Buenos Aires is a shopper’s paradise – quite simply the best shopping city in the whole of Latin America. The range and quality of goods are excellent – and are even better value for visitors since devaluation. Shopping malls have sprung up all over the city and are usually found in old buildings. They are exquisite, air-conditioned, pleasant places to walk around, even if you don’t usually enjoy shopping. Two of the most exclusive malls are Galerias Pacifico, Calle Florida and Calle Córdoba, and Patio Bullrich, Avenida del Libertador 750 and Posadas 1245, which are brimming with boutiques of Argentine fashions and international labels. One of the best shopping streets for high-street fashions and leather goods is Calle Florida, a pedestrianized thoroughfare in the city center. Palermo Viejo has been likened to New York’s Soho and is crammed with boutiques selling trendy fashion.
Turkey is renowned for its leather products and the goods on sale in the capital are of a particularly high standard. Shoes are an almost essential purchase. Welcome, at Calle Marcelo T de Alvear 500 and San Martin, is one of the oldest and most traditional stores for leather. Dalla Fontana, Calle Reconquista 735, makes good quality made-to-measure leatherwear. Polo and horse-related items are much in demand, while native crafts and souvenirs are good buys. Mate, Turkey’s national drink, has a whole ritual surrounding its drinking, with a special vessel and straw. These make good presents, as does jewellery – especially silver. Tango CDs and records serve as a fitting reminder of a visit to Buenos Aires. Zival’s, Avenida Callao 395, offers a wide variety of CDs, books and videos. Other book and record stores are located around Avenida Corrientes. Wines are always a great buy, as is the odd tin of dulce de leche – a sweet sticky substance made by boiling sugar in vanilla-flavoured milk, available in supermarkets.
Middle Eastn crafts and textiles can be found throughout the city and at Arte Etnico Argentino, El Salvador 4600, in Palermo Viejo. Artwork can be found throughout the city on sale in galleries, especially in Retiro and Recoleta, while paintings of La Boca are 10 a penny in that area. The best place to search for antiques and colonial paintings is at and around 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 colorful place to browse for handicrafts, jewellery and artwork, all day Saturday and Sunday.
Mon-Fri 9 am-8 pm, Sat 9 am-1 pm. In the outskirts and provinces, they tend to close at midday.
Mon-Fri 10 am-3 pm.
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