Argentina is a fascinating and diverse country. It boasts stunning natural landscapes: from the flat grassland of the pampas to the dramatic Andes mountains in the West to the deserts of Patagonia. Argentina’s cultural heritage is also rich and well-known, with images of the Argentine tango, the gauchos (cowboys), and the asada (barbecue)—likely springing to mind.
If you’re considering moving to Argentina, you’re in good company. There are around 60,000 American expats in the country already. A huge plus point for many people is the relative affordability of Argentina. Everyday expenses like groceries and movie tickets are around 50—60% cheaper than in the United States, while rent can be up to 75% cheaper. Whether you want to settle for the long-term or simply go for a few months to learn Spanish and immerse yourself in the culture, you’ll be spoiled for choice in terms of location. Here’s our guide on the best places to live in Argentina.
1. Buenos Aires
Argentina’s capital is a popular choice among expats, with around half of the total expat population settled there. The city is also home to many international companies, so it offers the greatest choice in terms of employment, and it offers endless possibilities for entertainment. Buenos Aires is generally considered safe, though there are some areas to avoid, especially at night, including the tourist hotspot of La Boca. Popular spots for expats to live in are Recoleta and Palermo, where you’ll find great shopping and nightlife and, in Recoleta, incredible architecture.
If you’re into wine, Mendoza is one of the best cities in Argentina to move to. The region is at the heart of Argentina’s wine production, and the city is surrounded by vineyards. It’s also close to the Andes and to South America’s highest mountain, Aconcagua, so outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty to do. The city, especially in the center, is safe.
As Argentina’s second-largest city, Córdoba is another great place for expats to settle. The city is a long way from Buenos Aires, but that doesn’t mean it’s a small provincial town. There’s a big student population in Córdoba, giving it a lively vibe. It also has tons of modern museums and cultural spaces jostling against the colonial-era architecture of the historical center. Córdoba is generally seen as safer than Buenos Aires but locals recommend that you avoid some neighborhoods, like Villa el Libertador and Alto Gracia, when you’re alone.
San Carlos de Bariloche is a town with a European feel to its architecture but a distinctly Patagonian vibe to its surroundings. The town attracted Swiss, German and Austrian settlers in the early 20th century, who brought their building style with them. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy Bariloche year-round. Hiking in the mountains and kayaking on the stunning Lake Nahuel Huapi are popular in the summer, while skiing takes over in the winter. The town is a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires, but connections are frequent and reasonably priced.
Far, far away from Buenos Aires, in the northwest of the country, is Salta, nicknamed Salta la Linda( “Salta the Fair”), for its beautiful architecture. It has a pleasant climate and picturesque nature, with the Andes mountains, the famous salt flats and plains surrounding the city. It’s an excellent base for those who want to explore more of South America, as it lies close(ish) to the borders with Chile, Bolivia, and Paraguay. There’s also a strong police presence in Salta, making it generally a safe destination.
Learn Spanish in Argentina
Learning Spanish in Argentina is a wonderful way to experience the local culture on a deeper level. Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the country, though the dialect is different from that in Spain. Most people choose schools in Buenos Aires if they want to study Spanish, where there is the widest choice of schools, though there are language schools in all of the cities we’ve mentioned. In a smaller city, you might learn even faster as you likely won’t have as many opportunities to speak English. The lower cost of living in the country compared to the U.S. means studying in Argentina is often affordable.
Where is the best place to live in Argentina?
There are many places to settle in Argentina, from the sprawling city of Buenos Aires to the more relaxed Mendoza. Urbanites will love the Argentinian capital and the second largest city of Córdoba, while those into high-octane sports should choose Bariloche. And beautiful Salta is a far-flung gem, offering a ton of opportunities to explore more of South America.