Buenos Aires Solo Travel Guide

“What’s new, Buenos Aires?!” That line from the musical Evita is just about right: there’s always something new to encounter in one of the most vibrant capitals in South America, Buenos Aires.

There is no shortage of things to see, with a mix of very modern and traditional European architecture, a dash of Argentinian art and tango culture, a decent public transport system, great steak restaurants and passionate fútbol culture, making Buenos Aires an excellent destination for solo travel.

Certain areas are best avoided at night, like any big city. Don’t be flashy with jewellery or cash, be aware of your surroundings, and you’re likely to have a fun and safe trip in Argentina.

I spent 3 weeks in Buenos Aires on a solo round-the-world trip and got to know certain areas pretty well. I’ll share everything I learned in Buenos Aires in this post to help you plan your solo visit.

Patrick: “Never underestimate the weather in Buenos Aires!

I manage to find the rain wherever I travel – but that might be because I’m Irish!”

Buenos Aires Solo Travel: Start Here

For your first solo trip to Buenos Aires, start with well-trodden routes. The areas around Microcentro, Palermo and Recoleta are where most tourists stay first time. You’ll find a great selection of hotels and “apart-hotels”, restaurants and bars, and it’s where most walking tours and day trips start from. Staying central will help you get the lay of the land really quickly.

Some South American cities have a reputation, but as solo travellers, we need to get the balance right between the fears of personal safety and letting go enough to be able to enjoy yourself. Buenos Aires is usually safe for solo travelers, but petty crime like scams or pickpocketing happen, particularly in busy areas. Stay in well-lit, populated streets at night and never be showy with valuables. Read more in my guide to personal safety in Buenos Aires.

  • Engage with Locals: Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) are friendly and often eager to share their city’s highlights. Just ask!
  • Learn Basic Spanish: While many people you’ll meet as a tourist speak English, knowing some Spanish phrases will enhance your experience.
  • Use Reputable Transportation: Opt for licensed taxis or ride-sharing services like Uber for getting around safely.

Buenos Aires is the Capital of Argentina

Argentina, Land of Silver

The name ‘Argentina’ derives from the Latin argentum, meaning silver. While early colonisers thought the country was rich in metals, it has many more rich resources, not least its culture and food. The city of Buenos Aires is the capital and the heart of two grand Argentine passions: politics and fútbol.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Travel Facts

Language: Spanish

Currency – Argentine Peso (ARS); $1 USD ≈ 923 ARS
No visa required for US, Canada, EU, UK citizens for up to 90 days

Busiest airports: AEP Aeroparque & EZE Ezeize

Top visitor attraction in Buenos Aires: Teatro Colon (read my guide)

Power plug: Type C & I; 220V, 50Hz – use this adapter

Getting Here: International Flights to Buenos Aires

Flights to Buenos Aires from international hubs are fewer than you might expect. You’ll find direct flights from Miami, Madrid and Barcelona, but most other trips from the US, Canada and Europe will require a layover. This is one trip you’ll need to plan out with Skyscanner or you might get a lucky deal with airline, Avianca.

Most international flights arrive at Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE), which is around 45 minutes from downtown (how to get from EZE to downtown).

I arrived from Brazil at the other big airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), which is closer to the centre (how to get from AEP to downtown).

From both airports, solo travellers can easily access taxis, shuttle services, or public transportation options like buses or shuttles to reach their accommodation.

Getting Around: Public Transportation in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has a pretty decent public transportation system, including buses, subway and taxis. Ride-sharing services like Uber are also widely available.

  • Subte (Subway): Efficient and cost-effective for getting around the city. Buy tickets from kiosks at the airport.
  • Buses: Extensive network, but they can be confusing without using the local transit app.
  • Taxis/Ride-sharing: Convenient and relatively inexpensive. Have your hotel recommend a reputable local service.

Where to Stay in Buenos Aires

As a first-time visitor, I zoned in on the neighbourhoods of La Recoleta and Palermo which are popular with visitors and have a lot of hotel options. Look at Microcentro (the CBD) and San Telmo too.

Expect to pay $250+ USD for luxury, $100-150 for a mid-range hotel, or $20-50 for budget accommodation. Honestly, I found some really nice options in the $100 range. Ready to book? Choose from these highly-rated options:

How long to stay in Buenos Aires

A stay of 5-7 days is ideal to explore the main attractions and have a chance to soak in the atmosphere in Buenos Aires. Many solo visitors use the city as a jumping-off point for exploring Argentina. I stayed there ahead of a longer trip to Santiago, Chile.

Where to Eat in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is at a bit of a culinary crossroads, where roast meats find South American flavours and a sprinkling of Italian tradition. If you eat meat, you’ll find some of the best steak in the world, great options for empanadas and the iconic mate drink. But don’t be concerned if you’re vegan or veggie, that sector has really grown in the last few years.

I did have to adjust my expectations about service: it can be a little less enthusiastic than, say, the US. Check out my pick of the lunch spots in Recoleta and Palermo, and these three restaurants are popular right now:

  • Don Julio: Famous steakhouse in Palermo.
  • El Sanjuanino: Traditional empanadas in Recoleta.
  • Cafe Tortoni: Historic café in the city center.
A group of people on a free walking tour in Buenos Aires - the guide is a young woman wearing an orange top and a microphone.
Photo: Patrick Hughes – free walking tour of Buenos Aires

Things to Do in Buenos Aires

There’s no shortage of things to do in this busy city. Now, I’m not interested in football/soccer but you might want to catch a match while you’re visiting. These are my picks of the things I enjoyed doing most:

  • Explore La Boca: Colourful neighborhood famous for its street art and tango. Go during the day, and I’d pick an organised trip like this one.
  • Visit Recoleta Cemetery: Final resting place of Eva Perón – I went on my own and walked around, but this particular organised tour seems very inexpensive.
  • Stroll through Palermo: Trendy area with parks, shops, and restaurants. Take yourself to Plaza de Mayo to get a real sense of the city.
  • Visit the Téatro Colón: the #1 visitor attraction in Buenos Aires, not only for the gorgeous space, but it has great operas, ballets and shows. I went to the ballet for such a cheap price. Here’s my guide to visiting Téatro Colón.
  • Enjoy a little Tango: you’ll find some people dancing in the streets, or go to a live show.
  • Do a food tour: I’ve really gotten into food tours recently and this Buenos Aires food tour is the highest rated. It’s the best way to get to the bottom of what’s really local.

Day Trips from Buenos Aires

If you’re staying a few days, you may find you want to get out of the city for a day. I chose to go to Uruguay as it’s just SO close.

An interior of El Ateneo bookshop in Buenos Aires, showing a stage with large red curtains and bookshelves on the floor of the old theatre
Photo: Patrick Hughes – El Ateneo Bookshop in Buenos Aires

Solo Travel Tips for Buenos Aires

The Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Buenos Aires is from March to May (autumn/fall) and September to November (spring) when the weather is mild and crowds are smaller. It can get pretty hot and humid during the summer (especially December/January), so be prepared if that’s the only time you can visit!

Internet & Phone

Internet speeds are pretty good and wifi is reliable in hotels, cafes and an increasing number of restaurants. Some places make a point of offering good wifi to encourage you to stay and have one more coffee!

You can buy prepaid SIM cards on arrival at the airport from one of the three main providers: Movistar, Claro or Personal. I bought from Movistar on my last trip and got decent coverage, though it was a bit of a faff to get set up due to my insufficient Spanish. Nowadays, I use an e-sim and I recommend Airalo.

Packing for solo travel to Buenos Aires

  • DO Pack: Comfortable walking shoes, light clothing for warm weather, a jacket for cooler evenings, and a Spanish phrasebook.
  • DO NOT Pack: Expensive jewellery, large amounts of cash, and items you wouldn’t want to risk losing.

Summary: Buenos Aires Solo Travel Guide

Buenos Aires is the perfect size of city for a 5-7 day itinerary, with plenty to keep you entertained and well-fed! If you’re in the mood for socialising, this is a good city to join a group class, probably for tango or on cooking steak, as both as so popular here. Plus it’s a good way to meet others visitors and some locals to get a different perspective on your stay.

I’ve collected together more articles that I’ve written about Buenos Aires to help your planning process below. But remember you can set up a 121 call with Patrick directly to discuss your travel plans and get personalised advice for your plans, or ask any travel question via Patrick’s Patreon site, where a Travel Q&A video is released once a week and member questions are guaranteed to be answered!

Buenos Aires – Latest Articles

Getting here, where to stay and eat, and things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina .

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