Beat boredom during a Buenos Aires layover
Why sit around in the lobby during your Bueno Aires layover? Tap into the city’s bold, Argentinian flavor in between your flights. Known for passionate tango dancing and its South American flair with a European twist, Buenos Aires is a spicy city that won’t disappoint.
From here to there
When you book flights to Buenos Aires, your plane will arrive at either Jorge Newberry Airfield (AEP) or Ezeiza International Airport (EZE). If you’re arriving at AEP, you’ll find yourself just 1.2 miles northeast of downtown. The quickest way to arrive in the city center? Line up at the taxi stand. The cheapest option? Hop on the public bus, but have some coins ready, because they only accept change.
If your plane flies into EZE, you’re roughly 20 miles southwest of downtown, so you may want to rent a car in Buenos Aires at the airport counters to start your day trip ASAP. Be aware that the downtown streets are narrow and often packed with traffic, so only the most confident drivers should get behind the wheel. Prefer to let someone else do the driving? Head to the white kiosk at the airport to request a taxi, or hitch a ride with the Manuel Tienda León Bus Company.
One day in Buenos Aires
When it comes to exploring Buenos Aires, there’s a lot to take in. The city features 48 districts—each with a distinctive attitude and ambience. If you’re short on time, you may want to commit to only roaming around one or two districts, but if you have 24 hours or more, book a Buenos Aires hotel and neighborhood hop.
If you’re in the mood to see some of the city’s most important and prominent landmarks, place downtown at the top of your list. Find your way to Plaza de Mayo, which is home to the Piramide de Mayo, the city’s oldest national monument. Construction on the building began in 1811 to commemorate the May Revolution. For another nearby attraction, head to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Overlooking the plaza, it’s considered the main Catholic church in the city. It’s been reconstructed and redesigned several times since the 1700s, and today it features a façade with carvings telling the story of Joseph and Jacob’s reunion. Other attractions downtown include the Edificio Otto Wulf—with its magnificent double domed towers—and the Buenos Aires Cabildo, which houses the National Museum of the Cabildo and the May Revolution.
For more sightseeing adventures, mosey into the other districts. Walk across the Puente de la Mujer bridge in the Puerto Madero district, and check out Floralis Generica, the steel flower structure in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas. The Obelisco de Buenos Aires in Plaza de la Republica is another ultra-famous structure, which resembles the National Monument in Washington, D.C.
While the famous landmarks are great, if you’d rather get a sense of the city’s character, head to a neighborhood like La Boca. Located in the southeast, La Boca includes an artistic stretch called Caminito, which is decked out in bright, colorful buildings that reflect the neighborhood’s eccentric personality. Though it has become rather touristy over the years, La Boca is worth a visit if only to see the painted buildings, tango dancers in the streets, and artists selling their sketches on the sidewalks.
Still have time to kill until your next flight? Take day trip from Buenos Aires. Discover the romantic countryside of Tigre Delta, or ride the ferry over to Montevideo in neighboring Uruguay. Whether you stick close to the airport or venture further away, what could have been a boring layover will transform into an unforgettable cultural experience.
What other neighborhoods showcase the city’s personality?
Viewfinder Tip: To arrive at the popular tourist destinations, hop on the metro system, called “Subte”.