1. The scare stories re crime. We feel we owe Argentinians an apology as we read so much about crime before going there that my husband and I left our good watches at home and I took only junk jewellery. What an insult! Portenos turned out to be some of the most cultured, sophisticated, civilised and elegant people we have come across in over 40 years of travelling the world. I doubt that violent crime is anywhere near as high as it is in New York or that pickpockets or other opportunistic thieving is any worse than it is in London, Paris or Sydney etc etc. We saw local residents leave their belongings (handbags, mobile phones) casually on the table or chair in street cafes in Recoleta... we saw women wearing the most wonderful jewellery walking just with a friend or a person who appeared to be a maid late in the evening... we even (stupidly) left our hotel room safe wide open one day with cash inside to return and find it all there after the maid had been in to clean.
Of course, you have to be aware of your surroundings as you would anywhere in the world and there are definitely areas in which you'd be stupid to stroll around in a tourist uniform, wearing your Rolex.
2. Taxi drivers rip you off? Rubbish! Taxis are metered, fares are a bargain and we even had one taxi driver tell us our (10%) tip was too large. And in how many cities of the world do you find a taxi driver who can talk about Belle Epoque architecture? Well, one of ours did in BA.
3. Unfriendly people?... total nonsense. We met with nothing but friendliness and courtesy. And how polite... just watch them queue for a bus (even the English don't do that any more & they claim to have invented the queue). We even saw men stand aside and let women behind them in the queue board first... no pushing & shoving as there is here in Germany!
4. Getting a bargain on leather goods by going to the Murillo area? Can't agree. I looked in several shops there and while the leather itself was lovely the standard of manufacture was very poor. You are better off looking in the main shopping districts like Florida or, for a better bargain, along Santa Fe. There'll you'll find better designs, whether it's handbags or clothing, and still bargain prices - at least compared to Europe.
5. La Boca & San Telmo are among the highlights of BA? Again, can't agree. I'm afraid we tourists have turned them into sideshows with annoying touts and poor quality souvenir rubbish for sale. Go once and then spend your time exploring Recoleta, Belgrano, the Microcentre and perhaps all the Palermo districts (although we didn't get time in 12 days to do more than take a taxi tour thru the latter). There is just so much to see in BA that you will never run out of beautiful tree-lined streets to explore, boutiques and bookshops to marvel over, and wonderful buildings to photograph.
Sit at the tables outside La Biela in Recoleta on Sunday and just watch the locals.
6. Eating out in Buenos Aires is a highlight? Sorry to say but in 12 days of eating our lunch & dinner at different places (from so-called top restaurants to cheaper options) we found the food to be mystifyingly bad. Yes, steaks (lomo) were wonderfully tender and cooked just as they should be but that was all... and we can't eat steak every day. Vegetables were almost non-existent or obviously tinned. Once we had almost raw (boiled) potatoes. Salads again used tinned ingredients, plus large white-centred tomatoes with no taste and very green but almost "tough" and bitter leaves. (We even checked a couple of supermarkets and street stands and were amazed to see rotting, bruised fruits and vegetables for sale and not at discount either.)
Anyone who has eaten German or Austrian cakes, bread and pastries will realise that unfortunately the Argentinian versions are hopeless... rubbery, foamy and oversweet. Even the icecream seemed to be rubbery! And that's without mentioning the pizza... doughy indigestible base and the so-called mozzarella like a bright yellow glue. I could go on (and I will check the Forum's dining advice for our next trip) but it's enough to say that we look forward to returning DESPITE our bad food experiences... and usually poor food will put me off a place completely. That's supposed to be a compliment to Buenos Aires!