Living in Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango, of soccer legends, of the traditional asado and home of one of the best meats in the world, is definitely worth experiencing. Argentina’s capital city entices visitors with its charms and it is considered one of the best Latin American destinations for tourists from all over the world.
This city inherited several European traits: tree-lined boulevards, neoclassic architecture, sidewalk cafés…Buenos Aires is indeed a European city at heart located in the midst of Latin America culture.
If you are planning to move permanently to Buenos Aires, there are a few things you will need to know to prepare. This city has a lot to offer: enjoyable leisurely activities, a high standard of living, an exciting nightlife and beautiful housing options. So what can you expect from living in Buenos Aires? Find the details
Neighborhoods in Buenos Aires
Home to approximately 3 million porteños (locals), the city is captivating. It has a diverse population, mainly Italian, Spanish and German descendants, and in the last few decades, the city homes immigrants from all over Latin America (Venezuelans, Bolivians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Paraguayans, Uruguayans, Colombians and Brazilians).
The city of Buenos Aires is divided into 48 very diverse neighborhoods (barrios), each with its own distinctive features. However, there are a few neighborhoods considered the best, some of which are:
This is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. The neighborhood’s popularity dates back to the 1800s, when Buenos Aires was decimated by a yellow fever plague. The disease ravaged the entire city and Recoleta at the time served as a haven for the elite escaping death and disease.
Once the plague was controlled, a marble mausoleum cemetery was built in Recoleta, although at the time only the wealthy could be buried there. In fact, burial at Recoleta cemetery at the time amounted to more than 60 years of rent in Buenos Aires.
The area that houses the historical cemetery is surrounded by a park, where a large craft fair is held on weekends. Around this historical park you can find some of the city’s most active nightclubs and top restaurants. In this area you can also visit the Metropolitan Design Center.
Living in Recoleta is still as expensive as it used to be, as the area is still considered one of the most expensive to stay at while living in Buenos Aires. Average monthly rentals are approximately of ARS 13,865 for a small room with a single bath.
According to a recent study published by local consulting company, Reporte Inmobiliario, rent for a study apartment in Recoleta costs approximately ARS 6,800 (USD 185), while a one-bedroom apartment costs up to ARS 9,000 (USD 245).
Another interesting neighborhood in Buenos Aires is Puerto Madero. Once known as a dilapidated port area, Puerto Madero has undergone dramatic remodeling, morphing into one of the wealthiest places to live in Buenos Aires.
Today the area has several impressive buildings, trimmed river walkways and government areas, thus playing host to many expatriate working for the government. The neighborhood is also home to an excellent repertoire of restaurants and hosts a university.
There are also elegant apartment buildings, boutique shops, as well as a large outdoor concert arena. Puerto Madero is the ideal place for those considering living in Buenos Aires and are able to afford high expenses. This neighborhood is also the most expensive in the city: a one-bedroom apartment in Puerto Madero can cost up to ARS 26,000 (USD 707).
Care to live surrounded by history? Then San Telmo is the perfect neighborhood for you. Considered the true birthplace of tango, the entire barrio is full of history with its cobblestone streets and fairly ancient buildings.
The area is in the midst of a complete renovation, acquiring a modern look and feel: abandoned buildings are now turning into restaurants, ice cream shops, cafés, craft beer bars and hotels, becoming one of the culinary hotspots in the city.
Living in Buenos Aires, and particularly in San Telmo, can be an incredible experience, since this neighborhood not only has a wide array of culinary options, but also an incredible variety of crafts, art and antique shops as well as fairs, such as the fair at Dorrego square on Sundays.
When it comes to rent, San Telmo is not as affordable as other neighborhoods such as Villa Lugano, Soldati or La Boca. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in San Telmo costs approximately ARS 9,000 (USD 245).
The largest barrio in Buenos Aires, Palermo is a very eclectic and interesting neighborhood to stroll around: it homes the local zoo, the Japanese garden, the Planetarium, some of the most interesting museums in the country such as the Latin American Arts Museum and an interactive Ecopark, as well as some of the best bars, cafés and night clubs in the city.
If you plan on living in Buenos Aires, Palermo might just be the place for you. Although cost of life is expensive, you are constantly surrounded by art, culture and design. It is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, congregating people at Plaza Serrano at all hours. Also, some of the most exclusive shops in the city have their main house in Palermo.
You can rent a studio apartment in Palermo for approximately ARS 7,000 (USD 190) or a one-bedroom apartment at about ARS 10,000 (USD 272).
Making a living in Buenos Aires
If you are planning on permanently residing in Buenos Aires, you will need a source of income. Buenos Aires—and even Argentina in general—has become one of the most expensive places to live in South America. Hence, stable work is crucial to surviving in the city.
Fortunately, due to a wide range of industries, you can find all sorts of jobs. If you choose to live in the suburbs, agriculture might just be the perfect way to make an income. You can also find freelance or remote positions and work from home.
Nowadays in Argentina, minimum salary is ARS 9,500, which amounts to almost USD 259. However, there are quite a few professions that can make up to ARS 80,000 per month (USD 2,184), such as:
- several engineering specializations (metal industry, civil construction, electrics, electronics, mechanics, naval, telecommunications or system engineering)
- doctors (approx. ARS 60,000)
- geologists (at least ARS 80,000 per month)
All you need to survive and make a living in Buenos Aires is to be creative and know the right job portals to apply for a job.
Leisure in Buenos Aires
Living in Buenos Aires is anything but boring. The city and its surrounding areas offer all sorts of activities. The Tigre region, for example, has casinos, amusement parks and exciting boat trips. La Boca has interesting museums, tango dancers and talented musical bands to keep you entertained all day.
Tango is originally from Argentina and Uruguay, and it is definitely one activity you will inevitably learn to appreciate when living in Buenos Aires. There are a lot of arenas all over the city dedicated to catering to the beautiful art of tango.
The city also homes several cabarets to be entertained while dinning. For those who enjoy nightlife, Buenos Aires is the city of night owls, due to the fact that it literarily never sleeps. Countless clubs open every single night and stay open until dawn.
Apart from tango, Buenos Aires provides several other music styles and rythms to cater to every music lover and you can find them in the streets, subways, theaters, restaurants, bars…The city is always buzzing with music.
For those who enjoying exploring, Buenos Aires will definitely not disappoint. There are countless museums, art galleries, parks and shopping malls for you to explore, as well as a cultural center. Whether you prefer the indoors our outdoors, Buenos Aires has something for everyone.
Whether you intend on living in Buenos Aires for a short or long time, learning Spanish is a must. The city is very international, yes, but Spanish is still the predominant language, which is why knowing enough to communicate effectively should be crucial for you.
Many locals are willing to help you learn the basics of Spanish. However, keep in mind that Spanish is quite a difficult language to understand and study, and the variation that Argentines talk can be particularly difficult to understand. Hence, we recommend you take a few Spanish classes to understand at the very least local expressions and commonly used phrases.
Apart from promoting more meaningful interactions with people while in the city, you will also learn a lot more about the local culture.
Despite the fact that a lot has been said about the inflation rate in Buenos Aires, you will still find life in the city a lot cheaper compared to other places like Europe or United States. It provides high quality at accessible costs. Real estate and a few commodities — such as electronics, computers and smartphones — can be more expensive, but everything else is quite cheap.
Buenos Aires has a wide range of activities that are unique to the area. Living in Buenos Aires guarantees constant action, plenty of incredible sights and is an excellent way to enjoy South American culture.