Buenos Aires, a South American city that conjures up images of Eva Peron’s famous balcony speech, bohemian barrios alive with street art, and European-inspired architecture that’s witnessed both revolution and celebration over the years.

As with many capital cities, the districts of Buenos Aires are diverse—each with its own history, culture, and identity. From exclusive boutiques in Recoleta to the atmospheric bars of Palermo, Buenos Aires is intoxicating. Whether you’re in the mood to tango or stroll the serenity of a modern art museum, Buenos Aires is a place full of character and intrigue, a must-see South American destination.

When on vacation in Argentina you can visit the best Buenos Aires attractions and multiple districts in just a few days, but the location of your hotel can make every trip here as distinct as the city itself. You may even want to avoid the bustle and stay on a traditional Hacienda near the city, giving you a taste of gaucho life with easy access to the highlights of Buenos Aires in one.

That’s why we’ve looked at some of our top places to stay in Buenos Aires, helping you plan the perfect adventure to Argentina’s unmistakable capital.

1. Recoleta

Recoleta is the city’s most affluent district. As such, you can find some of the best luxury hotels in Buenos Aires here like the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace, and Palacio Duhau.

Recoleta’s neo-classical architecture sets the tone for an elegant neighborhood that has been unashamedly upmarket since the late 19th century, though its origins date back centuries before that. This can be seen by French-influenced palaces and ornate buildings on Avenida Alvear, many of which have been transformed into luxury boutiques and upscale shopping outlets—perfect for a little retail therapy after a day of sightseeing!

And there is plenty of sightseeing in Buenos Aires to be done, with many attractions on your doorstep when staying in Recoleta and none more so than the Recoleta Cemetery. Far from macabre, Recoleta Cemetery is a Buenos Aires landmark that stands testament to Argentine culture, history and architecture alike. Akin to walking through a mini city in itself, Recoleta Cemetery is a labyrinth of mausoleums, tombs and monuments to famous Buenos Aires icons—from screen to sport to politics—including Eva Perón (Evita), Juan Manuel Fangio, The Paz Family, and Domingo Faustino Sarmiento.

Wide plazas and museums like the National Museum of Fine Arts and Recoleta Cultural Center punctuate any walk through this attractive part of the city. And on top of festivals, cultural events and food fairs, Recoleta is also a hub for fine dining restaurants in Buenos Aires too. Often found in beautifully restored and historic buildings, top restaurants like ROUX, Sucre, or the Duhau Restaurante & Vinoteca serve sophisticated and modern takes on every cuisine from seafood to Italian, contemporary Argentina to Spanish, to name just a few. Bon Appétit.

2. Palermo

Hip, happening, and home to laidback coffee shops and lively bars on every corner, stay in Palermo to get under the skin of Buenos Aires’ coolest district. Palermo’s vibrant, colorful culture is irresistible, a place of local deli’s serving cured meats and cheeses, lively al fresco eateries and nightspots, and a surprising number of green spaces.

Some of Buenos Aires’ best parks can be found here, including the Bosques de Palermono, Parque Tres de Febrero and Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays, so days are well spent enjoying a leisurely lunch followed by an afternoon stroll in a Palermo park. Some streets are also pedestrianized which makes getting around even more enjoyable, and there is a haul of shops selling local produce and souvenirs too. Enjoying one of Palarmo’s top bars or restaurants each evening is essential for the experience as much as the lip-smacking cuisine.

For a boutique Buenos Aires hotel, Palermo is home to some of the best. Properties like Be Jardín Escondido, Nuss Buenos Aires Soho, and Home Hotel Buenos Aires will set you off for an atmospheric stay in Argentina’s capital.

3. Central Business District (Microcentro) & Puerto Madero

As you’d expect there is a lot going on in the Central Business District (Microcentro), with busy streets, elegant hotels, and many Buenos Aires cultural attractions being found throughout this bustling district.

Perfectly located in the heart of the city, Microcentro is a great springboard to explore the surrounding neighborhoods of Palermo and Recoleta, though there is plenty to see and do here besides. Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) is a great place to start. A wonderful and ornate 19th-century building in its own right, the recognizable pink exterior of Casa Rosada is perhaps most famous for the presidential balcony where Eva Peron delivered her famous speech, in 1951.

A visit to Casa Rosada is a must, as is the giant Obelisco—built to mark the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding, and the beautifully-adorned Colon Theatre with its heavy chandeliers, red velvet carpets, and gilded hallways. Catch an opera at Colon Theatre for a real night to remember! Elsewhere, shopaholics will love the endless options found on Florida Street and the Galerías Pacífico, while foodies also have their pick of great restaurants in the Central Business District too.

The stylishly regenerated dockside area of Puero Madero is another highlight, awash as it is with glass-clad skyscrapers, refined restaurants and exclusive apartments.

All of this adds up to an energizing part of the city where the finer things in life are enjoyed, history can be admired, and luxury Buenos Aires hotels such as Park Tower, Hotel Casa Lucia, and the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires finish your stay off perfectly.

4. San Telmo

For a barrio that’s more “real”, arty, and enduring than even Palermo, we recommend a stay in San Telmo, Buenos Aires’ colorful district that gives you a slice of city life with a bohemian twist.

Wander the streets of San Telmo and you’ll be greeted by wall art and murals, independent antique dealers, and the buzz of busy outdoor eateries or pop-up markets, or both. It’s a heady mix that you can’t help but enjoy, as San Telmo oozes authenticity at every graffiti-clad corner.

Boutique San Telmo hotels such as Anselmo Buenos Aires, L’Adresse Hôtel Boutique and Cassa Lepage Art Hotel may be more modest than the upmarket opulence of Recoleta, but that only adds to their charm. The individual style of these and other properties is in keeping with the cool confidence of the area at large, and that’s precisely the appeal.

Considered the birthplace of tango, or certainly one of them, taking in a San Telmo tango show should be first on the to-do list, as well as visiting one of the many surrounding art studios and galleries, street-food vendors, and lively steakhouses—all packed with as many residents as tourists. With busy bars, live music and entertainment to enjoy well into the evening, San Telmo offers a good-time stay in Buenos Aires and one which connects you with daily urban life here.

5. Haciendas near Buenos Aires (San Antonio de Areco)

For something altogether different, why not stay at an authentic hacienda near Buenos Aires? Just 70miles from the capital, San Antonio de Areco is the ideal place to do so and the town itself is a cute little bolthole in the Pampas to make yourself at home.

There are many reasons to choose a rural Hacienda when deciding where to stay in Buenos Aires, with the main benefit being an immersion into gaucho culture, cuisine, and the traditional way of life they still proudly maintain in this region. Here, you can spend your time on either a working ranch or a luxurious, redeveloped Estancia—one that respects its history yet does not cut back on comforts. Estancia La Bamba de Areco, Estancia La Cinacina, and Estancia El Dorado are all excellent examples of this.

Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be lucky enough to catch a festival or celebration, most of which are dedicated to gaucho culture and traditions, and are a lot of fun. You also have the rolling countryside of the Pampas on your doorstep to explore on horseback, by bike or car, and on top of it all the bright lights of Buenos Aires are less than 2 hours away, making the city an easy reach for day trips!

No matter what your interests or group size, speak to the South America travel specialists at Atelier and they will craft your dream tailormade tour, the Buenos Aires and beyond.

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