What to pack for a trip to Buenos Aires

A Packing List to cover you in Buenos Aires

what to pack buenos aires

[Photo credit: Salihan Laugesen’s photostream//CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

After ruminating over all the exciting destinations around the planet, you’ve finally decided to travel to Buenos Aires. Great, we know you’ll love it here as much as we do. And though you’ve tossed and turned over your decision, figuring out what to pack can be even more stressful. Start your trip the Argentine way: tranquilo, relax, we’ve got you covered.

Pack light and in season

If you’re coming from the Northern Hemisphere, don’t forget that seasons switch when you cross the equator. Argentina’s summer is from December to March, autumn is March to May, winter spans June through August, and spring blossoms from September into November. While summer can be insufferably humid, and winter bitter cold, the weather is overall quite temperate and these extremes usually last only about a week. Your best bet is to bring layers and peel off or pile on as necessary.
Regarding style, people in Buenos Aires are quite fashionable and trends change every season. Europeans will find the styles quite aligned to their own, but US Americans may want to leave some of their most casual t-shirts and flip-flops at home. When in doubt, bring classic, flattering basics and lean toward dressy instead of casual.

These boots were made for walking!

Argentine packing list

[Photo credit: David Avalos’s photostream//CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Buenos Aires is an incredibly walk-able city, and we recommend taking a walking tour to best get to know the place. Without a doubt, the most important thing you can bring to BA is a comfortable pair of shoes.

Having said that, if you are planning to do some trekking in one of the more rugged regions of Argentina, know that hiking boots will definitely stand out in the fashionable capital. Also, if interested in dancing some Tango, you will want comfortable shoes to learn in before whipping out those ravishing heels to show off your moves. Try some simple flats.

A quick reference list of what to pack

Of course, what you pack depends completely on your style, gender, travel tastes, length of stay, and itinerary. But here we’ve compiled a list of essentials to get you started.

  • Comfy walking shoes. Absolutely essential
  • Another pair of nice shoes or sandals. Comfortable but more dressy
  • Plenty of socks and under garments
  • 3 pairs of pants or jeans; good for day and night
  • A few shirts for every-day wear
  • 4 nice blouses or dress shirts. For fine dining and tango shows
  • 2 sweaters/sweatshirts. One lighter; fleece or wool work great
  • 1 light coat
  • Pajamas and comfortable clothes
  • Sunglasses
  • A hat or scarf
  • A raincoat or shell. For sudden torrential showers

If this seems like little to you, remember you can shop in the city, although prices -especially for brands – are usually more expensive than outside Argentina. Women who wear sizes larger than a US dress size 8 will have a challenge finding clothes that fit in BA, as clothes run quite small.

Women’s packing list:

  • 2 dresses and/or long skirts; keep weather in mind
  • A couple of tanks for layering
  • A scarf or two, depending on your style
  • Nice boots/sandals/low heels; avoid uncomfortably high heels
  • Pair of leggings
  • A long shirt to wear over your leggings
  • 1 pair of shorts

Those who rely on hair dryers should note that the voltage is different in Argentina than in the US, and hair dryers may blow-out (it’s happened to me!). Your hotel should provide a dryer, and if not bring a voltage converter. Buenos Aires uses 220 volts. Your computer, however, is likely dual-voltage and will be fine.

Other items: 

  • Sunscreen. The sun is strong here
  • Medicines. Bring any prescriptions you need
  • Toiletries
  • An adapter for electronics
  • A good book. For the plane and long bus rides
  • Passport
  • Reusable waterbottle. Try one with a built in filter
  • Mastercard or Visa credit card and US dollars cash.

What not to bring to Argentina

A tip when packing: pack everything you’re planning on taking into your bag. Now reduce that by 20%. You want to leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs. You should also leave valuables at home; flashy jewelry will attract attention on the street in Buenos Aires, and while theft is not out of control here, you wouldn’t want your memory of your travels tainted by a lost heirloom.

Lastly, don’t bring too many gadgets. Apart from your computer or tablet and phone, you really won’t need anything else. Besides, you’re on vacation — take a break from the screen and engage with the amazing city all around you. Enjoy your trip!

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