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BA Safety: Not being a target?

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Washington DC...
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BA Safety: Not being a target?

Hi BA, I'm planning on making a trip down there with my partner around the end of June. Seeing that we're not at peak BA tourist season, we might be one of a few winter tourists.

With that being said, both my partner and I are the American version of street smart and I was wondering if American street smart is "enough" or if we have to be even more vigilant. I'm reading mixed reports about the "safety" of BA with some reports saying that it's one of the safest places in the Americas (period) to a rising crime epidemic, that it's no longer the same, and people who used to love BA saying they're never going back again.

We're both in DC right now and have been raised around different working class neighborhoods in the US (including Philly, Baltimore, Atlanta). Other than being verbally harassed by crazy people at the bus and my boyfriend's skateboard stolen from him by an adult when he was 14 we've both never had an incident. To sum it up, our limits on "sketchiness" is much different than an average American's.

We would REALLY like to visit Camalito but we don't have a guide. We're both young adults and I'm of regular build (5'6) asian whereas my partner is a 5'10 white male on the bigger side (most Americans wouldn't mess with him to say the least). Does the basis of not looking and sounding like we're from BA = target? Does wearing nicer clothes like The North Face elicit unwanted attention? Even though I have no problems visiting the rough parts of Baltimore (I worked behind the counter of a corner store smack dab in the hood) I know better than to wear brand spankin' new North Faces in the hood. Would that be the case in BA?

We're staying on the stretch of hotels by the obelisk and plan on doing touristy things at touristy places (like the San Telmo Market), so I don't know on the basis of shopping and dining in these areas will make us an easy target. I know thugs tend to choose the path of least resistance and choose more "vulnerable" targets, but if crime is as bad as some people make it out to be, I wouldn't take my chances.

LONG STORY SHORT: is BA = Jamaica "don't leave the resort" bad?

Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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11. Re: BA Safety: Not being a target?


Thank you for letting us know that you don’t find any poster’s comments here about Centro (excluding San Telmo) offensive, but, instead, you’re frustrated by the general consensus long expressed by visitors and locals on this forum that Recoleta and Palermo are probably better places for newcomers from abroad to stay for a visit.

In lieu of any rigorous and authoritative study on where IS ‘safest’ or even what safety actually means and comprises, it’s just prudent that people replying to an OP and stranger who wants to make ‘safe’ decisions might take the responsibly conservative approach. That’s all that posters have done here. This isn’t a contest with ‘sides’, arguments and ‘proof’. Neither is it an attack on all those people like yourself who prefer funkier and unrenovated traditional areas to stay or live in BA and those who fall in love with San Telmo after getting themselves away from the UK. I’ve lived in several funky and posh areas of European cities myself. Yes, crime occurs in both but many people want to be in a place where they FEEL safe and don't see dicey-looking guys hanging at corners.

The guy at PROA wasn’t a ‘director’ of the cafe as you imagined. He wasn’t a ‘suit’ or an aristocrat. He had very long hair, was 6’3” tall, young, managed and made coffee, was born in BA, is an artist, cycles to/from work, was very savvy about his city and has never lived outside it. On one hand, you say I’ve only a tourist’s experience so can’t know BA because I don’t live as an expat there as you do. On the other, you say I shouldn’t be repeating what a porteno told me just because you jumped to the conclusion that he must be too fancy, narrow-minded and timid a one. Oh my!

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12. Re: BA Safety: Not being a target?

Back to Topic, please.

June 1985 made an excellent suggestion to take advantage of the BA Walking and/or Biking Tours as a way to learn about various barrios and to get more comfortable in them.



There are two Walking Tours daily. They work for TIPS ONLY.

The first tour begins at 11:00 AM and meets at the Congress (Meeting Point is posted on the right side of the fountain as you face the Congreso building) and tours the "Historic Center" area.

The second tour begins at 5:00 PM; this is "Aristocratic Buenos Aires"; it meets at San Martin Plaza and goes over to Recoletta.

Each tour lasts about 2 hours and is guided by "Portenos" who really know the city, the culture and it's history.

This could give you a good overview and an opportunity to meet others and ask questions of the guides.

There are other SELF - Guided Tours ( easy to Search) that are also quite well done.

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13. Re: BA Safety: Not being a target?

The thing with crime nowadays in BA is the great contrast people find when comparing the current situation with a city with very little concerns about safety let’s say 20 years ago. Locals during the winter tend to dress smart and porteños are in general fashionable people. As Marnie stated, is expensive watchs and jewelry what thugs find attractive along with iphones (not available in Argentina) and expensive cameras.

Take the basic precautions and you’ll be perfectly fine and you’ll enjoy what many of us consider an amazing city. If you want to go to Caminito and other touristic sites, I always recomment taking the yellow buses, which provide are thorough tour around the city with flexible schedules: www.buenosairesbus.com/en/city_tour.htm And no, it’s not like Jamaica at all.

Buenos Aires...
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14. Re: BA Safety: Not being a target?

The sort of theft that Sol mentions is what I always think of as a problem .. flashy jewelry and women leaving their purses on chairs or just hanging off of their chair .. Truth is, these same problems with theft happen in Italy and parts of Paris .. Spain .. probably too often in NYC !

I wandered around BA for almost 7 years, mindful of my belongings but at the same time, not overwhelmed with being careful.

I enjoyed just being there .. shopping, walking, sitting in parks .. listening to music which is played everywhere ... and mighty fine music is it soo !

Small cautions ... don't stick your wallet in your back pocket. Don't leave belongings unattended , don't take out a handful of money on the street , don't call attention to yourself. Blend in ... but be relaxed, it is just another huge city with some of the nicest people I have ever met or had the pleasure of knowing.

I am a photographer and I carry my camera with me most of the time and in BA I would wander far and wide , taking photos. The camera was always in my bag and my husband was always "at my back" when I was involved with the photos ... so whatever you are doing, just be aware of your surroundings and don't keep your camera , iphone etc out so others will be tempted. ( my friend had this happen not long ago .. purse snatched, camera gone ... Italy )

15. Re: BA Safety: Not being a target?

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