Thoughts About Cordoba

BDA shorts

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A few months ago I tried searching for information about Cordoba here. Being a BA-centered forum there wasn't a whole lot, but I'd like to add my experience to the information that's here in case anyone is curious.

Background: I just spent three weeks in Cordoba. I'm in my early 30s, single male, self-employed, speak good-but-not-fluent Caribbean Spanish.

Costs
Huge difference in cost of living between Cordoba and BA. Taxi meters run at about 1/3 the speed; riding for half an hour through the city will cost you less than $100. A decent-sized brand-new furnished apartment on a short-term basis smack in the city center (Bv Chacabuco in Nueva Cordoba, near Plaza España) cost me $440 a night, and I found the place with two days' notice; monthly and longer-term rentals are a good bit cheaper. Most ejecutivo lunches are $60-80. A proper dinner at a good restaurant will cost $150-$200.

I didn't see many opportunities to spend a lot of money on luxuries there. Probably good if you have trouble sticking to a budget!

A local who works in the high-tech industry says that to be "comfortable" you need to earn around 10,000 pesos a month, gross; to be "completely set" you need to earn about 50,000. I can see those numbers making sense.

People
Very few "expats" around except for some students, and even then they were mostly naive Spanish speakers. If there are many English-speaking locals I didn't meet them. Lots and lots of students and young people owing to the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba and some small schools.

There's a bit over 1 million people but the city is fairly spread out, so even in the city center it doesn't have that "big city" feel. Barrios with single-family homes are in walking distance from the city center.

The accent is different from the porteño accent. People had a hard time understanding my Caribbean Spanish and frequently asked me to repeat myself.

Vibe
Slower pace. Not nearly as cosmopolitan or sophisticated or stylish--but as a result people are more laid-back and very friendly. The butcher remembers you on your second visit, and he's happy to see you. Taxi drivers are chatty and show genuine curiosity when they ask you where you're from. Random people in the elevator will greet you as you get in and say ciao when they get out. The real estate agency does an asado for its clients every once in a while. I found it very easy to make acquaintances, and even after my short time I felt like I had friends there.

Crime is said to be lower. I felt perfectly fine walking around the city center at all hours.

Food
Harder to just walk around and randomly find a decent place to eat, even in the city center--aside from the ubiquitous lomitos/empanadas/pizza and ice cream, proper restaurants seem to be spread out. A fair number of parillas and local chains. Maybe I wasn't there long enough but I didn't really see a lot of variety in the food. Not a lot of places charge for cubiertos and when they do it's not much.

Surrounding areas
Tons and tons of neat places for weekend day trips, like Villa General Belgrano and the Sierras Chicas. The province sees a lot of tourism from other parts of Argentina. There's hiking, fishing, and some museums which are supposed to be interesting.

Overall Feel
Reading here and elsewhere on the internet, one gets the feeling that if you're going to visit or live in Argentina, you must live in Buenos Aires because everything else is a provincial backwater where nothing happens aside from the occasional chicken crossing the road. Yeah, I can see how people would feel that way coming from New York or London. If your Spanish is shaky or you need the support of lots of other expats, it may not be the place for you. For a small-town guy like me though, I felt really really good there. If I end up living long-term in Argentina it's very likely it'll be in Cordoba instead of BA.
 

camel

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We spent a few nights in Cordoba on the way back from Salta. I liked it, definitely seemed like a place I could live (they have Starbucks, after all).

Another city that seemed okay, big but not huge, with friendly people, was Bahía Blanca (although I only spent a day and night there).
 

Girino

Registered
We spent a few nights in Cordoba on the way back from Salta. I liked it, definitely seemed like a place I could live (they have Starbucks, after all).

Another city that seemed okay, big but not huge, with friendly people, was Bahía Blanca (although I only spent a day and night there).
What's so special about Starbucks? I think they just sell overpriced huge coffees. I can see the pros of the free wi-fi, but there are other venues with free wifi. I am asking genuinely, Starbucks hasn't yet dared to open in Italy, so I just to a couple joints in the US.
 

wineguy999

Member
I liked it, definitely seemed like a place I could live (they have Starbucks, after all).
I walked into a Starbucks in Houston once, ordered an espresso, and the girl behind the counter had no idea what I wanted. True story.

Not trying to hijack the thread...just saying.
 

mikic007

Registered
What's so special about Starbucks? I think they just sell overpriced huge coffees. I can see the pros of the free wi-fi, but there are other venues with free wifi. I am asking genuinely, Starbucks hasn't yet dared to open in Italy, so I just to a couple joints in the US.
I remember Starbucks in Namche Bazaar, all Americans were rushing with tears in their eyes and trembling knees inside. They paid thousands of dollars for the trip, just to be the happiest seeing familiar sight. Can't understand that ...

I prefered Illy in Lukla ;)
 

syngirl

Registered
Starbucks is good for free wi-fi. In Argentina we buy their coffee beans as they are decent and a reasonable price. Their drinks though are basically expensive milk, and baked goods expensive for what they are. But when you need wi-fi, there's always Starbucks!
 
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