From their quiet shop on Sarmiento street, Neo Tango sells both men's and women's tango shoes for beginning to advanced dancers. Though the styles tend to be bright and showy, you can find something more understated too, if that's what you're after. When in doubt about what you need, ask. Besides being knowledgeable about the shop's wares, the staff at Neo Tango dance tango too. They can tell you where to go or that good tango shoes, especially for women, are the key to starting out on the right foot with Buenos Aires' sexiest and most famous dance. When you purchase a pair of shoes, they'll give you a starter shoe bag emblazoned with the store's logo and contact info.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: Tango is an important part of Buenos Aires culture and buying tango shoes is a good start to getting in on the fun.
Sarah's expert tip: Just point to the shoe styles you would like to try on. The staff won't look kindly upon you taking shoes off the display shelves.
Located in Buenos Aires' Recoleta neighborhood, Buenos Aires Design is a cool, upscale mall dedicated to home design. It sells everything you'd want to renovate or decorate your home. From faucet fittings and Jacuzzis to couches and vases, you'll find lots of things to capture your imagination or upgrade your home. Even if you don't have a house in Buenos Aires, there are plenty of small decorative items for sale that can easily fit into a suitcase and the top floor has a series of restaurants with outdoor cafe seating where you can take advantage of the views to the green below.
This iconic Argentinian biscuit maker (turned cafe chain) specializes in the "alfajor," the local sweet of choice: dulce de leche (a milky caramel-like spread) that is sandwiched between two shortbread biscuits. Don't leave Argentina without trying one. You can also pick up a jar of that most Argentinian of sweet obsessions, dulce de leche. Otherwise, they have chocolates and pastries that go well with a cup of coffee. Stop in to chat, read the newspaper or watch the city go by, all apart from feeding your sweet tooth, I mean. There are several Havanna locations throughout the city – one on every corner, it seems!
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: In addition to its sweets on offer, Havanna is a popular local coffee haunt.
Sarah's expert tip: When in Buenos Aires, you should try an alfajor (with or without coffee)! Alfajores also pack well and make good gifts for your loved ones at home.
This shopping mall occupies one of the city's most arresting buildings, a huge former wholesale market for fruits and vegetables. It was inspired by Paris' famed Les Halles and built in the late nineteenth century, but then remodeled in striking deco style in the 1930's. It closed down in the 1980's but was then reborn as a shopping center in the 1990's. Today, the Abasto de Buenos Aires is a busy mainstream mall that contains stores and food options from all the usual suspects, both international and national. However, do look for the statue of tango singer Carlos Gardel outside; he is almost revered like a god in Buenos Aires.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: The Abasto de Buenos Aires' architecture makes for a unique shopping experience.
Sarah's expert tip: The Abasto neighborhood isn't one of the city's nicest, but it is well known for its long associations with tango and its most famous son Carlos Gardel.
You don't need to be looking for a specific book to enjoy a trip to South America's largest book store – and one of the world's most beautiful. Housed in a splendid old theatre, the Ateneo Grand Splendid has been carefully restored to retain the original features and fittings. Feel free to curl up with a book. Otherwise, grab a coffee behind the red curtains on the old stage, now a cafe, and, if you dare, imagine what it was like to star in a play there. Though most books are in Spanish, a selection of English-language books are sold too.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: It's a beautiful place to buy books and enjoy being at a theatre without having to sit through an entire play.
Sarah's expert tip: Head upstairs (or take the elevator) to enjoy a different view of the old theatre. Also feel free to take photos even if you don't buy anything.
Begun in 1970, the Feria de San Pedro Telmo is an antiques fair that takes place every Sunday around Plaza Dorrego in Buenos Aires' historic San Telmo neighborhood. An estimated 20,000 people - a mix of Argentines and foreign tourists - descend on the weekly fair to admire and shop for clothing, books, paintings, jewelry, music boxes, siphon bottles, telephones, coins, plates, watches, picture frames and a host of other antique objects. Credit cards are not accepted, so do bring cash; however, many stall owners will accept dollars and euros as readily as pesos. And while you're there, don't forget to enjoy the architecture around you.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: The Feria de San Pedro Telmo is as much an experience as a shopping destination.
Sarah's expert tip: You will find all sorts of unique goods here, so come with an open mind and lots of time, and you will probably walk away with something really cool.
Housed in a wonderful, frescoed building dating back to the turn of the 20th century, this upmarket mall, located on Calle Florida, the city's pedestrian shopping street, is a one stop shop for international fashion names like Dior and Cacherel, as well as local threads from the likes of Paula Cahen D'Anvers, Vitamina and Uma. The mall also houses many additional stores selling everything from leather goods to computers, from shoes to mattresses, from books to cosmetics - and everything in between. Come to browse or do some serious shopping; either way you'll be in the center of the Microcentro action.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: Besides all its shopping options, Galerías Pacífico is a centrally located landmark.
Sarah's expert tip: Monday through Friday there are guided tours of the building offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Also, if you get a Rewards Card, there are 10% to 20% discounts at many of the stores.
San Telmo Market is great for shopping as well as sightseeing. It is an institution in the neighborhood where it is located as well as a National Historic Monument. San Telmo Market was built in 1897 with a wrought iron interior by Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo. Today you can go there to find fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, cheese and unique local antiques, as well as coffee from trendy Coffee Town. The latter is a slice of modernity amidst San Telmo Market's more traditional atmosphere. You can enter the market from Carlos Calvo, Bolivar, Defensa or Estados Unidos streets.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: Historic San Telmo Market has a variety of perishable and non-perishable items for sale.
Sarah's expert tip: While the market itself is open throughout the day, the individual stalls set their own schedules, so some may be closed at lunchtime while their owners eat.
Patio Bullrich is an elegant and upscale shopping center located on Buenos Aires' high-rent Libertador Avenue. This modern commercial space set in an historical building incorporates some beautiful details evocative of a more refined time. At Patio Bullrich you will find brands like Christian Lacroix, Tiffany & Co, Omega, Zara, Lacoste, Salvatore Ferragamo, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, Pepe Jeans and Starbucks. There is also a movie theater, food court and parking. The name comes from the building's history as a 19th century livestock auction house built by the Bullrich family, but it has been a mall since 1988 and was expanded in 1995.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: Patio Bullrich is a beautiful place to find some swanky new clothes.
Sarah's expert tip: If you have a car, Patio Bullrich has valet parking (and a car wash). Otherwise, to get to and from the shopping center, taxis and buses are plentiful in the area.
Libros del Pasaje is a delightful bookstore and cafe located in Palermo. There the tall wood panelled shelves contain a great selection of books in Spanish. If you're looking for Argentine literature and history titles, this is a good place to get those. Otherwise, there is a respectable section of books in English. They also have a good kids' section. The bookstore cafe receives good sunlight during the day and serves fare like pastries, sandwiches, coffee and lemonade. The cafe draws an eclectic crowd, from students to retired folks. Libros del Pasaje regularly has events where authors come to talk about their books. The schedule is listed on their website.
Recommended for Shopping near Cruise Port because: Libros del Pasaje carries a wide selection of interesting books.
Sarah's expert tip: The bookshelves reach the ceiling. If you spy an inviting title high above your head, you can climb one of the wooden ladders to grab it yourself, or ask someone on staff to scurry up there for you.