Buenos Aires, or BA, is the capital of Argentina, and in many ways, the capital of South America. When the Argentinean economy collapsed in 2001, foreigners saw an opportunity (although always risky in Argentina) for investment. With gorgeous architecture, world class shopping and a well designed city with strong transportation in place, many ex-pats bought into the city at extremely cheap prices. The economy has recovered rapidly (although I can’t speak to the effect the current crisis is having upon Argentina), and prices are very high compared to the rest of South America. However, what you get, compared with what you pay is astounding. Restaurants, museums and boutiques are all at near New York quality, yet prices don’t come near the astronomical levels charged up north. For example, in the newly developing waterfront area, Puerto Madryn, an extremely gourmet Italian restaurant charges about $10 for a pre-fix three course lunch.
The city is divided into several barrios, or neighborhoods. San Telmo and La Boca offer a look at the real, working class Buenos Aires. Recoleta, Barrio Norte, Puerto Madryn and Palermo are probably better areas for ex-pats. Most foreigners live in these more upscale neighborhoods and offer safety as well as convenience. Most have parks, many restaurants, cafes and shops. Each is distinct, so get a sense of the areas before deciding.
Buenos Aires has so much to do. Wandering through the wide, tree lined streets, you encounter gorgeous architecture, antique plazas and churches, as well as new apartment buildings and shops. Many of the best museums in Latin America can be found here. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Eva Péron, and MALBA are just a few of the impressive collections in the city, offering European fine art, Argentinean history, Latin American art, and modern art and architecture. The city has every convenience one needs- from yoga studios, to smoothie spots, grills and international cuisine, enormous grocery stores and antique markets.