Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Cost of Living in Buenos Aires

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While some international cities are ridiculously expensive to live in, and others are very affordable, Buenos Aires manages to strike a balance somewhere in the middle. The cost of living is certainly not low, especially for those who earn pesos, but neither is it impossible. And for those who are lucky enough to live in Buenos Aires while earning dollars, pound or euros, it is easy to live a very comfortable life.

Cost of Living in Buenos Aires, Day to Day

The major expense for anyone living in Argentina’s capital is rent, without a doubt. Prices can vary immensely, depending on a couple of factors. First is citizenship. Locals are able to secure a lower rent, because they have the opportunity to rent longer term (two years is standard), and unfurnished. Of course, they then have the task of furnishing the apartment and paying for utilities, but on a monthly basis, rent is most definitely cheaper. However, to obtain such a lease, it is necessary to have a guarantor, someone who is willing to vouch for you by putting their property on the line in case you fail to pay rent.

Foreigners, on the other hand, usually rent short-term (up to six months, legally), furnished apartments, with all expenses included. While much more convenient, especially for those who will not be in Argentina forever, and may not want to invest in furnishings, it also comes at a price. Foreigners can expect to pay higher rent than locals, though how much higher can vary greatly depending on the building, the owner, the apartment itself, the other roommates, and, of course, location.

Location plays a huge factor in the cost of the Buenos Aires apartments rentals and their prices. What you might pay in Once will be half of what you would pay for a similar apartment in Recoleta. Each neighborhood varies, and it is important to look around and find a place that is both affordable for you and in a neighborhood in which you feel comfortable. That having been said, one can expect rent, on average, to cost anywhere between $500 – $2000 pesos, depending on all the above factors.

Beyond rent and utilities, you can expect to find the normal food and transportation expenses, as well as whatever you deem appropriate for entertainment. Of course, all of these costs can vary greatly from person to person, but there is still definitely a range.

Transportation seems to be the most basic. Any subway, bus or train ride will cost between $1.00 and $1.75 pesos, unless you’re traveling far. But the city is absolutely navigable using some combination of the three. And if you’re feeling luxurious, you can always take a taxi, which shouldn’t run more than around $30 pesos for even the longer distances, such as San Telmo to Palermo — not too expensive if you’re sharing the cab with friends. For more info regarding this issue check the bus system in this Buenos Aires travel guide.

Food, of course, has a lot of variation in costs. Staples in the grocery stores — such as pasta, beef, rice, vegetables, fruits, milk — are affordable. Imported products tend to have high price tags, though, including imported produce. But for the most part, one can live well on about $10 per day per person if fixing all meals at home. If you choose to eat out, you can find everything from a slice of pizza or a choripan or an empanada for $3 – $5 pesos, to a full steak dinner with wine for $50 pesos. Salads in restaurants do tend to be pricey, often running as high as $40 pesos. Coffee in cafes tends to be around $7 – $12 pesos, but often comes with a small bite to eat, as well.

Then, of course, is entertainment. Again, these prices can vary depending on personal taste. Most boliches, or clubs, cost anywhere from $20 – $80 pesos to enter, although most are right around $30, and include a free drink. There is also a plethora of bars, milongas (tango bars), museums, dance classes, theatre shows, and even the zoo. If you prefer to entertain yourself for free, Buenos Aires is full of green, beautiful parks, and many interesting markets to peruse, although most are held on the weekends. In short, it is easy to find entertainment for any budget.

Vibrant and bustling, Buenos Aires is an ever-changing, ever-evolving city. This means that the prices change often, too, as the peso is not the most stable currency. But for the most part, Buenos Aires remains an affordable city, though sometimes more so than other times. With a little planning, it is most definitely a livable city, even when living off of a standard peso wage.

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