Things to do in Buenos Aires + Armed Robbery Experience

Buenos Aires is the capital city of Argentina in South America.  Buenos Aires offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Obelisco de Buenos Aires
  • Colon Theater
  • Florida Street
  • Plaza de Mayo and the Pink Palace (La Casa Rosada)
  • Steak and Chips
  • La Recoleta Cemetery
  • Armed Robbery at my Hotel

There are over 1000 hotels in Buenos Aires, you’ll have no problem finding one in your price range.

Visiting Buenos Aires

Things to do in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in South America.  Thankfully, it has a metro system which makes it easy to navigate.  When I was in Argentina it was possible to change US Dollars with unofficial money changers at a rate a lot more favorable than the official rate.  This was called the blue dollar exchange rate.  Unfortunately due to the lifting of recent restrictions there is not much advantage to exchanging cash and you may as well draw money from the ATM.  A word of warning, Buenos Aires has a high crime rate therefore don’t carry valuables with you unless you need to.

Obelisco de Buenos Aires

Things to do in Buenos Aires - Obelisco

The Obelisco of Buenos Aires is the icon of Buenos Aires, it was top of my list of things to see.  The Obelisco was built in 1936 to commemorate 400 years of the city.  The street in which the Obelisco is situated is very wide and I was very pleased when I crossed the whole street in one go.  You may think this sounds silly or easy but in Buenos Aires try crossing Avenida 9 de Julio without stopping!

Colon Theater

Around the corner from the Obelico of Buenos Aires you’ll fin Theater Colón.  If you are interested in the Theater then you should check out what’s on when you’re in town.  You can take tours of the theater during the day.

Florida Street

Things to do in Buenos Aires - Florida Street

Florida Street crosses right through the old city of Buenos Aires.  You’ll pass thousands of restaurants, shops, street artists and Spanish colonial buildings.  If you keep walking southerly on Florida Street, you’ll enter La Boca neighborhood which is famous for it’s colorful buildings, art and markets.  It’s like a retro version of Florida street and a worthwhile visit for photographs of colorful houses.

There are a few Tango shows around Florida Street, Ventana is one but shop around for prices as there are many options available.

Pink Palace

Things to do in Buenos Aires - Pink Palace

Located on the Plaza de Mayo is the Casa Rosada which is the mansion and office of the president of Argentina, this was Cristina Fernández de Kirchner when I was there.  It’s the equivalent to the White House in the US or 10 Downing Street in the UK.  The Casa Rosada photographs well from many angles all over Plaza de Mayo. You can arrange to visit the inside of the Casa Rosada during weekends but you must book in advance.

Steak and Chips

Things to do in Buenos Aires - Steak and chips

If you like steaks, then there is no better place than Argentina to enjoy one (maybe Uruguay).  They call a steak ‘bife de chorizo’ or ‘lomo de chorizo’ and it’s usually served with chips.  Throughout my time in Argentina I had this plate at least twice a day.  You should really drink a Argentine red wine with your steak but I must confess I preferred to chase my steak with a local Argentinian soft drink called Ser.

La Recoleta Cemetery

A lot of people visiting Buenos Aires wish to visit La Recoleta Cemetery and see the tomb of Eva Peron (Evita).  There are a lot of impressive looking tombs in the cemetery so you’ll probably come away with plenty of photos.  I would recommend that you visit La Recoleta cemetery towards the end of the day so after visiting you can enjoy some of the nightlife of La Recoleta.

Armed Robber in Hotel

I had a bad experience in my hotel, Hotel Confort which is located on Viamonte.  I had been exploring the city and was returning to the hotel, I noticed a motorbike parked right outside the entrance but didn’t think anything of it.  When I tried to enter the hotel the sliding doors would not open so I swung my arms at the sensor.  Little did I know that inside was an armed robber who had told the receptionist to turn off the sensor whilst he robbed her.  Me swinging my arms had disturbed the robber and he decided to leave the hotel.  However, by this time I had seen him and his gun and decided to walk a little up the road.

He shouted at me in Spanish, asking if I wanted to be next, then he got on the bike and they left.  I then went into the hotel and the receptionist was very shook up, I gave her a hug and waited for the police with her.  She was shaking but very thankful that I came back at that moment.  In fact, she said I saved her life but I don’t think anything would have been any different if I hadn’t come back.  Fortunately she only had 40 pesos so the robbers didn’t take much.  The police then came and were very disinterested in what had happened.  Other than this experience I would recommend Hotel Confort!

How to get from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls

Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu overnight bus - 17 hours - 868 pesos

Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu overnight bus – 17 hours – 868 pesos

I took the overnight Rio Uruguay bus to Puerto Iguazu from Retiro, bus station, Buenos Aires.  This was a 17 hour service which cost 868 pesos.  The bus was luxury with meals included as well as lots of legroom and the seats went back far enough to have a good sleep.  They call this a semi-cama service in Spanish.  I recommend you use this type of bus as much as possible whilst traveling in any of the South American countries, it truly is a hotel on wheels.

Puerto Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro

2019-01-15T19:51:24+00:00October 26th, 2016|Argentina, South America|10 Comments


  1. Joanna April 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I have visited a small part of Argentina myself last winter and enjoyed the amazing Argentinian steaks and the abundance of Malbec wine. My hostel was actually offering free wine every evening for 2 hours. I would like to reach Buenos Aires next time I am in South America, and also visit the Iguazu Falls.

  2. Hendrik April 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Except the first impression from the robber in the Hotel I must say, very nice impressions from an obviously very interesting and beautiful city. I already heard a lot about Buenos Aires, good and also some not so good things, but in the end I guess it is like always, there is no strict either or, it is about what you make out of it 🙂
    The Florida Street sounds really interesting, I would love to see this place with my own eyes. And of course, once being in Argentina I think I would definitely try a “bife de chorizo”, this would be mandatory. Very inspiring James, thank you for sharing!

  3. Chloe April 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Ah this is definitely on my bucket list! I hadn’t thought about taking a bus, but since I love taking the train- it actually makes sense! I bet the views are incredible as you drive!

    • James Smith April 13, 2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

      It was a night bus so I didn’t see much. I know the views in the south of Argentina, Patagonia are amazing!

  4. carlinn meyer April 13, 2017 at 5:32 am - Reply

    Wow what a scary experience, I guess it could happen anywhere though. The rest of the city looks amazing and vibrant. Argentina is definitely the place to eat steak and I can see why you liked it, its looks absolutely yummy!

  5. Jean April 13, 2017 at 5:36 am - Reply

    That’s certainly an interesting adventure you had here! Love the bus guides you give. We’re off to Sth America in September and I’m noting down all your transport reccomendations.

  6. Iza April 13, 2017 at 7:40 am - Reply

    That was a scary experience. It could have turned into something much worse. I would have left the hotel immediately. It was so nice of you to hug the receptionist.
    I have not been to Buenos Aires yet but I know that they have tasty Argentinian grilled meat dishes.
    The steak and chips’ price is quite affordable for $42. The portion size looks big and I would probably share this meal with a friend.

  7. Vicky April 13, 2017 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    Oh God, that must have been an awful experience at the hotel – poor receptionist, though – I would’ve felt so sorry for her. No wonder she was shaken up! I’ve never been to Argentina, or South America itself, before but I’d love to go sometime!

  8. Arnav April 13, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    The experience with the robber will surely remain one of your best travel stories, even though the experience was a bit wonky.Florida street looks so full of life with eatries lined up all along and tourists flocking the streets.Would definitely love to check out the Obelisco some day when i get a chance to visit.

  9. Geo April 13, 2017 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    It must have been quite frightening to vittnes a armed robbery, If i were in your position I think I would have runed for my life. Whats your overall opinion about Buenos Aries, is it worth a visit? I have never been to South America before but from what I’ve heard it could be either heaven on earth or the complete opposite.

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