I am now in Bolivia, which, despite its charms, lacks decent internet, which means no images I’m afraid. However it does mean that I can pick a topic that doesn’t really require pictures, hostels of Buenos Aires. Now of course this isn’t TripAdvisor, HostelWorld, or Bookings.com (incidentally the best websites to book hostels on) and I’m not going to list out a load of hostels and their merits and faults. In fact I stayed in 4 or 5 different ones in Palermo in my first 4 or 5 days in BA and don’t really recall the names or differences between them. No, I’ll just try to explain the differences between staying in Palermo and Central, and between a party hostel and a more relaxed one.
When I arrived late at night in Buenos Aires I actually stayed at a really grimy, rubbish place that felt more European than all the others put together, but the next morning I quickly checked out and moved to Palermo. As I said before, I don’t particularly remember the difference between the hostels in Palermo. I’m sure they’re great, especially for visiting the bars, restaurants and clubs or Palermo, but unfortunately I found them pretty bad for meeting people. When you’re travelling, I’d say what’s worse than bad buses, getting ill etc is loneliness. You don’t see that on the Facebook timelines or photos, and most of the time people won’t talk about it when they get home, but for a solo traveller its n inevitability. Dinners alone, drinking a beer alone, bus rides alone, all kind of suck, and done for too long leads to homesickness and maybe even depression. So meeting other people is a necessity, and being able to do this quickly is a useful skill also very helpful for wider life. This is why I don’t have amazing memories of the Palermo hostels, while the Central ones still call me back!
The first hostel in Central BA was Hostel Estoril. This is located on Avenida de Mayo (May is an important month for Argentinians due to independence from the Spanish declared on the 25th 1810, and for me because it was my first month in the country!), a street that runs between congress and the presidential building. Its not got a huge amount of great restaurants or bars, but has the money changing street, Florida, running off it, and is between San Telmo and Palermo and near to the sea, bus and ferry station, and has loads of subte (subway) stops running down it. My hostel was great because it was near the central subway stations (meaning changing lines was easy), right beside an amazing pizza place, and was really well run. The receptionists are all students or working to pay accommodation, so are all pretty young and helpful, and I actually made friends with a couple of them. There’s also a great lounge containing a big TV with a hundred mostly English channels, good internet and a nice relaxed atmosphere. The rooms are all not too cramped, and I found most of the people willing to chat, a few of whom became great friends. The breakfast is especially good. I haven’t covered food yet, but the breakfast was primarily made up of medialunas (half moons), effectively small glazed croissants, and tubs of Dulce de Leche. Fattening but it filled me up and saved money for the rest of the day. There’s also a top floor terrace where a barbeque is held every Thursday evening.
So Estoril was a great place to come back after a night out, or just chill out, and also allowed for a great platform for tours it activities.
Once I returned from Iguazu Falls (covered later), I had four nights left, and as it was a weekend, decided to go to the party hostel, Milhouse. This was my first experience of a South American party hostel (located in all the big cities. The chains are Loki- La Paz, Cusco, Lima, Mancora. Wild Rover- La Paz, Cusco. Milhouse- Buenos Aires, Cusco) and what an experience. As soon as I arrived I was met by an incredibly friendly and flirty receptionist (evidently part of the job) who gave me a massive list of the activities and of course parties held by the hostel. What also strikes you is the organisation, cleanliness and pleasantness of the place. Based in an old apartment building, it has an army of receptionists, bartenders, cooks, security guards and cleaners on hand, as we’ll as a pool table, incredibly fast computers, a laundry service and a great breakfast. What more could you want? Well, sleep I suppose.
The people in my room were all really great as well. A guy from Luxembourg, two guys from Germany (who got an incredible steak with me), a couple from Southampton and a guy from Denmark. Each day and night I did something different with them, as well as meet people from my previous hostel and my friend from back home, including a walk in Palermo’s parks, Argentine ale with the Danish guy’s Buenos Airen girlfriend, a steak dinner and a tango class and show. This of course doesn’t include a couple of great nights out. Maybe I just got lucky, but my experience at Milhouse was nothing but positive.
So there are my two recommended hostels in Buenos Aires. Estoril for chilling (and sleep!), Milhouse for partying and getting out there, although maybe sacrificing some touristy stuff.
Chau (note this is how South Americans spell it).
Me at a Milhouse pre-drinks with some of my roommates.