Entry formalities - Climate - Health Tips - Food and Beverages - Tipping - Emergency Phone numbers - Transportation - Language - Religion - Exchange - Time - Electricity - Shopping in Buenos Aires - VAT Refund - Bank and Commercial Hours - Methods of Payment - Driving in Argentina - Travel Insurance - Safety - Consulates: Phone numbers in Buenos Aires - Usefull Tips
Due to the extension of the country, its geographical location, and different latitudes and altitudes, Argentina presents climatic characteristics that greatly differ from one region to the other: from warm/hot in North to fresh/cold in South. Being below the equator, Argentina's winter lasts from July to October, while the summer goes from December to March.
Climate in Buenos Aires is temperate with no particular rainy season. There is not much difference between the minimum and maximum temperatures. Ideal months to visit Argentina are in the spring and fall since the climate at this time remains relatively warm.
No vaccinations are required to visit Argentina.
A 10% tip is protocol in places like restaurants and bars. Regarding service personnel in hotels, airports as well as taxi/auto drivers you may tip as you see fit according to the services they provide.
To get around the city you have a wide range of transportation options: buses, taxis and 5 railway lines going in and out Buenos Aires.
Metro is called “Subte”, there are six interconnected lines, all of them converging on downtown, the main tourist area of the city This is the quickest and easiest way to get to your destination.
Timetables: Mondays to Saturdays from 5:30 am to 10.30 pm, and Sundays and Holidays from 8 am to 10 pm.
Taxis: Good and efficient. You can get a taxi by phone or directly at the street. However, ‘Radiotaxis’ (taxis provided with radio systems) are considered to be safer.
Buses: The urban bus transport or commonly known as "Colectivos" has a huge network of buses flowing through Buenos Aires streets. Even tough the service operates 24 hours a day, frequency is reduced by night.
The official language is Spanish. Most people involved in tourist and commercial activities speak English.
Roman Catholicism is the state religion. In Argentina there is a full freedom of worship.
The local currency is the Peso (AR$) The exchange rate fluctuates between $3,85 to $ 4,10 per U$S 1. If you need to exchange foreign currency go to an authorized exchange agency or a bank. Hotels and stores accept US Dollars, and in general are willing to exchange them for Pesos.
Argentina is 3 three hours behind GMT/UTC (Bear in mind the daylight-saving time both in Europe and Argentina)
Electric current operates on 220 V, 50 Hz.
Buenos Aires is famous for its stores easily comparable with the ones you find in New York, Paris and London. Top of the list: high-quality leather and silver goods.
A flea Market is held every Sunday in San Telmo district; You get antiques here! There are plenty of handy crafts fairs scattered all over the city, check for days and time schedules.
Buenos Aires has many shopping areas, but the following places are where you'll find most of the action:
Palermo Viejo: divided into Palermo Hollywood and Palermo Soho. Lots of young designers have opened boutiques in this area Florida Street, the BA's pedestrian walking street, is home to wall-to-wall shops from Plaza San Martín to all the way past Avenida Corrientes. Avenida Santa Fe. This elegant and wide street, popular with local shoppers, offers a wide selection of clothing stores that you can visit until late even on Saturdays. “Calle Corrientes”: The Argentine “Broadway” caters with a number of theaters and night life options to a wide public made of local and foreigner as well.
At the airport you will be able to recover 21 % of the amount paid by way of the Value-added tax (VAT), if you have acquired national products from shops subscribed to this system, easily identified because they exhibit in their shop windows the Global Logo Refund. When the tourist makes a purchase, it is necessary to request the shop assistant to hand over a check of refund, in addition to the ordinary invoice. Before leaving the country, the tourist has to ask customs to validate the seal on the check. The ways of receiving the refund of the tax are the following ones: to receive it in cash, to credit it to your credit card, to receive a check at your home address.
Banking hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regular store hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., shops close at noon in almost every place but Buenos Aires. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shopping malls are open every day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Restaurants: Lunch is served from 12:30 and dinner from 8:30 p.m. In some eateries it is possible to order a snack at anytime.
Dollar and euro are generally accepted; however you can change money in Banks and authorized Exchange Offices. You can change in some hotels but they often practice a lower rate. Major credit cards such as VISA, American Express, VISA, Master Card and Diners are accepted almost everywhere. You may have some trouble to exchange traveler checks outside Buenos Aires. Bear in mind that you may pay a commission for the exchange.
In Argentina you drive on the right hand-side of the road. The vehicles are fueled either by gas (In Argentina gas is called “nafta”), diesel or compressed gas. Although there are plenty of gas stations in every city and on highways, it is very rare to find places where you can fill your tank yourself. The gas is measured in liters; the amount to pay is displayed on the pump. You may leave a tip if the pump attendant cleans your windscreen.
Even if you plan a short time trip, it is wise to get a travel insurance.
Even tough Argentina is a safe place to be, avoid remote neighborhoods or dark, deserted streets. Walking in downtown during the daytime is not riskier than doing that in Paris or London. Anyway, and as in any big city, watch your belongings and be cautious.