The City of Buenos Aires has 48 neighborhoods, but most of the hotels in the city are concentrated in only 8 of them. Each of these 8 neighborhoods have their own characteristics that make them unique, but some of them have certain comparative advantages that make them more attractive when choosing the place to stay in Buenos Aires. For this reason we elaborate a classification criterion taking into account: its main attractions, its green spaces, and the gastronomic, commercial and cultural offer that they have. But above all, we take into account the security level of each particular neighborhood; Buenos Aires is a safe city in general, but it does not escape the security problems of the great cities of the world.
Taking into account the aforementioned factors, we elaborate an average that is expressed by a classification that ranges from 1 star (NOT recommended neighborhood to stay) to 5 stars (HIGHLY recommended neighborhood where to stay and serve as a base during your vacations).
We detail below which are these 8 neighborhoods of Buenos Aires where most of the hotels in the city are concentrated, and what are the main characteristics of each of them so that you can choose where to stay according to your particular tastes and needs (pay attention to our star rating before making your final decision):
1 – San Telmo: Located in the southern part of the city, this neighborhood has a commercial and gastronomic sector on Defensa street. In this same street the most important handicrafts and antiques fair in the city is located on Sundays between 10 am and 7 pm. San Telmo is close to the neighborhoods of Puerto Madero, La Boca and Monserrat. It is an attractive sector for those who love history, since San Telmo neighborhood was the first residential area of the city during colonial times and buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries are still preserved; in addition, it has interesting museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The hotel offer in San Telmo is very varied, from luxurious hotels to modest hostels oriented to backpackers; some of the old family mansions in the neighborhood have been recycled and turned into boutique hotels.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, San Telmo neighborhood has a score of 3 stars out of 5 possible (it is recommended mainly for those who enjoy staying in historical sites).
2 – Monserrat: Located in the central area of the city, between the neighborhoods of San Telmo and San Nicolás. Monserrat has its main attraction in the Plaza de Mayo (May Square) and its surroundings where the Government House or Casa Rosada stands out. Like what happens with San Telmo neighborhood, Monserrat is a place with interesting attractions for those devoted to history. The most important events in our history took place in this square. The same handicrafts and antiques fair on Sundays that we mentioned in San Telmo extends to May Square. The gastronomic sector of Monserrat is concentrated on Avenida de Mayo (May Avenue); and the commercial area is located on Florida street, which is a pedestrian street. The hotel offer is very similar to that previously mentioned in San Telmo neighborhood.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, Monserrat neighborhood has a score of 3 stars out of 5 possible (Monserrat has the same characteristics as San Telmo, it is ideal mainly for history lovers).
3 – Puerto Madero (Madero Harbor): Located on the eastern edge of the city, facing the river called Río de La Plata, in what was formerly the port of Buenos Aires; it is the most modern neighborhood in the city and the last to be added to the city. It is located a few blocks from the historic area of San Telmo and Monserrat; and also a few blocks from downtown. It has one of the most important gastronomic sectors in Buenos Aires, the various restaurants are located in the old recycled warehouses of the port. Although scattered commercial premises can be found, it is not characterized by having a prominent commercial area. In Puerto Madero you can visit two interesting art museums: Fortabat Collection and Faena Arts Center. It also has varied and modern parks, among which the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve stands out, where it is possible to go jogging or cycling, or simply admire the native flora and fauna, it is an ideal place for bird watching. . Unfortunately, the hotel offer in Puerto Madero is minimal, they are first-class hotels, but due to their limited number, their rates are high.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, Puerto Madero neighborhood has the maximum score of 5 stars out of 5 possible (it is one of the best places where you can stay in the city, but due to the low number of hotels in this neighborhood, keep in mind that you should have a comfortable budget that allows you to indulge yourself).
4 – San Nicolás: Neighborhood located in the heart of the downtown area of Buenos Aires, between the neighborhoods of Monserrat and Retiro. It has an intense labor movement from Monday to Friday, and it changes completely on weekends as the number of passers-by drops drastically. As for its gastronomic offer, there are many inexpensive restaurants of fast food oriented to office workers, standing out the pizzerias on Corrientes Avenue. On Florida street, which crosses three neighborhoods, you can find numerous commercial premises and the Galerías Pacífico mall. In terms of cultural offer, Corrientes Avenue concentrates the largest number of theaters in the city. In this neighborhood is located the famous Obelisk and the Teatro Colón, the opera house of Buenos Aires with a world-class program that takes place between March and December and an option of daily guided tours. Despite its proximity to several attractions, the intense movement in this sector, both vehicular and pedestrian, does not make it the most recommended when choosing a place to stay.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, San Nicolás neighborhood also known as downtown has a score of only 2 stars out of 5 possible (it is one of the least recommended neighborhoods to stay in the city).
5 – Balvanera: Neighborhood located to the west of the city; it is popularly known by the name of Congress, because in it you can find the imposing building of the National Congress. It has a modest gastronomic sector on Callao and Rivadavia Avenues; and a very popular commercial area known as Once. The main green space in Balvanera neighborhood is the Plaza del Congreso (Congress Square), in front of the Legislative Palace. It is a neighborhood where you can find hotels at very cheap prices, but due to its high traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, and the constant protests around the National Congress, it is one of the least desirable neighborhoods in the city to stay.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, the neighborhood of Balvanera or Congreso, has a score of only 1 star out of 5 possible (it is the least recommended neighborhood on our list, unless you prioritize the price factor over everything else, we do not recommend this location).
6 – Recoleta: A purely residential area located in the north of the city. It has an important green space and attractions such as the Recoleta Cemetery where the famous Evita Perón is buried, the beautiful El Ateneo bookstore and numerous art museums such as the renowned National Museum of Fine Arts. In the square located in front of the Recoleta Cemetery, one of the most popular artisan fairs in Buenos Aires takes place every Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 7 pm, the so-called Recoleta Fair. It has an important gastronomic sector developed around the cemetery; also with a commercial area on Santa Fe Avenue and Vicente López Street, where Recoleta Mall stands out. Most of the hotels located in Recoleta are high quality, some of them operate in the old residences of aristocratic families that used to live in this neighborhood with a Parisian atmosphere.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, the Recoleta neighborhood has the maximum score of 5 stars out of 5 possible (it is the most recommended place on our list to stay due to its wide cultural offer and its beautiful European architecture, you will not regret).
7 – Retiro: The Retiro neighborhood is located between downtown area (officially known as San Nicolás neighborhood), and the sophisticated residential area called Recoleta neighborhood; for this reason, in Retiro you will have very different experiences depending on the location of the hotel you choose. The Retiro movement revolves around its main square called San Martín. It has an intense pedestrian and vehicular traffic because the most important transport terminal in the city is located there, Retiro station; also, a few blocks away is one of the entrances to the port of Buenos Aires. It has a commercial and gastronomic sector on Florida street, where the Galerías Pacífico mall stands out. As for hotels, as we mentioned earlier, Retiro must be divided between the hotels located in the southern business sector, which are very simple; and highly recommended luxury hotels located in the northern residential sector. The latter are located mainly on the axis of Arroyo and Alvear streets; also here is located one of the best gastronomic areas in Buenos Aires.
To qualify Retiro neighborhood, we will make a differentiation between the hotels located in the southern sector and the hotels located in the northern sector. According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, the southern sector of the Retiro neighborhood has a score of 2 stars out of 5 possible (this is due to the high level of noise and vehicular and pedestrian traffic that makes it a very complicated place). As for the northern sector of Retiro, it has the ideal score of 5 stars out of 5 possible (it is one of the most recommended places on our list due to its high quality hotels, the European architecture that characterizes it and the excellent gastronomic offer of the area).
8 – Palermo: Residential area located in the north of the city. It is the largest green space in Buenos Aires, with a large number of attractions to be in contact with nature, such as the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Botanical Garden and the Ecopark. A large number of museums such as the Malba (Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires) and the Evita Museum among others. It is the ideal neighborhood for families with children as it has numerous outdoor options for the little ones. It is also the recommended place for young people due to the huge number of bars located in the vicinity of Serrano Square. Palermo is the largest neighborhood in the city, and for this reason, it has been subdivided into small sectors with their own names. It has a very fashionable commercial area in Palermo Soho, and an important gastronomic area both in Palermo Soho and in Palermo Hollywood. Many of the hotels located in Palermo operate in old recycled mansions converted into elegant boutique hotels.
According to the hospitality scale that we elaborate, Palermo neighborhood has the maximum score of 5 stars out of 5 possible (Palermo is one of the most recommended neighborhoods to stay in the city, with the best gastronomic offer and the most beautiful parks in the city).
In conclusion, according to our research, the best neighborhoods to stay in Buenos Aires are: in first place Recoleta, in second place the northern area of Retiro, in third place Palermo and in fourth place Puerto Madero. These four neighborhoods have everything you need to enjoy the city: high quality restaurants, prominent shopping areas, interesting attractions, important green spaces and an appropriate level of security. Wherever you stay, be sure to visit the surprising and fascinating City of Buenos Aires, here we will be waiting to welcome you as you deserve and offer you the best of us.