While traveling down to Patagonia on your fly fishing adventure or returning home, you may end up having a layover day in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With a full day to explore the city, figuring out how to make the most of it may be challenging. Buenos Aires has fine dining, art, dancing, everything any large metropolitan city has to offer.
With a population, of around 14 million navigating the large city and knowing where to go can be daunting unless you have some pointers. Here is a list that we put together to help you decide how to make the most out of your time in Buenos Aires and how to navigate the city- from touchdown to takeoff.
Airport Transfers and Customs
The Ezeiza International Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires is a large international airport that hosts hundreds of flights and travelers every day. Navigating this airport may be a challenge to many, but don't worry, airport employees and others are there to help you find your next gate, assist you with directions, and simplify your experience.
Once you've landed, you'll have to go through customs. Getting through customs is easy if you're prepared. Be sure to have your passport and customs documents ready to hand to the customs official who will take a look at your paperwork and will stamp your passport. You will then follow signs to retrieve your luggage and prepare for transferring to the domestic airport or your hotel.
One thing that travelers usually are confused about is the transfer between the international airport (Ezeiza - EZE) outside the city to the domestic airport (Jorge Newbery - AEP) downtown. Traveling between the international airport to the domestic airport or to various downtown hotels takes roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour and travelers should allow at least 4 hours between flights to make this transfer. There are multiple ways to make the connection between the international airport and the domestic airport.
- The first option is to book your transfer in advance using LOL Argentina. They are our long time Buenos Aires agent and do a terrific job with trip logistics within the city.
- The second option is to book your transfer at the airport upon arrival. Right outside of the customs areas in Ezeiza Airport there will be a handful of different transfer companies and taxi services. We suggest using the transfer company Manuel Tienda Leone that will be in a kiosk and all agents speak English. The cost will be $30 - $40.
Baggage Restrictions on Domestic Flights
Flights within Argentina have a few different rules than the international one that you arrived on. A big rule that trips up many anglers is that rods, reels, flies, lines, etc... are not allowed as a carry-on and must be put in checked baggage. If you don't place fishing equipment in your checked baggage, the security agent will ask you to return to the check-in desk and pay for your fishing gear. Remember that you are only allowed one checked bag that can be no larger than 22" x 14" x 10". Along with your carry-on bag, you are allowed one checked bag that can weigh no more than 33 pounds. Additionally, you are allowed an extra checked-bag as long as it's fishing gear. The fishing gear checked-bag is provided free of charge, but remember, it must be only fishing gear.
In Argentina, the official currency is the Argentine Peso. Travelers can exchange dollars for pesos at the airport or can withdraw money from any of the numerous ATMs around the city. Major credit cards are widely accepted at major restaurants and stores throughout Buenos Aires. US Dollars are accepted at most places around the city but expect to receive change in Pesos.
Getting Around the City
In most cities around the world, transportation can easily become something to worry about- especially if you're in a foreign country. In Buenos Aires, there are a variety of ways to get around.
Taxis are safe and popular among travelers and locals to get from one place to another. The bus transportation is another way to travel in the city, but maybe busy and take longer. A bicycle is a great option if you want to ride around in certain areas of the city and experience more.
Explore the Neighborhoods
The culture in Argentina is rich and present throughout all of the major cities. The locals offer some incredible experiences to travelers that include delicious dining and beverages, traditional tango classes, and a variety of art all over the city.
Placed in the heart of Buenos Aires, The Obelisk is one of the most famous monuments in the city. Built-in 1936, it represents the founding of the city. You can find this monument, along with other sculptures and monuments all throughout the city. The Monumento de los Españoles, or Monument to the Spaniards, is situated in the Palermo district, a diverse neighborhood offering markets and beautiful architecture. Villa Crespo, just southwest of Palermo, offers some incredible and vibrant art on the sides of buildings. The Villa Crespo neighborhood is one of the more artistically focused neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, with locals making the art their craft.
When exploring the streets and neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, you may come across the San Telmo Market. Regarded as one of the city’s most famous and liveliest barrios, you can find tango dancers, live music, and over 250 vendors selling unique crafts that create a boisterous atmosphere. With being one of the best, the San Telmo Market is also very popular among many travelers. The market may attract over 10,000 visitors per week, so if you visit the market expect it to be busy during the spring and summer months.
Dance the Tango
If you some spare time, visit the colorful neighborhood of La Boca where buildings are painted in vibrant colors and where tango was born. If interested, a tango lesson is a great way to fill a morning layover day in Buenos Aires. The dancers you see are artists and true storytellers with their movements.
The tango performers can offer some mesmerizing moves that will capture your attention and tell a true story. If you are in Buenos Aires for the evening and would really like to indulge yourself in an incredible performance, attend the Teatro Colón.
The Teatro Colón is one of the most important and historic opera houses in the world. With its prestigious architecture and acoustics, it ranks among the opera houses with the like of The Paris Opera House, The Vienna State Opera, and The Royal Opera House in London. With multiple re-models and venues, the current opera house, completed in 2010, boasts an incredible performance list with greats like Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti, and Maria Callas. Offering shows year-round, The Teatro Colón is a great option for an evening show that will surely be memorable.
Golden Dorado Day Trips
For people who may prefer spending their layover day on the water rather than in the city, Urban Dorado Anglers is the perfect option. Buenos Aires rests along the waters of the Río de la Plata. This system is a wondrous maze of water that's home to some exceptional Golden Dorado, wolfish, and other species. An easy 30-minute transfer puts anglers in the hands of Urban Dorado Anglers and their guides who are ready to hit the water.
Wine and Dine
With the art and cultural display at the forefront in Buenos Aires, a delicious meal can also be found on just about every corner. A simple but delicious cuisine is the empanada - a flaky pastry crust wrapped around a filling. Furthermore, Argentina is known for its exquisite meat and wine, and in a city like Buenos Aires, you can find some delicious eats.
The Don Julio Steakhouse ranks among the best in the area with its exceptional preparation of steaks and handcrafted wine list. Their chef team and food are world-renowned, so if you are in need of a dinner recommendation, we suggest Don Julio Steakhouse in the Palermo district. Buenos Aires is the place to get a terrific steak and glass of wine without breaking the bank.
If you're looking for shopping options, the stores of Recoleta and Palermo districts offer everything for the fashionista and beyond. Enjoy the intimate atmosphere of these areas and spend some time sitting at a street-side cafe soaking up the sights and sounds of this architecturally beautiful part of the city. While you're in Recoleta the cemetery is a must-see where famous icons like Eva Peron were buried in elaborate mausoleums.
Buenos Aires has a lot to offer to the day traveler or a multiple day vacation to the city. The city offers some incredible art, dining, and sights that are historically prestigious and world-class. The locations and suggestions above are just a small portion of what is offered in Buenos Aires, so we encourage you to get out and explore. Whether it be on your way to Southern Patagonia, or on your way home, a layover day in the city is a great way to indulge yourself in the diverse and prosperous culture of Argentina.