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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Argentina > Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Weather

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Local time Buenos Aires

Currency

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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).

Key areas

Buenos Aires' famous shopping strip, Calle Florida, is packed with cheap fashion shops, but visitors should be careful of paying over the odds for leather goods. Instead, they should head to Welcome at Calle Marcelo T de Alvear 500.

Palermo Viejo is full of unique boutiques, while 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 in Palermo Viejo, and art lovers will find great pieces in amongst the masses at La Boca.

Markets

The best place to search for antiques and colonial paintings is at the Feria de San Pedro Telmo flea market at Plaza Dorrego on Sundays. The Hippie Fair in front of the Centro Cultural Recoleta is a colourful place to browse for handicrafts, jewellery and artwork at weekends.

Shopping centres

You'll find many shopping malls across Buenos Aires, but two of the most popular are Galerias Pacifico at Calle Florida 737 and Patio Bullrich at Avenida del Libertador.

Opening hours

Shopping hours in Buenos Aires are Monday to Friday 0900-2000 and Saturday 0900-1300, although malls are generally open daily 1000-2200.

Souvenirs

San Telmo and La Boca are rammed with great spots for picking up souvenirs. San Telmo is perfect for picking up tango-themed gifts, while La Boca has plenty of shops selling vintage football shirts for both Boca Juniors and the national team.

Tax information

Purchase tax or VAT, known as IVA (Impuesto de Valor Agregado), stands at 21% and is payable on everything with the exception of medicines and food. Tax-free shopping is available at certain outlets, just look for the 'Tax Free Shopping' logo. On leaving Argentina, receipts should be presented at customs before check-in and the refund collected at a separate kiosk.

Since January 2017, foreign visitors are no longer eligable to pay IVA (VAT) on hotel stays and services. If you pay using a foreign debit or credit card, the reimbursement should be automatic and paid directly into your card's checking account.

Featured Hotels

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Casa Calma

In the heart of downtown Buenos Aires, this wellness boutique equips its 17 rooms with jacuzzi tubs and six deluxe rooms have saunas. The vibe throughout is eco-chic, with furniture fashioned from recycled fabrics and floors crafted from sustainable pine. Healthy buffet breakfast, bicycle hire and an honesty bar are among its many attractions.

Faena Hotel

A pioneering design hotel, opulently contemporary Faena has been crafted out of a former grain warehouse along the docks of Puerto Madero. Designed by Philippe Starck, the interior is an eclectic mix of minimalist décor, regal furniture and quirky artefact, with facilities counting a spa, outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art meeting and events space and two stylish restaurants.

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

A 5-star Park Hyatt property in the affluent downtown Recoleta district, chandeliers and working fireplaces set the tone in this grand palace - first built in 1934 and lovingly restored in 2006. The 165-room hotel commands an impressive array of art in its underground gallery, the Paseo de las Artes Duhau, and facilities include the Ahín Wellness & Spa with its indoor swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool.

Hotel Frossard

This centrally located hotel offers simple, modern facilities in an old, French-style house. Most visitors are attracted by the reasonable prices and ease of access to nearby cultural attractions rather than its specific charm. Offering bed and breakfast, Hotel Frossard is also surrounded by many of the city's finest cafés and restaurants which makes it a worthy budget choice in what can be a pricey city.

Telmo Tango

This friendly San Telmo hostel and bed-and-breakfast is a comfortable option for newcomers to Buenos Aires. Organised trips include outings to football games and sailing from Puerto Madero, and the English-speaking manager is happy to share his tips on the city. The building's top terrace is a nice little spot to catch the sun away from the busy streets. Ask for a room at the front of the building that benefits from a balcony.

Pop Hotel

This budget boutique hotel is located in the emerging neighbourhood of Villa Crespo amid a scattering of trendy cafes, art spaces and new restaurants. The hotel's design is fresh and urban, with 44 air-conditioned rooms boasting plenty of light and fitted with iPod docks and security boxes for laptops. The deluxe rooms offer private balconies and breakfast croissant delivery.