Is Buenos Aires Cheap?

How much do things cost in Buenos Aires? Is Buenos Aires cheap?

Compared to other major cities around the world, yes, it is cheap. In this article we’ll look at the costs of common items to give you an idea how much things cost in Buenos Aires.

But first, a little history. 

Buenos Aires wasn’t always a cheap tourist destination. In fact, prior to Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001-2002, it was darn right expensive. Prior to that the Argentine peso was pegged to the US dollar. In other words, one peso was worth exactly one dollar. But then the crisis hit and the government could no longer support the peso and practically overnight its value dropped from 1 dollar to 0.2 dollar. It was calamity for many Argentines but proved to be a boon to tourism.

Here’s how the peso compares to common currencies today (as of this writing):

  • 1 US dollar =  3.5 Argentine pesos
  • 1 Euro = 4.5 Argentine pesos
  • 1 British Pound = 5.0 Argentine pesos
  • 1 Canadian dollar = 2.8 Argentine pesos
  • 1 Australian dollar = 2.3 Argentine pesos

But Buenos Aires is not as cheap as it was just a couple years ago. The inflation rate is high, estimated at 20 to 25% per year. So prices are rising fast.

Now, as promised, let’s look at some typical prices, converted to USD.



  • Condo (furnished rental, 1 bedroom, Palermo) $250/week
  • Condo (purchase, 1 bedroom, 60 sq. m., Palermo) $120,000
  • Hostel $25/night
  • Hotel (3 stars) $80/night
  • Hotel (5 stars) $300/night


  • DVD rental $1.50
  • Movie ticket $6


  • Beer (1 can, local) $0.50
  • Cheese (500g, queso por salut) $3.50
  • Cigarettes (pack of 20) $1.25
  • Milk (1 liter) $0.90
  • Strawberries (500g) $1.50
  • Toothpaste $2
  • Wine (bottle, local) $2.50
  • Yogurt (single serving) $0.35


  • Breakfast (coffee, toast, orange juice) $3.40
  • Cafe latte $1.20
  • Empanadas (2) $1.10
  • Pizza (large) $6
  • Steak and fries $6.75
  • Wine (glass, house wine) $2


  • Jeans $25
  • T-shirt $3.50


  • Maid (2 hours) $8
  • Spanish tutor (private) $7.50/hour


  • Milonga (with lesson) $4.30
  • Tango show (with dinner) $85
  • Tango lesson (group) $4.30
  • Tango lesson (private) $40/hour


  • Bus $0.25
  • Subway $0.25
  • Taxi (airport to Recoleta) $27
  • Taxi (Palermo to Micro Centro, 4km) $3.50
  • Gas (liter) $0.80
Filed under: Need To Know


  1. Ken M. Says:

    I’ve noticed that prices have gone up dramatically in the last couple of years. The people here don’t seem to notice it but if you go away for a year or two then come back the difference is obvious. Wine and a lot of grocery items still seem pretty cheap compared to the US but some imported items like electronics or perfume are even more expensive. I suppose if you have Euros those would go a long way due to the exchange rate.

  2. Flavia Says:

    Hi! I’m from Buenos Aires. I found this site and I find it quite interesting (and funny). I liked to know how tourists see our downtown. Thanks for you web site.

    Creo que lei por ahi que sabias castellano/español. Bueno, más que nada te quería agradecer por este sitio, me parece muy interesante. Haces algunos comentarios que me parecen graciosos.
    Siempre me habia interesado saber como ven los turistas a nuestra capital. Se que tiene muchas cosas mal y defectos, pero estoy orgullosa. Venis muy seguido para aca?

  3. CJ Says:

    Thank you for writing, Flavia! You have a wonderful city. It’s absolutely fascinating to foreigners like me. I love the place despite the “cosas malas y defectos”.

  4. Jason Foster Says:

    Most of the prices are pretty accurate, although one (cheese) is wrong, and the rest are probably 10-20% low.

    Cheese (500g, queso por salut) – I payed 25 pesos/kilo the other day, which would be 12.50 for 500g, or $3.57 in dollars! So $1.25 is way wrong.

    The cheap milk might be $.75, but the good Milk (Sancor, Serenisima) is now $3.20 in pesos, or $.91 in dollars.

    Strawberries – The price varies depending upon supply and demand, but in some cases the price is lower than this. I’ve seen Strawberries as recently as week ago for 5 pesos/kilo, or in dollars for 500 grams that would be $.75, so half the price listed. Of course, strawberries aren’t a good indicator since the price varies so much.

    Steak and Fries – $6.75 – This is about right at a cheap restaurant. At a good restaurant, more like $8 or $9 these days for steak and fries.

  5. Bob Finch Says:

    I have not been since last September. I judge the inflation on the fare from the airport. I can’t help noticing that the price apears to be stabalizing somewhat. I take that as a good sign.
    Are your prices all in US dollars? It makes it difficult for me as I work in pounds sterling.
    Still good post. Thanks

  6. CJ Says:

    Jason, thanks for the updates. Great info. I appreciate it. You are right on the cheese. I simply miscalculated and will correct the article. All the other prices I have recently paid or seen. 24 to 28 pesos seems pretty common for steak and fries at restaurants on Santa Fe, that’s US$6.75 to $8, as you stated. 90 pesos (US$0.25) gets you on the subte. I’ve paid as low as 3 to 5 pesos for a glass of house wine but 8 to 15 pesos is probably more common, depending on the quality of the wine and restaurant.

    In general I still find that the cost of living in Buenos Aires is lower than in comparable cities in the US or Canada. But with the high inflation rate it seems to be catching up fast. Taxis and public transportation are definitely cheaper in BA than, say, New York or Toronto. So is a good steak.

  7. Conor Says:

    I used to gauge inflation by the taxi ride from the airport and how much a steak was in a parilla in Palermo Hollywood called Miranda. How much is a taxi from the airport to Palermo these days?

  8. CJ Says:

    The taxi from EZE to Palermo costs 98 pesos (US$28) if you take the official taxis (Taxi Ezeiza).

  9. TheWanderer Says:

    Subte fare has been bumped up to $1.10 pesos.

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