When looking for a place to stay in Buenos Aires, I realized that it would be challenging to stay within our budget. Things in the city are very expensive, especially when you factor in the excessive 21% lodging tax that Argentina has.
Our Apartment in the Belgrano Neighborhood
We arrived into Buenos Aires late, but our host was very accommodating, meeting us at 11pm to give us keys. She didn’t speak any English but we were able to communicate a little bit in Spanish and relied on the Airbnb messaging which had a translation feature on it.
Our apartment was located on the 5th floor of the building. When the door opened, our first thought was how large the place was. After staying in hostels, we have gotten used to tiny rooms so this felt like a real treat.
Upon closer inspection, while the apartment was nice, it wasn’t as nice as our apartments in Mendoza or Santiago. There was a certain level of detail that was missing and the finishes were not quite as high end. We certainly had no complaints though as we have stayed in much worse places during our trip.
The living room had a huge, brand new TV. We flipped it on to see if there were any channels in English and were thrilled when we saw that there were some movie channels which were in English. Andy tried to hook up our external hard drive, which has movies on it, to the TV but we weren’t able to figure out how to get the TV to access files from the drive.
There was a pretty large couch in the living room as well. It wasn’t the most comfortable couch that we have ever sat on, but it was nice to have a couch to sit on as many apartments just have chairs which are never as cozy.
One of the benefits of booking an apartment is that there is a kitchen. We love being able to cook our own food since dining out is expensive and we don’t love the majority of the food that we have had in South America.
The kitchen had everything that we needed to cook up some meals. It wasn’t the best cookware but we have started to learn that we should expect the cheapest, most basic items when we’re staying in an apartment.
Our only real issue with the kitchen occured when we were cooking. Andy went to turn on the stove and the fuse blew. We had seen a fuse box on the wall by the front door. We flipped the fuses but nothing happened. Since there was no power the internet was off, so we weren’t able to email our host to see what we needed to do. This left us only 1 choice, something that neither of us wanted to do – bother a neighbor. We knocked on the neighbor’s door and he gave us directions to go to the basement where we could reset the power for the apartment. We felt like idiots but were happy that the neighbor was home, willing to help us and spoke English.
The bedroom was quite large and had a comfortable, full size bed. There was an entire wall of closets which was perfect as we could put all of our gear on the shelving which kept everything off the floor.
You could tell that the bathroom had recently been remodeled. Everything was clean and the finishes were nice. As we have come to expect in Argentina, there was a bidet in the bathroom.
The shower had really good water pressure, so much in fact that towards the end of your shower you were standing in a bit of water.
We were very excited when we connected to the internet. The wifi was lightening fast and we were able to fully catch up loading all of our pictures and videos to our google drive. It also made Skyping with our families very easy since we had a crystal clear connection and no dropped calls.
Our apartment had 2 air conditioners – one in the living room and one in the bedroom. While we never needed to run both at the same time, it was nice to be able to easily cool a single room vs. having to cool the entire apartment.
There was a balcony off the living room which had a table and 2 chairs. While we didn’t spend time out there for fear of getting bitten by mosquitos, it looked like it would have been a nice place to relax.
I am not sure that this is the location that I would have chosen if I didn’t have a budget to stick to. It was a nice quiet area in a local neighborhood but a little removed from the sights of the city.
Even though it was a distance to the sights, it was only a 10 minute walk to get to the subway station. From there it was an easy and cheap 5 peso or 36 cent ride to get wherever we needed to go. Shopping for groceries was easy as we were close to a grocery store and there was a produce market just around the corner.
We were very happy that we had an apartment in Buenos Aires. After spending around 2 weeks in Argentina we came to expect that things would be more expensive than other countries that we had visited. We had heard that Buenos Aires was even more expensive but were shocked how much more expensive it was. Having our own kitchen where we could cook our own meals allowed us to help repair our budget which had taken a massive hit in other parts of Argentina.
Our host was really flexible with us as we got in late and left very early. Even though she didn’t speak English and our Spanish was lacking, she was extremely responsive to the emails that I sent her, replying in an hour or less.
I don’t know that we’ll return to Buenos Aires, but if we do, we would absolutely get an apartment again. We would probably splurge to stay in a part of town that was closer to the attractions.