Private guide/things to do in Buenos Aires

We will be in BA for a day and a half after the Patagonia trip and would love to know if anyone in the last year or so has used a private guide for a walking tour of the city, supplemented by cab rides as needed, for about 4 hours. Also pricing would be good to know, if you recall. If you had favorite places you visited, please also let me know. I am particularly curious about MALBA and the Cemetery. I will also admit that I have a weakness for silver jewelry. Thank you!


  • We enjoyed the Japanese gardens.
    If you are in BA over a weekend, there is a lovely market near the hotel.
    I don’t know whether the tour still goes out to the village where you visit a silversmith. I bought two pairs of earrings and a small delicate necklace there.

  • As a male and non-shopper, I found that silversmith visit to be the biggest waste of time of the entire trip, including the long drive to get there.

  • We were in BA in February (non-Tauck). The Hilton arranged a private guide and driver for us through Signature Tours. The guide was Joanna and she was excellent. She asked us our interests and took it from there. Since the traffic was terrible, it was great also having a driver to drop us off for walking tours of the various neighborhoods. After the cemetery visit, Joanna helped us pick a lunch site in Recoleta, then left us to wander and Uber back to the hotel. The cost was $90/hour. I highly recommend.

  • Dottie, thank you for the information.
    BKMD thank you for your opinion on that. I always applaud Tauck's efforts to keep local artisans "alive", but I get that it is not for everyone.
    British, thanks for the tip about the Japanese gardens. Yes, the silversmith is still on the itinerary.
    Any other tips will be much appreciated.

  • If you enjoy art museums I found these three worthwhile: MALBA, Museo Nacional de Bellas Arts and Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Art Collection. Descriptions and visiting information for all three can be easily found with an internet search. The Cemetery was also very interesting. It was part of the included day tour on my trip.

  • edited August 9

    I’ve never done it, but always intended to do a day trip to Montevideo, Uruguay. It’s just across the river from BA. Just take a taxi to the ferry and wander around, or you can pay a lot of money to a tour company to do the same thing. Don’t forget your passport.

  • Do you enjoy music or dancing? Rojo Tango is by far the best Tango show & it’s in a beautiful hotel. It includes a meal, which was very good. It’s set up as Dinner Theater. If you’re interested, I would look into purchasing tickets as early as possible because it sells out. I have friends who included it in their visit there during a Tauck tour & really enjoyed it.
    Teatro Colon is their beautiful Opera House. If you have time, it’s nice to actually watch a production there & take in its beauty. They give tours of the facility during the day & immediately prior to the performances, if you just want to do that….
    The cemetery is really worth seeing as well. The concierge at the hotel was very helpful. I emailed them & they were very responsive. Have a great time!

  • Thanks for all the great suggestions! After studying some maps, maybe we don't need a guide, especially if Uber functions well in BA. Dottie, I will keep the guide's information just in case, thanks. MALBA and the cemetery are definitely on our list, and possibly one other art museum vs Japanese garden depending on weather. Montevideo sounds like a great suggestion for a second visit. There is a tango show as part of the final dinner, listed on the itinerary. Obviously some are better than others but given my husband's attention span for this kind of thing, I would probably skip a second tango show. If we have time we may take the tour of the opera house, but after having spent 4 hours seeing Aida at La Scala a few years ago, there is no way he will agree to any more opera performances, at least not while we are on vacation!

  • We were in BA in February and did tours on two different days, one the day the tour ended and one the day we flew home.

    Had a good experience with the general city tour with De Passeios. It was scheduled for four hours but ran about six, which was not an issue on our side or the guide's. We were able to customize the start/pick up time. It was one guide in a car that picked us up right at the hotel - we were the only guests. We were able to cover a lot of ground and not have to worry about parking. Hit a few of the places from the Tauck tour, like the Plaza de Mayo but had a chance to walk around and explore a bit on our own more than Tauck where we mostly saw things from the bus. The guide was good at giving history and commentary, but also customizing since it was only us. We never felt rushed. It did not go into Recoleta, but that is an easy way to spend the other part of a day and very navigable from the hotel. Our guide took us to a leather shop where we did not feel pressured to make purchases because it was a good place to do some money exchange at a competitive rate. Highly recommend the tour - it was a good introduction to the city. Cost for the group (I think up to 4 people) was $127.

    The second day we did a food tour which was the highlight for us. I know it sounds a little odd considering how much you eat on Tauck tours, but it was one of the chillest and most interesting food tours we've done. It was long (~6hrs), but a good amount of walking/touring between eating so you didn't feel like you were overstuffed. It was in a neighborhood away from the town center (Palermo Viejo) which we likely would not have explored on our own. It was a 15-20min cab ride each way, under $15 each way. Our guide helped us flag a cab and get us on our way for the return trip. The tour included the botanical gardens, street art, and history that we would not have found on our own. The stops included medialunas and coffee at our first stop, the best steak of the tour and accompanying sides at another, some alcohol, extremely delicious sausage sandwiches, at least one other stop I'm forgetting and ended with gelato. It was the "Customizable Food Tour of Palermo Viejo" with Asado Adventures and $95 pp for the entire tour.

    You won't get it as part of the food tour, but the other night we got pizza for dinner. Highly recommend trying the Fugazetta Pizza and experiencing the Argentinian style of pizza.

  • PGH, in addition to everyone else this is very valuable information and I will look into it. Thank you!

  • In BA, there are pizza places on almost every block. There's a large Italian population there.

  • Yes, I have heard that 50-60% of the population of Argentina has Italian roots. I'm looking forward to learning all about that when we get there. Anyway, it is always fun to try pizza in different countries! It is one of the few ways I can get my husband to travel....especially to Italy....

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