Buenos Aires is one of the world’s most entrancing cities – and not just because of its sultry signature dance, the tango. In Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, you can stroll cobblestone streets and browse antiques markets, admire Belle Epoque architecture, and pop into contemporary art galleries. The food scene has long been dominated by red meat and red wine, but in recent years it’s become far more diverse, encompassing everything from molecular gastronomy to Japanese-Peruvian fare to specialty coffee. These essential downloads will help you soak up the gaucho culture.
Live like a local
You don’t need connections in town to score an invitation to a Buenos Aires dinner party’ simply sign up for Cookapp. It connects hosts with friends, neighbors, and even strangers who are willing to pay to be part of a multicourse party. On any given night there may be a dozen dinners being held across the city – some in penthouses, others with live music, and almost all cheaper than a restaurant meal, with plenty of socializing thrown in.
Where to stay
Buenos Aires offers great value on lodging, whether you prefer hotels or vacation rentals. Look to the usual global suspects for booking – like Airbnb and Hipmunk – and consider staying in one of these three neighborhoods, each with a different vibe.
If your tastes tend toward cortados and coworking spaces, head to Palermo Soho, a sub-neighborhood of the wider Palermo barrio. The crowd is young and international, and airy boutiques and hip restaurants abound.
San Telmo is one of the BA’s oldest neighborhoods and arguably its most romantic. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets, watch the weekend street tango, and browse the shops full of vintage finds.
Where to dine and drink
Download Restorando for a deep dive into BA’s dining scene. The restaurant booking app provides detailed reviews (including per-person prices) and use ratings, and let’s you search by location, date, and cuisine. It even offers discounts for certain reservations. Restaurants details are in Spanish, but the English navigation makes it useful even for non-Spanish speakers.
Argentina may be known for its wine, but Buenos Aires also has a burgeoning craft beer culture. GPS Birra maps out and reviews the best spots in the city for a pint or a growler, from the modern beer garden La Growleria to brewery-bistro Ruta 40.
What to do
The city’s official tourist app – BA Turismo – is comprehensive without being overwhelming. Browse local sites, search for tango shows and others events, and find activities – including guided running tours and Pope Francis – themes trip. Choose from a set of walking itineraries, or create your own custom version by selecting spots in the app.
You don’t have to be an architecture obsessive to appreciate Guia Arqui, a handbook to BA’s rich architectural landscape. Whether you’re curious about the Norman Foster – designed governor’s house or the 18th century San Ignacio church, you can easily access information about more than 100 notable buildings, including their architects, history, and condition, plus tips for exploring surrounding areas.
Visiting Buenos Aires without getting a taste of tango is like visiting Paris without eve catching sight of the Eiffel Tower. The bare-bones Hoy Milonga app spotlights the top important milongas (tango gatherings) and practice sessions around town, including hours, reservation information, and contact details.
How to get around
There is no shortage of cabs in Buenos Aires, but opening BA Taxi is easier than hailing one on the street. The app lets you pay by credit card instead of fumbling for small bills. BA Subte helps you navigate the subway system, with a map and regular service updates.
Culture to consume
Spanish speakers can keep up with the news – even celebrity developments – with Argentina Diarios, which collects content from newspapers and magazines across the country. Similarly, Radios Argentinas lets you tune in to local sports, top 40, news, and even tango broadcasts with just a tap.
Even visitors who already speak Spanish are often surprised by the Italian – inflected Castilian spoken in Buenos Aires. Porteño Spanish provides a fun way to learn some of the local slang.