Shopping shopping souvenirs culture Argentina

Take Me Home! The 10 Most Authentic Souvenirs From Argentina

Emilia
Published Aug 30, 2017

Vacations, we wish they never end… We have the time of our lives exploring new places and meeting interesting people and, when it’s time to go home, we want to take a little bit of that experience with us. So, if you have plans to visit a country in South America that is known for great meat, amazing sceneries and rich history, do you know which are the best items to take back home?

Take a look at our selection of some of the most representative souvenirs of Argentina. Because you won’t just want to bring any ol’ item home with you - make sure you get a meaningful little piece or token of Argentina!

1. Leather items

It is no wonder that Argentina is known for its leather since it is one of the world’s biggest producers of meat. With more than 200 tanneries, they have a fabulous production of high quality and durable cow, sheep and goat leather goods such as jackets, shoes and hand bags. It is a true paradise if you love shopping.

While looking for that perfect item to take home, it is important to pay attention to be sure that you are spending your money on the real thing - check the lining, zippers, seams and use your nose to identify real leather. Since some shops sell both real leather and more affordable imitations, make sure to look for a label that specifies which type of material it is.

Where to buy

Region: Buenos Aires is the mecca, but you can find leather items all round Argentina.

Suggested shops: Bettina Rizzi, Rossi & Caruso, Doma and Prüne. You can also find leather craftsmen with more affordable alternatives in some street markets.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

2. Malbec wine

While its origins are French, Argentina today is rightly celebrated as one of the best producers of Malbec wine in the world. Thanks to the altitude and climate in the region, close to the Andes mountains, Argentina’s wine country is capable of producing vigorous and opulent wine. Argentina is currently the leading producer of Malbec in the world.

The production of other varieties such as Syrah or Cabernet is strong, but Malbec is Argentina’s flagship.

Where to buy

Region: Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja are the best places to visit a winery and learn about the process.

Suggested labels: Familia Zuccardi, Carmelo Patti, Callia, Catena Zapata, El Enemigo, Doña Paula. The retail shop Winery has excellent wines at different price ranges.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

3. Mate

If there is one Argentinian habit that puzzles foreigners the most, it would be Mate. A popular drink similar to tea that is poured into a gourd and shared using the same straw, it is a symbol of friendship and family. Argentinians will share a mate will everyone: colleagues in the office, students in universities, acquaintances on public spaces or anyone who wants to. They are delighted to introduce tourists to it.

If after giving it a try, you don’t think you enjoy it (keep in mind that it has lots of benefits, specially in being a healthier substitute to coffee), you can still take home a gourd and straw, “Mate y Bombilla” (the groud has the same name as the drink), since there lots of different techniques and beautiful shapes that make for nice ornaments.

Where to buy

Region: All round Argentina.

Suggested brands: There are no official mate gourd companies, since it is something Argentinians use every day. They are produced using different materials such pumpkin, ceramic, metal, wood and even plastic. The most traditional ones can be found in crafts markets and more modern designs can be purchased in retail stores Artentino

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

4. Alfajores

The ultimate souvenir for Argentinians is the Alfajor, since different recipes can be found all round the country. If you leave town you will probably hear the phrase “¡Traé Alfajores” (Bring Alfajores!) from your friends, as it is a tradition to bring something back from the place you have traveled to share with your loved ones.

The basic recipe is a sort of dulce de leche (milk jam, another Argentinian wonder) sandwich covered in chocolate, but the fillings and the outside of it can vary. There can be with one layer of filling or two, although the traditional version is the simplest. Besides being great souvenirs, they are also commonly available for snacking on all through the day.

Where to buy

Region: All around Argentina. The ones in Santa Fe province have a strong reputation of being delicious.

Suggested Brands: Havanna and Cachafaz are the ones to buy as souvenirs, and Jorgito, Suchard and Terrabusi are some of the brands that you can find in drugstores.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

5. Soccer jerseys

You might have heard that it is a Catholic country, but Argentina’s true religion is “fúbol” (soccer/football). As the birthplace of two legends of this sport (Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Messi) and with many talents playing in elite teams abroad, it is also a factory of enthusiastic fans who follow over 3,000 registered teams.

Attending a match is a must if you are visiting at the right season, and one of the best ways to enjoy the spirit of the sport that heat the crowds in Argentina is with a jersey. The Argentine National Selection one is made by Adidas and can be found in many retail shops but if you want a more affordable option you can get one of lower quality in any souvenir store. Wear it with caution: you might scream at the top of your lungs every time your team scores a goal, as the Argentinian fans do.

Where to buy

Region: All around Argentina

Main teams: The 5 most important teams in Argentina, also known as the 5 “grandes”, are Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente, Racing Club and San Lorenzo de Almagro. Jerseys can be found in their stadium’s gift shop and many sports retailers, like Solo Deportes, Stock Center or Dexter

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

6. Silver items

The name of this country comes from Argentum, the Latin word for silver. This metal has deep roots in the history of these lands, and the silversmiths that still ply the trade have kept almost 400-year-old manual techniques to create unique and beautiful items.

Silver can be found in delicate jewelry, key chains, boxes and many different products that are decorated with love and passion. If you want to kill two birds with the same stone and you have the money to spend, you can even get a silver mate gourd.

Where to buy

Region: All around Argentina

Prestigious Silversmiths: Juan Carlos Pallarols, Daniel Escasany and Marcelo Toledo. For more affordable options, craftsmen markets usually have one stand or two with silver items.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

7. Tango CDs and DVDs

Source: Wikimedia

One of this country’s most incredible contributions to the world is tango music. A sound that goes straight into your soul and expresses the sorrows and stories of heartfelt spirits, it is something that is inextricably linked to this amazing land and its great people.

As all music genres, tango has changed and evolved from its original sound, but is still etched deep in the hearts of locals in Buenos Aires. Whether you have placed your feet at a milonga to dance to this unique music or you just want to take something home to remind you of your trip, you can never go wrong with a tango CD.

Where to buy

Address: The birthplace of tango is the city of Buenos Aires

Famous Artists: Carlos Gardel, Ignacio Corsini, Ástor Piazzolla and Enrique Santos Discépolo are some of the many legendary artists that have played tango. If you wish to listen to a contemporary voice, Elena Roger is a great choice. Musimundo is a retail store that sells CDs and DVDs, as well as Yennys Bookstore, but if you want to shop at a place that celebrates music you should go to Zivals.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

8. Northern textiles

Colorful patterns that seem to mirror the beautiful landscape of the North of Argentina carry antique techniques and tell the story of the people who make them. These are not just fabrics, but a living tradition that has been carried though generations.

Made often with alpaca wool or vegetable fibers, many products are made by the people in the North and represent their identity: from shirts, hats, purses to aguayos that can be used as rugs or blankets. Whatever you choose will be a unique memory of one of the most beautiful regions in Argentina.

Where to buy

Region: Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán and Catamarca provinces

Shops: Due to the techniques that are used, the best place to get them is in local shops. Some stores like Te AmAre Del Norte sell them online. If you see this type of products in tourist gift shops check carefully, since it might be a synthetic, mass produced item.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

9. Regional music instruments

Along with tango, folk in Argentina (or “folclore”) is the music that represents the country. Apart from the sound and rhythm, the main difference is that floclore spread throughout the whole territory, while tango remained in Buenos Aires.

Folclore is the music that gauchos and locals play and dance to, and it has many genres, like zamba, chamamé, chacarera or carnavalito, each one from a particular province or region. So, as you travel by different provinces you will hear many different sounds and the instruments that play them will change as well.

In that spirit, a regional musical instrument is the perfect way to take the spirit of the region that you visit with you. Whether you learn how to play them or you take them only as a memento of your trip, it will be an authentic piece of your journey in Argentina.

Where to buy

Region: All around Argentina.

Instrument types: The list seems infinite, but some examples of what you can take home are the Siku flute, a Charango string instrument, a bombo drum or quena and siku flutes. Music shops like Antigua Casa Nuñez and craftsmen markets are good places to get them.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

10. Borges books

One of the greatest minds that has ever lived, author Jorge Luis Borges is a synonym of the best of Argentina. An incredible poet, essayist, and short-story writer, his works have influenced many around the world and have become classics of 20th-century world literature.

With many references to the city of Buenos Aires, mythology and history, reading Borges is one of the best things you can do as a traveler in Argentina, and as a human being.

Where to buy

Region: Argentina is a country filled with literature and bookstores, but getting a Borges book in Buenos Aires is more symbolic.

Main Bookstores: You can get books in second hand stores and even in public parks in Buenos Aires. For a one of a kind experience, visit the Ateneo Grand Splendid, one of the most beautiful book stores in the world. If you don’t speak Spanish, you can get to Kel, who edit books in English.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Argentina and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Argentina

Pieces filled with culture

Argentina is a country that provides unforgettable experiences to visitors. There are different items that you can take home with you based on the region you visit, your personal liking and your budget. Whichever your choice, it will be something that truly represents the culture of a country that is willing to share it with you. ¡Buen viaje!

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When she is not backpacking round the globe, Emilia Lugo works as a Digital Content Specialist in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She considers herself a museum geek and loves destinations that can take...Read more

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