Buenos Aires is known for its boutiques, galleries, and antiques. There are a number of neighborhoods here that each have their own distinctive flavor, offering high quality European products and low prices, depending on the neighborhood.
Recoleta is the Beverly Hills of Argentina. As you can imagine, the cost of items in this upscale area is anything but low. Goods from Europe are available, so you can be sure of getting high quality clothes and shoes for those prices. Walk along the Patio Bullrich to catch the beautifully appointed storefronts with prices that tourists could consider to be quite decent. For some household items or ideas for decorating your home, head out to Buenos Aires Design-an exclusive shopping mall focusing on interior design. Prices are mid-range for those who find something they'd like to take back with them. Or you could simply relax at the Recoleta Plaza Francia on the weekend and comb through the handicrafts on sale or watch the myriad street performances.
San Telmo is the place to go if you're on a budget. The weekend flea market offers some interesting souvenirs, household items, clothes and so on at great prices. Negotiating on prices is perfectly acceptable here and will get you some wonderful bargains. San Telmo is home to one of the best known antique fairs that take place on the weekend, where some of the antique shops were originally old homes that have been converted.
A must-see for tourists is the Avenue Florida in El Centro. The long pedestrian-only street puts the best of everything within reach, whether it's clothing, sporting goods, banks, electronics, books, gifts, cafes, or leather goods.
Also popular with tourists is the chic Paseo Alcorta shopping center in Palermo or the Alto Palermo Shopping Mall, which is reputed to be the largest mall in the city. In Palermo, the shops, charming cafes, and theater offer a welcome break from the ordinary. The European architecture that you see everywhere is in itself a sight to behold and enjoy as part of the whole experience.
Crafts and ethnic textiles as well as local artwork is available all over the city and can be purchased for a range of prices depending on the quality and the location of the store (or stall as the case may be). Retiro and Recoleta are good neighborhoods for art lovers to browse through the works of inspired artists at leisure.
Buenos Aires combines the best of European quality with the best of South American prices, making it the proverbial shopper's paradise.
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Argentina holiday accommodation & Holiday apartments