Inside Look At Expat Housing: Buenos Aires Apartment Tours

Explore housing options in Buenos Aires with our international apartment tours! From budget-friendly studios to luxury units in Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Soho, and Recoleta. Tips on searching for flats, getting affordable rents, choosing the best expat neighborhoods, and how to avoid scams.

05/21/24

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About the author

Hi, I'm Marco Sison. I worked in finance for Fortune 50 companies before retiring early at 41 years old. I have been an expat for over 10 years, living in over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries outside the USA. I am a trusted resource on personal finance and overseas retirement for US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller- Abroad: Expats That Thrive.

QUICK SUMMARY-

  • Focuses on expat neighborhoods of Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, and Recoleta.
  • View affordable rent options as low as $400/month.
  • See spacious apartments with amenities like pools, gyms, and security.
  • Even with inflation, housing costs are still much cheaper than in the US
  • We found some rental listings misrepresent location or apartment type.
  • Older apartments may lack modern amenities like dishwashers.
  • Limited kitchen space/appliances in some budget-friendly options.

Introducing International Apartment Hunt, an exciting new content series brought to you by Nomadic FIRE. In this series, we tour apartments in expat destinations around the world. 

Did you know that the average—AVERAGE studio apartment in a medium cost city in the US is $1,500…and this is average rent, just a small basic apartment in an okay-ish neighborhood. And that price doesn’t include any utilities or furniture. Add on electricity, water, and internet, and your total housing bill with utilities in the US is nearly $2000 per month for a simple studio. 

In this series, I’ll show you examples of apartments where you could be paying less than half that. 

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

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TIP 1. Use Western Union to get more pesos- Western Union is still the best way to change money in Argentina. As an added bonus, you get a $20 Amazon Card and Free transfer fees for using our sign up link.

TIP 2. Argentina is another country that requires an onward ticket- Be prepared to show a departure flight or a return ticket. You can get a cheap onward travel ticket $16 here.

TIP 3. Your home insurance will not cover you in Argentina- Protect your health with international health coverage that costs less than what you would pay in the United States.

TIP 4. Get FREE quotes to save on moving costs- International moves can get expensive. You can save hundreds of dollars using this form to get professional international moving companies to compete for your business.

TIP 5. Keep a permanent address with a travel mailbox- Keep an address in your home country to receive important mail from getting lost. A virtual travel mailbox ensures you don’t lose an important tax return, bank statement, credit card, or government document in the mail.

TIP 6. Pick up some Spanish Skills- Only 6% of locals speak English. You’ll make life in Argentina easier by knowing more than “Hola.” Get a free 7-day Spanish language crash course your transition here easier.

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Buenos Aires Apartment Tours

Today, the focus is on housing in the Argentina capital of Buenos Aires. Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires as an expat? You’ve probably read a blog or Facebook post about how you can rent an apartment in Buenos Aires for 50% less than the United States. 

You are probably asking yourself are these prices accurate?

What do those apartments look like?

Would you be living in a busted-down shoebox for that price?

Are the neighborhoods safe?

Join me on this apartment search tour, and you’ll get your answers as we explore the city’s most sought-after neighborhoods of Palermo Soho, Palermo Hollywood, and Recoleta. I’ll show you an example of six unique apartments, from a simple studio to spacious three-bedroom apartments.

These apartments range from budget to modern penthouse-style lofts from budgets ranging from $400 to $1,100 per month. 

Buenos Aires Neighborhood Overview

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First, understand these apartments are just examples of what is available. Buenos Aires is a massive city. There are 15 million people in the metropolitan area and 3 million live in the 46 barrios (neighborhoods) in the city. In a city this big, there will be nearly unlimited housing options. 

Are there apartments cheaper than what I am about to show you? Absolutely! 

I’m specifically focused on rental apartments in Palermo and Recoleta. These neighborhoods have the lively atmosphere, delicious restaurants, and convenient amenities that make expat life in Buenos Aires so enjoyable.  

If you are new to Buenos Aires, you can check out our guides for Palermo Hollywood, Palermo Soho, and Recoleta. These guides will give you a better idea of which neighborhood fits your vibe and lifestyle. 

TourSizeNeighborhoodRent
Charming Two-Story Loft
One BedroomPalermo Hollywood$800
Spacious Four Room Flat
2 Bedrooms 1 OfficePalermo Hollywood$1030
Modern Apartment With a View
One BedroomPalermo Hollywood/Soho$1100
One-Bedroom / Studio Apartment Conversion
StudioPalermo Hollywood$800
Newly Renovated Urban Luxury
One BedroomRecoleta/Retiro$750
Budget-Friendly Housing Option
One BedroomRetiro$400

1) Charming Two-Story Loft in Palermo Hollywood

This was our first apartment when we moved to Buenos Aires. Located just a block from Metro Line D in Palermo Hollywood, this two-story loft offers charm and convenience. Within a 15-minute walk, I had some of the city’s best international restaurants and my favorite panadería (Spanish for bakery), which made fresh medialunas all day. 

Priced at $800 for long-term rent, it features a compact yet functional kitchen with a classic Buenos Aires gas stove that requires a match to light. While it lacked counter space, it did come with an oven, coffee maker, and blender. 

The cozy living area includes a comfortable couch and a large TV with all your streaming options. The dining area opens up to a balcony that offers views of the communal garden and pool. Upstairs is an office space and a spacious bedroom with a massive bed larger than a king size, measuring over two meters wide.

Behind the bedroom, you’ll find a walk-in closet and a modern bathroom. The apartment benefits from plenty of natural light, which can be advantageous during the gray winter months. The building includes 24-hour security, a rooftop barbecue area, a laundry room, and even a small gym and sauna—though the gym equipment has seen some better days.

2) Spacious 3 Bedroom Flat in Palermo Hollywood

Another Palermo Hollywood gem, this spacious three-bedroom apartment rents for $1,030 monthly on Airbnb. Only a five-minute walk to the nearest metro stop allows for efficient transportation to the rest of the city.

This wasn’t the most modern apartment, but it didn’t feel outdated. It didn’t have the modern luxury feel of the previous loft, but it made up for it with generous living spaces. We had enough extra space to comfortably host our visiting families, which would have been impossible in the loft apartment.

The rent included all utilities, WiFi, and covered three bedrooms, one of which can be used as an office, a living room, one and a half bathrooms, and a well-equipped kitchen.

The kitchen is notably larger than the first apartment we reviewed and includes a door to separate it from the living room, which is crucial to minimize cooking odors. 

I could sear up some Argentina ribeye steaks, and the smoke wouldn’t permeate the whole house.

The amenities include a dishwasher and washing machine, which are rare finds in the area since many apartments have shared laundry rooms instead.

Although the apartment lacks 24-hour security and a pool, it features electronically secured gated access. This property’s main selling point is its substantial space and gorgeous sunset views.

INSIDER TIP: Airbnb Negotiations- If you find an apartment on Airbnb, message the host directly and try to negotiate. Most hosts are willing to reduce the rent for long-term stays, especially during the slower season.

3) Modern One-Bedroom in Palermo Hollywood/Soho With A View

This next flat is the most expensive on our list. Located at the border between Palermo Hollywood and Soho, this modern one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,100 per month

The apartment features an open floor plan with an integrated living area, dining room, and kitchen. I wasn’t a fan of the layout. I like my kitchen space separated to keep my sofa from smelling like a Chinese takeout restaurant. 

While the living room is spacious, the kitchen only has two electric burners, a big drawback for foodies like me who like to cook. 

The bedroom also doubles as a workspace. 

The unit lacks a washing machine, but the building includes a shared laundry room. 

The apartment is smaller than other options, but it compensates with large windows that allow plenty of natural light, making the flat seem bigger than it really is. 

The big selling point of this flat and how it tries to justify its higher price tag is that the rooftop pool and gym offer breathtaking views.

4) One-Bedroom / Studio Apartment Conversion

While the Buenos Aires rental market has fewer scammers than Medellín, that doesn’t stop real estate agents from stretching the truth to close a deal. 

Some less-than-truthful landlords will list studio apartments as one-bedroom units.

This Palermo Hollywood studio, priced at $800 a month, is an example. The agent listed this apartment as a one-bedroom to justify a premium price. 

The flat is actually a studio, but it utilizes a movable closet as a makeshift divider between the living area and the sleeping space to provide a mock sense of separation. 

I can understand this arrangement might appeal to some. Still, anyone looking for a “true” one-bedroom with fully enclosed rooms would balk at the layout. 

The kitchen in this unit is notably minimalistic, featuring just two electric burners. 

On a positive note, the apartment complex offers several amenities. There is an on-site laundry room and a small rooftop pool. You won’t be swimming laps in this “pool,” but it is a great way to cool off during warm summer evenings in Buenos Aires.

5) Newly Renovated Urban Luxury in Recoleta/Retiro

Next up are housing options outside my regular Palermo stomping grounds. 

I’m not gonna lie—I fell in LOVE with this apartment. Located in the heart of Recoleta, this newly renovated apartment was offered to us for $750 and offered a blend of historic charm and modern convenience that made me want to throw money at the realtor.

You can see my face in the pictures and videos; I was already picturing sipping my morning coffee on the balcony with that stunning view. If any apartment contributed to Buenos Aires’ reputation as the “Paris of Latin America,” this was it.

The apartment includes a spacious one-bedroom, a living room, a kitchen area, and the balcony mentioned earlier. 

And the kitchen…DAMN. This one was built with dinner parties in mind. The cooking space was kitted out with a four-burner induction stove, an oven, and a large refrigerator.

Each room is equipped with air conditioning, and the unit also includes a washing machine, providing added convenience. An extra table in the hallway was ideal for a home office setup.

The bedroom promises restful nights with its generous 2-meter bed, larger than a king-size bed. 

This flat epitomizes luxurious urban living.

It is important to note that this apartment does not have a pool. While Recoleta is renowned for its elegant architecture and upscale ambiance, pools are rare here compared to the Palermo neighborhood.

So why didn’t we choose to live here?

Because our experience with the agent left a bad taste in my mouth. 

Some realtors provide misleading locations for their apartment listings. We discovered that fun twist when we actually visited this “Recoleta” apartment and discovered it was outside the traditional borders of Recoleta and actually in Retiro. 

This neighborhood switchero is a common trick in apartment listings. Realtors and landlords know that expats specifically search for and pay more for apartments in Palermo Hollywood, Soho, and Recoleta, so realtors will list nearby apartments that aren’t actually in those neighborhoods.  

INSIDER TIP: Don’t Use A VPN- To avoid these little surprises, I recommend using our Buenos Aires neighborhood map. We built an interactive tool that allows you to see specifically what neighborhood the apartment is located in—it’s a lifesaver for making sure you’re exactly where you want to be, and you’re not paying more than you need to.

6) Budget-Friendly Housing Option Near Teatro Colon

This last apartment is to answer a common question I get asked- 

What does a cheap apartment look like in Buenos Aires? 

They look like this. This budget apartment near the Teatro Colon didn’t work for us, but it may be ideal for expats looking for more affordable housing options outside of Palermo and Recoleta. Listed at under $400, it straddles the border between Recoleta and Retiro.

You still get the prime location near the capital’s most popular attractions and a 15-minute walk to Recoleta’s restaurant scene. 

This downtown apartment features a spacious industrial aesthetic, a combined living and sleeping area, and a separate kitchen and bathroom. During a recent viewing, the kitchen and bathroom were undergoing wall painting, indicating ongoing maintenance and care.

The sleeping arrangement includes a loft-style king-size bed with two guest beds. If you prefer even more living space, the beds can be stored to make the big living room even bigger. 

The apartment has a large window that lets in lots of natural light, making it bright and airy.

While it lacks 24-hour security and a swimming pool, the apartment’s affordability, lighting, and space make it an attractive, low-cost, functional apartment. 

Given its location near one of Buenos Aires’ most sought-after neighborhoods, this trade-off may be worthwhile for many expats looking to balance cost with convenience.

FAQ: All About Apartment Living in Buenos Aires

Some popular areas in Buenos Aires for apartment rentals include:

  • Palermo Soho: The most popular expat neighborhood for a reason. Creative vibe, busy nightlife, and lots of amenities.
  • Palermo Hollywood: Some of the best international restaurants in the city. Tree-lined streets and chilled vibe
  • Recoleta: Refined living with its upscale apartments, historical landmarks, and cultural heritage.
  • San Telmo: Attracts those drawn to its colonial charm and tango-infused atmosphere.
  • Belgrano: A family-friendly neighborhood with spacious apartments and great schools.
  • Puerto Madero: Features modern, luxury apartments with views of the Rio de la Plata.

How do rental prices vary across different neighborhoods in Buenos Aires?

Rental prices in Buenos Aires vary significantly by neighborhood:

  • Palermo: Trendy and popular with the young professional crowd, prices are mid to high-range.
  • Recoleta: Upscale and historic, it commands higher rental fees.
  • San Telmo: More affordable, with eclectic and vintage charm attracting a Bohemian scene.
  • Belgrano: Offers a mix of affordability and upscale options, catering to families and professionals.
  • Puerto Madero: As the city’s most modern and luxurious area, it has some of the highest rents in Buenos Aires.

Are there any unique challenges to renting in Buenos Aires as a foreigner?

Many. Starting apartment hunting and negotiating prices in Spanish, as only 7% of Argentines speak English. Add rental agreements requiring US dollars instead of Argentina Pesos and the garanita (guarantor or co-singer) requirement for a long-term leases.

How Is the Noise Level in Palermo and Recoleta Apartments?

The noise level in Palermo Soho can be a major drawback. Palermo Soho is the city’s nightlife hub, and weekends bring lively crowds, loud music, and traffic noise. Palermo Hollywood is more laid back and doesn’t typically have loud parties. Recoleta depends on location. Any housing around the cemetery gets a bit noisy at night.

Is There Parking Available for Aparment Residents?

Yes, resident park garages were offered in many of the apartment buildings. Most newer properties in Palermo and Recoleta offer secure parking facilities, but the rent for the parking spots is typically additional to your apartment rent.


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About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last eight years to over 50 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, HuffPost, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Association of MBAs, the iTunes documentary Seeking FIRE, and the Amazon Best-Seller, Abroad: Expats That Thrive . [view press...]


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