Calle Florida in Buenos Aires. You will pass it during a tour or for exchanging your money on the black market. But, what is Calle Florida’s history and what is there to do?
Calle Florida: where it is located?
One of Buenos Aires most famous streets is Calle Florida. It connects the wide avenue Avenida de Mayo (close to Plaza de Mayo) and Plaza San Martin near Retiro train station. It is a narrow pedestrian street of 1.3km (0,80 miles) long.
The street first appeared on the city map in 1582. In the mid-18th century, the street was called “San José”. However, in 1814 the street was renamed to “Florida”.
Why is the street important?
The importantness of Calle Florida is relative. Between 1900 and 1990, the street was one of the busiest shopping streets in Buenos Aires and became pedestrianized. Up to now, you will still find some shops such as Falabella, Zara, and Galeria Pacifico. But, in our opinion, Calle Florida is not that attractive to shop because of the chaotic small shops.
Nevertheless, Calle Florida is the epic center of the black exchange market. You should count how much you hear “cambio” in five minutes. It’s impressive. In our article “where to exchange your money in Buenos Aires” we give you tips on how to negotiate with them.
What’s there to see?
One of the main attractions is Galeria Pacifico. It is a Beaux-Arts building constructed in 1889 to the idea of the Bon Marché supermarket in Paris. In 1896 it became the home of the National Museum of Fine Arts. In 1992 it was redesigned to the current shopping mall.
One block further away from Galeria Pacifico you will walk by the former Harrods of Buenos Aires. It started in 1914 as the first and only overseas Harrods. However, Harrods closed its doors in 1998. At this moment, you still see the name on the building and it gives you an impression on how it was before.
And an attraction on itself is to count the “cambio, cambio” people in Calle Florida. Who has first 100?