Navigating shopping malls and shopping galleries in Buenos Aires can get overwhelmingly expensive if you don’t know where to look. In this guide, we’ll show you insider tips to get a bang for your buck!
A typical shopping mall in Buenos Aires includes the country’s best brands in a single space to shop. It’s a very different experience from, let’s say, a strip mall or an outdoor outlet–though we have those, too! Shopping malls in Argentina are everywhere you look: some big, some small, some that are just plain intimidating. With the country’s inflation, prices are way unpredictable and most locals choose discount days for shopping. Even though exchange rates are most likely in your favor, who doesn’t like getting a good deal or discount?
In a previous post, we’ve given an overview of what you can expect to find in shopping malls and outlets in general. But there are many, many types of malls, stores and shopping centers in Argentina: outlets, traditional shopping malls, and the typical “galerías”. Knowing their way around each of them is sort of an art form.
Days With Special Offers
Look out for days with special offers in Argentina, and especially when online shopping. If you’re interested in a particular brand, we recommend checking out that brand’s online shopping store and seeing what they can offer. Somtimes, you can even get a discount by signing up to their newsletter (those can get spamm-y, but you can unsubscribe as soon as you get back from your trip.)
Checking out the shopping mall websites or social media is also a good idea. There are special, one-time events hosted at the most traditional malls like Paseo Alcorta, Alto Palermo, Unicenter, Dot and Recoleta Mall.
Shopping Mall Discounts
Paseo Alcorta Card: An Exclusive Promo Card for Shopping
This discount card is the easiest way to get frequent tips no matter when you travel or when you’re planning on shopping. It’s cheap to buy the card itself (we recommend it for two-week stays or longer), and you can then cancel it when you leave at no cost to you. Discounts change monthly, so beware of when discounts expire!
You can either choose to get the discount card in person, or you can also download an app and use the provided QR code at the store.
The card has specifics, though:
- It’s non-accumulative with previous, ongoing sales from other retail stores;
- You can only use it within the Paseo Alcorta Mall;
- Discounts don’t tend to go above 20-30% off.
It’s a well-known local tactic: discount codes. You can even say it’s an international phenomenon. Ever since Groupon left the country, though, there are only Argentine alternatives left. Here’s a few of them for your discount-loving needs:
Picodi: This is the best known local alternative; it has the best-looking site as well! Picodi offers discounts for retail stores in Argentina and for other international online brands. The discounts are not valid for in-person shopping.
Club Cupon: Unlike Picodi, you can validate your discount in person when you get the discount code in your email. Other benefits this website offers for shopping are paying in monthly installments in stores that don’t normally allow you to do so.
Distrito Arcos: Outdoors Shopping Area
Distrito Arcos is the only outdoor space that features a strip mall-like format. The different exits can get too intricate, so look for maps whenever you can. All the stores you’ll find are outlets, which offer fashion from previous collections and seasons. Daily discounts are displayed on boards outside.
Like almost all of the malls and outlets on this list, you can also pick from different places to eat (Los Arcos closes at 10 PM.) Distrito Arcos is not the cheapest outdoor mall, but it is a pretty nice place to spend an afternoon, and an overall chill space to hang out at.
Córdoba Avenue: A Local, Overlooked Classic
Córdoba Avenue (or “Avenida Córdoba”), is a well-known Buenos Aires classic. It’s like an all-you-can-eat, shopping version. This is nothing like a premium outlet; the stores can vary from very expensive to including (almost) wholesale prices.
Most of the stores here are wholesale re-sellers, and there are some mom-and-pop shops where you can still find some fashion gems. It’s also a good idea to look for local brands rather than international ones, even though you’ll be able to shop at places like Levi’s.
Do not, under any circumstances, go to Córdoba Avenue on rush hour. Not only will the stores be packed, but circulating the avenue itself will be a pain.
Outlets of “Calle Aguirre”
When you’re in Villa Crespo, you probably don’t expect to find that many shops. But in and around Aguirre street (check out every intersection on your map from Loyola street to Scalabrini Ortiz Avenue) you’ll find outlets that are similar to the ones in Distrito Arcos.
In Villa Crespo, shopping with discounts is more understated and classy than in other parts of the world. On top of that many shops take U$D and other currencies (just ask at checkout!), and have discounts if you choose to pay in AR$.
After a long and winded day of shopping, we recommend having a cuppa in one of Villa Crespo’s cozy coffee shops or bars.
Santa Fe Avenue
Avenida Santa Fe, to be honest, is all-around chaos. Since it is a commercial and a residential area, it can be kind of an eyesore. Here, the Alto Palermo shopping mall (one of Argentina’s best-known) overlaps with old and new buildings and dead-end streets. The best way to go about it is to just walk with shopping in mind.
The shopping area roughly goes from Santa Fe 4500 and all the way to Barrio Norte (Facultad de Medicina subway station.) Because most brands you’ll find here are local, it will be cheaper than other outlets like in Villa Crespo. This does not automatically mean you’ll get–or find– a discount, though.
Some well-known international brands you’ll find in Avenida Santa Fe include Renner, Zara, and Columbia (but that’s about it). Most of these stores keep a discount rack at the back. So, be patient: you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.
Useful addresses [Buenos Aires City area]
Alto Palermo: Avenida Santa Fe 3252. Open all week from 10 AM to 10 PM
Galerías Pacífico: Avenida Córdoba 550. Open all week from 11 AM to 7 PM
Distrito Arcos: Paraguay 4979. Open all week from 10 AM to 9 PM
Paseo Alcorta: Jerónonimo Salguero 3272. Open all week from 10 AM to 9 PM