Due to the current economic conditions in Argentina, domestically produced goods are fairly inexpensive, especially compared with similar items such as antiques and artwork made in other countries. This makes Argentina’s already beautiful and well-made crafts an even more attractive gift, as well as other items such as clothing and wine.
One of the most common antique items to bring back from Argentina is the mate (pronounced mah-tay) cup. They are vase shaped vessels used for drinking tea, usually made out of metal and sometimes gourds, often with decorative engravings. Many come with intricately designed metal straws as well, and yerba mate, the tea, is widely available too, making the cup a functional gift. These may be found in flea markets or antique shops, particularly in the area of San Telmo. Other antiques such as gramophones, furniture, vases, vintage posters, glass and crystal, toys, books, prints, and more are also available here.
In addition to the mate tea, perhaps Argentina’s most popular beverage, spices and tea are good food items to bring home as gifts. Havana alfajores, traditional Argentine cookies with dulce de leche, chocolate, or fruit fillings, make tasty presents as well. Another famous Argentine beverage is wine. Shops selling Argentine winds are numerous, especially in Mendoza and Salta, some of the top names being Grand Cru, and Tonel Privado.
Many markets throughout the country sell traditional crafts such as handmade textiles and clothing, candles, mate cups, jewelry, paintings, leather and silver goods, and a variety of items bearing the pampa, the typical gaucho design. One of the best-known craft markets is the Hippie Fair in Plaza Francia of Buenos Aires. Many galleries throughout the city sell art such as paintings and sculpture. As an important part of the culture, a gift of authentic Argentinean art makes a great gift.
If you’re looking for the latest fashion, be sure to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina’s shopping center. Leather is especially popular and often well priced and may be custom tailored. Clothing, shoes, native crafts, and horseback riding equipment are items made of leather range. Different types of wool are characteristic in Argentinean fashion as well. Due to Argentina’s recent economic crisis, imported clothing has become unaffordable, leading to a burst in creativity of native designers. Top Argentinean designers, such as Mariano Toledo, Maria Vazquez, Nadine Zlotogora, Mart Churba, Yessica Trosman, and Mariana Dappanio create some unique styles. More internationally known brands can be found as well, such as Louis Vuitton, Herm, Christian Dior, and Versace to name a few. There are many fun vintage boutiques and open air markets to be explored as well, each offering a unique set of styles from high-end boutiques to malls. A good place for traditional Argentinean apparel is Cardon, where you can find items such as carpincho-hide slippers, white raw-leather belts, gaucho pants, vests, jackets, gloves, bags, wallets, and more. Jewelry also makes a fashionable gift from Argentina. The signature stone of the country is rhodochrosite, which is a pinkish color. Recoleta is the most famous Argentinean fine jeweler, and many small women’s boutiques carry more crafty items. The wide variety of options makes fashion a wonderful gift to bring back from Argentina.
Buenos Aires is undoubtedly the place to go for any type of gift from Argentina. Many streets are full of shops of all types. And scattered throughout the city are both indoor and outdoor markets that provide great variety. Abasto, Patio Bullrich, Alto Palermo, and Galerias Pacifico are some of the best shopping centers in Argentina, and should provide whatever you’re looking for. Most stores are generally open Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 8:00pm and Saturdays between 9:00am and 1:00pm. Shops further from the cities often close for a period around midday. The Argentine currency is the peso, made up of 100 centavos, though euros and US dollars are usually accepted as well. Value Added Tax of 21% may be redeemed at the airport on purchases over .