Bougie on a Budget: What You Can Do with $12 in Argentina


South America

I started off my week in Buenos Aires buying a tiny bottle of water for 80 pesos, which is about $2 USD (United States Dollar). Not horrible, but as the week went on I saw that I could have gotten the same bottle for half the price at other stores. I’m all about spending the proper amount of money for the location you’re in, i.e. not getting ripped off just because it’s what you might spend at home.

If you think in terms of the euro while you’re in Latin America, you’ll overspend on everything! Likewise, if you compare everything in the UK to USD, you’ll probably get a little sad. I aspire to a lifestyle of bougie on a budget: making the most of my travels while still being frugal. Here are a few ways my friends and I lived our best lives in Buenos Aires for under $12 USD (about 540 pesos).

Wine and Dine

You really can spend less and do more if you know where to look. One of the highlights of this week, and definitely the most bougie activity, was going to the viewpoint at the Palacio Barolo. It costs 450 pesos to go up to the rooftop, which we initially thought was a rip off. What we didn’t realize was that at the top, we then had the 450 peso credit to use on drinks and food at the bar! For $10 each, the three of us shared an entire bottle of nice wine and four filling appetizers, all with an amazing view. This spot is still somewhat of a secret, so go before everyone figures out that it’s a MUST of Buenos Aires! 

History and Culture

In addition to the free sites in the city like the Botanical Gardens and the Cemetery, check out The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. It’s full of various forms of art like photography and sculpture from different periods. The student price is less than $2 USD. 

When it’s time for lunch, head over to La Biela Cafe, apparently a favorite of author Jorge Luis Borges. It started in the 1800s as a small sidewalk cafe under a different name. In the 1950s it turned into La Biela and became a landmark of the district. It was a meeting place for car-racing champions and fans, as well as artists and politicians. I got a chicken burger and fries that came with a small glass of wine for $9 including tip. The meal also came with a bread basket and water. 

La Biela is on the right corner. The pink cafe on the left, The Panera Rosa, is also worth checking out!
Cute Dates
Jack and Matheus

If you come with a significant other or find a cute Argentino (or if you just want to treat yourself!), start your date off at the Parques de Palermo with a romantic ride in a swan boat. Jack and Matheus, my two boo’d up friends, took a ride and had a lovely time. They paid less than $10 for the both of them. Once you’re done, take a walk through the rose garden. (Netflix and chill ain’t gonna cut it my friends.) 

Cheap Eats

Last but not least, food! Always more food. Why not buy a pile of empanadas? At the Fábrica de Empanadas you can get 25 empanadas for about $11, and I’m sure they have a discount on top of that if you’re buying more than a dozen. To me, 2-3 empanadas is enough for a lunch, so bring your friends and dig in. You can also buy them individually. I recommend the empanada de pollo. 

What can I do in your city for under $12?! 

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