Areas and suburbs in Buenos Aires
Neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires are divided into areas and suburbs known as barrios. Some barrios are more residential than others. Some are busier, more vibrant and culturally diverse, while others are peaceful and leafy. Each barrio has its own culture and energy that reflects the people who live there.
The most important question that expats should ask themselves when choosing a suburb in Buenos Aires is whether they would like to live in the bustle of the city or if they would prefer a quieter life in the suburbs. Those who choose to live a more tranquil lifestyle in the suburbs will still have easy access to the city via the suburban train lines for work and entertainment.
Below is a list of some of the most popular areas for expats in Buenos Aires.
Family-friendly areas in Buenos Aires
Belgrano is one of the more peaceful barrios of Buenos Aires, with plenty of open green spaces. Belgrano R is the residential area of the barrio and has large stately homes as well as high-rise apartment buildings to choose from. The sidewalks in Belgrano are lined with restaurants and cafés, particularly in the more commercial areas. There are also plenty of football clubs and tennis courts in the area, making it a very pleasant place to live.
Palermo is the largest barrio in Buenos Aires, containing a zoo, botanical gardens, a racecourse and many museums. There are also trendy shops and restaurants for those who are less outdoorsy. The barrio is divided into a number of sub-sections, such as Palermo-Viejo and Palermo-SoHo.
Palermo is one of the more fashionable places to live in Buenos Aires, but it is also one of the most expensive. Because of the gardens, zoo and parks, it is a great area for expats with families to settle. There is plenty of accommodation available for rental or purchase in Palermo because of its size, so this is a good place for expats to start their search for accommodation in Buenos Aires.
Las Cañitas is a sub-division of Palermo and is widely acknowledged as one of the safest areas in Buenos Aires. This is largely due to the military training base that is located there. There are many upmarket shops and antique stores in this area, as well as a vast selection of bars and restaurants. There is a large shopping centre and the area's the polo field is where the Argentina Open Polo Championship is held, so expats living in Las Cañitas will have plenty of entertainment options.
Puerto Madero has not always been a very accommodating area of Buenos Aires, but in recent years the old abandoned warehouses have been converted into trendy apartments and the whole area has undergone an overhaul. Puerto Madero is now one of the most modern areas in Buenos Aires and is an ideal suburb for expat families. The area is also known to be the most westernized area of the city, with American restaurants and stores dotted around the suburb. This barrio is home to many government buildings, making it a popular place for expats working in government to live.
Expats can rent or purchase a high-rise apartment that overlooks the river and can enjoy the beauty of the docks and a nature reserve. Puerto Madero has a selection of great restaurants on the boardwalk and there are outdoor venues for summer concerts. Residents can stroll along the boardwalk and eat at a café right on the river with some of the best views Buenos Aires has to offer.
Expats who live in Recoleta will see why Buenos Aires is known as the 'Paris of the South'. With its Parisian architecture, cafés and restaurants, expats will feel like they are in Europe rather than South America. Recoleta is one of the most upmarket and expensive barrios in Buenos Aires, containing many green open spaces, good restaurants and a bustling nightlife.
The accommodation that expats will find in Recoleta is of a high standard, but with high prices to match. There is enough space here for expats to enjoy a house with a garden, as well as plenty of parks for those who choose to live in an apartment. Recoleta is not far from the downtown area of Buenos Aires, making it a great place to live if expats would prefer a more peaceful lifestyle but still want to be close to the action.
San Isidro is a suburb of Buenos Aires that is perfect for expats who do not want to live in the city itself. This exclusive suburb is about half an hour’s train journey outside of Buenos Aires. San Isidro is close to the Tigre Delta and has sailing clubs and other upmarket facilities. The area can be very expensive and expats who want to live here should be prepared to spend a large sum of money for a large stately home.
Areas for young and single expats in Buenos Aires
Caballito is located in the heart of Buenos Aires, and as such expats living in the area will find that most parts of the city are easily accessible from this barrio. In addition to its central location, the suburb also boasts a number of popular museums and galleries for residents to explore. Some of the city's largest parks and plazas are also located in the area, so expats living in the surrounding apartments will still be able to get their fill of the great outdoors.
Plaza San Martín
Plaza San Martín is the “downtown” area of Buenos Aires. While it is not very residential, expats who live in the area will be blown away by its rich history. Many of Buenos Aires' most important historical sites and monuments are in this part of the city. This barrio is also home to Florida Street, a famous pedestrian shopping street in Buenos Aires. The area is very touristy, so prices might be higher than in other parts of the city.
San Telmo is one of the older and more traditional barrios of Buenos Aires and does not have many high-rise apartment buildings. This neighbourhood has a bohemian feel to it and contains plenty of markets and antique shops. Expats should be able to find high-quality accommodation in this area and the cobblestoned streets and colonial-style houses make it a charming place to live.
Over the weekends San Telmo becomes one of the city's most vibrant nightlife spots, with the local bars and tango hotspots drawing crowds from all over Buenos Aires. This makes the area an exciting place to call home, but expats should be aware that this also attracts a significant amount of opportunistic and petty crime.
Villa Crespo is well-known for its bohemian atmosphere and attracts many young and single expats. As it is right on the borders of the Palermo barrio, expats living in Villa Crespo are just a short walk or taxi ride away from a number of parks and wooded areas. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants in the suburb for residents to enjoy, as well as some unique galleries and art installations.