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Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

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Athens, Greece
posts: 17
reviews: 1
Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

Hi everyone,

Me and my wife just got back from a wonderful 10-day trip to Buenos Aires, which included a 2-day trek in Iguazu as well.

I am writing here because I feel the need to give a positive note to all these safety concerns regarding the amazing city of BsAs. I have to say that we were really impressed by the vibrant life and the friendly people wherever we went in the city.

Neither myself nor my wife ever felt threatened or even witnessed any sketchy things happening to other people, at any point of our trip. We were walking all over the city with a DSLR camera in our hands, taking pictures wherever we felt like doing so without being hassled or anything. That includes walking in crowded places like San Telmo on a Sunday market, or Florida street where we exchanged money without having any issues, or even quieter places like Recoletta on a Wednesday night.

Again, I don't want to encourage anyone to do anything foolish like walking around without precautions on a sketchy sidestreet at night, I just feel the need to write down my own positive experience because I've read enough of negative posts before actually going there myself. I think that if you excercise common sense, like you would do in any other big city anywhere in the world, there is nothing to be worried about.

Buenos Aires is a beautiful vibrant city, in terms of people and lifestyle reminded us a lot of Athens and Madrid with a hint of Parisian architecture. Go there and enjoy it, excercise common sense wherever you go and please do not let all these negative posts regarding safety freak you out, just have a great time!

8 replies to this topic
WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
posts: 3,250
reviews: 42
1. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

A really positive and cheerful post, Athens....and much appreciated. You are clear that visitors need to know about, and follow, the cautions for all tourists, everywhere - and those particular to BsAs - but also that for the most part, it is a safe and wonderful place to visit.

Next time, I suggest that you go to the NOA, or Patagonia, or......:-)

Athens, Greece
posts: 17
reviews: 1
2. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

just to mention that we stayed in a hotel at Plaza del Congreso, which is supposed to be a bad neighbourhood, and we were still able to walk around the Plaza after a night out without any issues.

Sure, it was kinda sketchy with a few homeless people sleeping wherever they could find shelter, but this is something that you see in any big city in Europe or North America, and certainly poses no threat to anyone. I also need to mention the police presence everywhere, which gives tourists an extra sense of safety.

Thanks Marnie, we'll be definitely coming back to Argentina to visit Patagonia next time!

Buenos Aires
posts: 24
3. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

Thanks for sharing. I live in Buenos Aires since 1990 and I agree with you: as in any other major city, there are dangerous places, dangerous times, but if you don't do what you don't do in your own country, you'll be fine.

thanks again

UK
posts: 14
reviews: 50
4. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

Just to chip in on this, my friend and I returned from a trip to Buenos Aires and Rio today and we took most of the common sense safety precautions adviSed on TA and guidebooks. Although we did have to check the streetmap a few times in public! This usually prompted friendly locals to help us.

We felt very comfortable walking around BsAs.

However one taxi scam caught us out and now we feel so silly for getting ripped off. The driver said that since our 100 peso note had writing on it he couldn't accept it, our taxi fare was 70 pesos. I showed him that I only had a twenty and a five note and when my friend said she would ask the Hotel reception if they would change the 100 peso note the driver took the 20 out of my hand and gave me 10 back saying that would make up for spoiled note. I was happy just to get out of the taxi. So we paid 110 for a 70 journey. It's not the money I object too just the principle! So please be aware.

BsAs is a fantastic city and we worried about being safe and we always felt safe, so enjoy it and don't get scammed.

Cleveland
posts: 5
reviews: 10
5. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

Spent 6 wonderful days there. Safety was just common sense like any major city not any worse than US. I was told by a restaurant server to make sure my purse was closed when I accidently forgot to zip it closed as I sat and dined. Taxi was no problem. Florida Street was busy and the cambio exchanges got me nervous so I exchanged in hotel with good rate and no intimidation. I still am confused re: tipping...it is different all over...and who should expect tips?

Northampton...
posts: 134
reviews: 132
6. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

Here's the TA tipping guide:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294266-s606/Argentin…

Many newer theaters in malls have no ushers to show you to your seat, but I've been in the government-run, INCAA theaters and seen all of the older patrons leave a peso for the usher on the little stand where the usher takes your ticket. I also tip taxi drivers pretty generously -- a lot of them work hard, they provide me with entertaining conversation, and I'm a yanqui who makes a living wage and has the luxury of being able to visit Argentina about once a year, so why not?

Boston
posts: 205
reviews: 40
7. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

We returned from BA in Feb and I definitely would recommend this city to friends but we did have a bad experience- we were victims of the mustard scam in BA which I posted about last month. I think people should be aware of the fact that it is possible to exercise caution and common sense and still be a victim. We were in San Telmo around noon and following a proscribed walk in my Fodor's guide when my wife was sprayed with the mustard like substance. Fortunately we had been warned by our guide several times about this scam and by yelling we scared the thieves away when they first pretended to want to help us. Although crime can happen in any major city some cities are less safe for tourists than others- probably because of economic problems and certainly Argentina has some serious economic problems now. I just don't want people to think that if you are in a safe area at a safe time you are necessarily safe.

Berlin
posts: 131
8. Re: Safety in Buenos Aires - a positive note

AthensR: agreed in all levels!! BA is one of my favorite cities in the world and I’ve traveled to Argentina many times. Even though I do believe is not as safe as it used to be, I also believe the world in general is becoming slightly more unsafe. Common sense and doing your research in advance is applicable everywhere and when it comes to research, I enjoy planning the trip as much as the tri itself. Buenos Aires is a beautiful, amazing city, with loads of things to do and see, amazing food, fantastic wine and the best part: full of nice people who likes to have a great time.

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