Ask the average Singaporean what he knows of Argentina and he might be hard-pressed to mention anything beyond Lionel Messi and “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”, which is a pity since Argentina is one of the most exciting destinations South of the equator, and a great introduction to Latin America.
From the allure of Argentine tango to some very, very good beef, Argentina is one very sexy nation. It also helps that the Argentine Peso is at an all-time low right now, so once you cough up enough money for your flight you can live quite comfortably. Hit up the capital Buenos Aires for a week for under $2,300. We show you how.
Buenos Aires is one of the furthest possible destinations a person could fly to from Singapore, and you’re going to find yourself sitting on the plane and in transit for at least an entire day, if not more.
Such a long flight is going to cost you, so it’s important that you do extensive research on websites like Kayak and Skyscanner way in advance. Even playing around with dates in the same week can save you a few hundred dollars.
On occasion, you’ll be able to find excellent deals at around $1,900 or so, but in general the cheapest tickets will be in the $2,000 to $2,100 range. Emirates tends to offer good deals on this route.
Cost: 2,000 SGD
Buenos Aires has a huge hostel scene, and many of the more popular establishments are fully booked over the weekend, so it’s best to make reservations. In general, a dorm bed will set you back around 12 SGD to 20 SGD. For 15 SGD to 30 SGD you can get a private room in a hostel if you look hard enough. The bad news is that the hostel scene here is pretty much down ‘n’ dirty, so don’t expect luxurious “boutique hostel” type accommodation if you want to pay bargain basement prices.
For the faint of heart, looking for accommodation on Airbnb is a much better idea, considering you can get a very nice private room in a central area for as low as 20 SGD to 30 SGD a night. For your own safety, some areas to avoid when picking accommodation include La Boca and Monserrat.
Cost: 20 SGD x 7 = 140 SGD for a week
The public transport system in Buenos Aires is well-developed, and you should be able to rely entirely on the bus and subway. Before booking your accommodation, it’s a good idea to check that the location is well-served by the public transport system, as we all know what it’s like to live in “ulu” areas and have to rely on feeder bus services.
A ride on the bus costs a maximum of 5.75 ARS (0.88 SGD), while a ride on the subway, called the subte, costs 3.50 ARS (0.54 SGD) with the possibility of unlimited transfers. Be warned that the subte gets insanely crowded during peak hours… but then again, if you’ve survived the peak hour MRT crush, surviving the subte will be a piece of cake. Buy a SUBE card for tap-on, tap-off goodness.
Cost: 14 SGD
Most of Buenos Aires’ main tourist sights are sprawling plazas or colourful neighbourhoods, which means they are free to visit. You won’t find too many kitschy attractions here, which means your wallet gets to breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, an important part of the Buenos Aires experience is the night scene, whether you’re watching Argentine tango at a milonga or downing a few beers at a bar.
Here’s a sampling of some of the main tourist sights in Buenos Aires and how much it will cost you to visit them.
- Plaza de Mayo: free
- La Recoleta Cemetery: free
- Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires: 60 ARS (9.20 SGD) / 30 ARS (4.60 SGD) for students and retirees
- Jardín Botánico: free
- San Telmo market: free
Cost: 10 SGD
If you’re on a shoestring budget, you can still get by on fairly little by eating at one of the numerous street vendors scattered all over the city selling things like panchos (hotdogs), empanadas and sandwiches for 25 ARS (3.84 SGD) to 40 ARS (6.14 SGD). Otherwise, a cheap sit-down meal at a no-frills joint will set you back about 35 ARS (5.37 SGD) to 60 ARS (9.20 SGD). Look out for set meals during lunchtime.
Cost: 15 SGD per day / 105 SGD for a week
Money tip: Instead of changing money in Singapore, bring USD to Buenos Aires. Ask someone working at your hotel or hostel where you can exchange currencies at the black market rate (also called the “blue dollar” exchange rate). This is technically illegal but an accepted practice in Buenos Aires and can get you double the amount for your money than obtaining your pesos at the official exchange rate.
Total: 2,269 SGD
If you are planning to take a trip, making sure you’re well covered is just as important as enjoying the trip itself! And if figuring out what travel insurance to get is too much of a headache for you, we’ve made that simple with an easy-to-use Travel Insurance Wizard. So travel with peace of mind and focus on enjoying yourself!
Are you inspired to travel to Buenos Aires now? Let us know in the comments!