In the past few years Buenos Aires became a hotspot for tourist destination, which means that the tourism industry boomed, and prices rose. Even so, you can still find an economical way to travel and still have a good experience.
Let’s look at a few things and what you should be expecting to pay around Buenos Aires:
International travel is expensive. There’s no way to avoid that. If you’re traveling from the states you’ll need to plan for $1,000-$2,000 USD depending on when and where you’re travelling from. Once you’re here there’s some things that will be cheaper and easier to afford.
This has a lot of factors involved: high season vs low season (summer vs winter), what time you’re traveling (day vs overnight), if you’re traveling within Argentina at all (maybe you just want to study in Buenos Aires), and how you’re traveling within Argentina (bus vs plane). In general, I suggest making side trips. There are many beautiful places that you’ll only be able to get to by plane or overnight bus. (See our blog on side trips from Buenos Aires https://vamospanish.com/long-weekend-trips-from-buenos-aires/ ). An easy way to check to what you’ll be paying is by using skyscanner.net, kayak.com, or any other site that lets you compare prices.
I would recommend different housings for different lengths of stay. If you’re going to be here for 2 weeks and want to hit all the major attractions, I you might want to stay at a hostel. Hostels will cost around $120-$300 pesos ($7-$17) depending on what area you’d like to be in, and how nice you want the hostel to be. In general the hostels in Palermo, San Telmo, or Downtown will be more expensive because those are the nicer areas with more tourist spots.
Airbnb is a good option for a lot of students who are thinking of longer stays. The best price on an Airbnb I’ve found was $560 per month in the heart of Palermo. You could find better more reasonably priced housing outside of the center if you’re willing to commute.
If you wanted to eat not so expensive you might want to stay somewhere that has a kitchen and buy groceries. If you want to eat out, typical meals cost around $200 pesos ($11 USD) for dinner at just a typical restaurant, nothing fancy. For lunch, you can eat out cheaper, around $70 pesos ($4USD) if you go to a pay per kilo (by weight) restaurant or order takeout. Flip side of this is that really nice restaurants don’t run too expensive. A fancy dinner, like the Don Julio Parrilla, can cost about $50 USD per person with appetizer, wine and dessert.
Groceries for the week for me cost about ⅔ of what they do in the states. I spend about $45 USD per week on groceries if I don’t go out to eat, and if I have all the basics at the hostel/airbnb (salt, pepper, olive oil, etc.)
Public transportation around the city is very affordable, and effective. When you get here, go to a kisok (a convenience store) and ask for a sube card. They cost $30 pesos ($1.75 USD) and then load it with maybe $100-200 pesos to start. A subway ride is $7 pesos, bus and trains are a peso or so cheaper. So for reference, each ride you take will at most, be $0.40 USD.
If public transportation isn’t your thing, you can take Ubers or taxis. In general, they cost about the same per ride if you’re not going too far. A typical ride will cost about $6-8 USD. If you’re going really far, like across all of Buenos Aires or outside the capital, you still won’t be paying prices comparable to what you would pay in the states. The only time I’ve seen prices comparable to the states was during surge pricing.
There’s plenty to do in Buenos Aires that don’t cost anything. Try going to ferías (markets) on the weekend. They’re lined with local craftsmen selling their goods. Be sure to check out the San Telmo fería, one of the most popular spots on the weekend, or the one by the Recoleta Cemetery if you’re looking for something closer to the school. The ferías are every Saturdays and Sundays.
Something more structured but not expensive would be the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. This museum is a collection of European paintings. The upper floor is a different art exhibit of a featured artist’s work. Entrance is free are donation based. The Reserva Ecologica is a good place to go to spend some time with nature. It’s a local park to walk around or lay in the grass and soak up some sun, or maybe even have a mate with some friends. Located in Puerto Madero, it’s the perfect place to escape city noises and enjoy bird watching or being surrounded greenery.
Wine tasting: another popular activity in Argentina that won’t break the bank. The wines from Argentina are mostly from the region of Mendoza (west from Buenos Aires). The wine tastings in Buenos Aires take place at wine stores, as none of the vineyards are in Buenos Aires. At the school we work closely with one of the wine stores near our school and have various tastings and events throughout the year. Typcal wine tastings will be around $20 USD for 3 wines.
If you’re willing to spend more, there’s some pretty amazing things to experience while you’re here.The popular activities are going to be more expensive, but they’ll be worth the price.
Fútbol: If you want to go to a soccer game it will cost about $150 USD. Popular teams such as Boca or River will be $220-$280 USD. The issue with getting tickets to a soccer game is that it’s very difficult to get them from a box office. It’s better to buy them online since many of the tickets have already been pre sold. Since you’ll need to get those through a company that already bought them, the prices will be marked up. If you’re coming to Vamos and want to go to a game, we can help you with the online researching and finding tickets.
Polo: While the sport itself isn’t native to Argentina, the country certainly adopted it as it’s own: 14 of the top 20 polo players in the world are Argentinian. The British brought the game to Argentina in the 1870s and the Argentinian polo industry went on to become what it is today. They have created their own breed of horse to claim excellence to the sport. The Argentine Polo Pony was a breed specifically bred for Polo. It’s a cross between the Argentine Criollo and the English Thoroughbred to get a horse with incredible speed and endurance. While it’s a great thing to do here, it’s not a cheap sport, a day of polo is about $180-220 USD. Normally, the day trip comes with transportation, an asado lunch (meat, vegetables and wine), watching and then playing the game yourself. While it’s not cheap, students who have done it have said it’s an incredible experience.
When budgeting other things need to be taken into account before you go as well: travel insurance, extra money for lost or stolen things, Spanish classes, etc. Adding these things into your budget will help you travel with peace of mind that if something goes wrong you still will be ok financially. Other prices for activities not included here can usually be found online or by emailing the company. Read more about the best blog in Buenos Aires