Cost of Living Buenos Aires | Cost Breakdown for 2013

Cost of Living Buenos Aires | Cost Breakdown for 2013

Here is a cost of LIVING Buenos Aires; not just surviving. The prices are indicative of my time here, which has been from late 2012 to early 2013. Keep in mind that prices change rapidly in this city. Hence the reason why I thought it would be useful to outline what it costs to live in this fantastic city at this point in time. It’s not as cheap as when Timothy Ferriss was here in 2006, but it’s still good value compared to other major world cities.

As a note, all of the price conversions are using the ‘Blue Rate‘ of currency exchange. When you come to Argentina bring US dollars or Euros in cash. The government keeps an artificially high value to the Peso, and you will be giving away money to the government if you don’t bring hard currency. This tip alone will save you over 30% on your trip to Argentina.

Here’s the main things you’ll be spending your money on . . .

Housing

Housing will be a big cost for you while you are in Buenos Aires. I found my nice studio apartment in the heart of Palermo Hollywood for $600USD/month. It’s fully furnished, and in the heart of the number one party and entertainment district in Buenos Aires. This is where you want to be to LIVE Buenos Aires. In order to find a place for short-term rent, the best place is Craigslist. Don’t worry, since it’s targeted to foreigners, the majority of the ads are in English. Expect to pay from $400- $1200, depending on the part of town you want to live in, and the standard of living you hold. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to find a reasonable place in San Telmo for much less than in Palermo.

A french style apartment in ritzy Recoleta.

A french style house in ritzy Recoleta that’s now the Spanish embassy.

Here’s a list of neighbourhoods that foreigners should look at from least expensive to most expensive. Each has its own vibe. I’ve now lived in three neighbourhoods: Recoleta, Palermo, and Belgrano. Palermo’s the most fun, Belgrano’s the quietest, and Recoleta is the most beautiful. Villa Crespo is a reasonably priced alternative to Palermo, and right next door.

San Telmo/Monserrat

Villa Crespo

Belgrano

Palermo

Recoleta

Puerto Madero

Food

This one will vary greatly, depending on what you’re looking for. If you eat only in season, locally grown vegetables, with a bit of red meat, you won’t spend much. Anything imported in Argentina is expensive, so be prepared to spend as much or more than your home country for such items. A quick example, I bought three bottles of Argentinean Malbec for a total of 60 pesos (~$8.) One 250ml bottle of dijon mustard was 55 pesos.

A nice plate of food in Buenos Aires will cost about $10-$17.

A nice plate of food in Buenos Aires will cost about $10-$17.

The grocery stores are not up to western standards, and you may have problems finding some of your favourite foods. The good news, however, is that restaurants are incredibly well valued. You can go out for a beautiful steak dinner for two, with a bottle of great Argentine wine for about $25.

Entertainment

The city knows how to party. The night clubs open at 1am, but no one shows up until 2. They party till dawn on weekends, and have ‘early’ nights for weekdays called After Office parties. Some of the biggest clubs you’ve ever seen are in Buenos Aires, with sound systems that cost over a million dollars. If the techno dance party isn’t your scene, you can tango the night away. There’s plenty of milongras to fill your dance bill.

One of the many big concerts that come through Buenos Aires (about $25.)

One of the many big concerts that come through Buenos Aires (about $25.)

So what will partying till dawn in Buenos Aires cost you? A high end night club will set you back about $10 for entry, and $5 for a 355ml beer. The tango milongras are more reasonably priced, and will cost about $5-$10 for entry, and about $6 for a 1 litre beer.

Transportation

Public transportation in this city is one of the least expensive I have ever seen. A trip on the subway (subte) will cost you all of 30 cents. A trip on the bus is even less, and will cost you about 20 cents. The cabs are inexpensive for westerners too, but are much more expensive than the public transit. A 15 minute cab ride will cost you about $7. The flag drops at ~$1.20, and goes up in 12 cent increments for every 100 metres.

Cost Breakdown of Three Different Standards of Living

Budget

Housing in a shared house in San Telmo/Monserrat

$150-$300

Eating at home, buying only local groceries

$100-$200

Attending free events put on by the government, dancing in parks, or at friends homes

$50

Only taking public transport for wherever you are going

$30

Cost of living Buenos Aires on a budget

$330-$580

Mid-Range

Your own place in a basic furnished studio or one bedroom in a nice part of town.

$550-$900

Eating at home half the time, and going to nice menu del dia lunches and restaurants the other half

$450 – $600

Going out to clubs and milongras two to three times a week

$300-$500

A mix of public transport and cabs depending on time allowances and time of day

$125-$175

Cost of living Buenos Aires on a mid-range budget:

$1425-$2175

High Rollin’

A beautiful furnished apartment in Palermo, Recoleta, or Puerto Madero

$1300-$3000

Eating out for every meal, and going to the fanciest restaurants

$1000-$1500

VIP tables and going out most nights to the top clubs

$800-$1500

Taking cabs everywhere

$350

Total cost of LIVING Buenos Aires like a baller

$3450-$6350

I hope this is helpful. Remember that prices change rapidly, but this is a rough estimation of what to expect in 2013. Add approximately 35%/year after 2013.

If you need more reasons to visit. Make sure to check out my Top 25 Reasons to Love Buenos Aires.

Going to Buenos Aires?

Let Mariela, a Buenos Aires expert make the most of your time there. She will customize the perfect trip for you, or help you get comfortable in your new neighbourhood.

 

 

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  1. May 4, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Prices go up 35% per year American dollars or pesos? Ouch …

    • briper
      May 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      It goes up 35%/year in pesos, which is historically low for Argentina. Right now, however, the black market dollar exchange has brought prices down a bit in USD terms.

      • viavero
        May 18, 2013 at 1:53 am

        alguien sabe cuales son los barrios que mas se inundan?
        Gracias

        • briper
          May 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm

          Los barrios cerca del rio son mas susceptible para inundar. Belgrano abajo de Libertador es tan susceptible.

  2. Nikki
    October 5, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Hi, we are travelling to Argentina in March 2014 from Australia. Would you recommend we bring australian dollars (cash) and exchange it in Argentina or should we exchange it to Pesos before we go?

    Thanks :)

    • briper
      October 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Bring USD.

  3. LB
    December 22, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks for all this great recent information. I will be going to Buenos Aires (staying in Recoleta area) at the very end of February for only 5 nights. Can you please tell me if a lot/most restaurants and stores take US dollars or is it absolutely a must that we change our money into pesos? I know we cannot tip in dollars so we would have to change at least a little bit. Also, do a lot/most restaurants and stores take credit card? And do you see any downside (like an extra charge, for instance) in using credit cards?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    • briper
      December 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      Dollars have a black market in Argentina, for this reason you’ll get better prices in dollars than in Pesos. I’d recommend bringing as many dollars as you plan on spending.

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