Buenos Aires - How many days?

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climber2020
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Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by climber2020 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:31 pm

Question for all the travelers here. We're planning a trip to Argentina, primarily to see Iguazu Falls over the span of several days.

On our way back, we have to fly through Buenos Aires to get back to the US. How many days would be good to spend there before flying home?

We're not big city people (after a while, they all seem the same) and we don't care about food or shopping. Most of the sample Buenos Aires itineraries I've seen on tripadvisor and other travel sites are really big on eating and shopping. Other than a city tour, is there anything else there that is unique and "can't miss"?

Thank you for any thoughts!

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:09 pm

We enjoyed the tango social clubs - not the tourist traps, but the clubs real people actually go to. Learn a little tango before you go and the people there will be very happy to help you with your moves. Also just walking around BA is pretty interesting. Exchange $100 bills on the "blue" markets (newspaper kiosks) all along Avenue Florida. If you are not converting at the official (bloated) rate everything is reasonably priced. The cemetery where Eva Peron is ensconced is worth a visit too. Lots of over-the-top funerary art. Art museum close by. Two full days would give you a nice overview.
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snackdog
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by snackdog » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:41 pm

If you don't care about having the best steak of your entire life for about $25, then skip the eating out I guess. I'm not a huge steak eater, but we actually flew there once mostly to eat more steak. It is life changing.

Most restaurants are good places to pay in USD and get change in pesos. Be careful with the sidewalk money changers who may rip you off or potentially land you in jail. Not worth the risk to save a few bucks on a 2 day trip.

The museums are pretty good. Some nice walking areas. Be wary of muggers. 2 days is enough. Tango show was fabulous.

Calli114
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Calli114 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:48 pm

2 full days should do it, unless you have some interests that would take you away from the usual tourist highlights.

WildBill
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by WildBill » Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:32 pm

Howdy

We went in January and found that 2 or 3 days in BA was fine. We mostly walked around the city and enjoyed the food and wine.

Off topic, but the best part of the trip was going to El Calafate in Patagonia and taking day trips from there. El Calafate is a cozy mountain town and the National Parks and glaciers in Patagonia are spectacular.

W B
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:01 pm

Spend 2-4 days in Buenos Aires. There's a lot to see, and like most travel destinations, you'll get more out of it if you do some homework in advance.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by climber2020 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:31 pm

Thanks for all the replies so far. Sounds like 2 days may be enough for our needs.
snackdog wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:41 pm
If you don't care about having the best steak of your entire life for about $25, then skip the eating out I guess. I'm not a huge steak eater, but we actually flew there once mostly to eat more steak. It is life changing.
Any particular restaurant, or is good steak easily accessible? Preferably none of the fancy places that give you a tiny portion of food surrounded by a drizzle of artwork. I enjoy well prepared food, it's just not a priority when I travel.
WildBill wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Off topic, but the best part of the trip was going to El Calafate in Patagonia and taking day trips from there. El Calafate is a cozy mountain town and the National Parks and glaciers in Patagonia are spectacular.
Good to know. We only have a week, so we'll probably go back at a later time and devote an entire trip to Patagonia.

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snackdog
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by snackdog » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:48 pm

Los Remolinos is our favorite for steak, Suipacha 957. Casual, reasonable and plenty of locals eating there.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by dbr » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:22 pm

We spent 3 nights there (I schedule travel by nights rather than days) and probably would have spent four if we had a do over. We ate a good dinner out with some people who live in BA that we met on tour and they invited us out for the evening. Highlights for us were visiting Teatro Colon and a guided tour of Recoleta Cemetery. What we would have done with an extra day is visit MALBA and the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art. We had no problem walking around but heard warnings and tales from natives of the city who are/were fed up with petty crime. You can do all of that in two days if you are efficient, but being unrushed is better. Remember to get to airports in Argentina well ahead of time and EZE is some distance out. there was also some "interesting" political unrest at the time.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by WorldWanderer » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:03 am

Word of caution: do be careful Not to take a TAXI from in front of any transit station or tourist venue...either walk a bit away and hail a taxi, or have the Venue or restaurant or hotel call for one. "RadioTaxi" only!

Bosques de Palermo. At almost 1,000 acres, this park is best explored from a specific starting point. Take a taxi and ask the driver to take you to the Rose Garden and then make your way to the lakes.

Walking tour of Recoleta: the 'Paris of the South’
10 a.m.
Discover why Buenos Aires was named the 'Paris of the South' with a visit to the heart of the wealthy Recoleta neighbourhood with its Parisian buildings and many monuments and sculptures. This tour takes in the Plaza Francia, Our Lady of Pilar church and Recoleta cemetery.
Meet at Recoleta Tourist Assistance Center, Av. Quintana and Pte Ortiz, Recoleta. Language: English Price: free

Tango Porteno for dinner show

Freddo for ice cream.

La Recoleta Cemetery
Junín 1760, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The cemetery is open daily, 8am to 6pm. Free tours in English take place at 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The closest subte stations are Retiro and Callao. The cemetery is also a few steps away from Stop 24 (Av. Quintana, between Ayacucho and Junín) on the city’s tourist bus.

BIKE TOUR - La Boca thru the Senses 2 hours
(FREE) 10 A.M. BA.TOURS
MEET AT Av. Don Pedro de Mendoza 1900 (C1169AAP) - La Boca

http://www.biketours.com.ar/ Bike tour of la boca and san telmo.
9:30 an or 2 pm.
Show and go okay. Phone: (+54 11) 4311 5199
Our meeting point is at San Martin Square (765 Santa Fe Ave) in Retiro district, next to the statue of the General San Martin -on horse-. 
The price per person is Usd 40 and it includes bicycles, helmets, 1 bottle of water and Bilingual guide. 

Dinner at Gran Parilla Del Plata. Confirmed dinner reservation for 8:30 pm. steakhouse in San telmo.
Chile 594, C1098AAL Buenos Aires
Monserrat.
+54 11 4300-8858

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climber2020
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by climber2020 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:14 am

Great- thanks for the tips everyone.

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friar1610
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by friar1610 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:32 am

We spent 5 days there but took a couple of day trips outside the city. All of the suggestions you received are excellent, IMO.

Two interesting day trips:

- the Argentine Naval Museum in Tigre via train. A delightful town on a river and an interesting museum that satisfied my curiosities in both Irish and Falklands/Malvinas war history. (The founder of the Argentine Navy was an Irisman from County Mayo. He is also buried in Recoleta Cemetery.)

- Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay. A colonial resort city across the Rio Plata from BA and a pleasant boat ride to get there. Lots of colonial architecture in a laid-back setting.
Friar1610

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by 09deaconX » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:44 am

WildBill wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Howdy

We went in January and found that 2 or 3 days in BA was fine. We mostly walked around the city and enjoyed the food and wine.

Off topic, but the best part of the trip was going to El Calafate in Patagonia and taking day trips from there. El Calafate is a cozy mountain town and the National Parks and glaciers in Patagonia are spectacular.

W B
Similar to WildBill and others on this thread, I agree that ~2 days in BA is perfectly sufficient to hit the touristy stuff. I also wholeheartedly agree about El Calafate; that (and El Chalten) were our favorite parts of our 1.5 weeks in Argentina and you should seriously consider spending a few days down there if you already haven't. The Perito Moreno Glacier, the lakes and mountains of Patagonia in El Chalten were incredible. The popular hikes in El Chalten require good fitness but were incredible.

Lastly, I would caution you on planning for more than a day trip to Iguazu. We flew out from BA to Iguazu and back in one day, and felt like we had plenty of time to see all the sights. It's spectacular, but in our experience 8-10 hours was plenty...

hookemhorns
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by hookemhorns » Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:08 pm

2-3 full days should be good. We spent 5 days there and that was enough. Just a heads up that there is a lot of petty crime. One of the people in our group had her phone stolen right out of her hand, and we saw another person get pickpocketed in downtown BA.

Capsu78
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Capsu78 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:25 am

Yes, most travel guides tell you to keep your phone out of sight...however, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was walking around with their eyes on their phones. Also good practice to keep any backpacks, camera bags etc in the center of any taxi as opposed to near a window. Grabing items at stop lights and in slow moving traffic seems to be common in BA as well as other Latin American cities.
FWIW- I saw no crime... and found great steaks in every direction from my hotel.
Hop On Hop Off bus tour on your first day would check off most of the boxes, and help you determine what you might want to explore in more detail.
As for tipping, I like to carry some new 1$ USD coins to tip with. Nice Statue of Liberty picture and everyone would bring it over and show the other bartenders to coin. Most gratitude you can get from a 1$ tip!

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by coalcracker » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:39 am

Do you have your heart set on Iguazu Falls? :twisted:

I would third/fourth the suggestion that your consider Patagonia. My wife and I have been all over the place, and both of us still consider our time in Patagonia as the highlight of our last 20 years of travel. You could fly first to El Calafate in Patagonia and spend a day or two in BA on the way back. If you don't care about food and restaurants (which are awesome in BA, BTW), there's not a whole lot else for you there IMO.

I won't go into specific recs in Patagonia unless you would seriously consider going. Please do!

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by climber2020 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:14 am

coalcracker wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:39 am
Do you have your heart set on Iguazu Falls? :twisted:

I would third/fourth the suggestion that your consider Patagonia. My wife and I have been all over the place, and both of us still consider our time in Patagonia as the highlight of our last 20 years of travel. You could fly first to El Calafate in Patagonia and spend a day or two in BA on the way back. If you don't care about food and restaurants (which are awesome in BA, BTW), there's not a whole lot else for you there IMO.

I won't go into specific recs in Patagonia unless you would seriously consider going. Please do!
Going to Iguazu specifically because an older family member wants to see it while she's still able to travel. We're staying at the hotel inside the national park for easy access. She had leg surgery last year and has some difficulty walking moderate distances, so trying to keep the trip as simple and non-rushed as possible.

In the future, I plan on devoting an entire 2 week trip for just the Patagonia region.

chrisjul
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by chrisjul » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:36 am

Its a giant, crowded city of 15 million.

Depends....you could spend a weekend or a month

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by chrisjul » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:37 am

Also, I do agree with skipping BA and taking in Patagonia.....awesome!

dbr
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:36 am

climber2020 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:14 am

Going to Iguazu specifically because an older family member wants to see it while she's still able to travel. We're staying at the hotel inside the national park for easy access. She had leg surgery last year and has some difficulty walking moderate distances, so trying to keep the trip as simple and non-rushed as possible.
Iguazu and especially with the benefit of staying at that hotel inside the park is a fantastic experience. Don't let anyone feed you doubts on this. Early morning bird walks are available especially of you are already on site. I am not up to speed on the current status of transiting to the Brazil side. When we were there offers were out to sneak people in, but without the onerous Brazilian visa that was a dangerous game to play.

Warning: Be very careful around the coatimundis and under no circumstances display food when they are around. Also the monkeys are capable of breaking into your hotel room if you don't keep things closed up. Argentina does not require Yellow Fever vaccination but Brazil does. Having that vaccination if you have never had it is probably a good idea. Iguazu is in the yellow fever endemic zone. Latest advice is that one vaccination provides lifetime immunity but most governments still require ten year boosters. It would not be wise to enter Brazil without a visa and without a yellow card.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by climber2020 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:50 am

dbr wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:36 am

Iguazu and especially with the benefit of staying at that hotel inside the park is a fantastic experience. Don't let anyone feed you doubts on this. Early morning bird walks are available especially of you are already on site. I am not up to speed on the current status of transiting to the Brazil side. When we were there offers were out to sneak people in, but without the onerous Brazilian visa that was a dangerous game to play.

Warning: Be very careful around the coatimundis and under no circumstances display food when they are around. Also the monkeys are capable of breaking into your hotel room if you don't keep things closed up. Argentina does not require Yellow Fever vaccination but Brazil does. Having that vaccination if you have never had it is probably a good idea. Iguazu is in the yellow fever endemic zone. Latest advice is that one vaccination provides lifetime immunity but most governments still require ten year boosters. It would not be wise to enter Brazil without a visa and without a yellow card.
Thanks for the vaccine info. Never would have thought of that for a short visit across the border.

As of June 2019, Brazil no longer require visas for US citizens, so that's one less headache.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by lowerleisureclass » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:21 pm

BA has an amazing music scene -- tango, folklorico, jazz, cumbia, etc. Tons of venues small and large. If you have any affinity at all for classical music, go see the symphony at Teatro Colon -- its acoustics are considered among the best in the world and you will feel like Marie Antionette sitting in a gilded box.

Go to Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo on a sunday evening and watch the tango dancers. Plenty of seating at the bars and cafes around the square.

The bakeries are amazing and if you're a reader there seems to be a bookshop on every corner.
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LaraZP
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by LaraZP » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:45 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:09 pm
Exchange $100 bills on the "blue" markets (newspaper kiosks) all along Avenue Florida. If you are not converting at the official (bloated) rate everything is reasonably priced.
This advice is outdated. You can exchange dollars anywhere now at a reasonable rate. Avoid exchanging in the street or you might end up getting counterfeit money.

Planner01
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Planner01 » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:27 pm

We are planning on 3 nights in Buenos Aires at the end of January before head to Rio de Janeiro. 3 days seem sufficient to see everything.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Traveler » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:43 pm

I've been to BA twice and love the city. On my last trip I spent a couple nights in Puerto Iguazu. The park is beautiful although I didn't get to the Brazil side because that was just before the visa requirement went away and I didn't want to hassle with getting one.

I also spent a night over at Colonia, Uruguay and really enjoyed it. If you go there, stop and have a glass of wine and some cheese at El Buen Suspiro inside the old town walls.

In BA I stayed in Recoleta with a view of the cemetery. That is a nice neighborhood with tree-lined streets. If you're into unique bookstores, check out El Ateneo. It is in an old theater building with multiple levels. There is a cafe on the stage area. I sat there with coffee and a pastry for over an hour just looking around. Also, of course while in Argentina, you must have some beef. While it was a more expensive on my last trip (2015) vs my first trip (circa 2004), it is still a very good value and the quality is superb.

Enjoy your trip!

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Starfish » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:16 pm

Capsu78 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:25 am
Yes, most travel guides tell you to keep your phone out of sight...however, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was walking around with their eyes on their phones. Also good practice to keep any backpacks, camera bags etc in the center of any taxi as opposed to near a window. Grabing items at stop lights and in slow moving traffic seems to be common in BA as well as other Latin American cities.
FWIW- I saw no crime... and found great steaks in every direction from my hotel.
Hop On Hop Off bus tour on your first day would check off most of the boxes, and help you determine what you might want to explore in more detail.
As for tipping, I like to carry some new 1$ USD coins to tip with. Nice Statue of Liberty picture and everyone would bring it over and show the other bartenders to coin. Most gratitude you can get from a 1$ tip!
Those coins are worthless outside US. Maybe Argentina is different.
I would not expect people to even know they are worth 1$.
In 20 years of living in US I have seen 1$ coins maybe twice. I have no idea how they look like.

bikesandbeers
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by bikesandbeers » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:12 am

2 full days would probably do it. Recolleta area is very nice. We also enjoyed the San Telmo area for restaurants plus some cute shops.
We rode the metro (Subte) and never felt unsafe, except the trains and rush hours were the most packed I've ever seen. The hotel was happy to call taxis for us.


We were passing through for a Patagonia tour, which is worth a separate trip.

I sounds like the currency situation may have stabilized since 2014, but we got the tip to bring $100s as they wouldn't give you a better than the official exchange rate with smaller bills. This turned out to only be partly true. Some places were very excited to break a $100 and give lots of change, but some places preferred smaller bills, or wouldn't give more than $5 worth of change.

I don't recall any $1 USD coins there, but I hear that all the $! USD coins end up in Ecuador (seriously). I actually use the $1 coins a bus fare here, and was surprised that even small rural transit operators in Argentina were on smart cards, when my US operator hadn't converted yet.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Cyclesafe » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:55 am

LaraZP wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:45 pm
Cyclesafe wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:09 pm
Exchange $100 bills on the "blue" markets (newspaper kiosks) all along Avenue Florida. If you are not converting at the official (bloated) rate everything is reasonably priced.
This advice is outdated. You can exchange dollars anywhere now at a reasonable rate. Avoid exchanging in the street or you might end up getting counterfeit money.
True. The current president supposedly floated the peso and there is supposedly no difference between the official rate and the blue rate. Your USD 100 bills, however, will still buy more if you'll accept change in pesos.

https://discoverbuenosaires.com/blue-rate
https://bluedollar.net/

It's easy to distinguish counterfeit bills. The blue market kiosks on Avenue Florida even used to have black lights to help distinguish water marks on genuine currency and would readily exchange bills that you didn't want. Here's the website:

https://landingpadba.com/ba-basics-counterfeit-money/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebert ... 7fd1f51340

Then take the quiz!

http://santelmoloft.com/fake-or-real-quiz/

Argentina is great!
"Plans are useless; planning is indispensable.” - Dwight Eisenhower

birdy
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by birdy » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:01 pm

Was in Buenos Aires in January (getting on Antarctica cruise). Met another couple who invited us to join their private tour when we departed the cruise and didn't have to catch our flight until that evening. We visited La Boca and Caminito Street, San Telmo, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace), Cabildo, Puerto Madero, and my fav was Recoleta Cemetery. You can always learn how to play polo! You can go visit a working ranch! We ate at a great place for lunch called El Sanjuanino (a "locals" place). We also did a private wine tasting because the other couple had already arranged it ahead (we aren't wine drinkers but it was something "different"). Money wise, if the cost was listed in U.S. $$ we paid in that. If it was listed in their currency, we paid in it. Two days would be plenty for me as any big city can get old after awhile! I enjoyed the area and seeing all the grills cooking different kinds of meats! Fun experience. If we had been there longer, we probably would have gone to a Tango show.

birdy

Exterous
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Exterous » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:49 pm

Starfish wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:16 pm
Capsu78 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:25 am
Yes, most travel guides tell you to keep your phone out of sight...however, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE was walking around with their eyes on their phones. Also good practice to keep any backpacks, camera bags etc in the center of any taxi as opposed to near a window. Grabing items at stop lights and in slow moving traffic seems to be common in BA as well as other Latin American cities.
FWIW- I saw no crime... and found great steaks in every direction from my hotel.
Hop On Hop Off bus tour on your first day would check off most of the boxes, and help you determine what you might want to explore in more detail.
As for tipping, I like to carry some new 1$ USD coins to tip with. Nice Statue of Liberty picture and everyone would bring it over and show the other bartenders to coin. Most gratitude you can get from a 1$ tip!
Those coins are worthless outside US. Maybe Argentina is different.
I would not expect people to even know they are worth 1$.
In 20 years of living in US I have seen 1$ coins maybe twice. I have no idea how they look like.
Not true. They are used quite frequently in Equador

Capsu78
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by Capsu78 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:38 pm

Yes to Equador as they use US currency...that is where I got the idea to use as tip money!
I used brand new ones straight out of the wrapper- shiny and gold with the Statue of Liberty on the back. They are a conversation piece.

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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:10 pm

LaraZP wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:45 pm
Cyclesafe wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:09 pm
Exchange $100 bills on the "blue" markets (newspaper kiosks) all along Avenue Florida. If you are not converting at the official (bloated) rate everything is reasonably priced.
This advice is outdated. You can exchange dollars anywhere now at a reasonable rate. Avoid exchanging in the street or you might end up getting counterfeit money.
Yes, there is no need to exchange on the blue market any longer. Taxis are notorious for passing off counterfeit bills also. It is best to use as small of bills as possible in them. Especially at night when it is hard to see. I also don't know if anyone has mentioned how much they hate to make more than minimal change there.

abyan
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by abyan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:12 pm

The Italian food is pretty to-die-for as well. As for the meat, I don’t even like steak and was pretty blown away. The meat pulled apart with a fork! And the leather goods are great. But if eating and shopping aren’t big deals for you, then BA becomes less interesting. Still a pretty city.

financiallycurious
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Re: Buenos Aires - How many days?

Post by financiallycurious » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:51 pm

It's been a while, but my favorite memories of Buenos Aires include, (1) a night of Tango, (2) a day trip to Motevideo, Uraguay, (3) a soccer match (I saw River v Boca and it was very fun), (4) a Polo match, and (5) a gaucho day where we went to a winery/ranch for some amazing BBQ and wine.

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