Best Way to Change Currency

In Buenos Aires, you can change currency at banks or at currency exchange houses (casas de cambio). Look for the ones that post the exchange rates outside. Generally, currency exchange rates are excellent at these places and the spreads are quite tight. 

You need to have your passport with you to change money. It’s a legal requirement in Argentina.

Many currency exchange houses are located on Florida in the main tourist and shopping zone. If you walk down Florida you will hear men yelling “¡cambio!” Some of these men will offer to take you to an exchange house where a passport is not required. I generally avoid these places and head straight for the first-tier banks or currency exchange houses. The rates are often as good, or nearly as good, and I see no advantage in doing a less-than-above-board transaction. That said, I have in the past changed money at no-passport-required exchange houses on Florida without incident.

Buenos Aires banks often close very early. Sometimes at 1pm, depending on the branch. Currency exchange houses offer longer hours.

One internet site that lists current average exchange rates in Buenos Aires is Dolarcito. The site is in Spanish but relatively easy to navigate. Another similar site is DolarHoy.

For your personal safety, don’t flash huge amounts of cash. I also don’t recommend exchanging thousands and thousands of dollars at one time, if it can be avoided. Why set yourself up as a target for robbery? It’s just common sense, right?

Filed under: Need To Know


  1. carlos Says:

    Why not use an ATM? They are available at any time , just be aware your bank does not have a ‘foreign transaction fee’. Find out details from your card company prior to your trip.

  2. CJ Says:

    ATMs are fine, except most banks give a terrible exchange rate on these kind of withdrawals, plus they may charge other fees on top. Also, the daily withdrawal limits at ATMs in Buenos Aires seem pretty low. Last time I tried I could only take out a max. of 300 pesos. That’s less than US$100.

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