Where to stay in Buenos Aires

Où dormir à Buenos Aires ?

Where to stay in Argentina’s sprawling capital? Here’s a rundown of the best places to stay in Buenos Aires!

With an inner-city population of 3,090,900 and an urban area of 14.5 million, Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and the second largest city on the Latin American continent. Finding accommodation in Buenos Aires can be complicated and expensive, depending on the area and the period of your stay. Latin America’s « most European capital » is predominantly made up of people from Spain and Italy, due to waves of immigration in the early 20th century. The cradle of tango and its port capital are a major artistic and cultural center of the region.

You won’t be bored in Buenos Aires, but you do need to choose the right neighborhood to sleep in, as the supply of accommodation is less than the demand: accommodation in Buenos Aires can be expensive. The city, a port on the Rio de la Plata (« Silver River »), is subdivided into 15 districts and 48 neighborhoods. So, staying in Recoleta, San Telmo, La Boca, San Cristobal, Caballito, Balvanera or Puerto Madero, etc., will not offer the same ambience, depending on the sociology of the neighborhood. Here’s where to sleep in Buenos Aires:

San Telmo

Loger à San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Photo credit: Flickr – BDNEGIN

Opening onto Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo is one of the city’s oldest and best-preserved districts. It was in Parque Lezama that the first settlers – led by Pedro de Mendoza – arrived in February 1536. Located south of the city center, it has a very European feel, with numerous shops, antique dealers, museums – don’t miss the Feria de San Telmo – and markets, notably the covered market. You’ll find small restaurants, bars and bistros, grocery stores, folklore events and colorful cobblestone streets where you’ll often find your head raised, your finger on the camera shutter: colonial buildings, numerous churches, street art and graffiti.

This is the authentic, popular Buenos Aires, where tango emerged in the poor, seedy bars of the 1890-1905 period, and the district still boasts many tanguerias, the milonga bars where tango is danced. But as a historic district, it’s also the most touristy. San Telmo is an excellent place to stay to discover Buenos Aires.

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La Boca

Loger à La Boca, Buenos Aires

Photo credit: Flickr – Joseph Brent

Named for its mouth-like shape to the southeast of downtown, it’s a working-class district rich in history and populated mainly by former Italian immigrants. Another very touristy district, it’s a bit like the Montmartre of Buenos Aires: famous for the caminito and the many brightly-colored Cuban-style houses (red, blue, green, green). If you want to go out, it’s best to do so during the day rather than at night, as this is nevertheless the city’s poorest district. However, La Boca has many cafés, bars, tango shows and local craft stores to offer passers-by. A nice neighborhood to stay in, but not one for the ostentation of material goods…

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Palermo

Loger à Palermo, Buenos Aires

Photo credit: Flickr – Hernán Piñera

If you’re looking for a trendy, even affluent neighborhood to feel safe in, then Palermo is the place to book your apartment or hostel. Located in the north of Buenos Aires, it’s the city’s most sprawling middle-class neighborhood, with bobo restaurants, trendy bars, local arts and crafts stores and shopping outlets. Don’t miss the Planetarium, and the many parks, including the Botanical Garden and the Japanese Garden. As the city’s green lung and trendy area, it’s a great place to stay.

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Recoleta

Loger à Recoleta, Buenos Aires

Photo credit: Flickr – « André M.

Recoleta is located to the east of Palermo, and is Buenos Aires’ most upscale – if not affluent – district, but it has one major attraction: it’s a historical and tourist area, thanks to the Recoleta Cemetery, a graveyard of flamboyant gardens, family pantheons and the vaults of the upper bourgeoisie and wealthy former landowners and farmers. You don’t go there to honor the haute bourgeoisie, but because many figures from Argentina’s history are buried here. If you’re looking for a comfortable hotel, chic shopping or a family outing close to the historic center, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for, so don’t look any further for accommodation in Buenos Aires.

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Main photo credit: Flickr – Kevin Dooley

Map of hotels and accommodations – Buenos Aires,ar