Best and Worst Things about Buenos Aires

What are the best things about Buenos Aires, the things that make the city such a popular and much-loved travel destination? How about the worst things?

What follows is a personal list — purely subjective and by no means complete. I hope you will tell me about the things you like and don’t like about Buenos Aires in the comments section below.

Best Things

Let’s start with the best things about Buenos Aires. Or, better said, my favorite things about Buenos Aires.

  • Cafe con leche and medialunas – There’s no better way to start the day
  • Excellent climate – Summers are hot, winters are cool, there’s plenty of sunshine and occasional refreshing rains
  • Nightlife – The city is alive until dawn, especially on weekends
  • It’s pretty inexpensive – At least compared to New York, Tokyo, London, Paris and other big cities
  • Attractive, stylish people – A great city for people-watching
  • Cheap wine – Reds like Malbec are probably better than whites
  • Empanadas 
  • Dancing tango until 5am
  • Taxis are convenient 
  • Educated, politically aware people
  • Argentine beef – I’ve never had better beef anywhere
  • Great city for walking – Wide boulevards, lots of parks
  • Quiet Sundays – Not much happens on Sundays. It’s a day for spending time with family and recharging your batteries.
  • Soccer – Quality of play at the local level is excellent and games are highly entertaining
  • Relaxed pace – Even though it’s a big city, life is not hurried

Worst Things

Of course the city is not without its flaws and deficiencies. Here are some of my least favorite things about Buenos Aires.

  • Too much traffic and too many traffic accidents and fatalities
  • Traffic noise – It’s a very noisy city
  • Lack of coins – The shortage of coins is a regular annoyance
  • The government – They just can’t seem to get in sync with the rest of the world
  • Crazy late-night schedule – Dinner at 11 or 12 at night? Are you kidding me? 
  • Random power outages that hit without warning
  • General disruptions – Things like strikes and protests often throw a wrench in the works
  • Crime levels seem to be rising
  • Dog crap all over the sidewalks – Porteños love their dogs but fail to clean up after them. Thankfully, heavy rains come often enough.
  • Bureaucracy – Dealing with immigrations or any government agency can be extremely frustrating
  • Poor construction of buildings – I don’t think they even know what sound-proofing is
  • Water dripping from air conditioners that overhang sidewalks
  • Poor coverage of NFL football or NHL hockey games – What can I say, I need my sports
  • Lousy music – Except for tango, the music isn’t so good. Rock is popular but seems to be about 25 years behind the rest of the world.
  • Corruption of police, judges, government officials – It would be nice if you could count on the police to help you. Unfortunately it’s best to avoid them.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Connie Says:

    The best thing about BsAs is Tango most certainly. If you are a tango dancer, you simply have to go to BsAs. Also, I would have to agree with you about the music. They seem to be fascinated with rock music from the 70s and 80s.

  2. tangobob Says:

    Ha pretty accurate, although I can live without the soccer, the formular one is always on live in the local bars. I would also agree with Connie, you cannot claim to be passionate about Tango and not visit.
    Without the dog crap and traffic, it would just be too good and everyone would want to be there, then there would be too many foreigners and it would no longer be Buenos Aires.

  3. Conor Says:

    Yup! The range of music scenes and styles in Buenos Aires is pretty dire. No good indie/electro in the city. not even a decent indie bar.

  4. cujodu Says:

    I’d agree with most everything except:

    Nightlife – great if you like to do drugs to keep you awake until 7 a.m.
    Walking? Wide boulevards = narrow sidewalks, narrow broken sidewalks, narrow dog crap covered sidewalks….
    Eat empanadas for a month and then tell me you still love them.
    Beef – definitely not the best. You can get good beef but the average beef is the same tough leather sole they sell in the rest of the world.

  5. MZ Says:

    In regards to the review above – Please keep in mind you are not in America. Its a different culture and different people, different life style. If you expect the standards you have to be meet at all times then stay home, eat junk food and go to bed with the chickens.
    Nightlife- hmmm what can i say, I love north America for so many things, don’t get me wrong, but nightly entertainment is not one of them. Buenos Aires has seems to do it for me. With night warm evenings …. how could you not enjoy later dinner in the middle of the husstle and bussle… followed by movie or tango practica…
    As far as the food goes, i am pleasantly surprised …… very tasty and they do know meat !!!

  6. MZ Says:

    this web site is very detailed and accurate… lots of helpfull tips

  7. pedro Says:

    Comments are relatively true. Problem is that at one point in our history the promised land went astray, but if you are looking for a place where you can eat good food and wine at bargaining prices Buenos Aires is the place. I also don’t know why we are so fascinated with rock music of the 80’s
    About beef…there are very good offbeat restaurants where you can great beef and real fries, you just have to know the area

  8. TCB Says:

    Many great things about this city, to be sure. But one negative you have forgotten: the moment trash bags are set out on the street, the homeless begin to open the bags and throw trash around the sidewalks while rummaging through the contents. I have seen this before, but never like I have seen it in BA.

  9. Argento Wine Says:

    Some really good insights… Funny how the rain can be refreshing, and the heavy downpours can also wash away the “dirt” in the streets. Doesn’t make it very easy to get around, though, and you certainly wouldn’t want to lounge in the park on a rainy day. That’s why, on rainy days like today, we turn to Lisa Goldapple’s top 20 tips for making the most of a water-logged Buenos Aires:

Post a Comment or Ask a Question