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Buenos Aires attracts visitors by the millions. This is expected as it is considered to be the included in the list of most beautiful cities found on the southern hemisphere. Known for its diverse culture, Buenos Aires has great architecture, literature, and impressive cuisine. Because of its strategic location along the shore of Rio de Plata, the city has become Argentina’s commercial and financial center. Its port is one of the busiest since it connects South America to Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.
As a tourist, you can easily get lost in translation, literally, if you are unaware of Buenos Aires basic customs. This fact sheet will be very helpful if you are planning to visit Buenos Aires anytime soon.
They Eat Late
In Buenos Aires, the locals usually have late eating hours. For lunch, it is between 1 pm and 3 pm. Consider eating within this schedule because most restaurants will be closed afterwards for siesta. Tourists usually have dinner from 7pm to 8pm but the locals prefer around 9pm to 11:30 pm. Although it is best to eat with the locals, you can feel famished if you are not used to having late meals. For this, you can have merienda or an afternoon snack around 6 pm. Sweet croissant called medialunes and tostadas are served along with coffee, tea, mate, or beer.
Standard tip in restaurants is 10% of the bill and is always given in cash. Customers can choose not to give tips if the service was bad. Waiters don’t usually “wait” around. They are not accustomed to hovering over their patrons. You can discreetly flag them down if you need something. Credit cards are usually accepted but you must present an ID and sign receipts with your full name and ID number every time. It is better to pay in cash but ATMs charge a lot for every transaction. One option is to send money to a friend or family beforehand through Sharemoney. It is a safe online remittance platform that has numerous pick up locations in Buenos Aires.
Although tap water is generally safe, you can be extra careful by having bottled water while on your trip. Choose to buy from grocery stores because small vendors tend to charge more for it. Restaurants do not serve free water so you have to ask from the water if you want it.
Drinking On the Go is Fine But Eating is Not
The locals like to enjoy every meal so you will rarely see them eating on the go. Drinking, however, is fine especially with the local drink called mate. It is a drink out of dried yerba mate plant infused in hot water. It is served in gourd cups and you can commonly see the locals carrying them around and sharing the drink with their friends.
The subway is the most efficient transport for getting around Buenos Aires. You can also choose to take Uber as it is cheaper compared to taxis.
The food scene in Argentina is diverse. You can always find something familiar but having a local order for you will leave you wanting for more. They know the dishes best so they will most likely want you to try the tastiest ones instead of the usual touristy choices.
When you are confused about local customs, be attentive in what’s happening around so you can have a clue about how to behave or act in certain situations.
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