Cost of Living in Buenos Aires

Expats moving to Buenos Aires will encounter an economy which has an unstable inflation rate and a tendency to fluctuate without warning. As a result of this, the cost of living in Buenos Aires is above average when compared to most large cities.

In 2017 Buenos Aires ranked 40th out of 209 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey, placing it as more expensive than Miami and Paris, but cheaper than London and New York City.

Cost of accommodation and utilities in Buenos Aires

Accommodation in Buenos Aires can be very expensive when compared to other cities. 

Expats should be aware that if they choose to rent in Argentina they will pay much more than what a local would. Expats will be required to provide a few months’ rent in advance and will also need a guarantor. Expats can expect to budget about 20 percent of their income for accommodation. 

Rent for a two bedroom apartment in the very upmarket area of Palermo will cost at least 700 USD per month.

Electricity is inexpensive and the government subsidises it by 40 percent. The electricity bill per month for a large house with a garden and swimming pool would be about 70 ARS.

Transport costs in Buenos Aires

Argentina no longer has its own automobile industry, making cars very expensive in the country as import tax is 50 percent. Expats however, will find that there are good quality second-hand cars available. 

Another option is for expats to bring their own cars into Argentina. This is possible on a tourist registration. Expats should bring their cars into Argentina via Chile by driving the vehicle over the border. The car can remain in Argentina tax-free for eight months, after which expats will have to drive the car back over the border for the night and bring it back into Argentina the following day. 

Public transport in Argentina is exceptionally cheap. A bus ride costs about 0.25 USD and a 15 minute taxi ride costs about 5 USD. A subway ride from Palermo to San Telmo costs 0.60 USD. 

Cost of schooling in Buenos Aires

Public education in Buenos Aires is inexpensive compared to other large cities. However international schools, the option most expats choose, can be very expensive with the average annual tuition sitting at about 18,000 USD.

Cost of food and clothing in Buenos Aires

The price of supermarket food in Buenos Aires is comparable to the UK although many items (for example, meat) are less expensive. The one thing expats won’t find in Buenos Aires is many “two for one” deals or specials in the supermarkets.  Two people could live comfortably off about 450 USD per month for groceries. 

A steak and a glass of wine in a relatively nice restaurant will set expats back about 25 USD.

Clothing is very expensive in Buenos Aires, as are electronics, appliances and furniture. 

Cost of health insurance in Buenos Aires

Many expats find health insurance in Argentina to be inexpensive. Expats should be able to find a health insurance policy with good coverage for about 100 USD per month.

General healthcare costs for things like doctor’s visits, hospital stays and non-prescription medicines are very low. 

Cost of living in Buenos Aires chart

The following chart provides an indication of prices (in pesos) in Buenos Aires as of February 2013.

Food and Drink



200g Butter


Dozen eggs     

10 ARS

White bread       


Minced beef/kg

27 ARS


35 ARS



500g Coffee

 10+ ARS


16 ARS

Tomatoes /kg

11 ARS

Apples /kg

13 ARS

Fresh beef filet /kg   

42 ARS

1 kg chicken filet

49 ARS

Fresh white fish    

 30 ARS

Imported peanut butter   

18 ARS



10 ARS


12 ARS


22 ARS

Detergent /kg

12 ARS


Purchase of low cost cell phone    

140 ARS

Cable TV       

110 ARS

Utilities for two people in apartment/ month      

465 ARS

Petrol per litre



Bottle of  good wine  

80 ARS

Litre of local beer   

14 ARS

Bar/club entry   

20 to 50 ARS

Cocktail in a club    

37 ARS

Cinema ticket       

36 ARS

Dinner for two     

250 ARS