The Paris of South America it is indeed! Been touring for a few days now, and like with Rio, here are a few things I have observed to enhance the chances of childfree travel in Buenos Aires:
Getting there: If you are already in South America (I was flying there from Rio), don’t fly on a flight that departs mid-day. Hubbie and I got on a flight that departed about 11:30 a.m. and it was flooded with, how you say, “energetic” kids!
Where to stay: We booked a 1 bedroom apartment in a posher neighborhood in the Palermo district and it was a good call. The apartment building is a mix of full-time residents and the equivalent of what we would call in the States, “executive” or vacation rentals. If children live in this building, you wouldn’t know it.
The immediate neighborhood also seems to crawl with more adults than kids, that is until you get to the parks, which are very nearby. Buenos Aires has its own impressive “Central Park,” and it was a popular afternoon spot for families with kids on Christmas. Its size is so grand, you don’t feel surrounded by kids though; it did not get in the way of a lovely walk in it.
I also suggest staying in the Palermo Soho district. Home to trendy local fashion designers and boutiques selling their creations, it is a hip area where you won’t be stepping over lots of strollers in your shopping travels.
Touring: Like in Rio hubbie and I like architectural tours, and while you see kids around on these walking tours, they are not likely to be part of your group, so really don’t get in the way of an enjoyable touring experience. Buenos Aires has Rio beat when it comes to its architecture!
In addition to Palermo Soho, we walked mostly childfree streets in the San Telmo district. Hip, bohemian, and oozing with charm, this area is a must.
Like Rio, Buenos Aires comes alive at night. The adult only experience can be guaranteed at night. Here a must is a Tango Show–many to choose from. Also go to local milongas, where the locals do the tango; it can be an even more interesting experience than the tango “show.” Also, avoid the tour bus that you buy a ticket for 24 hours and takes you around town–that is where you will likely share it with families with kids from around the globe.
Taxi or Subway? Want to get where you’re going very cheaply–about 30 American cents per ride? Take the subway. It is easy to use and beats sitting in traffic. The A line runs the old cars from many years ago, which as an antique lover, I particularly enjoy! If you don’t want to share a car with a fare share of strollers, though, take taxis!
The reality: If you are drawn to see Buenos Aires, go with a mindset that it is a place whose culture includes loving their kids. You will encounter them as part of your travel experience, to be sure. You see babies everywhere, and I would wager the median age of a woman having her first child is not 27, like in the States; it is a younger age, to be sure!
As a last note, sadly my South American travel ends here…something unexpected has come up on the homefront that I am just not going to be able to handle from my next stop, which would have been the Patagonia. So I have decided to cut my trip short. The good news: the Patagonia will always be there…..
Those who have been to Buenos Aires–tell us your experiences!