reasonably central
- Relatively more affordable apartment rentals can be found in Villa Crespo
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
🏠 Apartments – Browse 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)
👉 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:
- A lack of hotels to choose from, so you’ll need to search for apartments in Colegiales
- A bit far from the city center
Tips for Staying in Buenos Aires
Realize that Buenos Aires is a Massive City
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 are 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
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 Best Dollar Blue Rate with Cash (Not Credit Card or an ATM)
Argentina has several different currency conversion rates.
Yes, it’s extremely weird. But that’s how it is.
There is the artificial “official” rate set by the government.
And then there are several different “dollar blue” rates, which are the informal rates that reflect the true purchasing power of the dollar. The dollar blue is often a 50-80% better deal than the official rate!
Some foreign credits cards (but not all!) will give you a pseudo-blue rate on transactions. It may be “close enough” for your comfort, but check with your issuer before you go. I’ve heard many horror stories of travelers thinking they were paying with the blue rate, only to find out their bank was charging them a worse rate.
The best blue rate will always be for crisp cash Benjamins.
For this reason, I think 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 very close to the dollar blue. Just be aware that most Western Union locations have relatively low maximums they will give you in pesos.
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
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?
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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