Here are a few tips that you MUST know before traveling to Buenos Aires Argentina! If you want to know what to do in Buenos Aires, check out our article on Things to Do in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Tips for Traveling to Buenos Aires
1. Plan Your Day According to Weather
In the summer especially it is beautiful (but hot) in the morning from 9-12, then deliciously cool from 12-3 and then grey and rainy from 3-5. From 5 to 8 it is clear and gorgeous again as it gets dark. So, if you can see a lot in the morning (but do not do wide open spaces like Casa Rosa because it is so hot) until it cools down, then plan for a long lunch while it rains (or a siesta) and then tour around until late dinner at 8:30!
2. Know Tipping Practice
It is customary to tip 10% in Buenos Aires for waiters, cabs and tour guides. If you hire a cab at the airport also be sure to tip your handler.
You can drink the water in Buenos Aires. Bottled water is also very cheap. Make sure that when you order water you say “sin gas” (without bubbles) or “con gas” (with bubbles) depending on your preference or they will choose for you.
4. Buenos Aires Cuisine
Everything is Pizza and Pasta! There are tons of cafes here, but most serve every variation of ham and cheese you could think of! Pizza and Pasta and Sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) are everywhere.
Cabs are cheap in Buenos Aires, but traffic can be bad. The subways are easy to figure out and pretty clean, but not very extensive. We found it hard to find lines that went where we wanted to go and it took a while to get to each place even on the subway (Buenos Aires is big). Buses are slow and a bit old, but go everywhere you could want. It is about an hour from the airport into the city (about $35 US).
Buenos Aires is relatively safe. You see a lot of houses with the bars or rolling metal screens, but this should not scare you. Always watch out for pick-pockets especially on the subway our crowded tourist areas. Your biggest danger here is crossing the street! Cars DO NOT STOP, they just honk before running into you. Cars also honk if they feel they have been sitting in traffic for too long. Nothing like sitting in a sea of horns in an unmoving street.
We did meet a few tourists who told us he got a gold necklace ripped off his neck by a guy on a bike and another person told us they got sprayed with a white substance and when some nearby pedestrians tried to ‘help’ clean them off they were pick-pocketed.
7. Tourist Buses
We highly recommend taking a two day pass on some of the tour buses. BuenosAiresBus.com is a great one and you can hop on hop off with an English narration guide.
8. The People
Everyone is incredibly nice and friendly. It is also a very pretty population. People spend a lot more time just relaxing here. The city is much more casual and you see people all hours of the days lounging in cafes smoking, having wine and strolling through the many parks (and green streets).
This through us off a bit. Timing here is very different. People usually get up and eat a very small breakfast (croissant or yogurt or coffee), then eat lunch around 1:30-3pm and dinner at 8:30-11pm. The city stays up very late!
10. Know the Bills
We got swindled by a cab driver who gave us a 50 peso note that was out of circulation. Be sure to take a look at some pictures of the notes that are new (very similar to ones that are no longer in circulation).
We hope you will love Buenos Aires and these tips will help!