Argentina is cheap.
Few of the Russian-speaking travelers were not affected by the crisis that began in 2014. Because of the exchange rate, traveling to almost any country in the world by default is 50-100% more expensive and there are probably many for whom the dream of visiting such a distant Argentina was postponed until better times.
Usually, with limited financial resources, you have to choose from the following options:
1. Review the geography of travel. For example, to go on a weekend from Moscow to the neighboring region is clearly cheaper than crossing the floor of the world, but just hardly as exciting and exciting.
2. Reduce the number of trips, but on trips still live as before, perhaps in nothing selfless. Indeed, many are not ready during a precious vacation to be in less comfortable conditions than before or, for example, cook yourself a steak instead of going to an expensive restaurant.
3. When the thirst for travel is not quenched, it is possible to work on the fact that to give up the cost of not critical things and, in general, to revise the approach to travel. For example, it would be interesting to come to Argentina and learn to speak delicious steaks yourself – an experience that will last a lifetime, and it will not cost anything, except a piece of meat from the supermarket and a good detailed recipe.
It is possible to combine all three options from time to time, but I’ll tell you about the third option, namely how not to refuse to travel to Argentina and spend a minimum of money on it and that, perhaps, it is worth trying for the first time.
1. Currency exchange in Argentina and Buenos Aires.
The most important questions: how expensive or cheap is the country of Argentina against the general background and how much it has risen in price for travelers along with the dollar and the euro?
If you look at the world as a whole, Argentina at the moment – the country is inexpensive and one of the cheapest in South America. The reason for this is almost constant economic crisis, which hit hard on the cost of labor and also on the currency of the country. Over the past few years, the Argentine peso is constantly cheaper against the dollar (there are short moments when the peso is becoming more expensive, but this does not change the overall trend).
For many years in Argentina there were strict restrictions on the circulation of foreign currency, which gave rise to the black currency market, and the difference between the official and the black exchange rate of the dollar was sometimes 100%; On the black market, they gave almost twice as much peso for 1 dollar as in the bank. For tourists, this situation turned Argentina into a paradise. At the end of 2015, with the arrival of the new president, most of the restrictions were dropped, that “# 177; official rate to black level (by 70-80%). Crowded up prices, but still up to 70-80% they are very far away, and Argentina is still a relatively cheap place for travel.
Currency exchange in Argentina is devoted to a separate article. Here I will give the main recommendations for the exchange of money:
Bring cash dollars. It is the US dollars, at the extreme, the Euro, but not the rubles and other currencies. Dollars in Argentina, like in most of South America, are appreciated significantly more than other currencies. Cash dollars are very desirable to carry banknotes of large denominations (ideally $ 100, worse, but not tragically, $ 50). For small bills can give less or no exchange. Exchange mainly in the center of Buenos Aires. Nowhere else in Argentina is there such competition on the exchange market, as in the center of the capital. Accordingly, you can find the best course here. It is better to change large amounts in a bank. With a high probability there will be a better course in banks (it is not worth comparing with the street exchange rate, since such an exchange is very dangerous), and for large sums one can suffer great turns, which are always there. In this case, you will exchange money for one of the most profitable courses for most of the trip. Bring your bank cards. They will be profitable to pay in the places where they are accepted, but it is always advisable to specify whether there is a surcharge for the use of cards. Sometimes paying cash can be cheaper by 10 percent. First, the seller does not have to pay a commission to the bank for making payments through the terminal, and secondly, it’s easier to get away from taxes. Pay with dollars if it is profitable. In tourist places it is quite normal to take currency, and often sellers attract foreigners with appetizing currency rates, so buying in currency can be even more profitable than changing this currency and then paying in pesos.
Cheap flights to Argentina.
Traveling to the other end of the world, a costly air ticket will take a weighty share of the budget, and domestic flights will also be appreciable (there are no low-cost in Argentina, and the country is large, so you can not do without airplanes here).
About what it is better to fly to Buenos Aires and what airlines exist in Argentina, I tell in a separate article. I want to draw your attention to the fact that some airlines have somewhat reduced their appetite in connection with the crisis, and if you previously found a ticket for Moscow-Buenos Aires-Moscow for 1000 USD it was not an easy task, but now such tickets appear with an enviable regularity. Alas, for many, even such an amount now looks very impressive. The good news is that there have been many more promotions, and during these there is an opportunity to get a ticket around 700-800 dollars. Do not forget about the erroneous tariffs, which allow you to fly for 600, or even 500 dollars. In general, if you want to get to Argentina is quite real.
01. Great Buenos Aires from the air.
3. Urban and intercity transport of Argentina.
Moving through Argentine cities is frankly cheap. Argentina is not Europe, and the most expensive city of Argentina is Buenos Aires – very far from London in terms of transport. The fact is that most of the public transport is subsidized by the state, and the tariffs are rather low, and in some places it’s just ridiculous.
If you are two or more people, I highly recommend using a city taxi. In large cities of Argentina this is quite ordinary public transport, which is not considered something very expensive and unacceptable. Judge for yourself, even in the most expensive Buenos Aires, the average cost of a trip rarely exceeds $ 8, which when traveling triple will mean a maximum of $ 2.7 per trip, and you will save a lot of time traveling around the city. In using the taxi there are some nuances and dangers that you should know about.
A trip by public transport (buses, metro, trains, etc.) will rarely cost more than $ 0.5, but in large cities it is a rather slow way of transportation. Finally, in Buenos Aires, you can use the city bike system for free. On public transport in Buenos Aires and how to get a free bike read here.
Between cities you can move not only by planes, but by trains and buses. If the trains are going through bad times in Argentina, then traveling by bus around the country in most cases is very cool and quite cheap. The only downside is that at large distances you will lose a lot of time, but there is already a choice for you. All Argentine transport is covered in detail in a separate article.
4. Food (cheap restaurants, canteens, supermarkets)
Argentine restaurants are cheaper by default than Russian restaurants (even with a high dollar), especially for steak houses. Bite a gorgeous Argentine steak, washed down with equally gorgeous Argentine wine will not cost more than $ 30, unless you take the top restaurants. If you save, you can find places where you can eat perfectly and at 12-15 dollars.
I talked about the choice of restaurants in Buenos Aires, as well as how to go to them prepared. Only in this city there are thousands of them. The basic principle of looking for something cheaper is the places located in residential neighborhoods, where there are many local ones, and often they are not located in the most obvious places, for example, on some small street about 30-50 meters from a large commercial street.
Either way, restaurants will still be the most expensive option and, importantly, also time-consuming, as the restaurant needs to be selected, reached, found and, which is especially typical for Argentina, after that there is a chance to face extremely slow service. Thus, it will be optimistic to have a dinner option for 3 hours, if it’s just not some fast food.
02. To taste the beautiful Argentine meat, it is not necessary to go to a luxurious restaurant. Meat here & # 8212; food for any pocket.
Everyone knows fast food like McDonald’s, Sabway, etc. in Argentina, albeit cheaper restaurants, but not very much, so that it is more pleasant and more expensive to find a cheap restaurant. Avoid food courts in shopping centers, there is usually no good food there, and the prices are quite high. However, for the sake of interest, McDuck can be visited once or twice, the meat there really is different from the Russian one.
There are also canteens oriented to office workers and students who are not very noticeable, but are often filled with people on working days during business hours. Here, in self-service mode, you can eat well for 5-7 dollars. They are mainly located in the business center of San Nicolas, but can also be found in the central area of Montserrat and San Telmo.
In the center there are a lot of different food shops and places with take-away food, so you can not stay hungry with any budget. If you find confectionery or bakeries on the way, do not bypass them. Here you can economically purchase a variety of sweets such as alfakhorey or famous empanada – pies with stuffing. Firstly, it will be cheap, secondly, nourishing, and, thirdly, this food can be taken along on the road, so as not to waste time on snacks in cafes and restaurants.
Economical in terms of both money and time is the delivery of food at home, especially relevant to those who rent an apartment. You can order food from one site, which presents a huge number of restaurants. The site is in Spanish, but if you want it is quite possible to understand (instruction on the names of Argentine dishes). The house is delivered not only sushi, pizza and pies, but also quite a restaurant meal, steaks can also be ordered.
If you want and the availability of time, nothing prevents you from preparing yourself. In many rented apartments on rooftops there are braziers for cooking meat, so making your own steak over all Argentine canons is not such a problem. In large cities, with the exception of the center, there are quite a few supermarkets, and meat can also be purchased in local markets, which at the same time will be a good tourist walk in not obvious places.
In the very center of the city there are not a lot of supermarkets and very common “drugstores”, for example, one of the most popular Open 25 HS, which are usually located at busy intersections. They have nothing to do with pharmacies, but mainly sell essential goods, including various snacks. These stores are prohibitively expensive, and they should be avoided. True, it is convenient to replenish the phone bill in them.
Most likely, during your stay in Argentinean cities you will encounter small, and sometimes very large, stores, which the Chinese keep. As a rule, they are located closer to residential areas. Here, not everything is clear: some products can be bought there cheaper, some will be more expensive, but almost always there you can buy wine that will be cheaper than anywhere else.
Vegetables and fruit should be bought in supermarkets, although there are specialized shops, where sometimes there is more choice, and prices are somewhat smaller. For fans of extreme shopping there is a slum market located on the border of the Retiro district and the slums of Villa 31 near the bus station. Fruits and vegetables there are of excellent quality and are much cheaper than in the civilized city, but there is a minus – it is frankly unsafe there
03. Fruits and vegetables in the slum market in Buenos Aires even outperform those that are sold in Russia in medium supermacrets.
5. Cheap accommodation in Argentina.
Housing & # 8212; another item of the budget for the trip, which requires close attention because of its large share in total expenditure.
About the choice of the hotel and renting an apartment in Buenos Aires and Argentina, I talked separately. The choice in big cities is quite big, and you can always find an inexpensive hotel, settle in a good hostel or find a good offer with a big discount. Track the market once you have finally decided to go, and the chances of finding something suitable will be very high. On average, in a hotel of 5 stars you can stay for 100-130 dollars, 4 stars 70-90 dollars, 3 stars 40-60 dollars, a bed in a good hostel will cost 15-20 dollars. As for Buenos Aires, you should not consider options in remote areas, as there will most likely not be any cheaper there, but the road to major sights will take a long time.
Reservation of housing in remote areas of the country such as El Chalten, El Calafate or Ushuaia is highly recommended to do in advance: so you can save not only money, but nerves, as very often in the season there are booked up to 100% of the property being handed over.
A non-trivial way to equate the budget for housing to 0, to live in a visit to Argentines or immigrants. The most successful project of this kind is couchsurfing, and in large cities to find a shelter is quite a feasible task. Of course, this option is not suitable for everyone and it has a number of restrictions (for example, it is not always possible to find housing in a convenient place, there is a risk that irresponsible masters will throw you, etc.), but for young people and amateurs to know the country from within some more authentic housing and the atmosphere is not found, in addition, it’s completely free. Read responses about the owners, than there are more of them (positive :), the more likely that everything will go smoothly and safely.
6. Attractions.
Tourist industry in Argentina by the standards of South America is not cheap, various tourist attractions (for example, access to the most popular sights of the country such as Iguazu Falls, glacier walks, tango shows, various tours) are a lot of money, and many firms set prices in dollars. In other words, it is difficult to save here, but it is still possible.
For example, it is quite possible to get acquainted with large cities both outside tourist groups and without guides, having previously drawn up a plan of places that I would like to visit. On the example of Buenos Aires, I decided this task for you, making a route for self-acquaintance with Buenos Aires.
Most of the sights are completely free or take a token fee, many museums give discounts or make admission free on certain days. In Buenos Aires, you can spend a whole day not spending a penny visiting beautiful parks, flea markets, fairs, shopping centers, street dances, walking the streets of various areas of Buenos Aires, etc.
04. The beauty of Buenos Aires is that most of the attractions and beautiful places are completely free.
7. Transfers from the airport.
The most common way to earn extra money (often with the help of deceit) on newly arrived tourists is a transfer from the international airport to Buenos Aires. I also talked about this in detail, so click on the link and find out how to get to the city cheaply and safely.
8. Communication in Argentina (mobile communication, Internet)
Abroad, it is very easy to get into a big minus on mobile communications. If you have to talk with anyone inside of Argentina, boldly buy local SIM cards. The best connection in the country at Claro, Sims can be found both in official salons (4-5 dollars), and various kiosks and points selling mobile phones on commercial streets such as Florida.
Free wi-fi can often be found in parks, metro stations and in almost all restaurants of big cities.
05. In Argentina, it is better to use local SIM cards for calls within the country.