No trip to Buenos Aires would be complete without visiting the famous La Boca neighborhood! This local enclave is one of the oldest sections of the city, and filled with endless history and culture. Determined to visit as many of the neighborhoods in Buenos Aires as possible, we made the trip on a sunny afternoon to see for ourselves what it was all about. From the colorful streets of El Caminito to the La Bombonera stadium, you’ll find plenty of interesting things to do in La Boca.
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Quick History of the La Boca Neighborhood
The story of the La Boca neighborhood is deeply intertwined with the rich immigrant history of Buenos Aires. La Boca or “the mouth” was actually the the first happening port in the city!
The early 19th century saw thousands of immigrants coming to Buenos Aires from all over Europe. Interestingly enough, the biggest movement came directly from Genoa Italy to the La Boca neighborhood.
When we first arrived in Buenos Aires we were wondering where all the Italian influence came from. It wasn’t until we explored La Boca when those questions were answered.
Unfortunately, a yellow fever epidemic in the 1870’s sent most of La Boca’s wealthy residents running. Yet, it would recreate itself time and time again into the colorful streets you see today!
Getting to La Boca & Staying Safe
Although the main streets of La Boca are very safe and touristic, just outside is known to be a different story. For this reason, we were advised by locals not to try to walk to the La Boca neighborhood or visit after dark. We took an Uber from the San Telmo Sunday Market for just 120 Pesos ($2 USD) and had no problems at all.
You can also flag down a regular taxi ,or jump on the bus easily as well. We felt super safe in La Boca, and as long as you stay within the main streets like El Caminito there’s nothing to worry about.
Quick Tips For La Boca Buenos Aires
1. When getting a taxi or Uber set the address to El Caminito La Boca. If you’re taking the bus it’s the last stop on the #29.
2. There are only a few streets to explore, and it won’t take more then 2-3 hours even with lunch.
3. Visit in the afternoon when the streets are lively, and you can really see the colors on the walls and buildings pop!
4. Pay attention to where you are and stay inside the tourist area.
Why We Loved La Boca Buenos Aires
Some view El Caminito and La Boca as just another tourist trap, but once we learned the history we appreciated it so much more. Aside from the incredible art and colors bursting from city walls, you’ll find a unique local vibe welcoming you in. It’s just a few small streets that make up the main part of La Boca in Buenos Aires.
However they’re packed with an undeniable energy that you won’t find in other parts of the city. Everywhere you go in the upbeat La Boca neighborhood you’ll hear music blasting, cervezas being served, and the sweet smell of sausages in the air.
Strolling Down El Caminito
The most popular section of La Boca is the beautiful El Caminito street. Yes, this is likely one of the pictures you saw that brought you to Buenos Aires in the first place!
Strolling down this magnificent pedestrian-only zone was one of our favorite things to do in La Boca, and the green, yellow, orange, and blue seemed to jump off the walls. Take your time to enjoy your surroundings and the endless colors of El Caminito street.
Street Meat vs. Restaurant Dining in La Boca
Buenos Aires is full of amazing food, and La Boca Buenos Aires has some of the best! The only thing to decide is whether you want to dine on the streets or in one of the many restaurants. If you’re looking for a sit down meal we recommend Gran Paraiso for its grilled specialties.
We preferred having a cold beer at Aleph Cafe overlooking the streets, and then a grabbing a Choripan sandwich from a local vendor at the entrance of La Boca. If you see the Las Gemelas grill don’t pass it up! This guy claims to have the best sausage in the entire city, and he certainly had us convinced.
Known as the “Chocolate box” because of its shape, the infamous soccer stadium of the Boca Juniors has long been a place of pride for residents of the La Boca neighborhood. La Bombonera is almost always at capacity, and the nearly 50,000 cheering have been known to shake the stadium after a goal! Sports fan or not, you should definitely make a point to go to a Boca Juniors game on your visit to Buenos Aires.
Have any questions, or want to share you own favorite things to doin in La Boca Buenos Aires? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Buenos Aires
Ultra Luxury – Alvear Palace Hotel- Leading Hotels of the World – This 5 Star hotel has large beautiful rooms set in a French style decor. Recoleta is an upscale area to base yourself in, and one of the many popular areas of the city. At the Alvear Palace you’ll also find a large indoor swimming pool with a spa and fitness center to enjoy.
Fun Vacation – AQ Tailored Suites – AQ Tailored Suites is also set in the gorgeous Recoleta neighborhood! Here they offer large suites with balconies overlooking the Buenos Aires streets from above. In the warmer months make sure to take advantage of the outdoor swimming pool as well.
Travel Couple – Selina Palermo – Selina Palermo is a mix of an upscale hostel with a unique co-working vibe. Rooms have fun decorations and this hotel is the perfect place to get some work done after exploring. Make sure not to miss the beautiful views of the city from the rooftop terrace!
Hostel Life – America del Sur Hostel Buenos Aires – This popular hostel is located in the San Telmo district which is a great area to explore Buenos Aires from. The hostel has private and mixed dorms, and staff who are very helpful with tips on the city. The famous Sunday San Telmo Market is only 3 blocks away from here.
For more places to stay near La Boca Buenos Aires you can explore the latest prices here!
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Argentina Travel Planning
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Remember that a lot of the time it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Argentina than driving or taking the bus!
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling in Argentina. It is especially fun to have a car in scenic regions like Patagonia.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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