Argentina is in all ways the definition of fabulous, as most Argentineans would be more than happy to tell you. South America’s darling and second largest nation (after Brazil) is teeming with fantastic culture and biodiversity, ultra hip cities like Buenos Aires and an unabated passion for fine wine, scrumptious steak and an uncompromised quality of life. Following a recent economic crisis, the country is just as splendid a destination while leaving a far smaller hole in your wallet.
Below are what my top Argentina travel tips that will help you fit right in and “act like the locals do”. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to leave an impression of courtesy, enjoy more hospitality from the locals – and if you’re lucky even make some new Argentinean friends.
1. The most common form of greeting in Argentina betwen friends is kissing one anothers cheeks, so don’t be caught off guard when someone makes a lunge toward your cheek. And don’t be awkward: return the favour.
2. In Buenos Aires, one of the main methods of transportation is the underground shuttle. There are 5 main public rail lines, labelled A to E. Services operate from early mornng to late at night on a fixed-fare basis. Buses are generally very crowded (beware of pickpockets!) but can be the quickest way to get from one place to another. Bring a business card from the hotel – it’s an easy way to explain to a cab driver where you want to go…
3. … because not everyone speaks English. Learn at least get some basic Spanish down before travelling to Argentina.
4. More then 90 per cent of Argentina’s religious faith lies in the Roman Catholic church. Remember this as it does have an impact on what is acceptable and what is not.
5. If you’re looking to explore more of Argentina than just Buenos Aires, there are several major airlines to choose from. Oddly enough, sometimes a flight will be faster and cheaper then a bus or a taxi, so look into flying as a possible means of transportation for those slightly longer excursions. Keep in mind driving yourself is generally not recommended.
6. The official currency of Argentina is the peso, bills come in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pesos. When you walk down the main shopping street “Florida” in Buenos Aires you’ll hear the currency exchange folks try to lure you in with their never ending “cambio, cambio, cambio”. Your best bet is to get some pesos before you leave home.
7. Tips are somewhat outlawed in Argentina, though people still expect a tip in most situations – if that’s the case 10 percent of the bill as your tip will suffice for the most part. Wait staff is typically extremely friendly and helpful – and thanks to the weaker peso you can expect to eat like a king for significantly less money.
If you’re curious to read more stories from my travels to Argentina, and learn more about how I book and organize my travel, get yourself a copy of my travel hacking book The Freedom Project – available at www.freedomprojectbook.com, Amazon, Amazon Canada and finer book retailers worldwide. The best tip of all is to plan ahead, use caution and common sense, and most of all – have fun!
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- Tango in Buenos Aires
- From Buenos Aires, Argentina to Halifax, Canada
- The last Lonely Planet book you’ll ever buy
Don’t miss my fine art photography collection featuring lots of unique angles captured in Buenos Aires, Argentina.