Buenos Aires

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Living in Buenos Aires

The “Paris of South America” enchants tourists and expats alike. Read our Expat Guide to living in Buenos Aires for an introduction to the city’s infrastructure – transportation, healthcare, schools, and more! Life in Buenos Aires has more to offer than art and parties, after all.
The "bandoneon" is a musical symbol of tango and Buenos Aires.
  • Life in Argentina’s capital is a vibrant and urbane experience. Whether you’re a bookworm or a dance fanatic, the rich culture of the city is unavoidable and you won’t want to miss it.

  • Argentina’s education system is of a fairly high quality, however, children in public schools are normally taught in Spanish. Buenos Aires is home to many international schools so this is not a problem, however, they can be pricey.

  • You get what you pay for in terms of healthcare in Buenos Aires. Many expats choose to go private as not all public hospitals treat non-nationals without an extensive insurance policy.

Living in Buenos Aires can be a dream come true for worldly expatriates, who will appreciate the rich heritage and contemporary highlights of Argentina’s capital. The city’s numerous nicknames, such as the “Queen of El Plata” (la Reina del Plata) and the “Paris of South America,” indicate that Buenos Aires has always been a popular city among the sophisticated, the glamorous, and the daring.

Whether you love music and dance, literature and art, or bars and clubbing, living in Buenos Aires has much in store for you.

The City of Books

The porteños (port people), as the inhabitants of Buenos Aires are often called, did not only build a bustling hub for trade and commerce; their urbane, liberal attitudes have also transformed Buenos Aires into a cultural metropolis. Today, several dozens of theater stages are strewn across the city, especially along the Avenida Corrientes, otherwise known as the street that never sleeps. Here, expats living in Buenos Aires can find, for example, Teatro Broadway.

The annual Buenos Aires Book Fair is one of the world’s most popular for publishers and literary circles. Its popularity proves that Argentine literature indeed didn’t end with the late Jorge Luis Borges, the doyen of Latin America’s highbrow brand of fantastic literature. Even if you are not around for the Book Fair in April and May, however, make sure to still explore the many shops and libraries while you’re living in Buenos Aires ­— it is said that Buenos Aires has more bookshops per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world.

The Birthplace of Tango

If reading isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps tango can bring some excitement into your life in Buenos Aires. Once reserved for gangsters, brothels, and other parts of the city’s underworld, this elegant dance no longer provokes the shocked and appalled reactions it used to. Quite on the contrary, the art of tango was declared part of the world’s cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2009.

Of course, in some respects tango has become a commercialized tourist attraction. While living in Buenos Aires, you are bound to run into quite a few open-air tango shows put on for visitors throughout the city. Nevertheless, tango remains alive and well in contemporary Buenos Aires. Present-day musical arrangements and dancing styles, such as Electrotango or Tango Nuevo, try to adapt the national passion to the 21st century.

Even if you refuse to set foot into a milonga (tango school) during your stay, living in Buenos Aires will be anything but dull. The city has thousands of restaurants, with cuisines for every palate, and younger expats in particular enjoy the hip nightlife, especially in the northeastern Palermo neighborhood.

Education for Expat Kids

For expat families, it is important to find a school suitable for their children. Fortunately, there are a number of schools that foreign children living in Buenos Aires can attend. Many of them are bilingual institutions teaching in both Spanish and English; they also cater to affluent Argentines who’d like their children to receive a bicultural education.

Most international or bilingual schools in Buenos Aires include a kindergarten, an elementary school, and a secondary school.

Below is a list of some of the international and bilingual schools in Buenos Aires:

Which School Is Right for You?

There are many aspects that can go into deciding on a school. You could take into account its religious background, the kind of diplomas your kids will be able to obtain, where the school is located, and how much it costs. Quite a few international schools are pretty expensive, and many such private institutions have campuses in Buenos Aires itself or the northern suburbs.

As is the case anywhere, choosing the right school is extremely important for your kids’ well-being while living in Buenos Aires.

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Paolo Greco

"My wife has found her job through InterNations. That is great as our fresh start in Buenos Aires was kind of tough for us both."

Ida Hagen

"If you want to meet interesting international people in Buenos Aires, go to the InterNations events! I am doing that -- everyone is doing that."

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