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With its sultry tango, stunning European architecture and bustling urban centre, Buenos Aires has earned the affectionate nickname 'Paris of the South'. As Argentina's largest metropolitan area, this city is a hub of activity, attracting expats from all over the world. Home to nearly 3 million residents, Buenos Aires offers a rich blend of cultures and backgrounds that make it one of the most vibrant cities in South America.
For expats seeking adventure and excitement, moving to Buenos Aires is ideal. From the thriving nightlife to the rich cultural scene, this city offers non-stop action for those who want to experience all that Latin America has to offer. And for those with a passion for equestrian sports, Buenos Aires is also the polo capital of the region, drawing in sports enthusiasts from all over the world. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder that Buenos Aires has become such a popular destination for expats looking for something truly unique.
Living in Buenos Aires as an expat
Buenos Aires is the perfect city for night owls. Social life here is geared towards its vibrant nightlife, with dinner commonly eaten after 10pm. Theatre performances usually start around 9pm, and the last movie screening of the day typically begins after midnight. The locals love to party, but alcohol does not necessarily play a vital role in nightlife.
New arrivals accustomed to civic services normally found in Western Europe or the United States will be pleasantly surprised with the standard of services in Buenos Aires. This includes an efficient and easy-to-use public transport system and free healthcare for everyone, regardless of whether they are a resident or a visitor.
The only real downside to moving to Buenos Aires is how hard it is for expats to find well-paid jobs. Argentina's economy has been in flux for years. This has led to high inflation, high taxes, and wages that are low compared to more developed countries. Many expats either work for multinational companies or are self-employed, often working remotely.
Cost of living in Buenos Aires
While the cost of living in Buenos Aires is lower than in other major world capitals, the wages are also lower, and the fluctuating economy means high inflation rates. For expats earning in foreign currency, however, Buenos Aires may seem fairly affordable. Accommodation in the city can be expensive, depending greatly on the area or suburb, but everyday expenses are reasonable. With free public schooling and healthcare on offer, Buenos Aires can look rather inviting to expat families.
Expat families and children
There are plenty of schools in Buenos Aires that expat parents can choose between. While public schooling is free, classes are taught in Spanish. This could be a good option for young children, as they will pick up the language quickly and assimilate into the culture. For parents looking for English-medium schools, however, there are a number of excellent international schools in the city that teach curricula from around the world.
There is plenty for expat parents and children to see and do in Buenos Aires. Visiting the wild animal park, Temaiken Bioparque, is one such activity for the whole family to enjoy. There are also plenty of museums, restaurants, shopping centres, and theatres to visit, as well as annual culture events to attend.
Climate in Buenos Aires
With its tropical climate, Buenos Aires experiences hot, humid weather and plenty of rainfall in summer, while winter is cooler, but mild. Snow is rare in the city, although expats may find a day or two in winter where temperatures drop below freezing.
Buenos Aires offers a high standard of living, a multitude of activities, a vibrant nightlife and excellent housing options in a wide variety of neighbourhoods (barrios). All of this is available at a great value for those arriving with dollars, euros or pounds. An effort to learn the language and culture will assist expats in feeling welcome in the city but, with all that's available to them, it's no wonder Buenos Aires has become an acclaimed expat hotspot.
►To learn more about living in the city see Lifestyle in Buenos Aires.
"I love the city. I have a great life. There is always something to do and see. Buenos Aires is full of culture, and lots of it is free. I think I am much healthier because I live here." Read American expat Deby's interview to learn more about her move to Buenos Aires.
"I love the city vibe here. It’s a beautiful, vibrant and fun city to live in and you certainly can’t
complain about the price of meat and wine!" Learn more about Amelia, a Canadian expat, and her experience living in Buenos Aires.
Are you an expat living in Buenos Aires?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Buenos Aires. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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