Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In?

If you’re visiting Buenos Aires for the first time, it can be hard to figure out where to stay.  That’s because this is a HUGE city!  But the good news is: each neighborhood has its own, very distinct flair ~ & there’s a safe place to stay in nearly every part of the city.  I spent a month in Buenos Aires, & had the chance to stay everywhere from luxury hotels in Recoleta, to funkier & more down-to-earth San Telmo (where I spent the most time).  Here, we’ll find out which Buenos Aires neighborhood is best for YOU to stay in…

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In? Girl Who Travels the World

Buenos Aires has a distinct European flair (its obelisks remind me of Paris), combined with Latin warmth & charm.

Why Did I Spend the Most Time in San Telmo? Well frankly, I couldn’t afford to stay in Recoleta forever! Ha ~ with prices topping $300+/night, that would’ve wrecked my budget quickly. Retiro is nice, but has a lot of office buildings….& Palermo is super “hip,” but was almost too hip for me. San Telmo hit that sweet spot of charm, local color (Sunday markets are AMAZING), great walkability, safety at night (due to their many jazz clubs & milongas), & great food ~ plus reasonably-priced hotels.

Map of Buenos Aires Neighborhoods

San Telmo (Funky)

Palermo (Trendy)

Recoleta (LUX)

Retiro (Urban)

La Boca/Caminito (Tango)

Puerto Madero (Modern)

Overview of Buenos Aires Neighborhoods

Though I enjoyed spending the most time in San Telmo: that may not be the best Buenos Aires neighborhood for you.  Luxury-lovers would do best heading to Recoleta ~ which borders Palermo & Retiro.  If faded grandeur, book stores-turned-restaurants, & underground jazz clubs are your thing: San Telmo is for you.  For the hippest restaurants & tons of people out at night, Palermo is your best choice.  For a modern feel with lots of waterfront restaurants: then Puerto Madero is the way to go. 

There’s something for everyone in Buenos Aires….

Exploring the San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

San Telmo was one of my favorite neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, with lots of charm & this famous Sunday market!

  • Palermo = Trendy & chic, where many international visitors stay. Lots of hip restaurants, nightlife, & shopping in both Palermo Soho & Palermo Hollywood. The feel here is a younger crowd. If you want a lot of action at night & a wide selection of boutique hotels: stay here.
  • Recoleta = The “Rodeo Drive” of Buenos Aires, where most luxury, five-star hotels are (Taylor Swift stays at the Four Seasons when in town…which is on the border of Recoleta & Retiro). Plus, famous Recoleta Cemetery is here. Overall, a very safe & walkable part of town ~ with easy access to other neighborhoods.
  • Retiro = Home to Plaza San Martin, one of the city’s largest parks. This is a great walking district, & a little quieter than Palermo or San Telmo in terms of nightlife. There are lots of office buildings here (I met my friend for lunch by one), so it tends to be very busy during the day ~ a little less at night. Many art galleries, cafes, & four-star hotels…plus some great tango shows!
  • Puerto Madero = Modern, sleek, & the newest part of town: right on the waterfront. The famous all-white “Woman’s Bridge” crosses the water here, & you’ll find some of the city’s most modern hotels. Plus lots of waterfront dining.
  • San Telmo = The most historic & eclectic part of town, with cobble-stone streets & the famous Sunday Market on Defensa Street. Staying anywhere close to Defensa guarantees people out & about at virtually all hours; I loved walking this neighborhood. And all kinds of hotels are here: from four-star to boutique…including the Moreno Hotel (where I stayed), which has huge rooms for around $55/night.
  • La Boca/Caminito = Working class barrio, & home of the city’s massive soccer stadium ~ as well as incredible daytime tango shows (which should NOT be missed)! This is not my top pick for hotel stays, though, as it’s not safe here at night. Visit in the daytime only. 

Photos of Buenos Aires Neighborhoods…

Palmero Soho

Palermo is currently the hippest place for visitors to stay in Buenos Aires.  Large shopping malls, lots of trendy restaurants & boutique hotels are part of the draw ~ as well as how safe this area feels at night.  If you’re in town for a few days & want great nightlife: this is a great choice.

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best? Girl Who Travels the World

Palermo is a trendy area filled with good-looking young people, trendy shops & restaurants.

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best? Girl Who Travels the World

Rooftop bars & restaurants abound…

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In, Best Boutique Hotels in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

The Mine Hotel in Buenos Aires’ trendy Palermo district is one of the city’s quintessential boutique hotels.

Check prices at one of Palermo’s top-rated hotels: Mine Hotel Boutique ($175+).

 

Photos of Retiro Neighborhood

Retiro is an interesting mix of working professionals, who stream out of high-rises mid-day & head to stylish cafes.  But it’s also home to five-star hotels like the Four Seasons, where Taylor Swift stays when she’s in town.  The Four Seasons is on the side of Retiro that’s closer to Recoleta; the closer you are to Plaza San Martin, the more office buildings you’ll find.

Retiro, Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best? Girl WHo Travels the World

I took this incredible sunset shot on Avenida Cordoba, in Retiro…

Photos of the Retiro Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

Plaza San Martin is the largest park in Retiro, & one of the city’s most popular.

Great Retiro Hotels in Buenos Aires, Where Did Taylor Swift Stay in Buenos Aires? Girl Who Travels the World

Taylor Swift stayed at the Four Seasons Buenos Aires, in Retiro, on her recent South American tour.

Check prices at Taylor Swift’s Buenos Aires Hotel: Four Seasons Buenos Aires ($680+).

 

Photos of Recoleta Neighborhood

The Recoleta Cemetery is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.  So whether or not you stay here: chances are, you’ll at least visit Recoleta.  Historic Alvear Palace Hotel ($366+) & Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt ($480+) where I stayed, are just two of the many luxury hotels in this well-to-do part of town.  Think of Recoleta as the “Beverly Hills of Buenos Aires.”

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In? Where Did Taylor Swift Stay in Buenos Aires? Girl Who Travels the World, Recoleta Cemetery

Recoleta Cemetery is walkable from both Alvear Palace & Palacio Duhau. The McDonald’s across the street from the cemetery has an INCREDIBLE view of it!!

Photos of the Recoleta Neighborhood in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore is a HIGHLIGHT of Recoleta: it’s a bookstore set in a former theater! It’s HUGE!! Book lovers can’t miss this incredible spot…

Recoleta, What Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In? Girl Who Travels the World

Beautiful buildings, wide streets, & lush trees can be found in Recoleta….making it great for walking.

Photos of Recoleta Neighborhood, Where Did Taylor Swift Stay in Buenos Aires? The Best Meal I Had in Argentina, Girl Who Travels the World

Recoleta is all about LUXURY & fine hotels: such as this one…Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt (our room had a view right across to the Pope’s Residence)!

 

Photos of San Telmo Neighborhood

You can see from the photos below: San Telmo has that great mix of charm & character….but still with beautiful parks & eclectic restaurants.  I stayed at Moreno Hotel Buenos Aires ($55+), which gave me a HUGE room at a reasonable price.  But there are also nicer spots like the Cassa LePage Art Hotel ($225+), an upscale boutique hotel with a fabulous Peruvian restaurant, & a great location in one of the city’s best shopping districts.

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best, Exploring the San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

This is my favorite shot I took in San Telmo: of the bustling, colorful Sunday market….

Photos of San Telmo Neighborhood, Girl Who Travels the World

This restaurant across from Parque Lezama perfectly captures San Telmo’s vibe: funky, eclectic, & filled with character.

Photos of San Telmo Neighborhood, Girl Who Travels the World

Tree-lined Parque Lezama is San Telmo’s largest park.

Cassa LePage, Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best? Girl Who Travels the World

Sleek, chic, & tree-filled: at Cassa LePage Art Hotel.

Check prices at fabulous Cassa LePage Art Hotel, in colorful San Telmo (my favorite part of town)….

 

Photos of Lively La Boca

This is the one area of town I DON’T recommend staying in; it doesn’t really cater to tourists (with hotels), & isn’t safe to walk at night.  But it’s included on this list, because it’s an amazing place to take in daytime tango shows.  During the day, it felt entirely safe to be here & enjoy their colorful restaurants & wonderful dancers.

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In? Dancing Tango in La Boca's Caminito Street in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

The street art in La Boca is playful, kitschy, & always colorful…

Dancing Tango in La Boca's Caminito Street in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

While La Boca is great to visit: it’s not recommended for tourists to stay here, as it’s not safe at night.

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires, Dancing Tango in La Boca's Caminito Street, Girl Who Travels the World

Grab a seat, have a drink, & enjoy the show…

 

Photos of Modern Puerto Madero

Photos of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

Modern, sleek, & sophisticated: that sums up Puerto Madero. This unique bridge is called “Puente de la Mujer,” or “Bridge of the Women.”

Photos of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Girl Who Travels the World

This part of town is filled with waterfront restaurants, yachts in the harbor, & modern hotels…

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood is Best? Girl Who Travels the World

Hotel Madero Buenos Aires exemplifies the modern architecture found in Puerto Madero.

Check prices at sleek & modern Hotel Madero Buenos Aires ~ which is easily walkable to San Telmo.

Which Buenos Aires Neighborhood to Stay In?

I hope this article has helped give you some insight into Buenos Aires, & its many distinct areas.  Though these are just a handful of the city’s neighborhoods, I think they’re best for first-time & returning visitors ~ due to both safety, & an abundance of things to do….

xoxo Noelia

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