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?

Read also: the best guide of La Boca. Things to do and see.

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.

Harrods Buenos Aires Calle Florida
The former Harrods in Buenos Aires

And an attraction on itself is to count the “cambio, cambio” people in Calle Florida. Who has first 100?



My roots in Buenos Aires started as a tourist. After some great adventures in Argentina, I moved in 2017 to the metropolitan city of Buenos Aires. I felt a need for correct and honest information for tourists. That's why I love to write to you. Sharing my discoveries in Buenos Aires. I hope you enjoy the city as much as I do! Buenos Aires ❤️


  1. Hi Glen,

    We will be coming to Buenos Aires on Mar 4, 2024 I will need to exchange to the local currency is Florida St safe to be walking around during the day. I will be staying on San Martin St so from what I read Florida St is nearby and I can change my money there. When you ask these combios the rates will be saying it in English. It’s better to not take the first rate right.

  2. I am a huge fan of this site/app… been SO helpful!! I was just there just this past Saturday (Nov 30) when many Casa de Cambio were closed. Definitely lots of ‘cambio.cambio’, many look like on the rough side. I carefully picked someone who looked ‘safer’, asked what rate for dollars, make sure you tell them if you have USD20, 50.or 100 admit makes a difference. Since I have a real Casa de Cambio in Palermo who gives me rate of 65 pesos during office hours, just needed some to get me through weekend (mind you, official rate is 60 right now and I checked my Citibank Platinum credit card which doesn’t charge extra fees, and my purchase rate was about 59.50 pesos)… I told the guy I had USD20 and I still got a rate for 64! They will then say follow me… BEFORE you do that, ask where. He pointed to a guy standing at a building corner in public view so I felt safe. That guy took out a wad of pesos and started counting and gave to me even before I had my usd20 out! I make it a point NOT to give my money first, just in case they would say I didn’t give to them. I then took out my usd20 and gave him. BTW, he gave me large denominations or 2x 500 pesos, and I insisted on 100’s. Figured less chance of funny money with small notes. He obliged, smooth transaction, all went well… just in case anyone is anxious about experience.

    • Thanks much for your post. I will be in Buenos Aires in a couple of weeks and I am somewhat apprehensive about exchanging dollars for pesos. Your post helped to explain the process better. Much appreciated.

        • The BEST and most beautiful coffee shop in all of Buenos Aires is LAS VIOLETAS on Avenida Medrano.

      • Glad I can help. I’m a HUGE fan of this site, only site that provided practical information that’s detailed. Before that, I was so frustrated with so little info. for such a large city. That is why I want to help others have a great time there as well;))

      • i will travel BA in 2024 n will land at EZE 20:30 so, I want ro know what’s time will closed for exchange money at Calle Florida?

        • Hi Natalie, in Calle Florida it is unofficial black market exchange. They don’t work with fixed opening times. Depends if there is cash and a demand to exchange. You will need to discover on the moment itself.

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