Currency, currency exchange and tax-free shopping in Buenos Aires.

The local currency

  • Argentina's national currency is the Argentine peso. Note that it has the same symbol ($) as the US dollar and other dollar currencies (don't be confused - prices expressed using the $ symbol are in Argentine pesos unless stated otherwise. US dollars are usually referred to using the symbol: U$S.
  • Most hotels and many large shops and other businesses accept payment by card but note that some smaller businesses may only accept cash.

Changing money

  • It is easy to obtain local currency in Buenos Aires at casas de cambio (bureaux de change/currency exchanges) and at most banks - note that you'll need to provide ID when changing money.
  • Local currency can also be obtained from cash machines (ATMs) throughout the city. Cash machines operate 24 hours a day and accept all major international cards.
  • In various businesses and even in the street in the city's central financial area, particularly on Calle Florida, you are likely to come across people offering to exchance money. Please note that while non-official operators may state a preferential rate of exchange, these money changers are illegal and for visitors' safety, we recommend changing money only at legal regulated institutions.
  • We recommend changing only small amounts of money at a time. You should also keep the receipt from your transaction as you may need to show this if you wish to change money back to your original currency at the end of the trip. Please note that should you wish to change back any leftover Argentine pesos at the end of your trip, you will be limited to changing only up to the equivalent of US$100 in cash.

Other recommendations

  • Tax-free shopping: foreign tourists are eligible to reclaim tax (VAT) on purchases of domestically-manufactured goods with a value over ARS $70 when made at participating outlets that belong to Global Blue Argentina. To do so you will need to keep your receipts and complete the relevant forms at customs when leaving the country. Information on where to claim the refund can be found here:

  • Keep some small change handy: shops sometimes run low on small change and will be very happy with you if you can pay with the exact amount when paying in cash.

  • Using leftover pesos: If you have a large amount of pesos left at the end of your visit, you can change up the equivalent of US$ 100 at an official casa de cambio (note that while most casas de cambio will stock US dollars, euros and Brazilian reales, other currencies may not be available.) You may be asked to provide receipt from your original sale of in order to buy back dollars. If you have a small amount of pesos left over, it is probably best to use it to treat yourself to some souvenirs.