In gastronomical terms, foreign visitors are at a particular advantage. Although the amount of money you need to put aside for dining in the country’s most popular destinations will depend on the kind of gastronomic experience you seek, generally you can expect excellent value for money.
For breakfast, you can have a coffee with two medialuna pastries for a little more than 2 USD. For lunch, a set menu with a main, drink and dessert in a typical neighbourhood bodegón or cantina restaurant will cost around 15 USD per person.
On the other hand, those who seek a more gourmet experience can try the best cuts of argentine meat, accompanied by a great wine, in some of the best known parrilla (grill) restaurants in Buenos Aires (such as Don Julio, Cabaña Las Lilas or La Cabrera) for around 40 USD. Fast food is also an option when time is short. In a middle-range restaurant you can order a pizza or a traditional milanesa (fried and breaded meat) with chips for less than 6 USD.
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One thing to keep in mind is that although central restaurants will accept cards, those located in peripheral neighbourhoods or in small, regional towns will usually only use cash.
Before leaving your table and given that it has not already been added to the bill, restaurant patrons should leave some extra pesos as a tip. Although it is not obligatory to do so, it is recommended to leave around 10% of the total bill.
The cost of public transport in Argentina varies from province to province. For example, in the city of Buenos Aires a bus journey (colectivo), depending on the distance travelled, can cost between $13 and $16.50. A metro journey (or subte as it is known in Buenos Aires) costs around $12, and by train around $8. Therefore, if taking two to three journeys per day, topping up the SUBTE card (this can be bought online, at train stations or in kiosks) with around 10 USD, travellers can get around easily for about a week.
Another expense to take into account are taxi journeys. To get around at night, or travel more comfortably during the day, visitors can stop them in the street, or reserve them (in the case of radio taxis) by telephone or online.
The rates of any of these taxi options are calculated from the minimum charge (the initial cost for getting into the taxi), and the kilometres travelled once on board. Speaking generally, a 30 block journey costs around 2.50 USD during the day, and 20% more at night. To reduce costs, especially when you have further to travel, you can use Uber or Cabify. Both applications allow users to travel more safely, and to know the cost of the journey before travelling.
Argentina is also a mecca for shopping lovers. Although clothes are expensive for locals, keen travellers can find excellent deals in shopping centres. To give you an idea: good-quality jeans can cost around 40 USD, some branded trainers around 65 USD, and a women’s dress by a well-known brand just over 80 USD
Those who prefer to buy local products and shop in markets or artisan street-stalls will once again do well to go out with cash in their pockets. A mate (traditional gourd used for drinking tea) can cost about 10 USD, some leather sandals around 20 USD, and a llama-wool weave (especially for those who visit the North of the country) approximately 25 USD.
Argentina in general, and particularly Buenos Aires, is famous for its vibrant cultural life. Not undeservingly, the capital is known as the city that never sleeps. Generally, a cinema ticket costs a little more than 5 USD, whilst buying ticket for a theatre show in the traditional calle Corrientes requires an investment of around 20 USD.
Art fans will find more than enough options in this popular South American destination to get their fix. Although many of the museums are State-run – and therefore free to visit -, to see the exhibitions in the Buenos Aires Museum of Latin American Art (MABA) or the Amalita Fortabat Museum, there is an entrance fee of approximately 2.50 USD.