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.
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