Moving to Argentina: Meeting People in Buenos Aires

Active, Events, Life, Nightlife
September 4, 2012 11:18 am

Photo courtesy of Spanglish Exchange

One of the most alluring and daunting aspects about moving to a new city is the promised anonymity. I had little to no developed network when moving to Buenos Aires, other than the handful of friends I flew down with and the  few people I had been put in touch with before moving. It’s an understandable and necessary priority of many to get out, meet people and make new friends upon arrival. For those coming to Buenos Aires independent of an organized program or even those who are and wish to strike out on their own, I have compiled a list of some organizations and inlets for meeting people in the city. This list is no way exhaustive, so I encourage all additional suggestions in the comments section.

To begin, meeting other foreigners is a logical starting point. Many also are on their own in a new city and eager to meet others. Organizations like Buenos Aires Expats and their meetup events, Exchange Community BA, BA Expat Hub and Mix-Up Buenos Aires are informative resources and for information about living in the city as well as events. English-language newspaper The Argentina Independent also features many foreigner-run events, and CouchSurfing is another social network and valuable resource that some consider too crunchy, but others a lifeline.

Language practice is a convenient and often necessary excuse to make friends and start up conversations. I highly recommend Spanglish Exchange, which organizes regular language exchange events that resemble speed dating for friends at bars throughout the city. The aforementioned CouchSurfing also has posts up often about language exchange opportunities.

Another way I have met a number of cool people is through sports and exercise groups. I am all about CrossFit in the Rosedal park in the city through Vitruvian Buenos Aires. I also take Pilates mat classes with a very talented friend of mine who runs NYC Pilates. For soccer (er, fútbol) fans, get involved with Buenos Aires Fútbol Amigos, which brings people together for friendly, competitive matches and hosts social events. And last year for a stretch of six months I was taking weekly salsa classes at La Viruta with my roommate, where most people were regular attendees and we made a number of amigos.

Religious groups like Hillel and special interest organizations also are a fine way to meet people. For those into music, check out WUBA (What’s Up Buenos Aires). For foodies there’s the Fuudis outings, “social gastronomic experiences” as well as the Kekanto community and its organized food events. I also occasionally attend Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires events where I’ve met a number of fellow journalists.  Whether it’s photography or cooking you’re into, this is an active, populated city and I guarantee you can find a group or organization to indulge your interests and make friends along the way. In fact, that MeetUp site I linked to with Hacks/Hackers appears to be a useful resource for finding various social meetup events. (“What’s ‘frinking?'” I thought. Friday+drinking. See, all interests!)

Other social-focused groups and activities present in Buenos Aires include the Buenos Aires Pub Crawl, which draws an international crowd of both travelers and those residing in the city, locals and long-term visitors. InterNations attracts a decidedly older crowd, but  offers some good opportunities for networking for all.

To round this out, I present a general rule for socializing in Buenos Aires and Argentina at large: Always accept invitations to asados, or Argentinean barbecues. They offer a relaxed environment to make friends over grilled meat and drinks, so it’s pretty perfect. And though I have never been to one at a hostel, I know that many in Buenos Aires do organize them, so keep a lookout on any of the sites and forums I mentioned above a RSVP “yes.” To stay informed about all cultural events in the city, bookmark the government’s Buenos Aires Cultural Agenda page, VuenosAirez and the Time Out Buenos Aires Facebook page.

Karina

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