Lifestyle in Buenos Aires
Argentina is famous for having the best steak, tango and leather in the world, and Buenos Aires is no exception. Areas like Palermo and Puerto Madero have incredible restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Expats will have no problem finding a restaurant to suit their taste and a shop to suit their budget.
The large expat population in Buenos Aires is mostly concentrated in Palermo, Buenos Aires’ largest and most expensive barrio, and the shops and restaurants in this area reflect that. But it's also possible to break away from expat life in Buenos Aires and to branch out and mingle with the locals in various quirky bars and cafés around the city.
Expats should keep in mind that everything happens a bit later than usual in Buenos Aires. Locals will rarely have dinner before 10pm and most clubs don’t open until 1am, so they should be prepared to be out until the early hours of the morning.
Shopping in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires’ most famous shopping districts are Palermo Soho and Recoleta. This is where expats will find many trendy cafés, designer stores and outdoor markets.
For those who prefer shopping malls, there are a number of options. Alto Palermo Shopping Mall is the largest of them all and offers hundreds of shops and restaurants as well as a cinema. Galerías Pacífico is also a large and popular shopping mall in Buenos Aires.
Most shopping malls and supermarkets in Buenos Aires are open every day of the week from 10am to 10pm. However, smaller stores outside of shopping malls usually close at 8pm and are often not open on Sundays. Buenos Aires also has plenty of 24-hour convenience stores for those after a midnight snack.
Another shopping option in Buenos Aires is outlet shopping. The main outlet stores can be found on Avenue Córdoba and in the Aguirre district of Villa Crespo. Expats will find international designer brands at discounted prices at these outlet stores.
Speciality shopping districts
For expats looking for something more specific, Buenos Aires is divided up into areas where certain items are sold. For example, there is an area where expats can find leather, another for electronics and another for imported foods.
China Town in Belgrano is the best place for expats to find exotic foods and spices. This is also where expats can get their hands on peanut butter, something that is not readily available in Buenos Aires.
There are also some great flea markets in Buenos Aires, with Mercado de San Telmo being one of the largest. It has an eclectic mix of goods and expats who have the patience to browse will be able to find some amazing deals there.
For leather, expats should visit Calle Murillo in Villa Crespo. This is the main leather district of Buenos Aires, and expats who visit it will be amazed by the quality and variety of leather items available.
Eating out in Buenos Aires
It will not take long for expats to realise that having dinner at 10pm or later is the norm in Buenos Aires. Although eating at this late hour might seem strange to some, new arrivals will be relieved to know that there is no shortage of excellent restaurants in Buenos Aires that will make dinner well worth the wait.
The most popular area for good restaurants in Buenos Aires is Palermo, specifically Palermo Soho. There is also a wide range of international dining options available, such as Korean, Chinese, Thai and American.
Nightlife in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires has a bustling nightlife scene. Porteños (Buenos Aires locals) like to stay out late, so clubs are usually open until the sun rises. Clubs in Buenos Aires are known as boliches and are busy from around 2am to 7am every night of the week. Interestingly, Buenos Aires does not have a big drinking culture so things tend to remain civilized, even when waiting for a taxi at 7am after a big night out.
Expats who like to go out dancing should join their favourite clubs’ mailing lists, which will allow them free entry and other special discounts.
For those not interested in staying out until the wee hours and wanting to start socialising a bit earlier on in the evening, there are a number of Irish bars and pubs in Reconquista where many people go for a drink after work.
Sports and outdoor activities in Buenos Aires
Expats in Buenos Aires will be able to enjoy a diverse selection of outdoor activities. As it is a coastal city, water sports such as sailing, fishing and kayaking are popular among locals and foreigners alike. Horseriding is also popular and there are many riding trails in the areas around the city. The Argentina Polo Day is a popular annual event which attracts tourists from around the world.
Nature enthusiasts moving to Buenos Aires will have access to the unspoilt natural landscapes of the many national parks and pristine botanical gardens in and around the city. Expats can also make use of the extensive network of running paths and circuits within Buenos Aires' many parks. Beaches, golf courses and public swimming pools are all easily accessible and offer a brief but welcome escape from the bustle of the city.
Argentinians are a sports-loving people, and Buenos Aires contains world-class sports stadiums for local and international sports fixtures and events. Porteños also take great pride in their local soccer and rugby teams, and as such going to a local game is a must for anyone looking for an authentic Argentinian experience.