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Weather in Argentina

The weather in Argentina is extremely varied and is best subdivided into four broad climate regions: east central Argentina (also known as the Pampas), western Argentina, the northeastern interior, and southern Argentina, which includes both the climate-specific Andes and Patagonia. It's quite exceptional that expats living in Argentina can experience both the freezing gale force winds of Patagonia and the extreme heat of the north in one season.

Argentina has four distinct seasons. Summer typically starts in December, moving into autumn in March, transitioning into winter in June and finally changing into spring in September. While the south is characterised by cold temperatures and howling wind, the north is subtropical and receives heavy rainfall.

The weather in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital and most popular expat destination, is relatively temperate with distinct seasonal changes. High temperatures and humidity are a normal part of the city's sultry summers. Spring and autumn are pleasant, whereas winter is cooler, but mild. Snow is a rarity in Buenos Aires, though there may be an occasional day when the temperatures plunge toward freezing. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer months, but precipitation is present throughout the year.

Expats living in Argentina will find the varied climate makes certain parts of the country more attractive during different times of the year. The Lake District, Mendoza and Córdoba are fantastic in autumn when the leaves begin to change and the crowds begin to thin. Alternatively, Buenos Aires is something special in spring, with the jacarandas in bloom and the gloom of winter fading away.

Patagonia and the south are best in summer, whereas the north is most bearable in winter.


Cost of Living in Argentina

Often recognised as a desirable retirement haven, Argentina offers expats an affordable yet high-quality lifestyle. The country's economy is, however, known for spiralling inflation that frequently causes soaring prices. That said, expats whose finances can withstand the unpredictable nature of Argentina's economy will enjoy life in the country.

The cost of living in Argentina's rural areas is much lower than in its metropolitan cities. The country's capital, Buenos Aires, was ranked as the world's 45th most expensive city out of 227 cities surveyed in the Mercer 2023 Cost of Living Survey. The rising cost of living has made Buenos Aires one of the most expensive cities in Central and South America, along with San Juan, Puerto Rico, which ranked 44th.

Cost of groceries in Argentina

Supermarket prices for certain items in Argentina are slightly more affordable than in the UK. If expats have the time to shop around, particularly for fruit and vegetables, which are much cheaper from the roadside stalls, they can bring their grocery bills down. Meat is also a staple of Argentine cuisine and can be purchased at relatively affordable prices. Imported goods can be more expensive than locally produced items, and certain speciality foods or products may not be readily available in all areas.

Cost of transport in Argentina

Transport in Argentina can be affordable and convenient for expats, particularly in urban areas where public transport is widely available. Buses and subways are common modes of transport, and fares are often reasonable. To make the most of their money, expats may consider purchasing a contactless smartcard, or 'SUBE' card, which can offer discounts on public transport fares.

Driving in Argentina can also be an option, but expats should be aware that the cost of fuel can be relatively high compared to other countries. Cars are an expensive commodity in Argentina. The country no longer has a car manufacturing industry, and vehicle import taxes are hefty. As a result, second-hand cars hold their value quite well, and it is not unusual to buy a car, use it for several years and sell it at the same price or even more than one paid for it.

Cost of accommodation in Argentina

It is almost impossible to give average prices for either purchasing or renting accommodation in Argentina, as it varies widely between provinces. Demand in the rental market is especially high since many Argentinians are no longer in a position to buy property. Foreigners hoping to rent will be required to provide a guarantor, a deposit and several months of rent in advance.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Argentina

Argentina offers a wide range of entertainment and dining options for expats, with varying costs depending on the type of experience they are looking for. Eating out can be relatively affordable, particularly in local cafés and restaurants, where expats can sample traditional Argentine cuisine. Expats on a budget may also find that dining at home and cooking their own meals can be a cost-effective option.

When it comes to entertainment, there are many options available at different price points. Expats can make the most of their money by looking for discounts and promotions, such as early bird specials at restaurants or off-peak ticket prices for entertainment events.

Additionally, exploring local neighbourhoods and taking advantage of free events and activities can be a great way to experience Argentine culture without breaking the bank. Cultural attractions such as museums, galleries and theatres often offer discounted rates for students or seniors.

Cost of education in Argentina

Education in Argentina can vary in cost depending on the type of institution and level of education. Public education is free for all students, including expats, and offers a high level of education.

Private schools can be more expensive but typically offer smaller class sizes and more personalised attention. Additionally, certain private institutions may offer programmes in English, which can be beneficial for expats who are not fluent in Spanish. There are several international schools in Argentina, particularly in larger cities such as Córdoba and Buenos Aires.

Cost of living in Argentina chart

Prices may vary depending on location and service provider. The table below is based on average prices in Buenos Aires for February 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

ARS 119,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

ARS 87,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

ARS 61,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

ARS 45,000

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

ARS 500

Milk (1 litre)

ARS 260

Rice (1kg)

ARS 172

Loaf of white bread

ARS 260

Chicken breasts (1kg)

ARS 2,560

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

ARS 780

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

ARS 5,700

Big Mac meal

ARS 1,920

Coca-Cola (330ml)

ARS 201


ARS 340

Bottle of beer (local)

ARS 390


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

ARS 57

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

ARS 3,500

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

ARS 11,700


Taxi rate/km

ARS 99

City-centre public transport fare

ARS 29

Gasoline (per litre)

ARS 191

Transport and Driving in Argentina

As in many countries, driving in Argentina's large cities can be stressful, and parking is expensive and hard to come by, which means most people in Argentina's metropolitan areas opt to use public transport almost exclusively. This is made more convenient by the SUBE card, a smartcard that can be loaded with cash and used to pay for bus, train and metro fares in Buenos Aires and other major cities.

Public transport in Argentina's large cities, especially in Buenos Aires, is highly effective and expats will find that getting around is no problem at all. Some areas of Argentina, such as Patagonia, are slightly more limited in terms of public transport. Although expensive, driving may be a more viable mode of transport in these cases.

Public transport in Argentina


With roughly 23,000 miles (37,000 km) of railway, Argentina boasts the seventh-largest railway network in the world and the largest in South America. These days, it's cheaper to travel long distance in Argentina by train than by bus, but train travel in Argentina also takes more time. With that said, trains are generally more punctual than buses.

Argentina's primary train network is a suburban train line that connects Buenos Aires with outlying areas. This is the main form of transport for commuters who work in the capital. Resistencia, the capital of Chaco Province, also has a suburban train line. A tram system is also operational in Mendoza.

There are three kinds of tickets to choose from when taking the train to and from Buenos Aires. Primera (which is the lowest class), Pullman (standard tickets) and Camarote (a private cabin for two persons). The type of ticket and seat/cabin can be selected when buying tickets online. Long-distance trains usually operate between Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Posadas, but there are international services that run to Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.


Buses are the main form of public transport in Argentina, and the system is excellent. Urban buses are known as colectivos and cover an extensive route around major cities.

The reliability of buses can vary according to area and time of day. Buses are run by a number of different companies, so fares can vary. In some cities, bus fares are fixed for the entire city. Most city buses have coin machines, and travellers can pay as they board. Tickets and coupons are also usually available at kiosks around the cities.

Argentina has a system of long-distance buses as well. This is the primary mode of transport used to travel across the country. Some of these buses have interiors similar to that of an airline's business-class cabin and even offer on-board dining. Similarly to trains, buses also have different seat classes one can choose from.

Underground rail

Buenos Aires is home to the oldest subway system in South America. The six lines of the Buenos Aires subway (subte) can easily be navigated by checking the map which is available online. Expats will have to use a SUBE smartcard, which is available for purchase at subte stations, in one of the city's tourist centres or a kiosk (street-side convenience stores).

Buenos Aires is the only city in Argentina with an underground train network, but plans are in place to build one in Córdoba.

Taxis and ride-sharing services

Expats will find that ride-sharing services such as Uber are readily available in most of Argentina's urban areas. These provide non-Spanish speakers with a hassle-free way to get around the cities without the risk of miscommunication with taxi drivers. Hailing a local taxi in Argentina is also easy, but expats would benefit from having a basic knowledge of Spanish for communicating with their driver.

Most taxis in Buenos Aires only take cash. BA Taxi, an app rolled out by the city, allows users to request a taxi and pay with a credit card.


Trams are making a slow comeback in Argentina after being phased out in the 1960s. There is now a tram line in Buenos Aires that feeds the subte system, as well as a light rail system in the northern suburbs of the city.

Trolleybuses, which are powered by overhead electric wires, operate in Córdoba, Mendoza and Rosario.

Driving in Argentina

Argentina is a country with a huge landmass, but thankfully its comprehensive road network makes travel easier. Despite the high cost associated with buying a car in Argentina, the country has one of the highest car ownership rates in South America, with an estimated 17 million motor vehicles on its roads. There are well-maintained expressways that extend from Buenos Aires to most parts of the country. Expats may find some gravel and dirt roads in Argentina, but most roads are paved and in excellent condition.

To drive in Argentina, expats must hold an international driving licence in addition to a national driving licence from their home country. Expats should also ensure that they have their vehicle's registration, green card (tarjeta verde), tax and insurance documents in the car, as traffic police will request to see these if they pull anyone over. Expats should note that police roadblocks happen frequently.

Car rentals are relatively expensive in Argentina but can be worthwhile for expats wanting to explore the country. Expats can get a better rate at a locally owned agency than they would at an international one. The minimum age to rent a car in Argentina is 21. Expats living in Argentina long term may find buying a car to be more financially viable, but the bureaucracy involved with making the purchase will be frustrating.

Cycling in Argentina

Buenos Aires has been voted one of the top 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world. A recent push to prioritise cycling resulted in miles of bike lanes being created all over the city. Buenos Aires also jumped on the worldwide bike-sharing bandwagon and introduced Ecobici – a scheme where bikes can be borrowed for free 24 hours a day from more than 100 stations across the city.

Air travel in Argentina

Argentina's national air carrier, Aerolíneas Argentinas (Austral), operates most domestic flights, but this airline is notorious for delays, and only Argentinian residents qualify for the cheapest fares. Other airlines that offer domestic flights include LanChile and Líneas Aéreas del Estado.

There are 19 major airports in Argentina, but the largest are the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (usually called Ezeiza and abbreviated EZE) and the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (abbreviated AEP) in Buenos Aires.

Doing Business in Argentina

Expats doing business in Argentina will quickly learn that this South American country values personal relationships and seniority. It also identifies more with its European roots than the Latin American influence in the country.

Argentina's economy hasn't been the most stable historically, yet it is still one of the largest economies in South America. Its primary industries are in services and manufacturing, agriculture, information and communication technology (ICT) and tourism.

Fast facts

Business hours

Traditionally, the workday in the provinces of Argentina is from 8:30am to 8pm, with a three to four-hour siesta in the middle of the day. The labour law states that people can work a maximum of eight hours a day, and 48 hours per week.

Business language

Spanish is Argentina's official language, but there are some differences between the Spanish spoken in Argentina and in Spain. Businesspeople in Argentina can typically speak English, more so in large cities like Buenos Aires than in outlying areas. Business is conducted in Spanish, and expats who do not have a good grasp of the language will need an interpreter. Business cards should be Spanish on one side and English on the other. It should be presented so that the Spanish side faces the recipient.


Appearance is important in the Argentine business world. It is therefore essential to look stylish and presentable. Argentinian dress code varies depending on the type of business meeting and industry. Business attire is usually formal and conservative. Men should wear dark business suits with ties and women should wear business suits or dresses.


Gift-giving in Argentina is not as common as in other cultures. If given, a gift should be something of high quality and not something that could be misconstrued as a bribe. A bottle of imported spirits is a gift that is often appreciated, as tax on spirits in Argentina is high. Gifts are opened immediately when they are received.


A simple handshake with eye contact is the preferred business greeting in Argentina. The oldest or most senior associate should be greeted first. Keep in mind that Argentines typically keep close physical contact when speaking to someone.

It is important to address people using their titles and surnames rather than first names, particularly in more formal settings. One's level of education is also significant in Argentina. Before meeting someone, it is advisable to know something about their education.

Gender equality

Women have equal rights in Argentina, but there are generally more men in senior roles than women. The machismo culture also impacts the way women are treated in business. It is common for women to be subjected to supposedly harmless everyday sexism in the workplace; men in Argentina are known to deliver lewd comments. In many corporate cultures, efforts are being made to wipe out this behaviour, but it still happens occasionally.

Business culture in Argentina

Argentinians are generally family-orientated people, which translates into the way they conduct business. Close, personal relationships are valued, respect is given to older associates and more loyalty is shown to individual people than to companies as a whole.

It is common to hold business dinners in restaurants. Meals are for socialising, and you should avoid talking business unless your Argentinian colleague brings it up. Usually, the person who sets the invitation pays the bill.


It's crucial for expats to network and build meaningful relationships if they want to succeed in the business world in Argentina. It is common for business meetings to begin with small talk and for relationships to be nurtured over time. Interestingly, nepotism and name-dropping are not frowned upon and even though it might feel strange at first, expats should feel free to use both these tools to their advantage.


Argentines are quite expressive and emotive in their communication, and gestures, tone of voice and body language are used extensively in conveying meaning. Direct communication is also normal, and Argentines are known to ask questions that some may consider personal. They may even be disappointed if not asked these kinds of questions as well.

Interrupting others while conversing is also common, and is viewed as a demonstration of interest in the conversation. Also, if there are multiple people in a conversation, Argentines may speak louder to be heard. Raised voices are the norm and do not necessarily indicate agitation. 

This expressiveness means Argentines use many gestures to bring their point across. Personal space is virtually non-existent, and touching another person’s arm or back is a common and widely accepted practice. Maintaining eye contact while talking to someone is believed to show a sense of honesty and interest in the person who is speaking.

Business hierarchy

Argentinian society, in general, is rather status-conscious, and local business structures tend to be hierarchical. Decisions are made at the top level of the company. This makes business move slowly because decisions often require several layers of approval. Expats should show respect to those in positions of authority.

Argentinian companies can be described as having 'relationship-driven hierarchies'. It is therefore crucial to develop close, personal relationships before starting to do business with Argentines. Engaging in courtesy discussions and going for lunch or dinner with a business partner are great ways to socialise and build a strong relationship.

Business meetings

When arranging a business meeting in Argentina, it is necessary to make an appointment one or two weeks before the intended meeting. The meeting should be confirmed a few days before the date. Appointments should be made by email or telephone, but meetings should always be face-to-face, as telephonic meetings or written communication are seen as overly impersonal.

Argentines are generally punctual when it comes to business engagements, and expats should always be on time for meetings. Punctuality shows respect for the other person’s time. That said, meetings are often started with some small talk to break the ice, and it's not uncommon for first meetings to focus solely on getting acquainted. Jumping right into discussing business may seem impolite. Conversations are frequently punctuated with laughter and off-topic interruptions, so they may not end on time. It's best to be patient because displaying a sense of urgency may be viewed with mistrust or rudeness. It's also a good idea to have any documents available in both English and Spanish.

Dos and don’ts of doing business in Argentina

  • Don’t use one finger to point, but rather use the whole hand

  • Do make an effort to learn Spanish; it will go a long way with Argentine co-workers

  • Don’t raise topics relating to Argentina’s past and present political issues

  • Do arrive on time for meetings

  • Don't be in a rush; building relationships and doing business in Argentina are one and the same

  • Do use titles, and use Señor or Señora to address colleagues if their exact title is not known

  • Do show respect to those in positions of authority

  • Don’t be afraid to socialise with colleagues; it is common for business associates to be friends outside the workplace

  • Do inquire into the well-being of a colleague’s family, spouse or children 

  • Don't be too informal; be very friendly and even more polite

Articles about Argentina

Embassy Contacts for Argentina

Argentine Embassies

  • Embassy of Argentina, Washington, DC, United States: +1 202 238 6400

  • Embassy of Argentina, London, United Kingdom: +44 207 318 1300

  • Embassy of Argentina, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 236 2351

  • Embassy of Argentina, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6273 9111

  • Embassy of Argentina, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 430 3524

  • Embassy of Argentina, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 269 1546

  • Embassy of Argentina, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 472 8330

Foreign Embassies in Argentina

  • United States Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 5777 4533

  • British Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 4808 2200

  • Canadian Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 4808 1000

  • Australian Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 4779 3500

  • South African Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 4317 2900

  • Irish Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 4808 5700

  • New Zealand Embassy, Buenos Aires: +54 11 5070 0700

A Brief History of Argentina

Pre-Columbian Era

  • 11,000 BCE: The first indigenous peoples arrive in the region now known as Argentina. Indigenous peoples, including the Inca, Charrúa and Mapuche, live in the region long before the arrival of the Spanish.
  • 1438: The Inca Empire has a significant influence on the region, particularly in the northwest of the country. Indigenous communities develop their own unique cultures, languages and social systems which are largely independent of one another.

Colonial Era

  • 1516: Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís arrives in the Río de la Plata region and claims it for Spain.
  • 1536: Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza establishes the first settlement in Argentina, named Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Good Wind) – known nowadays as Buenos Aires.
  • During the colonial period, indigenous peoples are forced to work in mines and on large estates, which are controlled by the Spanish. The region also becomes an important centre for the slave trade, with African slaves being brought from Angola through Brazil to work on these estates. Indigenous people of Argentina have been treated like second-class citizens into the 21st century.
  • 1776: The Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata is created, including present-day Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and parts of Bolivia and Brazil. The capital is Buenos Aires.

Independence and early nationalism

  • 1810: The May Revolution in Buenos Aires marks the beginning of the Argentine War of Independence.
  • 1816: The Argentine Declaration of Independence is proclaimed, marking the beginning of the country's journey towards independence.
  • 1820: The Battle of Cepeda marks the beginning of a period of civil wars known as the Argentine Confederation. The early years of independence are characterised by political instability and conflict, including the Argentine Civil Wars of the 1820s and 1830s.
  • 1852: The Battle of Caseros ends the Argentine Confederation.
  • 1853: The Argentine Constitution is enacted, establishing a federal system and a presidential republic.
  • 1862: Buenos Aires becomes the capital of Argentina.
  • 1868: Domingo Faustino Sarmiento becomes President and initiates a period of modernisation and expansion.
  • 1878–1884: The Conquest of the Desert, a military campaign led by the Argentine army, results in the subjugation of indigenous peoples in Patagonia and the expansion of Argentine territory.
  • 1930: A military coup overthrows President Hipólito Yrigoyen and begins a period of authoritarian rule known as the Infamous Decade.

The Age of Perón

  • 1946: The Perónist movement, led by General Juan Perón, gains control of the government and begins a period of political, social and economic transformation.
  • Perón's policies focus on improving the lives of the working class, including the implementation of social security, labour laws, and other protections for workers. The country also experiences significant industrialisation, with the expansion of manufacturing and the growth of the automobile and steel industries.
  • Perón's government is also characterised by authoritarianism, censorship and political repression, particularly towards opponents of the government.

Post-Perón Era

  • 1955: A military coup overthrows Perón and begins a period of political instability known as the Liberating Revolution.
  • 1966: A military coup led by General Juan Carlos Onganía begins a period of authoritarian rule known as the Argentine Revolution. The dictatorship lasts until 1970.
  • 1973: Juan Perón returns to power. After his death in 1974, his third wife, Vice-President Isabel Perón succeeds him.
  • 1976: A military coup overthrows President Isabel Perón and begins a period of state terrorism known as the Dirty War. The dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla, who rules with an iron fist for seven years, is characterised by widespread human rights abuses, including the torture, disappearance and murder of political opponents.

Contemporary Argentina

  • 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, which are administered by the United Kingdom. The ensuing conflict lasts for several months and results in the defeat of the Argentine military. The war has significant political consequences in Argentina, leading to the downfall of the military dictatorship and the restoration of democracy.
  • 1983: Democracy is restored.
  • 1990: Argentina restores full diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom, although Argentina maintains claim to Falklands.
  • 1992: Argentina introduces a new currency, the peso, which is pegged to the US dollar.
  • 1999: Fernando de la Rua of the centre-left Alianza opposition coalition wins the presidency, and inherits 114 billion-dollar public debt after a year of recession in the country.
  • 2001: Argentina experiences a severe economic crisis that results in a default on its foreign debt, widespread unemployment and social unrest. The crisis has significant political consequences, leading to the resignation of the president and the rise of a new political movement known as the piqueteros.
  • 2003–2014: Argentina is governed by Nestor Kirchner and his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. The Kirchners implement a series of social and economic policies aimed at reducing poverty and promoting social justice, including increases in public spending, subsidies for the poor and nationalisation of several industries. Their governments are also marked by conflicts with the media, the judiciary and the business sector.
  • 2014: Argentina defaults on its international debt for the second time in 13 years, after failing to resolve its differences with US hedge funds, holding 1.3 billion dollars worth of bonds, bought at a discount after the country last defaulted.
  • 2020: The Covid-19 pandemic hits Argentina, leading to widespread lockdowns and economic disruption. The government implements measures to support vulnerable populations and stimulate the economy, but the country continues to face significant challenges.

Moving to Argentina

Argentina offers a stunning and relatively undiscovered destination for expats seeking to relocate to a new country. Argentina's vast plains, the Pampas, are a verdant swathe of natural beauty, stretching out along the country's eastern coast. The imposing Andes mountain range to the west provides a majestic and awe-inspiring backdrop to the country's already stunning landscape.

Despite its immense size providing an expansive sense of space and natural beauty, with an area 11 times larger than the United Kingdom, Argentina's population is just over 46 million. Only by taking a leap of faith and committing to a long-term stay can an expat moving to Argentina truly appreciate the breadth of its exquisiteness.

Living in Argentina as an expat

Argentina's 23 provinces are a colourful mosaic of distinctive regions, each with unique character and allure. The cosmopolitan capital city of Buenos Aires is a bustling metropolis that pulses with the rhythms of daily life, a vibrant blend of European, indigenous and African influences. Outside the main urban areas, expats will find a sparsity of other foreigners and English speakers.

Despite Argentina's robust GDP, political and economic stability remains elusive in a region plagued by corruption and mismanagement. One upside of Argentina's economic instabilityis that it has created a dynamic and exciting real estate market, full of opportunities for those looking to invest in this extraordinary country. There are opportunities for foreigners to purchase land, although the legal requirements can be complex.

Outside of being assigned by a large multinational corporation and getting transferred to Argentina, or relocating to Argentina with a specialised and in-demand skill set, employment opportunities are rather limited for expats. English teaching, tourism and hospitality are popular jobs for expats. Argentina also presents interesting freelance and entrepreneurship opportunities, particularly in technology and education.

It is advisable for expats to have a good working knowledge of Spanish, as it is the official language and is essential for daily life. That said, in some regions with higher levels of tourism, English proficiency may be more prevalent. 

Argentina has an efficient and extensive transport system, including buses, trains and subways, making it easy for expats to move around cities without needing to own a car. It is worth noting that rush hour traffic can be heavy in major cities, so it may be best to plan accordingly to avoid long commute times.

Cost of living in Argentina

Argentina offers expats an affordable and high quality of life, with the cost of living in the country's rural areas being particularly low. Still, salaries in Argentina tend to be low too, and expats should look to find a job with an international company where they are not earning Argentinian pesos. Due to the country's economic instability, inflation is severe at times and prices can soar, which is all the more reason to earn an offshore income.

Expat families and children in Argentina

Expats moving to Argentina with their families will find a range of schooling options available, including both Spanish and English-language schools. The cost of tuition fees can vary depending on whether the school is state-funded or privately owned. Expats should research and visit potential schools before deciding on which one to enrol their children in.

Families with children may be interested in housing options with large gardens or proximity to parks, particularly in major cities. This will provide ample space for children to play and explore their surroundings.

Healthcare in Argentina is generally considered to be of good quality, with well-trained medical professionals and modern facilities in most urban areas. The country's public healthcare system provides free, tax-funded medical care to all citizens and residents. Expats are recommended to have private health insurance to cover the cost of private healthcare services, as the public system can sometimes experience long waiting times and overcrowding.

Climate in Argentina

From the sultry heat of the subtropical north to the snow-capped peaks of the southern Andes, Argentina's climate is a diverse and ever-changing canvas of natural wonder, ready to be explored by adventurous expats.

Expats moving to Argentina can expect to experience four distinct seasons, with summer closing out the year and winter dominating the middle months. In Buenos Aires, which is Argentina's most popular expat destination, summers can be humid and hot, while winters are generally mild. The majority of the rainfall in the city takes place during summer.

With its delicious cuisine, rich history, and vibrant culture, Argentina is a country that rewards those who take the time to fully immerse themselves in its many charms and delights. Those who take the time to learn the language and immerse themselves in the local culture will find that they can easily adapt to life in Argentina and make it their home.

Fast Facts

Full name: Argentine Republic (República Argentina)

Population: Around 46 million

Capital city: Buenos Aires

Other major cities: Córdoba, Rosario, Mendoza

Neighbouring countries: Argentina is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Chile to the west and the Drake Passage to the south.

Geography: Argentina is the second-largest country in South America by geographic size. It has a varied landscape ranging from its extended coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the rain forests in the north, the flat Chaco plain, the grasslands of the Pampas and wastelands of Patagonia, to the Andes Mountains in the west. Aconcagua is the highest point in Argentina, which is also the highest point in the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

Political system: Presidential democratic republic

Main languages: The official language of Argentina is Spanish. English is spoken widely in large cities and tourist centres.

Major religions: The most common religion in Argentina is Roman Catholicism (more than 90 percent), but religious freedom is guaranteed by the country’s constitution and expats will be able to practice their religion in peace.

Time: GMT -3

Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. Old buildings use two-pin, round-pronged plugs, whereas newer buildings use three-pin, flat-pronged plugs.

International calling code: +54

Internet domain: .ar

Money: The official currency is the Argentine peso (ARS), which is divided into 100 cents. Foreigners are permitted to open a bank account in Argentina as long as the appropriate paperwork is in order. It is possible to open an account in pesos as well as in dollars. There are many ATMs in and around Argentina’s larger cities.

Emergency numbers: 101 (police), 107 (ambulance), 100 (fire). 911 can also be used in Buenos Aires.

Transport and driving: Argentina has an extensive road network that spans the entire country. Most areas of Argentina are covered by a comprehensive public transport system, particularly in and around the country’s large cities. Vehicles in Argentina drive on the right side of the road.

Education: Argentina provides free public education for all of its residents, including expats, though this is almost exclusively offered in Spanish. There are numerous private and international schools in Argentina, most notably in Buenos Aires.

Accommodation in Argentina

Argentina offers a wide variety of properties for expats looking to buy or rent accommodation. From modern apartments in Buenos Aires to colonial-style houses in the countryside, there is something to suit every taste and budget. A recent decline in property prices makes it an opportune time for expats to invest in real estate.

While the process of buying or renting is relatively straightforward, expats should be aware of some challenges they may face. For example, navigating the legal requirements and paperwork can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the local language and customs. However, a reputable real-estate agent can provide valuable assistance in navigating legal requirements and paperwork.

Aside from the favourable real-estate market, Argentina has much to offer expats. The country boasts a rich cultural heritage, a vibrant arts scene and delicious cuisine. Additionally, the relatively low cost of living and the favourable exchange rate makes it an affordable destination for many expats.

Types of accommodation in Argentina

Argentina offers a diverse selection of accommodation options that cater to the varying tastes and needs of expats. The type of housing that expats can expect to find in Argentina will depend on their location and budget. Below are some different types of accommodation available in Argentina.


Expats who prefer to live in the city centre of Buenos Aires and other major cities will find high-rise apartments in modern buildings. These apartments come with a range of amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and 24-hour security. They are particularly popular among young professionals and expats who enjoy the convenience of having access to shops, restaurants and nightlife.


Those looking for more space and privacy may prefer to live in the suburbs. Large, stand-alone houses in residential areas are common in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina. They often come with gardens, swimming pools and garages and are particularly popular among families with children.

Colonial-style houses are common in older neighbourhoods. They typically feature high ceilings, large windows and intricate woodwork. They are popular among expats who prefer historic charm and character in their living spaces.

Gated communities

Gated communities are a popular choice among wealthy Argentinians and corporate expat employees. These communities offer a high level of security and privacy, with amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and golf courses. Gated communities are typically located on the outskirts of cities or in the countryside.

Rural living

Expats who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and fishing may prefer to live in a country home. These types of properties are available across Argentina and range from comfortable family villas in hilly La Cumbre to Swiss-style chalets in Bariloche and even rustic homes in vineyards in Mendoza. Country homes offer a peaceful and serene lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Furnished or unfurnished

Unfurnished rental properties in Argentina are usually devoid of furniture and household items but do include basic fixtures such as bathroom fittings and kitchen appliances. Renting an unfurnished apartment is a good option for long-term stays or those who have their own furniture. Although unfurnished rentals are typically cheaper than furnished rentals, tenants should keep in mind the cost of purchasing or renting furniture and household items.

Furnished rentals are more commonly found in expat areas and downtown locations in larger cities. These rentals typically come with furniture, appliances and basic household items such as linens and kitchenware. Furnished apartments vary in their level of furnishings but typically include essential items like a bed, sofa, table, chairs, refrigerator, oven and washing machine. In some cases, furnished apartments may have additional amenities such as internet access, cable TV and air conditioning. Renting a furnished apartment can be advantageous for expats or students staying for a short period as they don't have to worry about buying or transporting furniture.

Short lets

Short-term rentals in Argentina are a popular choice for expats and typically range from a few days to several months, making them an ideal option for those who are only staying in Argentina for a limited period.

Besides furnished properties, there are also serviced apartments. These apartments are similar to furnished apartments, but they come with additional services such as cleaning and maintenance. Some serviced apartments also offer amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centres and 24-hour concierge services.

Short-term rentals can also be found through online platforms such as Airbnb or, where tenants can rent out a room in someone's home or an entire apartment or house. This can be a convenient option for expats who prefer a more homely atmosphere or who are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Finding accommodation in Argentina

Finding accommodation in Argentina is generally not difficult, but it is made a more challenging process if expats do not speak any Spanish. There are property rental websites that publish listings in English, and local Spanish websites and newspapers can also be useful. It is vital for expats to look out for the monthly maintenance fee, which can add a significant amount to the rent.

Alternatively, expats can enlist the services of a real-estate agent, many of whom can speak English. These professionals will have a good idea of what's available to rent or buy, as well as being able to speak the language and therefore negotiate deposits and leases with the landlord. They will also have a comprehensive knowledge of the legal steps and fees associated with purchasing property. Expats should keep in mind, though, that real-estate agents typically charge a fee that ranges from 1 to 5 percent of the property's value or of the two-year lease, depending on the location and type of property.

Useful links

Renting accommodation in Argentina

Renting accommodation in Argentina is not especially difficult anywhere in the country, but it's worth noting that expats may find it easier to navigate the rental process with the help of a reputable real-estate agent or apartment broker who caters for foreigners. These professionals can provide valuable assistance with finding suitable properties, negotiating lease terms and completing the necessary paperwork. They may also be able to provide information on additional rental requirements or restrictions, such as whether pets are allowed on the property.

It's common to negotiate rental prices in Argentina, especially for long-term leases. Expats should do research on comparable properties in the area and be prepared to make a counteroffer.


    Expats in Argentina can rent property for short or long-term stays, with long-term leases lasting up to 10 years but usually being two years in duration. Expats should keep in mind that lease agreements in Argentina are strict, and early termination can result in financial penalties. When choosing between furnished and unfurnished accommodation, expats should note that furnished options are more commonly offered for short-term leases.

    Landlords in Argentina may have different policies on pets in their rental properties, with some allowing pets under certain conditions while others don't allow them at all. Expats planning on bringing pets should check with their landlord and note that there may be additional fees or requirements, like deposits and vaccination certificates.


    When looking for rental accommodation in Argentina, prospective tenants who are expats may be required to provide references and undergo background checks. These measures are typically used by landlords or real estate agents to verify that the tenant is reliable and trustworthy.

    References are typically requested by landlords or agents and usually come from previous landlords, employers, or other individuals who can vouch for the tenant's character and reliability. Background checks may also be required, especially for long-term lease agreements. These checks can include credit checks, criminal history checks, and employment history verification.


    When signing a lease in Argentina, landlords typically require tenants to pay one month's rent upfront as well as a security deposit. The security deposit is typically equal to one month's rent and serves as insurance against damage or unpaid bills at the end of the lease period. According to Argentine law, the deposit on the lease may not exceed one month's rent per year.

    For long-term leases, expats will likely need a guarantor (garantía) who can take financial responsibility for any damage incurred by the tenant. This is typically someone who owns property in Argentina and can provide proof of income or assets. They co-sign the lease to ensure the lease will be paid in the case of a breach. If the tenant does not have a suitable guarantor, other options are available such as hiring a rental guarantee company or paying an additional deposit.

    Terminating the lease

    Terminating a lease in Argentina can be straightforward if the proper procedures are followed. Fixed-term leases usually end automatically, and terminating an open-ended lease requires giving the landlord written notice, with the notice period depending on the lease agreement.

    Before vacating the property, the tenant must ensure that the property is in good condition and any damages have been repaired. The landlord inspects the property, and if there are no damages or outstanding bills, the landlord must return the full security deposit to the tenant within ten days of the termination of the lease.

    Breaching the lease agreement can have legal and financial consequences, such as losing the security deposit or being sued for breach of contract.

    Utilities in Argentina

    Water, gas and electricity are the main utilities that tenants will need to set up. These services are provided by different companies depending on the area of the country, and tenants will need to contact the relevant company to set up an account. For the main utilities, tenants are often required to provide a deposit that is worth several months' utility bills.

    Bin collection and rubbish disposal are typically the responsibility of the local municipality, and tenants will need to check with their landlord or the municipality to find out when and how to dispose of waste. In some cases, tenants may be required to pay a fee for rubbish collection services.

    Instead of a council tax, there is an annual property tax based on the value of the property, which is usually paid by the landlord.

    Telephone, internet and cable services are available in most areas of the country, and several providers exist. Some of the most popular providers include Telecom Argentina, Telecentro, Claro and Movistar. Tenants will need to contact the provider directly to set up an account and arrange for installation.

    Useful links:

    Visas for Argentina

    Applying for a visa from within Argentina tends to be a complicated process. Although applications can be made in any city, expats may be required to visit the central Immigration Department in Buenos Aires for an interview regarding their application. The process can be made simpler by applying for the correct visa before entering the country.

    There are a wide range of visas that expats can apply for depending on the reason they are going to Argentina. Each family member, including dependent children, need to apply for a separate visa.

    Visitor visas for Argentina

    Nationals on a list of countries with a visa-waiver programme with Argentina do not need to apply for a tourist visa. They get a 90-day tourist visa stamped into their passport upon arrival. These include nationals of Canada, the USA, Australia and South Africa. Expats should ensure that they have at least six months before their passport expires and at least one clear page where the visa can be stamped.

    The full list of visa-exempt countries can be found on the Argentinian Migration website.

    Additionally, nationals from a select few countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Ecuador can enter Argentina with just their national ID and remain in the country for up to 90 days. All other foreign nationals are required to apply for a tourist visa from their Argentinian consulate or embassy before travelling to the country. It is advisable to allow 30 days for this process.

    Tourist visas in Argentina are valid for 90 days. It is possible to apply for an extension for a further 90 days in-country. To continue to stay in Argentina legally, expats will then need to exit the country before the extension lapses and return to obtain a new 90-day tourist visa.

    Digital nomad visas for Argentina

    Argentina has recently launched its digital nomad visa, which allows foreigners to work remotely while enjoying the country's natural beauty, low cost of living and vibrant culture; however, specific requirements for the visa are yet to be announced.

    What is known so far is that only citizens of countries that do not need a tourist visa to enter Argentina can apply for the digital nomad visa. The digital nomad visa is valid for 180 days with the possibility of renewal for an additional 180 days, although those who stay in the country for more than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit. Applicants will be required to provide a copy of their CV and qualifications as well as evidence of employment to demonstrate their digital nomad status.

    The visa is aimed at digital nomads and those who can show they are remote workers with sufficient income to support themselves while in Argentina. Working for an Argentinian company with the visa is not allowed, and those who want to work for an Argentinian company should instead apply for a work visa.

    Work visas for Argentina

    All foreigners travelling to Argentina to work will need a visa. This visa is issued by the National Directorate of Migration (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) in Argentina, and the fee for visa application varies from country to country. Once employees arrive in Argentina, they need to apply for a Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) – a national identity document. At the same time, employees need to get a Código Único de Identificación Laboral (CUIL) – a personal tax number.

    The Contracted Personnel Visa is one option available to expats wishing to live in Argentina, which is for people working for an Argentinian company. The company needs to be registered with the immigration ministry and authorised to employ foreign workers. Expats can apply for this visa either before or after their arrival in the country. This visa is usually valid for one full year, and the renewal process is straightforward. Family members are also entitled to apply for a visa as dependents.

    Generally, employees of large corporations will have their visas dealt with by their employers. Expats should speak with the company employing them or an official from their local Argentinian consulate to determine which visa is right for their situation.

    Temporary resident visa for Argentina

    Applying for temporary residence in Argentina requires expats to show that they have a fixed minimum income. This income can be from investments in foreign banks or companies, or income issued by banks in Argentina. This visa is valid for one year and renewable for up to three years. After that, the resident may apply for permanent residency.

    Retiree visa for Argentina

    This visa is aimed specifically at expats who are pensioners. They would have to prove that they are retired, and will need to show receipts of a pension. To qualify for this visa, applicants would have to prove a minimum monthly income. This visa is also valid for one year. After two renewals expats would be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

    Permanent residence visa for Argentina

    In order to apply for permanent residency, the person applying must have been a temporary resident in Argentina for at least two years. Expats need to provide documentation, certified by the National Immigration Office, to prove this.

    These documents are necessary no matter the reason for applying for permanent residency in Argentina. Other documents may be required depending on individual circumstances. After two years of permanent residency, expats are entitled to apply for citizenship.

    *Visa regulations and requirements for work permits are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

    Culture Shock in Argentina

    Argentina is a country with a rich cultural heritage, shaped by its history of European colonisation, indigenous traditions and cultural interchange with neighbouring countries, making it a fascinating and complex place to live as an expat. However, adjusting to life in Argentina can also be a challenging process, as newcomers grapple with the differences between their home culture and the norms of their new surroundings.

    The degree of culture shock expats experience will vary considerably from province to province, although expats interested in living outside the big cities will probably experience more culture shock.

    In the capital, Buenos Aires, any culture shock expats feel will likely be mild. In fact, expats would be forgiven for thinking they’re in Paris, London or Rome.

    Political protests in Argentina

    Argentina has a lively culture of social protest, and demonstrations are common in Buenos Aires and other cities. While many protests are peaceful, there has been an increase in violent clashes between protesters and police in recent years. As a result, expats need to be aware of their surroundings and avoid getting caught up in protests whenever possible.

    For expats who do find themselves in the vicinity of a demonstration, it's generally best to move away from the area quickly and calmly. While protests can be an interesting way to observe Argentine political culture, large crowds can always be unpredictable and potentially dangerous, so it's best to exercise caution.

    Women in Argentina

    Recently, the Argentinian government has taken steps to address gender inequality through various initiatives, including incorporating gender-related initiatives into the national budget. The government hopes that these efforts will result in greater gender equality in the workplace and better access to public services for women in Argentina. Nonetheless, it's important for expats to be aware of the cultural norms around gender and to be mindful of their own behaviour to ensure that they are respecting local customs while also promoting gender equality.

    Like many countries in Latin America, Argentina has a history of machismo, or an exaggerated emphasis on masculinity, which can manifest in various forms of gender inequality. While overt forms of harassment such as catcalling and groping have become less common in recent years due to the rise of feminist movements, expats may still observe that gender inequality is a significant issue in Argentina.

    One unique aspect of Argentine machismo, however, is the culture of chivalry that has developed alongside it. Men may offer small acts of courtesy such as holding doors or letting women off elevators first, although some of these actions may also reflect a gendered division of labour in public spaces. Additionally, there are instances where men may be expected to pay for women's expenses, such as in restaurants or on public transport.

    Local customs in Argentina

    One thing foreigners may never really get used to is the siesta, which involves a four-to-five-hour shutdown in the hottest part of the day − traditionally after a big family midday meal. Although siesta is a part of Argentinian culture, it is more commonly practised in rural areas or small towns rather than big cities. Towns can become ghostlike, with shops closing before midday and rarely opening again before early evening.

    The long siesta means that the work day ends late, and people also eat dinner much later. In fact, everything in Argentina is done later. Restaurants often do not open for dinner until 9pm, and most people go out to eat at around 10.30pm. Clubs only start filling up after 1am. On any given day of the week, city streets are still bustling with people at midnight or even in the early hours of the morning. Even children are still up and energetic at these hours.

    Local greetings are another custom expats seem to struggle with initially. Kisses on the cheek when greeting hello and goodbye is part of Argentinian culture. When Argentines enter a room, every single person − stranger or family − receives one kiss on the right cheek.

    Football (soccer) is a passion in Argentina, and it is often a topic of conversation among locals. The country has produced some of the best football players in the world, and watching a game in a local stadium can be an exciting cultural experience.

    Tango is a dance that originated in Argentina, and it is an important part of the country's cultural heritage. Many locals take tango lessons and attend milongas (tango dance parties) regularly.

    Language barrier in Argentina

    One of the biggest struggles for expats moving to Argentina is not being able to speak the native language. English is not widely spoken outside the big cities, and, to complicate matters further, Argentines are known for having a very specific dialect. This is markedly different to the kind of Spanish spoken in Europe.

    This language barrier can make things such as banking and renting an apartment extremely difficult. It would therefore be quite helpful for new arrivals to learn some Spanish. Even having a basic grasp of the language will help with simple tasks like ordering at a restaurant or getting directions.

    ►Read more about Learning Spanish in Argentina.

    Shopping and food in Argentina

    Buying food in Argentina differs from what a lot of expats may be accustomed to. Instead of going to larger supermarkets which sell everything under one roof, Argentines prefer shopping at more specialist stores – which often lowers the price of groceries significantly. This means instead of running into one store to get the weekly shopping, Argentines would go to the bakery for bread, the butcher for meat, and the grocer for fresh vegetables and fruit.

    Argentina is any meat-lover's dream. Some of the most popular dishes, such as locro, asado, parrillas and empanadas, typically centre on beef. That said, larger cities are seeing a boom in vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Today, Buenos Aires has a growing multitude of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, plus many more that offer plant-based options.

    Mate is a traditional South American tea. It is a popular drink in Argentina, and it is often shared among friends and family in a social setting. It is customary to drink mate from a shared gourd using a metal straw called a bombilla.

    Dos and don'ts in Argentina

    • Do greet people with a kiss on the cheek – this is common, even between people meeting someone for the first time
    • Do learn some basic Spanish
    • Don't be too direct, as Argentines value politeness and indirect communication
    • Do dress neatly and conservatively
    • Don't wear a hat indoors
    • Do try the local cuisine. Omnivores should be sure to try some of Argentina's famous beef, and the asado (barbecue) is a quintessential Argentine experience and a great way to socialise with locals.
    • Don't tip too much. Tipping in Argentina is generally around 10 percent, and tipping too much can be seen as showing off
    • Do be punctual. Argentines are known for being a bit lax about punctuality, but it's still important to show up on time for meetings and appointments
    • Don't bring up the Falklands. The Falklands (or Malvinas, as they are known in Argentina) are a sensitive topic for many Argentines

    Working in Argentina

    Finding work in Argentina as an expat is probably the biggest hurdle facing those relocating to the country, because it has strict employment laws and high rates of unemployment. Expats who want to work in Argentina should consider transferring to the Argentinian branch of a multinational company from their home country or applying for jobs in industries that tend to hire foreign workers. In these cases, expats have a higher chance of employment. The company should also then sort out all the required visas and work permits.

    Nowadays, there seems to be an increase in expats doing casual or online work rather than having a full-time job.

    Job market in Argentina

    Expats planning to look for work after entering Argentina may run into difficulties. Job opportunities for expats are limited, and local wages can be considerably lower than those some foreigners may be accustomed to. Most of the opportunities for expats are in the big cities, specifically in the banking, IT and oil sectors. Jobs in tourism and teaching also often hire expats, and these are industries where speaking English is necessary. Foreigners who speak Spanish and are willing to work for Argentinian wages, however, are more likely to find a job in other industries.

    Alternatively, in recent years there has been a rise in casual jobs for those expats not wanting to stay for the long term. Generally, these jobs are more suitable for singles travelling for a limited time or for students. These jobs tend not to pay well and can often end up being on the dodgy side, with employers trying to avoid visas and legal routes of employment. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is popular, as well as working in journalism, call centres and bars or restaurants.

    Finding work in Argentina

    Getting a job in Argentina is not an easy task. The country is still recovering from multiple economic crises, which means job opportunities for foreigners are rather sparse. It is also necessary to speak a high level of Spanish to qualify for most jobs.

    The easiest route to employment would be to find a job before relocating. Ideally, expats should try to find employment in an international company, an Argentinian company in need of highly skilled individuals or English speakers, or by transferring branches with their current employer.

    Local job-hunting sites include Bumeran and ZonaJobs, and there are also international sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.

    Work culture in Argentina

    Employment law (Ley de Contrato de Trabajo) in Argentina is extremely strict. It regulates all aspects of working life, from employee rights and conditions to wage protection and employee/employer obligations. By law, residents must be 18 years of age before they can start working in Argentina.

    Generally speaking, the work day in Argentina is eight hours long. Outside of Buenos Aires, the siesta has to be taken into account. Working hours here are typically 8.30am to 12.30pm and then 4pm to 8pm. By law, employees should not work more than 48 hours a week. People are not expected to work on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, although most shops are open all day Saturday.

    Employees are paid 13 months' salary per year. This is a built-in bonus system that is mandatory according to Argentinian labour law. Half the bonus is paid in June and the other half in December. Workers in Argentina are entitled to 14 days annual leave after being employed for one year. This then increases according to years of service.

    Argentinians are generally family-orientated people, which translates into the way they conduct business. Close, personal relationships are valued, respect is given to older associates, and more loyalty is often shown to individual people than to companies as a whole. It's extremely important for expats to network and build meaningful relationships if they want to succeed in the business world in Argentina.

    See Doing Business in Argentina for more information on networking and workplace culture in Argentina.

    Banking, Money and Taxes in Argentina

    Today, the Argentinian banking sector is well established, and expats will find that they can open up a bank account in pesos or dollars as long as they can present the required identification documents.

    There are expats who choose to leave their money in bank accounts in their home country, which may make a few aspects of living in Argentina slightly more complicated. Hefty taxes also apply when transferring money from an offshore account to a local account, so expats are advised to think carefully before doing this.

    With a bit of patience, it is completely possible for an expat to open a bank account in Argentina.

    Money in Argentina

    The official currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso (ARS), commonly referred to simply as the peso. The peso is divided into 100 centavos.

    • Notes: ARS 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000

    • Coins: 1, 2 and 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos, and ARS 1, 2, 5 and 10

    Banking in Argentina

    Even though Argentina’s economy is notoriously unstable, the banks are doing well. This may be because banks are used to the instability and have begun shifting their models of operation to those of more orthodox countries (revenues based on lending and selling other financial products).

    The largest local bank in Argentina is Banco de La Nación Argentina, although there are many others, including Grupo Financiero Galicia, Banco Patagonia, Banco Provincia, Banco Rio.

    Citibank, HSBC and Santander are the biggest foreign banks operating in Argentina.

    Banks are usually open for business from 10am to 3pm (depending on cities and seasons) and are closed on Saturday and Sunday. Most ATMs are open round the clock every day of the week. Expats should be prepared to queue whenever they enter a bank’s premises, and will most likely not find an English speaker working at the bank.

    Opening a bank account

    To open the equivalent of a current account (cuenta correinte) in Argentina, expats will need a variety of documents, including a DNI (Documento Naciónal de Identidad), their passport, proof of residence, a CUIT number (business tax code), CUIL number (personal tax code) and AFIP (social security number), as well as money to put down as a deposit. These requirements vary between banks, so expats are advised to consult individual branches for specific details. To open a savings account, the individual must be a permanent resident of Argentina.

    Using an offshore bank account

    Paying money into an Argentinian account from an offshore source can become incredibly frustrating. Both the banks and the government charge a tax, the exchange rates are generally poor, and it can take weeks for the money to actually arrive.

    Withdrawing funds from a foreign account using an ATM in Argentina will incur heavy fees. From time to time, the amounts foreigners can withdraw are restricted, sometimes to as little as ARS 3000 (50 USD) per day. Expats can usually leave their card in the machine and withdraw the limited amount up to four times; however, four separate transactions will be charged.

    Many expats in Argentina prefer using Western Union to transfer money. This is efficient, but there usually are restrictions on the amounts that can be sent and received.


    Almost anything in Argentina can be paid for in cuotas – instalments of usually up to six payments. This includes supermarket food shopping.

    Expats can pay in cuotas using credit and debit cards, unless they present a foreign registered card, in which case the payment has to be done immediately and in full. Expats using foreign cards need to produce identification, with a passport usually sufficing.

    Argentinians have to present their DNI for all transactions paid for with cards. Very few people have standing orders or direct debits set up on their bank accounts. Most bills are paid in cash, so at certain times of the month, when payments are due, queues at banks, finance houses and Pago Facil (easy payment) outlets are long.


    ATMs are plentiful in the larger cities in Argentina, they can be found in shopping malls and the like. This is not the case in the smaller towns, where they are normally only on the bank premises in the centre of town.

    ATMs are available 24 hours a day, but on certain days of the week, such as a Thursday or the day preceding a national holiday, expats may find long queues of people and there’s a chance the machine may run out of money.

    ATMs also have a limit as to how much you can withdraw, that will depend on your debit/credit card, your bank and the country you are from (if using a foreign bank card). It can go from as low as ARS 1,000 to as much as ARS 4,000. It is advisable to talk to the bank about withdrawal limits that may apply.

    Taxes in Argentina

    Expats will find that taxes in Argentina are an extensive and complex affair. This South American country has no inheritance or gift tax, but there are high rates attached to everything else – income tax, personal asset taxes, transfer taxes and an exceptionally high VAT (Value Added Tax).

    Expats planning on earning money in Argentina are advised to seek the guidance of an accountant with professional experience in the country.

    Income tax in Argentina

    Employers are responsible for dealing with the relevant paperwork regarding taxes for their employees and usually make a single payment at the end of the year.

    Self-employed individuals pay their taxes to the local tax office every month. There are various allowances and deductions that can be taken into account; such as those for dependents, life insurance and funeral expenses.

    Many people in Argentina 'work in the black', meaning illegally, in order to avoid paying their taxes. Employment taxes imposed on an employer are crippling, and expats may be surprised to find that it is common for even businessmen to go the ‘black’ route.

    A non-resident's income may be subject to a withholding tax of between 5 and 35 percent, calculated on presumed revenues. Expats should be aware that money paid into an Argentinian bank account from an offshore source may result in this deduction, so it is important to check on this before transferring large sums of foreign currency into the country.

    Education and Schools in Argentina

    Argentina has many schools to choose from, but there are many factors to consider when choosing a school, such as language proficiency, neighbourhoods, commute time, tuition expenses, size of the classes and availability.

    Most schools in Argentina are based on the Southern Hemisphere calendar, with classes typically starting in late February and ending in mid-December. Some international schools follow the Northern Hemisphere school calendar, with classes running from September until June.

    Generally, the schooling system in Argentina is divided into three levels:

    • Kindergartens are separate and available for 2–5-year-olds
    • Primary school is Grades 1–6 
    • Secondary is Grades 7–12

    Schooling is compulsory in Argentina from the last year of kindergarten to the end of secondary school. Schools can be divided into public, private and international schools.

    Public schools in Argentina

    Public school in Argentina is free and, as one of the first countries in the Americas to provide free public schooling, Argentina has a long and proud history of education.

    Despite Argentina having a 98 percent literacy rate and one of the highest enrolment rates in tertiary education in South America, the quality of the country's education system has been on the decline in recent years. The World Bank and OECD indicate a gradual decrease in public spending on education both in real terms and relative to GDP, presumably resulting from the country's economic fluctuations. This reduction means a decline in public education infrastructure and a reduction in extracurriculars.

    Normally classes are only offered for a half day (either from 8am to 12pm or from 1pm to 5pm), and public schools don't offer bilingual programmes. Considering that most expats would be looking for the best education for their children, the public school system may not be the best option, especially for short-term expats.

    Private schools in Argentina

    There are many good options for private schools in all major cities in Argentina. Private schools still follow the Argentinian curriculum, although they have more flexibility. The curricula and fees vary greatly, but the choices are numerous. It’s possible to find smaller neighbourhood schools with a more Argentinian feel, or larger schools with a more international feel.

    Most private schools, especially in the Buenos Aires area, are used to accepting expat families. Most private schools have some type of bilingual programme and can provide students with Spanish language support to help non-native speakers.

    After-school sports are provided by many schools, but children can also join a local sports club.

    As Argentina is officially a Catholic country, there are many private schools funded by the Catholic Church. These schools aren’t necessarily religious, however, and students don’t have to be Catholic to attend. It’s also good to note that a school’s name doesn’t always indicate whether it’s religious or secular. Expat parents shouldn’t assume a school is exclusively Catholic just because its name sounds religious. It’s always best to contact a school directly about this.

    International schools in Argentina

    International schools are ideal for families living in Argentina for the short term or for those who want their children to continue with their home country's language and curriculum. There are several international schools in Argentina, particularly in larger cities such as Córdoba and Buenos Aires. Some of these schools are called colleges, they're generally private and require tuition fees, which can be rather expensive.

    These schools typically offer a sports programme as well as the arts, with well-equipped facilities, qualified coaches and instructors, and opportunities for students to participate in competitions and performances.

    Younger children are typically more adaptable to learning a new language like Spanish, while older children may struggle to catch up to their peers quickly. An international school may provide these students with an opportunity to learn Spanish while being taught the rest of the curriculum in English.

    Most schools have some type of international curricula such as the IB (International Baccalaureate) or the Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education). These programmes provide curricular guidance and international standardised assessments, access to global networks and transferable qualifications. There also are international schools that follow German, Italian, French and Japanese curricula.

    Read more:
    Best International Schools in Buenos Aires

    Homeschooling in Argentina

    Homeschooling is not explicitly regulated in Argentina, but it's also not expressly prohibited, making it a legally grey area for expat parents. Another option for expat families is to enrol their children as 'free students' in public schools, which requires them to take an exam once or twice a year based on the official state curriculum. Families considering homeschooling in Argentina should research the local laws and regulations and consult with a legal expert before making any decisions.

    Special-needs education in Argentina

    In Argentina, federal law mandates that all schools accept children with disabilities, but not all public schools are fully equipped to cater for the needs of children with special educational needs, and there are still instances of exclusion. The Ministry of Education provides some support to schools that serve students with special needs, and there are also private organisations that provide services to families with children who have special needs.

    In recent years, there has been an increased focus on inclusion programmes in many schools, aimed at integrating children with different abilities. Nonetheless, expat parents of children with special needs may want to consider international or private schools over public ones. It is recommended that parents reach out to schools individually to determine what options are available and what the enrolment process entails. This way, they can make an informed decision about which school can best meet the educational and developmental needs of their child.

    Tutoring in Argentina

    Expats can find private home or online tutors for their children through registered online tutor companies. Apprentus and TeacherOn are two such companies. These tutors can help children adjust to the new curriculum, or to learning in Spanish. Tutors can also offer school support for students struggling with problem subjects such as mathematics.

    Tertiary education in Argentina

    Tertiary education in Argentina is free for those attending state universities, and Argentina has a relatively large degree-holding population. The University of Buenos Aires is free, well known and highly respected. While universities in Argentina may be free, students still have to take care of their accommodation, food and transport. 

    Private universities charge tuition fees that vary depending on the institution. Argentinian universities have a high percentage of part-time students, as many students need to work to support themselves. Foreign students can apply to Argentine universities but will have to pay higher international fees and obtain a student visa.

    Public Holidays in Argentina




    New Year's Day

    1 January

    1 January


    20–21 February

    12–13 February

    Truth and Justice Day

    24 March

    24 March

    Malvinas Day

    2 April

    2 April

    Maundy Thursday

    6 April

    28 March

    Good Friday

    7 April

    29 March

    Labour Day

    1 May 

    1 May

    National Day

    25 May

    25 May

    Martín Miguel de Güemes Day

    17 June

    17 June

    National Flag Day

    20 June

    20 June

    Independence Day

    9 July

    9 July

    San Martín Day

    21 August

    19 August

    Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity

    16 October

    14 October

    Day of National Sovereignty

    20 November

    18 November

    Immaculate Conception Day

    8 December

    8 December

    Christmas Day

    25 December

    25 December

    Healthcare in Argentina

    Healthcare in Argentina is generally considered the best of all the countries in Latin America, and expats will find its reputation is warranted.

    In Buenos Aires and other sizeable towns and cities, such as Córdoba or Mendoza, the clinics are excellent, and the medical staff are well trained. That said, elsewhere in the country, healthcare standards vary greatly.

    Public healthcare in Argentina

    Public healthcare in Argentina is used by around half the population and provides care for all in- and out-patients at no or little cost. Argentina provides hospital, medical, dental, and palliative care as well as rehab, medical transport and prosthetics. Everyday prescriptions and chronic conditions, however, may require payment.

    The medical staff are generally well trained, but nursing and aftercare services can lack severely. Emergency attention is free for all (including tourists), as are doctor call-outs. In-patient care is variable, as public hospitals are frequently underfunded and the staff are overworked.

    There is no universal GP system in Argentina, and general doctors are usually found in public hospitals. Otherwise, patients need to make appointments with specialists in private clinics. Charges vary between places, with rural areas typically being cheaper than urban centres.

    Private healthcare in Argentina

    Most expats in Argentina use private services because it is assumed private healthcare means an individual will be getting better medical attention and shorter waiting times. While the former may not necessarily be true, there's a fair argument for the latter.

    Private clinics and hospitals in Argentina are well resourced, and expats can expect an excellent level of care and facilities in the major cities. That said, the standard of care may vary in smaller towns and rural areas.

    Many Argentine doctors were trained overseas, and expats therefore may not struggle to find an English-speaking physician in private hospitals. Approximately 70 percent of the hospitals in the country are private.

    Dental care in Argentina

    The standard of dental and orthodontic healthcare in Argentina is superb, even in small towns. That said, expats are unlikely to find English-speaking dentists outside the main cities. Dental costs in Argentina are considerably cheaper than in the USA and most European countries.

    Pharmacies in Argentina

    Pharmacies are easy to find in Argentinian cities, with many open 24/7.

    It is possible to buy many types of medicine over the counter at pharmacies in Argentina without a prescription. The pharmacist can also advise on medication for a number of common ailments, such as stomach bugs and flu. Female contraceptives (the pill) are also available without a prescription, but they are not free.

    Health insurance in Argentina

    Private healthcare in Argentina is typically financed by voluntary insurance schemes. As in other countries, costs vary from provider to provider. Expats can receive medical coverage through a number of international health insurers, otherwise many small, private clinics also have their own schemes.

    Expats should note that the cost of monthly premiums merely gives a discount on the price of care when it is needed. Private health insurance coverage is also highly localised, so if expats leave town, their policy will often no longer be valid.

    Expats can also pay premiums directly to a private clinic and bypass health insurance. Expats doing this must simply present their passport when visiting the clinic; no residency visa is needed. An obvious downside to this policy is that expats are limited on where they can receive treatment.

    Social Security or Obras Sociales are obligatory insurance schemes run by the trade unions and are only applicable to Argentinians and permanent residents who are legally employed. Both employer and employee pay contributions towards in-patient and out-patient care. Medication is also covered; although, if contributions are not sufficient to cover the cost of treatment, the employer or employee will have to pay the difference.

    Health hazards in Argentina

    Argentina is considered a low-risk area for both cholera and malaria, but dengue fever is a slight concern during the summer months. The most effective way to guard against dengue fever is to avoid mosquito bites, particularly during the day. Using mosquito repellents and wearing long pants and sleeves are some simple methods expats can use to avoid being bitten.

    Tap water in Argentina is drinkable in the major towns and cities, but expats travelling or relocating beyond these areas should stick to bottled or treated water.

    Pre-travel vaccinations for Argentina

    The following vaccinations are recommended for expats travelling to Argentina: 

    • Yellow fever – particularly if they plan on travelling within the region and to some of the more remote provinces. The vaccination must be given at least 10 days before leaving for Argentina.

    • Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B

    • Typhoid

    • Routine vaccinations – if not up to date (measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.)

    The above list is merely a guide. Expats should ensure that all their routine vaccinations are up-to-date and should consult with a medical professional before leaving for further information on vaccinations for Argentina.

    Emergency services in Argentina

    The ambulance service is fairly efficient in most places – some are publicly funded and others are run by private clinics.

    The medical emergency number in Argentina is 107 and can be dialled from any phone, although 911 is also applicable.