Buenos Aires is a big, beautiful city and offers everything that an international visitor could want. Beautiful architecture, European styled outdoor cafes, great shopping, resto-bars, wine, steak, etc. But, like all major cities, this means that there is an increased risk of crime. A lot of people worry about their safety when traveling abroad, but in Buenos Aires, you can have a fun and safe trip if you pay attention to our helpful tips and tricks.
- Carry your back in front. When visiting, many people carry a handbag that zips shut, with the strap across the chest and always have your bag to your front.
- Never put your bag on the back of a chair. No matter where you are, always make sure you are touching your purse. If you can, either keep it in your lap or to the side of you, with your body facing the street.
- Dress appropriately. Do not wear or carry anything that is a designer or looks like it could be a designer piece. This means top-notch purses, watches, and jewelry. This type of look is unnecessary and can draw unwanted attention.
- Be careful with your money. Argentina is still a very big cash-using country, so make sure the next time you go to the ATM that you put your money away before you walk back outside. Whatever you do, do not count your money outside.
- Be wary of the “mustard” or “bird poop” scam. This scam is especially popular in Recoleta or San Telmo, which can be major tourist destinations. How does it work? Someone will bump into you and say, “Excuse me, sir, you have a stain on your bag or jacket”. They will offer to help you get the stain off, while an unseen friend will pickpocket you or grab the bag and run. SOLUTION? Just tell her, “No, thank you. No, gracias.” and keep walking, into a shop if possible, where you can look at your bag or jacket in a safe, controlled environment. It is better to ignore her and feel like you are being, “rude”, then to lose your bag.
- Transport. Take taxis at night, is possible. Waiting in a bus-stop could put you in a dangerous position. Public transport is mostly safe, but as it can happen in any country, there could be some pickpocketing, so take good care of your belongings.
- Say yes to big avenues. If by any chance you need to walk some blocks during the evening or night, try to take the avenues or populated streets if possible rather than dark alleys.
- Accessories care. Cellphones and watches are still attractive to thieves. Therefore, do not put your phone over the table and leave your watch back at home.
That said, the majority of travelers and foreign residents of Buenos Aires never have any problems. Just pay attention, keep your cool and you will be fine.
For more information about Buenos Aires safety or to start planning your trip to Argentina, contact Say Hueque and one of our travel specialists will be happy to help you.