Travel Tips and Practical Information

2:40 PM Sandra Gutrejde Suarez 0 Comments


CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE:
The currency in Argentina is the Peso. There are 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 , and 2 Pesos bills, and 1 Peso, 2 Pesos, and 50, 25, 10, and 5 cents coins. Keep small change for taxis, subway, cafes and small purchases, and remember that buses accept only coins or Sube cards.
The sign "$" is also used for Pesos. When something is quoted in US dollars, it is marked with "USD" or "US$"
You can exchange money at banks and at exchange houses ("casas de cambio"). Banking hours are 10 am to 3 pm. Some Exchange houses have extended opening hours. You must show your passport to exchange money.
If you need some pesos when arriving at Ezeiza airport, you can exchange money at the Banco Nacion office, located on the right just as you leave customs. They offer a better exchange rate than the Casa de Cambio located next to it.
Many shops and restaurants accept US Dollars and credit cards.
ATMs
ATMs are located at the entrance of most banks. They can be accessed 24 hours a day. You must use your card and slide it through the slot on the door to gain access to the ATM after the bank's working hours. Make sure that when you enter an ATM nobody enters behind you when opening the door, for your own safety.
ATMs have a maximum withdrawal limit. As of March 2010, local ATMs charge a usd 4 per withdrawal from an overseas bank, in addition to the bank's charges. Be sure to find out with your bank your daily withdrawal limit and the transaction fees before you depart, and let your bank know you will be using your debit/credit cards in a foreign country so they authorize the transactions.
ATMs can also be found at most shopping malls and big supermarkets.

SEASONS, WEATHER, AND WHEN TO VISIT:
Argentina is located in the Southern hemisphere, so season are opposed to those in the Northern Hemisphere:
Summer (December 21st to March 20th)
Autumn (March 21st to June 20th)
Winter (June 21st to September 20th)
Spring (September 21st to December 20th)
Summers in Buenos Aires can be extremely hot, winters are mild to cold.
The best months to visit Buenos Aires weather-wise are March-April or September through November.

LANGUAGE:
The official language is Spanish. Most people involved in tourist activities, even street vendors and shop attendants, speak English. It is advisable to learn some basic Spanish phrases before you come, especially if you will be moving around by your own.

METRIC SYSTEM:
Argentina utilizes the decimal metric system. Distances are measured in kilometers, weight in kilos and grams. Temperatures are expressed in Centigrade degrees.

VAT and TAX REFUND:
VAT in Argentina is 21%. Tourists can request a tax refund form at the shops with the TAX FREE sign, showing their passport and requesting the corresponding forms. Then a refund can be claimed at the airport´s Custom´s offices before boarding, presenting all the invoices or tickets of those purchases. You may receive this refund in cash, or with a check sent to your address or through a deposit to your credit card or bank account.

ELECTRIC POWER:
In Argentina the electric power is 220 volt, 50-cycle alternating current, as in European countries. Power outlets have 2 cylindrical holes or 2 flat holes with ground connection. Bring outlet adapters and a power transformer to 220 V for your 110 V electronic devices, or they will be burned.

TIPPING:
Tips are not included in restaurant bills, so you are expected to leave a 10% tip cash on the table or along with the payment of the bill for waiters. 
The cover charge ("cubierto") does not include the tip for waiters. 
Tipping taxi drivers is not expected, unless they have to help with luggage or other special needs. Small change as a gratitude is always welcomed.

PUBLIC RESTROOMS:
Buenos Aires has a very inefficient, or rather nonexistent public restrooms service. You will also see a sign at the doors of bars and restaurants with the legend: "Los baňos son para uso exclusivo de los clientes", which means that restroom are for customers only. So whenever you can, use the restrooms at shopping malls, museums, theaters, which are always free to use.

SIDEWALKS:
I'm ashamed to say this, but I have to tell the truth: Buenos Aires is one of the cities with more dog droppings on its sidewalks. To make things worse, many flagstones are broken or missing from the sidewalks. Watch your step!

SAFETY TIPS:
Buenos Aires is a relatively safe city, but unfortunately as in any big city petty crime and muggings are not uncommon. There are a few simple preventive measures you can follow to avoid being a target and make sure to have a safe and stress free visit: 
Beware of the bird poo scam
Leave all your expensive jewelry at home, specially Rolex and other expensive watches, engagement rings, etc. 
Don´t hung your bags/purses on the back of your seat at bars or restaurants. Keep your belongings on your lap, among your feet or attached to the straps placed at the effect in chairs or tables. 
Don´t carry your wallet in the back pocket or easy to reach side pockets in your pants or backpacks, specially if using public transportation or walking on busy streets. 
Leave your passports at the hotel or apartment safe, carry only a copy. 
Try not using your smart phone openly in the street, or when seating in a cafe outdoors. 

TOURISTS´POLICE STATION:
There´s a special branch of the Federal Police, open 24/7, to attend the needs of tourists in Buenos Aires victim of crime, mugging, loss, or missing persons. It provides information and help in English, Italian, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Ukrainian.
Address: Av. Corrientes 436.
Telephone: 103 or 911

TOURISTS´DEFENSE OFFICE:
It is open every day from 10am to 6pm to receive claims in case of maltreatment, abuse, or discrimination. against tourists.
Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835, La Boca
Telephone:  4302-7816


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