Shopping in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires offers some of the most sophisticated shopping in Latin America. The quality can be excellent, especially with leather items. Maté sets – Argentina's national drink – make good presents, as do silver jewellery, wines and the odd tin of dulce de leche (sweet, sticky caramelised milk).
For leather goods, try Welcome, Calle Marcelo T de Alvear 500 and San Martin, and Dalla Fontana, Calle Reconquista 735. Calle Florida is packed with cheap fashions, while Palermo Viejo is full of boutiques. Fair Trade leather products and textiles from local communities are available from Pasion Argentina, Emilio Ravignani 1780, and Tierra Adentro, Arroyo 882. Ethical South American crafts and textiles can be found at Arte Etnico Argentino, El Salvador 4656, Palermo Viejo. Art lovers will find great pieces in amongst the masses at La Boca.
The best place to search for antiques and colonial paintings is at and around the Sunday Feria de San Pedro Telmo flea market at Plaza Dorrego. The Hippie Fair in front of the Centro Cultural Recoleta is a colourful place to browse for handicrafts, jewellery and artwork at weekends.
You’ll find many shopping malls across Buenos Aires. Two of the most popular are Galerias Pacifico, Calle Florida and Calle Córdoba, and Patio Bullrich, Avenida del Libertador 750 and Posadas 1245.
Shopping hours in Buenos Aires are Monday to Friday 0900-2000 and Saturday 0900-1300, although malls are generally open daily 1000-2200.
Purchase tax or VAT, known as IVA (Impuesto de Valor Agregado), stands at 21% and is placed on everything with the exception of medicines and food. Tax-free shopping is available at certain outlets; look for the 'Tax Free Shopping' logo. On purchasing goods costing 70 Pesos or more, visitors can receive a refund for the tax, minus an admin fee. On leaving Argentina, the goods with receipts should be presented at customs before check-in and the refund collected at a separate kiosk.