Clark Howard Consumer Report
Buenos Aires Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
Transporation is an important part of your trip to consider. The subway is the most popular and most higly trafficed mode of transportation in Buenos Aires. A single trip will cost .70 centavos and cards of up to 10 trips can be purchased at one time. For the most part, it is reasonable to only be the number of trips that you will be using for that day. Also, the advice holds true for exchanging money. It is wise to only exchange the amount of money that you will be spending as opposed to all of the dollars that you have. The exchange rates often fluctuate daily and it is never a good idea to carry around large amounts of money. I rode the subway about twice a day and averaged around 10 trips a week. Plan to budget atleast 7 pesos a week for travelling throughout the city on the subway. The bus is another feasible alternative and is somewhat quicker than the subway. For .10 centavos more you can ride across the city on a circuit of routes that collectively cover more ground than the subway. Cabs are really only a viable alternative for those that want to get somewhere quick, do not feel like walking or it is late at night. During the week most public transportation shuts down before 11 pm but the cabs operate much later. Unless you have more than 3 persons in your travelling group riding in the cab is not economically sound. When the cost is split 3 or 4 ways the rate becomes much more reasonable. A fair estimate of the average cab ride is aboiut 10 pesos. Factor in 4 cab rides a week with differing split counts and the average total comes to 20 pesos a week. Beware of a common scam run by a number of cab drivers that exchange your legitimate currency for fake pesos. Eye the watermark where the cab driver can see you doing so in that he knows that you know your peso is legit. Thus, eliminating the possibility of him attempting to switch the bills and take your hard earned money.
Food is always on most students minds and easily accessible at all hours of the day. During the week the residence serves three meals and provides none on the weekends. Although, during the week the kitchen is open for students to prepare their own meals when not in use by the residence chefs. Their are a few grocery stores nearby, Eki and Disco, which provide reasonable prices for a wide array pf products. Eventhough the residence provides three meals a day, most students find themselves buying atleast one of those meals anayways. Classes will run late and traffic is not always smooth, in the sense that sometimes you will miss a meal for whatever reason. The chefs will sometimes hold a plate for you but often students opt to eat out. Depending on the amount and type of food you want, a meal can be purchased for as little as 5 pesos and as much as 15 pesos. Of course, the extremes can be bent but these are closed estimates. Two choripans or emapanadas and a pepsi on the low end and a couple beers and an entree on the high side. Drinks were not a problem during my stay becuase I would always fill up my water bottle before leaving the residence and almost never had to buy a drink. Take advantage of free utilities in the residence like the water coolers, refrigerators, kitchen, etc. Depending on your traveling schedule and agenda we are looking at an average of 50-60 pesos a week on food. Keep in mind that this amount will vary greatly depending on the amount of alcohol that you drink.
Entertainment is such a broad term in a city that hads so much to offer. There are a couple gyms within walking distance of the residence and thrice such for locutorias. My one month gym membership cost 60 pesos and 3 for the facility indentification entrance card. I would later have to pay for another card only to find it later that week. The gym offered instructional classes for free and also housed a paddle court. A cross between raquetball and tennis, the court was available for rent and lessons. I took an hour lessons once and it cost 25 pesos for the instruction and the paddle rental. Back to the locutoria, a place to use the internet and phones. Internet is provided on 5 computers at the residence and should never rally be paid for by anyone. Unless of course, you have a laptop and want to go to an internet cafe. I bought a phonecard in Buenos Aires for 10 pesos that gave me 30 minutes of talking time. The international calling service was well done and would state at the beginning of the call exactly how many minutes remained. Movies theatres are scattered across the city, with most close to a mall, and are reasonably priced compared to the United States. At about 15 pesos for the night shows you might be surprised to find out that you will be assigned a seat. No longer is there a reward for getting to the movie early, the Argentine way of taking it easy is rampant across Buenos Aires. There are also several places to rent dvds nearby. I have been told that almost all are capatable with United States laptops and most titles go for no more than 5 pesos a piece.
Finally, make sure that you take advantage of the free optional activites paid for by the program. They are always worth the time and will save you more money in terms of seeing the city than any other advice I can give. My personal favorites were the Boca Juniors game and platying futsal on the weekends. Seeing the Argentina National team play an exhibition match was also a memorable highlight. These activitities are not only limited to sports, as we went to see tango, flamenco and opera shows aw well. Prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime and remember to pack the batteries.