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Buenos Aires anyone?
Old 04-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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Buenos Aires anyone?

The DW was just offered a consulting opportunity to be an expert witness in a medical malpractice lawsuit in Buenos Aires, she speaks fluent Spanish.

Has anyone lived in BA recently, and especially with long term rentals? In addition to her salary, she is getting a fixed amount for rent/living expenses of $3,500/month and we have no idea if that is sufficient since neither of us has lived there before.

This may be a 4-6 month deal so wondering if the $3,500 is gonna support a decent apartment in a nice neighborhood.

What parts of BA would you recommend living in and how safe is the city for gringos? Would we need a car, or is public transport sufficient?

Would appreciate any advice.
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:31 PM   #2
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Just went there in March for a week. Seems very safe overall. I think real estate there is less expensive than stateside. I would think you could find a very nice, modern place for $2000 a month. Check craigslist for an idea of what it will get you. As to neighborhoods, there are a few that are really swank. Puerto Madero was the nicest place we visited IMHO. Plenty of high rises with security guard controlled accesses behind gates that I imagine house plenty of expats. Lots of boutiquey high end shopping. It reminded me of Las Vegas a little bit (sans tackiness and casinos). The waterfront there is just beautiful and also reminds me of a cosmopolitan European city.

I have heard Palermo (and it's sub-neighborhoods) mentioned as being good for ex-pats. If you are a gringo, you will fit in just fine. Lots of light skinned people that look European. Many assumed I was a local I guess, but then when I switched to English to talk to DW, my secret came out!

Heck, we stayed in a 2 bedroom suite at a REALLY nice Best Western hotel in Congreso neighborhood. I think the nightly rate is under $100. So $3000 a month would get you a nice hotel suite in a decent part of town. Free breakfast included. Surely you could find a longer term place for much less.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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I've done a lot of research on BA in the past month or so. From what I've found, you can get a very nice short term furnished apartment for 1200-1800 in Palermoor or Recoleta. As mentioned Puerto Maderro is another option, but expect to pay a bit more.

3500 USD would likely be sufficient to easily cover food, transport, and lodging (in a short term rental).

here are some good resources:
Budget Buenos Aires
Badudi.com - Buenos Aires Dueño Directo - Propiedades en venta y alquiler SIN COMISIÓN
Short and Long Term Apartments in Buenos Aires | My Space BA
baexpats.org
exposebuenosaires.com
Buenos Aires Super Map | LandingPadBA


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Old 04-21-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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Thanks, Puerto Madero was one of the first places I noticed when surfing a bit. Looks more modern. Also found some places just near the Obelisk and they looked pretty central yet modern. Was wondering about the European influence and whether there were enough white faces to be able to blend in a bit.

Here Condo. is one that the wife is considering and it looks very nice, and nice view. I'm partial to views, so this would be my choice. I think we are going to commit to 6 months and see what we can get for prices.

Glad to hear the city is safe, I suspected so and nice to have the confirmation. She will fit in well, but I will stick out like a sore thumb at 6'5" and obvious northern European looks.

Nice list of links, very helpful. I have about a month to get up to speed so those help a lot.


Any thoughts on food prices as we intend to be out and about with most meals in restaurants?
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #5
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Here's a recent cost of living post about BA, you need recent information because inflation is 15%+ per year there:

Cost of Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina | Expose: Buenos Aires

As for your question regarding fitting in, 88.9% of people in the city are classified as white in the census. Here's a picture from Rosario (a close by city):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Rosario_1.jpg
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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Here's a photo of the street in front of that condo. Very nice area. We sat and rested for a while here, and I think this was DW's favorite spot in the city. We said "I think we could live here"!

The place is 0.9 miles from the subway stop, but taxis are cheap - $5 or less most places downtown. Parking is cheap too if you can bear the traffic.

Meals are about 1/2 US prices in general. Swanky waterfront restaurants might run you $30 for lunch for 2, $40-50 for dinner. Probably 1/2 that price if you eat at an average restaurant in a lower cost area of the city (like 1 mile away!). We had a steak dinner for $27 for two that would have set us back $100 easily in the US (mmm parillas).

Another little sidewalk cafe place we ate at (and loved!), we had 7 empanadas and a huge plate of spaghetti with large chunks of meat hunks on top (yes, that was enough food for 3-4 people ), plus the equivalent of 6 beers. $17 including tip. And this was in a nice boutiquey sidewalk culture type of area (Belgrano IIRC).


In general, your USD is strong there.



I agree w/ schmidtjas. White people blend in well there. I have traveled extensively in Mexico, and it was surprising to me to see so many white spanish speakers instead of "brown" people that I am accustomed to in Mexico (well, and in my neighborhood in the US lol).
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:22 PM   #7
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In Buenos Aires it could help to speak Italian. Great city. Wouldn't say the public transportation is that great, and driving is a world class nightmare. Seemed safe enough, but when my friends drove me around at night, they went 50-60mph down city streets and blew red lights - rationale was you're more likely to get kidnapped at the stoplight. They seemed pretty serious.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
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Buenos Aires is one of our favorite cities. There are lots of very interesting neighborhoods that would be fun to spend 6 months in.
Recoleta is a very sophisticated area around the famous cemetery. Lots of sidewalk cafes facing a public park.
Palermo Hollywood is a much funkier, but delightful area. Think the village in Manhattan. It is the location of our favorite hotel in the city, called Home.
San Telmo (IIRC) is a lovely old neighborhood of leafy streets, apartments, shops, and restaurants.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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Wow, from these responses I think we are gonna love BA. Sounds like you all have had very good experiences there. I'm thinking the highrise in Puerto Madera and make a concerted effort to fully explore the dozen distinctive barrios with an eye toward becoming intimately familiar with the dining and funkiness of each one.

No Giant Ball of Twine type tourista. But temporary portenos.

I speak English and French, so not much benefit. But my sign language is great.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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This guy went through the meltdown in 2001 in Argentina, but he definitely will tell you stories that the tourist and expat sites won't:

SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtjas View Post
This guy went through the meltdown in 2001 in Argentina, but he definitely will tell you stories that the tourist and expat sites won't:
Isn't that an interesting little website. I just browsed a bit, didn't even get to the Argentina part, but from what I've seen I would I bet he does have some interesting stories.

Never been to BA - definitely on my list of places to go, and one of the places on my list of possible places to live for either fun/adventure or personal finance reasons. I spent a bit of time reading up on life in BA for expats and, on the issues of crime and personal safety, there is a strange dichotomy. Some people swear your as safe as houses there, and others say that there is definitely crime and you have to be very cautious.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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Nine Queens is an Argentine crime-flick set in Buenos Aires. It shows a gritty side of B.A., particularly the first part. I enjoyed it.

Seriously, B.A. is a huge city, and it has all of the crime problems of cities that size.
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:11 PM   #13
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Since part of this trip might involve long periods of trial being delayed, we are looking at also going to Montevideo for a few weeks. Anyone know if that's an easy thing to do? I.e., is it just a ferry over and clear customs, or is a flight required?

And is Montevideo worth the trip?

Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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Looking for something to do near B.A.? One word: Iguazu.
iguazu falls - Google Search
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Old 04-23-2010, 03:20 PM   #15
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Flights and ferries are both available and relatively cheap. They have a short (45 min) ferry from BA to Colonia in Uruguay, then a 2-3 hr bus ride from there to montevideo. Or a direct ferry from BA to MVD that cuts some time off the trip and costs more. I didn't look into the flights, but we landed in MVD and took the bus/ferry to BA via colonia. MVD is worth a visit. We spent 2 days there and we are glad we saved the other 5 days of our trip for BA. So a few weeks there? Not for me! There is a nice, upper class part near the beach that I would liked to have spent more time in. "Pocitos" comes to mind, but that may not exactly be the right place. The whole country only has 4 million people in it, so much less to see there vs. BA in my opinion. Make sure to check out some of the surrounding parts of Argentina too. Tigre was neat. La Plata looked cool, though we never made it down there. The more rural parts sound really awesome too, but we didn't have time to see them. Bariloche in the west is very different from BA. Iguazu Falls is a must see too (we didn't see it though).

Edit: cross posted w/ IP. Definitely check out Iguazu falls though. We wanted to, but figured it would eat up almost half our time in BA to do it justice. We hope to see it later next time we head down to Argentina, Chile, or Brazil. It is fairly far away from BA (2 hr flight maybe?).
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:31 PM   #16
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Thanks, I think I would do the longer ferry ride just to be out in the water and imagine the scene when the Graf Spee was scuttled.

Will definitely do the Iguazu falls, and any surrounding cities, if any.

Seems like plenty to do for 4 months, because I intend most days to be just wandering the streets and sampling local fare and attractions. The tourist scams don't work on me too well cause I have pretty much seen it all over the years. And anything on my person when accosted is free for the taking, especially my ultra-fake wallet with credit cards that belong to my former employer and expired years ago. Also my huge stash of $1 bills, totaling maybe $25 dollars.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:13 PM   #17
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Iguazu is incredible but not that close to B.A. You've got to fly to get there. Try to see it from both the Argentine and the Brazilian sides. If you want to stay over night, there's a really nice old hotel on the Brazilian side right next to the falls; check it out even if you don't stay. You can go into Paraguay pretty easily from there if you want to see a dirt poor, land-locked So. Amer. border town; check out the local military policia zoned-out on matay from the crack of dawn. Actually everyone around there seems to be hooked on matay.
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:33 PM   #18
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I have heard the brazilian side gives you the best panoramic views of the falls. Unfortunately that means you have to get a full Brazilian visa to enter Brazil. $100-$150 per person IIRC. Good for 5 years though. That was a bit much for us to pay just to enter Brazil for a few hours. But the OP seems to be a little more well financed than me! We will probably head back if we return to Brazil or Paraguay. It is quite distant from most civilized places. 15-16 hours by bus from coastal Brazil and from BA, or 2 hours plane ride from either. IIRC it is actually much closer to Asuncion Paraguay than Sao Paulo brazil or BA.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:31 PM   #19
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BA is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. Think a Spanish Paris with an Italian accent! The food is amazing, and you're going to have no trouble living comfortably on that $3500/month. We stayed in a timeshare near the Obelisk and it felt (about five years ago) like a very safe neighborhood, and quite centrally located.

One thing to keep in mind is that portenos tend to dress much more formally than folks here in the U.S., for both business and pleasure, so paying attention to your attire (shoes shined and leather, manicures for both men and women, everything ironed crisply, slacks and button-downs de rigeur for casual wear, etc.) will go a long ways towards helping you "blend" in.

Have a great time!
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