Money Exchange / Cambio de dinero
This are some oficial places to exchange Money
Estos son lugares oficiales habilitados para cambiar dinero:
Tel.: 4316-5000 Fax.: 4316-5038
San Martin 386
Tel / Fax.: 4390-4134
Marcelo T. de Alvear 540
Tel.: 4311-5543 Fax.: 4313-7490
There is a website called dolar hoy (http://www.dolarhoy.com/) where you can check todays rate and there you can see the place where they have the best rate of the day... They don't exchange only dolar, they exchange almost any currency.
Hay una pagina llamada dolar hoy (http://www.dolarhoy.com/) sonde te podes fijar el tipo de cambio del dia y ver quien es la casa de cambio que mejor tasa tiene por ese dia... No cambian solo dolares, tienen cambio de casi todas las monedas.
Try not to look like a tourist!
I know it's difficult, and I'm sorry guys, but no matter how hard you try, it's so easy to tell who's a tourist! Apart from your language or accent of course, and the colour of your skin and hair, it's your features, but mostly the way you dress! Yeah, nobody wears shoes with socks if they are wearing shorts, for example. Or only teenagers wear baseball caps! Or practically no one ties his sweatshirt round his waist!
The problem about this is that we are known as being "chantas", this means that some people might want to take advantage of you, perhaps by ripping you off. Or in other, worse, cases stealing your camera. So just take some precautions and keep your camera in your bag.
ALWAYS carry your ID! If you don't have it with you and a policeman stops you, you MAY get into trouble. For example: last february I sent a group of tourists back to their hotels with a taxi from my house. Some policemen stopped the taxi and when they saw that there were tourists inside they asked them for their IDs. One of them didn't have it so one of the policemen told him either to go with the police station with him or to "solve the problem in some other way", to cut a long story short: the guy bribed him and some hours later went to a police station to make a statement that a policeman had accepted money from him. The guy returned to his country and now the poor taxi driver is in trouble as he is the only witness who's still here in Argentina. I really don't know whether it is legal or not to be taken to the police station just for not carrying your ID, but again, as you're tourists, people may want to take advantage of you, even some police officers.
As in the rest of the world, when in Capital Federal people just hail a taxi in the street when they need one. But make sure it says "Radio Taxi" on the door, along with the company name.
If you don't like to hail taxis in the street, or you feel afraid, get the phone number of a popular taxi company/agency and call them to send one to pick you up.
Below you have the phone number of one I usually call when I'm in downtown. All the units have air conditioning, so useful in the summer.
Make sure the driver turns on the fare machine (is that the word?) as soon as he starts driving.
Around downtown the fare will be no more than 12 pesos.
I've heard tourists say that most of the taxi drivers are usually very nice to them, although most of them don't speak any English. So if you don't speak Spanish, then have the address written down and show it to the driver.
I've also heard that some of them might take advantage of your being a tourist and may make funny turns. This is not something easy to realize if you don't live here. But don't worry, you'll be fine. I've NEVER heard any complaints from tourists!
After exchanging or withdrawing money from an ATM, familiarize yourself with the bills.
When paying taxi drivers use smaller bills. DO NOT give them a 100 peso note. Some drivers will give you counterfeit(copied) or old, useless money.
Somethings to lookout for to tell if the bills are REAL:
1) The faceside up, on the upper left corner the denomination will be reflective. And when you run your fingernails across the number it should be rough to the touch.
2) When holding either side up to a light you should be able to see a watermark.
3) On larger notes there is a security strip embedded in the notes. Face side up it is visible to the naked eye. On the backside it is visible when holding up to a light.
4) To avoid getting bad or useless bills, the only way that I know of is to be familiar with the money currently in use in Argentina.
No Go Areas!
On my arrival in Buenos Aires (in January 2010), I was advised by locals where I should not travel to on my own. They advised me the following locations:
La Boca (Except Calle Caminito and the street up to the football stadium): Unfortunately, muggings are a fairly common occurance to outsiders in and it is strongly advised to take a round trip via taxi or the bus.
The immediate area around Constitucion Subway and Railway Station.
The immediate area around Once Subway and Railway Station (and Avenida Corrientes running through that area - updated in February 2011).
The immediate area around Retiro Onimous Station, Subway, The Railway Station and the Barrio itself. The barrio is a poor area especially the Shanty town by the autopista (For catching buses, it's strongly advised to travel to the Onimous Station by taxi and also when arriving also get an official Remise or radio taxi from the station to the city centre).
At night times, it's advisable to be in groups; keep to the busy streets (but take care of your belongings) and use radio taxis.
If you're travelling on your own and want to experience the nightlife, it's best securing accommodation in the downtown or the upmarket (Northern Barrios) areas.
On my last visit to Buenos Aires we arrived during one of many protests that were occurring that week. Protestors stopped traffic and invaded the streets. Signs were carried and they shouted angry words. Loud explosions were head both close by and in the distance. The most disturbing part was that people were spray painting beautiful building with graffitti in protest.
It's a matter of common sense
I traveled to B.A. on my own for 10 days and had no problem. Do your research before you go...things like taking radio cabs. I hailed cabs on the street all the time...just make sure they say RADIO TAXI on the back door. The license is prominently posted on the inside of the cab and there is always a meter. Look arouind before you go into an ATM area to withdraw cash...it's not brain surgery. It's all the same things you would do in any large city. Yes I saw a protest a few blocks away and just walked around it. The streets are bustling with people at almost all hours, just stay on the well lit busy streets, especially if you are by yourself.
- Women's Travel
Airport departure tax (international only)
Before you fly out of Buenos Aires International Airport (EZE), you have to pay a departure tax. This is NOT included in the price of your plane tickets. After you check in, you will have to go to a booth where you will pay the tax. They will stamp your boarding pass which you will have to show to security. It takes an extra five minutes. Just remember to keep some extra cash with you.
Aeroflot: Av. Santa Fe 1558, 5°. Tel: 4312-5573
Aerolíneas Argentinas: Bouchard 547. Tel: 0-810-222-8650027
Aero Perú: Av. Santa Fe 840. Tel: 4480-0181
Air France: Paraguay 610. Tel: 4317-4700
Alitalia: Esmeralda 1111, 28°. Tel: 4310-9910
American Airlines: Av. Santa Fe 881. Tel: 4318-1000
Austral: Av. L.N. Alem 1134. Tel: 0-810-222-8650027
Avianca: C. Pellegrini 1163. Tel: 4394-5990 British
Airways: Córdoba 650. Tel: 4320-6600
Canadian: Av. Córdoba 656. Tel: 4327-3640
Cubana: Sarmiento 552. Tel: 4326-5291
Dinar: C. Pellegrini 675. Tel: 4327-2244
Ecuatoriana: Suipacha 1065. Tel: 0-800-999-8277
Iberia: C. Pellegrini 1163. Tel: 4326-5082
KLM: Maipú 812, 10° K. Tel: 4315-8882
Lan Chile: Florida 954. Tel: 4819-5272
Lapa: C. Pellegrini 1075. Tel: 4114-5272
Lloyd Aereo Boliviano: C. Pellegrini 137. Tel: 4323-1900
Lufthansa: M.T. de Alvear 636. Tel: 4319-0600
Malaysia: Suipacha 111, Piso 14. Tel: 4312-6971
Pluna: Florida 1. Tel: 4329-9211
Southern Winds: Florida 868, 13° E. Tel: 4814-1170
Swissair: Av. Santa Fe 846. Tel: 4319-0000
United Airlines: Av. Madero 900. Tel: 4316-0777
Varig: Pje. Carabelas 344. Tel: 4329-9211
Vasp: Av. Santa Fe 784. Tel: 4311-2699
Información de vuelos / Flying information
Aeropuerto de Ezeiza, Tel: 4480-0224
Aeroparque Jorge Newberry, Tel: 4514-1515
No such thing as a pedestrian right of way
We learned pretty quickly that pedestrians really have no right of way even when there's a walk sign showing. Always check that there's no traffic turning onto the street you want to cross, usually they will stop for large groups of people but one or two people just seem to have a giant bullseye on them!!!! Cab drivers seem to be the worst, ours from the airport almost rammed into several groups of people in our 15 minute cab ride.
This can be a fairly common occurence for taxi drivers to overcharge or short change travellers. It is best using radio taxis and booking these in advance. When going into a taxi, ensure the meters are switched on and double check the estimated cost. It is strongly advised to have the correct change or use small change for paying the fare especially that fake peso can be used as change. Majority of the time, the taxi drivers are honest but there are some who would take advantage.
- Road Trip
Watch your step!
Apparently the idea of doggie bags not only hasn't reached the restaurants but they also haven't hit the streets with the dogs owners. Be careful walking the sidewalks in Buenos Aires lest you be smelling up the tango hall or lobby of your hotel, it's everywhere!!!!
And I'm sure you will be glad that I didn't find this an appropriate time for a photo op ;-)
Money Exchange at EZE
Do not, and I repeat do not use the Money Exchange at baggage claim at the international airport EZE. They are thieves. For example, just this week (March 2008) they were offering 2.76 pesos to the USD!! When just outside in the arrivals hall the Banco De La Nacion was giving 3.17. And the bank is open very early in the morning and open late at night. There are also ATM machines around as well, so there is never a need to use these crooks.
Watch your bag!
Sad but true, you really do have to be aware of the possibility of street robbery in Buenos Aires. The city's pickpockets and bag dippers are very, very skilful and anybody is fair game. Carry as little with you as possible, use your hotel safe, keep tight hold of any bag (backpacks are not a good idea and bumbags send a signal that you're a visitor). - it's all common sense and behaviour you probably follow at home - just be aware that here in Buenos Aires you need to be even more aware and careful.
The old trick of being bumped into by something messy and a "helpful" local offering to aid the cleanup is very popular, as is someone leaping in front of you to "help" you into a taxi - those same "helpers' are only after one thing - to "help" themselves to the contents of your bag or pocket. Don't be polite, push them away, don't let them near you.
Try not to draw attention to yourself as a visitor - people dress smartly here even when they're being casual - do the same and you'll fit in more. Check your street maps before you go out, write yourself a small note if you think you'll need directions. Any valuables you do carry with you should be concealed as far as possible. If you're into serious photography, this might be the time to leave your fancy equipment at home and go for something compact.
Having said all that - and there's plenty more that could be said - I've wandered around the city on foot and on the metro on my own quite comfortably. MrL, who has visited the city more than a dozen times and can take care of himself anywhere, has had money lifted from a shirt pocket and still swears no-one came near him!
Petty crime, pickpocketing - A big issue!
Petty crime including pick pocketing is a big issue in Buenos Aires. It's rife especially on the crowded metro (subte), at the ominous station and in large gatherings in tourist areas.
There is no need to be paranoid providing you take the necessary precautions. The best prevention method is hiding your money and important documents and ensure these are out of sight. Using a money belt and putting this inside you is recommendable and only take what you need for the day when you explore the city. It is best not using a rucksack as you would stand out more as a target and, as for the ladies, a casual cotton bag is better for storing non valuable items. Avoid wearing jewellery including watches whilst out on the streets and take extra care of mobile phones and cameras.
It is very important to be vigilent and also to be aware and confident of your surroundings when travelling in the city as thieves can use distracting techniques tor relieving and stealing your possessions (One common distaction technique is when thieves splatter suncream onto you and your bags in a busy area. One of them tries to "help" you clean up while his or her partner steals your possessions). Whilst in public spaces, keep you bags and possessions with you at all times and don't place them on the floor and avoid hanging them on chairs. If you have to take valuables, especially laptops, these are best kept in your accommodation's safe.
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