In any city there are certain areas and attractions that you probably don’t visit on a regular basis if you live there, but are seen as must-do’s when visiting the city. I recently had some out of town friends visiting and spent a few days touring the city with them and visiting all the tourist spots! Buenos Aires is an amazing city, but there are some popular attractions that might be worth finding an alternative to. Note this is just one person’s opinion!
Caminito / La Boca – This is the famous street in La Boca with the colorfully painted buildings. You’ve probably seen it on the cover of guidebooks and in photographs of Buenos Aires. While I would recommend you visit it once, it is ultra touristy, and at this point mainly filled with people selling souvenirs, tango dancers in the street posing (and charging for) pictures, and overpriced and very mediocre restaurants. If you’re in San Telmo you might as well hop down to La Boca to see Caminito for a few minutes, but that’s all it takes.
Our recommendation to experience authentic La Boca: Go to a Boca Juniors soccer game and see the incredibly passionate fans, or eat at local favorites El Obrero or Don Carlos.
San Telmo Street Market – Locals definitely do occasionally go this Sunday street market, but especially during the summer and fall months it is so busy that you can barely move, and few of the crafts being sold are unique or especially high quality. San Telmo is an incredible neighborhood that you must visit when in Buenos Aires, but we recommend you avoid it on Sundays! To try some of the dining highlights of San Telmo, we recommend our food tour in the neighborhood.
Our recommendation to experience a local market: The Feria de Mataderos in the far SW of Buenos Aires is as authentic as it gets. Gauchos, traditional dance, folk music and high quality handicrafts.
Florida Street – I’m never quite sure why the guidebooks always list this street as a must-see in Buenos Aires. Unless you’re going to exchange money or buy fake soccer jerseys, avoid it.
Our alternative recommendation for activities in the downtown area: Walk around the Plaza de Mayo and see the Casa Rosada, the main cathedral, old city hall and Argentines peacefully protesting about various issues. Duck into one of the many historic cafes for a coffee and a few medialunas.