Buenos Aires is a fabulous, vibrant city that has lots to offer families. Here are a few tips you might find useful to know about moving to the city . . .
1) The pavements are terrible! They are uneven and rife with holes! Navigating them with a pushchair requires skill especially with the added trick of avoiding dog poo (no one is BsAs hardly picks up after their dog). Pavements are more regularly maintained around touristy areas such Florida Street and main the Plaza’s. Outside of this don’t expect a smooth ride. Once children can walk here the pushchair gets ditched.
2) Children under 3 don’t pay to ride the SUBE (subway system) or buses. People will automatically and quite happily give up their seats if they see you with a child. There are not many lifts in the subway stations and escalators will not always lead from the platform to the street so be prepared to carry pushchair, bags and child up at least one flight of stairs.
3) Toys are expensive and often of poor quality. Disney is a prominent brand here, along with Barbie. Toys from these ranges are of a higher quality but be prepared to pay a premium price.
4) Most plaza’s have a playground that is gated and dogs are banned from. The playgrounds are set in sand and local children will bring a bucket/ spade etc to play in the sand. Argentina’s warm, friendly culture extends to the playground and children happily share toys and play together. This give parents a much deserved chance to catch up and share a mate.
5) Some restaurants have a children’s area that is supervised and sectioned off from the main restaurant, normally by a glass partition. This is a great way to have a relaxing dinner out for all the family. Chain restaurant ‘La Continental’ has this facility in all their restaurants. However most restaurants are welcoming to children even into the early hours of the morning.
6) This is not something to encourage really but you can travel in a cab here without needing a car seat for your child.
7) Schools are oversubscribed and it is competitive to get your child into a good school. There are some excellent private schools in the city if it is within your budget. Young children under 4 attend nursery in the mornings from 9am – 12pm.
8) Those with small children will often be prioritised when queuing, such as at the check in desk at the airport to queuing at the supermarket.
9) Everyone loves children! Don’t be surprised to walk down the street and find people will stop you to comment on how ‘hermosa’ your child is, or the security guard to sit them on their knee at the airport to show them the how the x-ray scanner works. Argentina has a great attitude towards children and the family.