Also known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is not a cheap destination. For those travelers wishing to visit Buenos Aires on a budget, these tips will help get the best deals around and to stretch your money.
1. Bring Cash
In Argentina, there are two exchange rates for dollars and/or euros, an official and a parallel one — known as blue dollar. The government has placed restrictions for how much foreign currency the local people can get and this measure has spawned a parallel market where the exchange rates are higher. At the time of this writing the difference between the official and the blue dollar is of roughly 30 percent. If you bring cash, you can exchange your money at the more favorable rate. If you use your credit card or get money from an ATM in Argentina you only get the official rate.
2. Find a Cheap Place to Stay
Compared to other places in South America, budget accommodation options are limited in Buenos Aires. Some of the cheapest hotels in Buenos Aires are located in the city center in the San Telmo district.
3. Save on Airport Transfers
Taxis to/from the airport are really expensive in Buenos Aires. The best and safest budget-friendly way to travel between the airport and the city center are private shuttle services which are affordable and easy to use. If you want to save even more, you can take the bus for less than a dollar; just make sure that you know where you are going and be careful with your belongings.
4. Walk or Use Public Transportation
Buenos Aires is huge, but there are many districts that are great for walking, just make sure you have a map. To cover bigger distances, use the buses or metro. To save some money, buy a metro pass — Sube card; with it, you’ll pay less than the regular fare for each trip.
5. Prepare Your Own Meals
To save some money on food, try to stay at a place where you can use a kitchen to prepare some of your meals. Otherwise, you could prepare some snacks or sandwiches to keep from spending too much.
6. Saving Money While Eating Out
Eating out is not cheap in Buenos Aires. Some of the best budget options for eating out are the local street food: empanadas (pastries filled with cheese, chicken, meat, etc.), hamburgers, or choripans (a tasty sandwich with sausage). If you want to eat at a restaurant, it is cheaper to do so at lunchtime than for dinner.
7. Going Out
The nightlife in Buenos Aires is something to be experienced at least once. If you want to save some money and still have some fun, take advantage of happy hour specials, when you can get appetizers and drinks at a discount. Also, since the locals tend to go out very late, many bars and clubs offer free entrance if you get there early enough.
This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series.