Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kyle, 26
Tech Marketer
see his Buenos Aires city guide

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fine dining nightclubs cocktail bars gay parties upscale bar flea markets

What are the Buenos Aires spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

El Ateneo, Plaza de Mayo, Teatro Colon, Obelisque, Recoleta Cemetery. When I came here, El Ateneo was the only place that I wanted to see first. Don't miss this unique operahouse turned bookstore environment. It's truly one of the best places this city has to offer!

Do’s and don’ts in Buenos Aires: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

Tip 10% in restaurants, almost always in cash even if you paid with a credit card. Don't walk around using your iPhone as if no-one is looking to snatch it. Cell phone snatchers are more present than you'd like and tourists are usually an easy target. Not to fret! Use your common sense and be aware and you're set! The bus might be confusing but the subway is rather efficient and super easy to use. Get a map and use it with the card you pay and reload at the ticket booths at each station. Also walk if you can. It's a flat city and is so nice to walk around in to really feel this place's vibes.

What do you do and why do you do it?

People ask me all the time why I came to live in BA three years ago. My answer is always that I studied this place and the language for so long that I had to come. After one year, I decided to stay indefinitely. I work for a web design agency that works with nonprofits in the U.S. and that job is something I love, principally, because it's in my career area and it allows me to live here while developing professional skills. It allows me to live this cultural experience that I can't seem to give up. Trekking these streets, eating the food, taking it all in feeds my soul.

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

This a good one! Depends on the plan. Let's break it down! Upscale dinner will be about 1000 pesos per person, at least. Right now, that's like U$35, but the economy and exchange rate change so much that that number won't mean anything in a month. For locals, that's an expensive dinner, but since the dollar is so much stronger it ends up being a great value for tourists. Take advantage of this to indulge yourself at nice places! A solid night out bar hopping or clubbing will also run you that amount. Budget about 1000 pesos for that too. For dinner and dancing later, well, you do the math ;)

Which Buenos Aires shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

I hit up Zara or the Galpon de Ropa (featured on my map). Clothes are rather expensive here and quality isn't always the best. I've collected a few pieces that I really loved when I saw them, but shopping isn't something I do too much of here because of prices/quality. If you're looking for trinkets, however, go to the street fairs, particularly the Recoleta Fair. You can always find cute decorations and pieces of art. Those ones are always worth it!

Your all-time favorite musicians:

Amy Winehouse, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, Natalie Cole, Ricky Skaggs, Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Kanye West (circa College Dropout), Lady Gaga (for pop inspiration). Looking at this, it seems like a really weird mix, but it really only touches the surface. This is a very accurate reflection of me and the different experiences I've had. I appreciate unique talent and everyone on this list (and so many others) represent true talent to me.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

During the day, trek around Recoleta or San Telmo. Recoleta is very fancy and has lots of beautiful embassies and architecture, and it makes for a wonderful afternoon stroll. San Telmo also has this kind of architecture but much edgier. Pick your vibe and go for it. Just don't forget to look up.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Constitucion. Tourists, if anyone sends you there or you end up there on the subway, turn around. There is nothing there for you and you would have no reason to visit.

What’s the one place in Buenos Aires you think is underrated?

I think Núñez is underrated. There isn't all that much for tourists to do, but it's such a lovely residential area to walk around if you're looking for an authentic feel of how people live. It's a middle class neighborhood that I like more every time I go and there are new places popping up all over the neighborhood. Take the D line to the end of the line and walk around some side streets, have a coffee. Chances are you'll be the only tourist in sight.

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

878 or Parque Bar. Now, if there's one thing I miss about my home country, it's the custom of sitting at a bar for drinks. Most places here will sit you at a table but these two spots have a welcoming bar where the bartenders will shoot the shit a little bit and serve up a nice drink. Both places have great ambience, great cocktails, and good appetizers for sharing on a date. Post up at the bar, hang out and enjoy that damn date.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Buenos Aires?

Option 1: McDonald's / Option 2: Any open shawarma (gyro) place / Option 3: Kentucky Pizza. Quite honestly the final destination depends on where I'm coming from and what's closest. But rest assured that one of these options will always be available when you're finishing your night here at 6am. (because that's when it ends).

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

It's never really that cold here, but there are winter months that make you wanna stay inside. I'd say get in a cab or Uber and go to a museum. MALBA or the Museum of Bellas Artes both have plenty of cafe options around to hang out afterwards and grab a bite. After your nap, grab another cab and go to dinner. Drink a good, bold Malbec and warm yourself right up.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

La Mar. This one works particularly well with those visiting from the US. La Mar is a high-end ceviche restaurant here, and North Americans love to feel like they've come to Argentina to eat fancy ceviche even though ceviche is from Peru. It's super delicious and I will never turn down the opportunity to go, but sometimes it helps to set the proper context of culinary origins :D

Your go-to brunch spots:

Birkin (on my map), Cafe Malvon, Brandon.

Your perfect night out in Buenos Aires includes:

My perfect night out includes a slow, elegant dinner at one of the spots mentioned on my map. I'd be dining with friends, starting with a cocktail followed by a bottle of wine. We'd eat well and have dessert, and then go meet up with more friends at a nightclub to dance until dawn. (See the question about budgeting, that one gets expensive but, hey, we're talking ideals here.)

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