For its requisite steak dinners and all-night techno raves, Buenos Aires is a favorite of many budget travellers. Of course, when your days are filled to bursting with Latin-European flair, it’s all too easy to forget about that ever-dwindling peso count.
Luckily, provided you’ve done your research, living the BA hostelling life is not too hard a task.
First things first, however: rather than wandering aimlessly into this lively city, we’d advise you to pre-book some initial hostel accommodation. After all, beautiful as those cobbled boulevards are, a 20kg backpack and slight case of jetlag hardly make for a romantic first evening.
Luckily, if you’re looking for a cheap hotel or hostel Buenos Aires is the place to be, offering a range of quality accommodations for less than €10 per night. A hot tip: stick to the range of independent boutique guesthouses on offer. Typically run out of renovated mansions or town houses, these offer a more personalised luxury service than their youth hostel or chain hotel counterparts. What’s more, far from a basic place to sleep, the unique lodgings come complete with all range of added extras – from Spanish classes to tango tours, on-site solariums and steak houses!
Keeping this in mind, our top pick for budget BA accommodation has got to be the Art Factory Hostel. A tourist attraction in itself, this restored antique mansion is a tribute to eclectic creativity and the bohemian lifestyle. Not only does each room maintain its own unique design elements, but the building itself plays host to a range of permanent exhibitions and artistic displays. Located in the cultural-hub of San Telmo, Art Factory offers private and dorm rooms from a bargain €8.92 per night.
Other top boutique picks under €10 a night include the newly renovated Hostel Arrabel in Motserrat or the XIX Century building of Portal del Sur, both with rooms from €9.46. Party animals will also love the infamously debaucherous Milhouse Hostel, which offers private and dorm rooms from €9.72 per night.
Of course, while a big percentage of your budget will go towards accommodation, this is never the sole cause of your dwindling dollar count. From food to fun and famous nights out, here are some further top budgeting tips for your Buenos Aires fling:
- Eat at a kiosk! These are scattered all around the city, offering a variety of traditional food for incredibly bargain prices – from choripan (sausage on bread) for €1 to empanadas for less than 25c. In saying this, do be sure to have a few steaks in one of the numerous neighbourhood ‘parillas’ (or grills) lining city streets…succulent, sumptuous and simply unmissable.
- Do the tango! Not only is it great exercise and great fun, it’s also great value. Tango is an institution in BA, and you’ll find classes taking place on virtually every street corner. Rather than paying for professional lessons, simply head to a Milonga to be shown the moves for free!
- Look like a local! While crime has dipped in recent years, petty theft is still a possibility, especially when you’re flashing an iPhone and wads of foreign dollars around everywhere. Aim for the confident air of a local…and make sure to leave your valuables locked up at home!
- Take a walk! While Buenos Aires public transport is comparatively affordable, you can’t beat a stroll through the cobbled boulevards and leafy parks of this beautiful city. In fact, one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires is to explore the patchwork of local neighbourhoods, or ‘barrios’, each of which is imbued with its own unique character.
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