Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Buenos Aires (Good Air) The Grand City With A Prosperous History Combines 21st Century Edginess – Buenos Aires Digital Nomad & Expat Guide
Introducing Buenos Aires
Busy Buenos Aires frustratingly take a little of your heart. With such great potential in the city, infrastructure, and people, it is frustrating to see it not doing better on the world stage in 2019. A strange mentality and what appears to be poor governance and economic policies along with suspected mass corruption, leave Argentina and Buenos Aires far from the level in global standing that she is used to. In the ’50s and ’60s, Buenos Aires was the go-to destination for the commerce of varying natures and that grandeur is still massively apparent today. However, the country and Buenos Aires are plagued by various issues one would not expect from a country with such promise. It is not uncommon for lengthy power cuts in the summer, due to the overuse of Air Conditioning by the upper classes. Then for loss of gas supply in the winter, a similar situation occurs albeit this time for heating. The Argentineans are deeply patriotic, likely somewhat heightened by the insecurity of their position on the world stage. However, surprisingly most Argentineans know little of the history that formed their own country, as government education and propaganda have historically set the tone. Surprisingly still post-dictatorship many old believes still remain and guide general opinion. Buenos Aires felt remarkably safe, even in the notaries Villa 31 slum. Though the locals are still wary of crime and theft. Although crime is rare it does still happen. This animosity is somewhat to be expected as the country is on the whole governed by European descendants and they govern the historically local populations of poor Argentinan indigenous and immigrants workers. For the Digital Nomads oo ex-pat alike or just those who like to travel, Buenos Aires is a special and sophisticated destination that although not free, very cheap. Coworking, living and working in Buenos Aires provides some of the best value in today’s world. Thus making it potentially the best place for the digital nomads, in South America at least and certainly one of the cheapest digital nomad locations at the time of writing. As yet to have a thriving digital nomad community time could change this as living in Buenos Aires in 2019 and 2020 and beyond is an interesting proposition. For those who are looking for a modern metropolis in a county more comparable to a continent than almost all others, look no further. Whether you are a Buenos Aires ex-pat or Digital Nomad spending some time in Argentina’s capital it is sure to leave you with some magic vibes.
Costs For Living In Buenos Aires – Expats Travellers & Digital Nomads
The cost of living in Buenos Aires is one of its great attractions. Currently, as of late 2019, Buenos Aires is in economic turmoil. Dollars, Pounds, Euros, and other major currencies are in strong demand. Inflation in some sectors is at around 100% per annum. This affords the discerning Gringo/foreigner high value for their currency. Top Apartments in London may cost £5000-£20000 per month. In Buenos Aires, you are looking at £500-£5000 in most cases.
Money & Withdrawing Money In Buenos Aires
Due to rampant inflation, the dollar is almost as common as the Argentinean Peso. Some cash machines even support both. Although the dollar in a cash machine is harder to find. For high-value purchases like purchasing property or even renting property paying in Dollar can be the norm.
Cash machines/withdrawing money: The biggest issue with currency is the low amount that can be withdrawn each time. Due to government restrictions, this can change on a daily basis and can sometimes be less than $100 per day. This is particularly problematic if your landlord wants payment in cash. There is also a mandatory withdrawal charge of between 5 and 10 dollars, and then, in addition, your own bank charges. Cash machines are temperamental. Often cash machines will be found without cash or private (outside working hours) and for bank customers only.
For straight-up currency exchange, GIRARG Money Transfer seems to be of good value.
Where To Live In Buenos Aires
Finding the best area to stay in Buenos Aires is a matter of acquired taste. Buenos Aires is a big city. The supposed center is made of Palermo, Recoletta, and San Telmo. Neighboring districts such as Belgrano, Colegiales, Villa Crespo, and Amalgro are cute and a little less hectic, and a bit cheaper. Although you may be 30 minutes walking distance or a tube ride away from the action. La Boca is still perceived to be dangerous so best avoided.
As someone new to the city, one of the following may be the best neighborhood to stay in Buenos Aires, at least for the initial days.
Finding Accommodation In Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires Transport in the City
Getting around Buenos Aires is as you would expect from any major city. Congested filled roads depending on the time of the day. Yet also a carefully thought out transport infrastructure to move you and it’s 20 something million inhabitants around.
Metro: Once in the city, the Metro is cheap, quick, and offers a good service.
Walking: The city is big but walking is a good option too and a great way to explore and get to know your surroundings a little better. Like many big cities, night time brings out a slightly more rowdy atmosphere. But really quite similar to any major city such as London or Paris. Always exercise caution, particularly in the party, alcohol-fueled districts.
Bus: Buses are frequent in the city and used by many but usually locals. Often queues can be seen at rush hours.
Taxi: For taxi Uber is a preferred option.
Bike: Buenos Aires is a great city to explore by bike. The local Bike rental scheme is perfect for those who want to make the most of the great air to explore at speed. Learn how to sign up at www.buenosaires.gob.ar/aplicacionesmoviles/ba-ecobici The beginning of 2019 had some stations often empty. Let’s hope that improves as time goes by.
Safety In Buenos Aires
Certain districts or parts of districts are best avoided or additional caution is advised, namely La Boca and Villa 31. If you do venture into these districts do not show valuables and do your best to blend in, as much as possible.
Meeting People In Buenos Aires
Where to Work – Co-working or Cafe-working In Buenos Aires
A vast selection of cafes especially in Palermo adds to Buenos Aires credibility as the go-to hotspot for the digital nomad. Plenty and good wifi certainly make Buenos Aires one of the top tips for the digital worker.
Home: Most apartments/hostels and hotels are well equipped for the remote worker. The value of your currency at the time of entry can determine a few things. High spec, high-class apartments are up for grabs between 500-1000$ per month, and these often are inclusive with working areas, offices, terraces in addition to the usual on-site gyms, pools, and saunas, etc. For the house cats, this may be perfect.
Coworks: Plentiful coworking spaces are available for people who prefer to be out and about with a host of co-working options to be found around the city. Coworks have a particular density in Palermo. Beware though that English in Buenos Aires is in short supply, this is no different in co-works. However, the vast number of co-working spots leave the remote worker spoilt for choice, though many have very few foreigners. Interesting and tranquil co-working spots include.
An alternative option is the plethora of cafe’s many of which many are suitable for the Digital Nomad. In general, most spaces you find to work at will be a majority local vibe with a few foreigners in-between.
Telephone/Mobile & Internet In Buenos Aires
For busy Buenos Aires data, maps and navigation is a must. Data is cheap and for a few dollars, you can be up and running with a week or so’s supply. Sim cards include data, text, and voice calls and can be bought at some, not all kiosks. Top-ups can be found in the same places. Sim cards and top-ups can also be picked up at the airport, which is a good idea to get you set for your journey. Some kiosks also have top-up machines which can make the process a bit easier if you are short of Spanish
Data is good and very cheap; most users expect to pay less than 50 cents per day. This includes data and calls on standard pay as you go plans.
Internet speeds are good at around 60mbps in most places depending on the provider. Usually, these are included as standard in all rental apartments as well as the usual café’s, hotels, etc.
Buying Online In Argentina/Buenos Aires
Buying those essentials online can be a little tricky in Argentina with part restrictions on imports, namely goods from Amazon. Supplements and medicines can also be problematic, though you may be able to get help from your embassy for essential medicines.
Alternative online stores to Amazon are Linio, an Argentinian company, and Mercado Libre an eBay company. Both are particularly large in the Latin American region.
Dating In Buenos Aires
The macho culture of Argentina can be a little overwhelming. Add to that males and females don’t really seem to enjoy friendships in the same way as they do in other places and it makes Buenos Aires a little complex. Stereotypically Argentinean guys are simply after 1 thing as per their historic culture dictates and as hearsay says. The drinking culture and nightlife of Buenos Aires seems to be where most of the action happens. But fret not there is a vibrant online dating culture too. Some of the most popular are below.
- Coffee Meets Bagel.
Best Vegan/Veggie Friendly Food In Buenos Aires
- La Tranquera (Takeaway dinners – San Telmo)
- Solidarity Market Bonpland (Palmero Co-Op Organic FoodStore/Market)
- Loving Hut
- Estilo Veggie
- Happy Cow App
Sauna/Spa In Buenos Aires
A vibrant gay and transgender community appears to dominate most Spas and Saunas in the city. For those looking just for a sauna a couple can be found below:
- Hotel Etoile Pres. Roberto M. Ortiz 1835, C1113ABA CABA 011 4805-2626 350 pesos – weekend 500 pesos
- Spa – Melia Buenos Aires. Reconquista 945, Buenos Aires 011 4891-3804 990 pesos – use of all installations – can go every day
Top City Sights, Experiences – Alternative Favorite Picks For Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is simply a World Class city with World-class facilities and attractions to match. In infrastructure, Buenos Aires remains on a similar level to any major European or North American city. Filled with museums, parks, and cafes there is certainly the potential for tourism. Some popular and alternative choices are below.
- Try tender steak
- Drink Fernet the traditional alcoholic beverage
- See the wooden metro – Linea A metro (Placa 25 de Mayo y Caballito / Congreso)
- Stroll the infamous La Boca with caution and no valuables
- Stroll/Exercise or Picnic Belgrano Park (Lagos De Regatas De Palermo)
- Stroll the city nature reserve and Docks/Harbour Park (Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur)
- Stroll upmarket Palermo testing out the bars, cafes, and restaurants on route
- Stroll Villa 31 with caution and no valuables
- Visit the museum Usina del Arte
- Visit the beautiful gardens of Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays
- Grafitti Tours throughout the city (Solo or in Groups)
- Tango Show
- Watch a Football Game
Finding Weed/Cannabis/Paraguayo/Flowers In Buenos Aires
Argentina has is a large consumer base, for sure. However, with the strict police force and a seriously dire penile system, it is not as easy as one might think for a South American country. Your best bet is to tacitly ask in a social situation, bar, or meet up for example. Then wait for a kind-hearted soul to respond. Generally, its name is Paraguayo or flowers. Less recommended options would be asking around at:
Getting To & From Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is a major transport hub by River, Sea, Air & Road. By air, Buenos Aires is served by many direct international routes to both Europe, North America, and other parts of the World. In Latin America, good prices and availability can be found to Chile, Peru, and Brazil.