Destination guide: Buenos Aires
Useful information about Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires cuisine is largely influenced by Italian and Spanish tradition. If you love pasta, you can indulge in exquisite gnocchi, lasagna, cannelloni and ravioli. And in true Italian style, mozzarella pizza abounds to satisfy fanatics of this classic dish.
Red meat is another Argentine specialty that is always prepared to perfection. The various cuts of beef are generally accompanied by sausages such as chorizo, blood sausage and tripe which add a flavor and aroma that are truly irresistible.
If you're in the mood for something fast, try a typical Buenos Aires "pancho", a large hot dog that is built to be smothered with condiments. Visitors should also try the "milanesa" (a very thin cut of breaded beef) or for something sweeter, dulce de leche and "facturitas" (half-moon pastries) with a flaky crust and tasty filling.
Another essential is mate, a typical infusion from the zone that helps locals bear the low temperatures. Another local favorite is fernet, a bitter spirit brewed from herbs and spices. Fernet is 90 proof and often served with cola.
The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso ($ARS). However, the US dollar (US$) is accepted in most tourist locations. Bills are available in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos; and coins are available in 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 peso.
All goods and services include a 21% Value Added Tax (VAT). As a foreign tourist, if you purchase a nationally manufactured product worth 70 pesos or more, you have the option of requesting a VAT rebate. For tax-free shopping, the vendor must provide the original Type B receipt and a Global Refund Cheque. Upon leaving the country, these two documents must be presented at Customs in addition to the item that was purchased so they can be stamped and the check can be cashed.
The official language spoken in Buenos Aires and throughout Argentina is Spanish.
Before leaving on your trip to Argentina, keep in mind that most of the country is located in the GMT -3 time zone. During the summer however, some provinces fall one hour behind the official time.
Electrical outlets in Argentina operate at 220 volts and 50 Hertz. If any of your electronic devices operate at a different voltage, you are encouraged to travel with a power adaptor.