Shopping on Florida St.

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For convenience for the short-term visitor, Florida Street can serve as a good place to do one-stop shopping without having to contend with the heavy automobile traffic found in many other shopping areas of Buenos Aires.

Florida Street is perfect for those scrambling to pick up some last minute traditional touristy gifts such as football jerseys, shot glasses, mate sets and Taiwanese tango figurines. There are also leather goods on sale, although the prices along Florida are usually significantly higher than in other areas of the country or even the Once neighborhood.

Florida St., covered with ripped-up agendas on New Year's Eve photo: Courtesy Poroto Sky Scraper City

Those searching for a more antiseptic first world shopping experience can head to the large shopping mall, Galerías Pacífico, and the 24-store, Galería Güemes — both are worth a visit to admire the architecture, as are Galería Mitre and the Gath y Chavez building.

If you’re serious about purchasing some leatherwear and don’t have much time to shop, it’s beneficial to steer a bit away from the high-rent stores along Florida and find a locale off the tourist trail.

If while shopping, you hear the words, ‘but it’s only X number of US dollars’ that’s a good clue that you are getting the tourist treatment— and the inflated prices that go with it. Sometimes poker-faced visitors looking for a quick purchase get lucky though, just keep in mind that leather goods should cost about forty percent of what they would in North America or Western Europe, with prices generally starting at US$150 for a basic jacket.

Although the prices tend to be higher along Florida Street, one benefit of shopping here is that many businesses participate in the Global Refund Tax program, which enables shoppers to receive a 20% rebate on purchases at the airport— just make sure you hold on to your receipts and get to the airport early.

Serious, savvy shoppers will want to head elsewhere —for more unique gifts head to the boutiques and design-houses of Palermo and the street fairs of San Telmo and Recoleta.

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