Calle Florida (Florida street), Buenos Aires
Florida Street and Lavalle Street (from 5 pm up to 10 pm) are for pedestrians only and is the place to find the majority of tourist's shops in MicroCentro. At the intersection of these two pedestrian streets, there is often some sort of interesting street performance going on, especially at night
What to buy: You will find everything from: shirt,leather,and local craft
What to pay: It depends on the item haggling in an MUST
This is an advice to all travellers, whenever you are walking downtown, especially at Calle Florida, be very careful. If you're stopping out at Corrientes and Florida, at the front of Burger King, request the cab to leave you before arriving at that spot. There are "kids" opening the doors of the cabs at the front of Burger King, they are Peruvians and are part of a gang that robs tourists walking through Florida. As they open the door they will do a visual inspection and warn others regarding what you are carrying with you. As you walk through Florida, beware with the Peruvian ladies, they are part of a gang of 15 persons and they rob at leisure, around 45 tourists are robbed daily only walking through Florida. You will not even notice or feel it. Be careful with backpacks or purses, take only what is necessary, they will rob even what you have bought. Beware of anyone bumping into you or walking very closely. Beware when you stop to watch tango shows or other shows on Florida. Police does not help much and neither does the government to stop them. Might seem to serious or too much of an advice, but I was robbed and had a very bad experience, so I decided to warn everyone else, as mom use to say.....better be safe than sorry. Safe trip.
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Blaque is a women's leather shop, they sell beautiful leather bags, jackets and shoes, but what caught my eye was this wonderful black bag in the window, so I had to check it out.
The salesgirl was so nice and asked us if we needed with anything, to just her. I wanted to see the bag in the window and she promptly brought it to me. The bag was a large travel size bag, big enough to hold my laptop and some other items, so I decided to buy it. After deciding on that bag, I spotted a beautiful aqua blue chain link purse that would go perfect with the aqua blue sandals that I had just bough, so I bought that bag too.
The store was quite crowded, which indicated to me that their goods and service are good.
What to buy: They carry a nice selection of bags, purses, shoes, boots, leather jackets and some jewelry.
What to pay: The two bags cost me $798 pesos, and the best part, I got $115 pesos back from VAT upon my departure from Buenos Aires!
A few years ago I stopped buying these small trinkets for loved ones back home, but I do usually buy a t-shirt for Leo and a small jewelry box for Kristara as well as a fridge magnet for myself.
I searched high and low looking for the jewelry box and finally found a really nice one at a shop here on Florida Street. I'm not sure the name of the shop, but it was in a small shopping center like street.
I picked up the jewelry box pictured below for about $10 pesos. The box is made of leather with tango dancers and Argentina on the cover.
What to buy: A leather jewelry box for about $10 pesos.
What to pay: Quite reasonable, I paid $10 pesos for the jewelry box.
Havaianas are a very popular Brazilian flip-flop which comes in all sorts of color combinations. I had been meaning to purchase a pair and when I stumbled upon many stores here in Buenos Aires selling them at a fraction of the cost I decided to pick up a few.
Havaianas are worn by most of the stars in Hollywood and became popular about 3 or 4 years ago. They can be pricey here in the states.
This store had hundreds of different styles and colors to choose from for men, women and children.
What to buy: I purchased a pair of black with a small wedge heel and some decorative flowers for $50 pesos and a pair of gold and purple flat flip-flops for Kristara for $35 pesos.
What to pay: Havaianas in all sorts of colors and syles
Liz had some souvenirs to buy for people back home and she was fortunate to find what she was looking for on Florida Street. There are plenty of shops selling post cards, tee shirts, shot glasses, hats, key chains and other touristy gifts.
What to buy: Liz bought some shot glasses for her friends Dave, Koky and Billy (who are typical men who collect shot glasses). Rob bought a shot glass for himself as well as a keychain for his girlfriend back home.
What to pay: The shot glasses were equivelent to $3 USD...not bad for a small souvenir.
We did some shopping but not much here on Florida Street as we actually found the stores' prices to be much higher than other places.
There are so many different types of stores here, from small shops selling "Futbol" items, to ladies clothing, shoes, handbags, as well as men's and children's clothing and shoes as well as a few department stores.
During the evening we also saw street vendors selling all sorts of items like scarves, sandals, trinkets, jewlry and some really nice funky leather writsbands, of which Ferni picked up a really nice one for about $20 pesos.
What to buy: I bought my Havianas at a store on Florida, as well as Ferni's leather jacket, my purses, Leo's futbol jersey and Ferni picked up a really nice looking leather bracelet.
If Calle Florida is too corporate and large for you, simply ask your cab driver to take you to a shopping district near where you're staying. Almost every barrio has an area filled with local, family run shops that offer a bit more authenticity. Argentinians use the English word "Shopping" as a noun, so ask your driver "?Hay otros shopping cerca de Palermo/San Telmo/ Recoleta, etc?"
They are apparently the only two pedestrian malls in the centre of Buenos Aires. The shopping streets are lined with music outlets, bookshops, cafes and take-aways, clothing, internet cabins, locutorios telephone cabins, snack kiosks, newspaper kiosks, ice-cream parlours, cinemas, etc… everything that anyone ever needs in a city.
The cheapest internet cabins are found along these streets and late in the night, close to mid-night or so during the weekends, some shops are still opened!
To be honest, in terms of shopping for leather goods or clothes, this is not really the right place as they are quite expensive (especially along Calle Florida) due to the high tourist traffic. But it is still a great place to people-watch, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city and catch some street performances like tango or musicians and 'statues', etc... A delightful place!
What to buy: Mainly for enjoying the atmosphere as the prices here are generally higher. But books, clothes, leather goods, photography materials, shoes, etc... are all found here.
Although we were told that Florida Street was more expensive because of the tourist, we didn’t find that at all. We went to a shopping mall out of the city and found that it was only a little bit cheaper than at home and only had clothes.
Florida Street is a HUGE street (don’t get lost) which you can follow for days or hours and not get bored. It houses every shop of every description with cheap goods for everyone. If you’re looking for souvenirs, it’s hard to find anything that screams Argentina apart from the leather or soccer gear. If you’re heading to other parts of South America, save the presents for people back home until then. Florida Street is perfect for everyday shopping such as clothes, shoes, watches, sunglasses, perfume and of course, leather. You can find touristy stuff, but everything else is in abundance.
If you get tired, then there are plenty of cafes for every taste.
What to pay: Everything is a lot cheaper than at home - spend up!!
A tremendous boulevard to find whatever you want ,,everything is here ...great computers area amidst men and women clothes ...foreigner brands, local ones .. sport shops with all kind of souvenirs and cheaper prices ..except the american or european brands that its more or less the same to home... electronic stuff neither are cheaper than europe ..its quite expensive so dont worth pay for it here!
A shopping paredise for women shoppers here,anything you want ,all the latest fashions.
I dont like shopping much,so i spent more time at cafees and restaurants.
What to buy: Tango CD,tango memoroibia and the usual souvenirs.
If you've come to Buenos Aires to shop, then you will want to check out Calle Florida, one of Buenos Aires pedestrian only streets with wall to wall shopping, starting at Plaza San Martin pretty much all the way to Diagonal Norte. There's Galerias Pacifico at Av. Cordoba, a huge shopping mall with around 180 shops, leather shops lining both sides of the streets, other malls carrying electronics and clothes and well, you name it!
If you are in Buenos Aires and you don't go to calle florida, then you are not in Buenos Aires....
Florida is a pedestrian street full of shops and also you can see artists dancing tango, playing music, among other things.
On Florida street you have Galerias Pacifico, that it's a shopping mall and in it you can find a cultural center called Borges.
Si vinieron a buenos Aires y no van a la calle Florida, entonces no vinieron a Buenos Aires...
Florida es una calle peratonal llena de negocios e incluso se puede ver artista bilando el tango, tocando musica, entre otras cosas.
En la calle florida esta Galerias Pacifico que es un shopping Malll que incluye un Centro Cultural llamado Borges.
The appearance is no special whatsoever - all the shops on Florida are the same. This particular one had an usher or a tout who would invite you more or less aggressively to join the bonanza. I had a need and allowed him to "dominate" me. Quickly I discovered that this was the leather item that I was in need of (after visiting several other shops) and proceeded to buy it. Since it had a little deficiency, let's call it that way, the seller offered to make a brand new one in the "fabrica". This came as a no surprise because all of the Florida leather shops seem to be manufacturing plants too. Do not expect elaborate receipts – there are none!
What to buy: Leather, but it is funny because the locals rarely wear it. Apparently the whole industry is geared towards the foreign visitor. For the jacket that you see I had to part with 200 of my US dollars.
What to pay: USD 200 or so - competition is tight but I have this suspicion of mine that tells me that the "cut-throat" competitors meet on Mondays to make sure that there are no surprises.