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Trip report re safety concerns

Leeds, United...
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Trip report re safety concerns

Prior to our trip I was concerned about safety and being mugged given the various posts on safety in Buenos Aires. Now that we are back I thought I should post a brief trip report which may help alleviate some concerns.

My wife and I walked extensively during our 3 day trip and did not encounter any issues nor did we feel at risk. We did look like tourists and carried a camera but took sensible precautions of reading maps in cafes rather than street corners and walked with a reasonable purpose and did not wear obvious valuables (albeit my Omega watch was visible).

We did a day of mostly walking which involved taxi to La Boca, then local bus to San Telmo (on this bus we saw a local woman get out of her seat to assist an elderly tourist couple who were struggling with the payment system - and no she did not pick pocket them!). From San Telmo we walked to Monserrat, San Nicolas and onto Recoleta. We did have a female guide for part of this walk (La Boca to Monserrat) which helps with knowing where to go but I did not feel threatened even when walking in a quiet street where there was only us and a group of male youths. This was a great walk and we felt we experienced a good part of the city's history, culture and architecture from it.

On other days we used the Subte and walked through Recoleta and extensive parts of Palermo and again did not feel threatened. Buenos Aires felt no different to any large city where you have to be careful, plan in advance where you want to go and not look like a victim. I don't know if it makes a difference but most of our walking took place at the weekend. I hope this helps others concerned by various posts but you still need to be vigilant.

WDC
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1. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Nicely put, Huntsy, and a valuable post relieving some of the stress of a visit to BsAs, yet with clarity of the need, as in most large, unfamiliar cities, to be sensible and heed cautions.

Glad your watch was not a Rolex.....that would be a targeted item for thieves.

Thanks for posting.

Leeds, United...
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2. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Thanks - your watch comment fits with the hotel concierge views who advised my Omega should be ok but Rolex or other high end watches would be targeted. Also on reflection I used the wrong phrase as shorthand re my choice of word "victim" as they will target anyone they think has valuables, so anyone can end up being unlucky even when trying to be careful. I would also advise that at night we only used "pre-booked" taxis and did not walk after dark or into non tourist areas.

Punta del Este...
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3. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Helpful post. Thanks.

Nice, France
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4. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

A really nice post that reminds me of how I feel walking all over BA and why I'm missing not being there.

Buenos Aires...
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5. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Wonderful. Thank you for this. Boy do I wish I were in BA right now :)

Porto, Portugal
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6. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Excellent report. Spot on the concerns travelers usually experience when they visit a large South American city. Buenos Aires in general is not more dangerous than any big city in Europe for instance. I got mugged in Paris once and I’ve been to Buenos Aires many time in the last few years and never had a bad experience. It’s about using common sense, preparing in advance, reading these helpful posts and enjoying your time in that amazing city.

St. Moritz...
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7. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

This report confirms our own experience. We stayed in Recoleta for 3 days but have been walking quite a bit in other areas as e.g. La Boca and Palermo as well - only during daytime however except for short returns from restaurants after dinner in Recoleta. We never experienced any problems, people have been helpful and kind. We never even cared about reading maps in cafes only, we consulted them when we got lost and when people saw us with a map they offered help and this led to short conversations which we enjoyed a lot. We speak English and Italian and tried to speak a little bit of Spanish and people appreciated our effort. We never felt in any kind of danger and enjoyed BsAs very much. We did not wear watches or jewelry as we never do when traveling (or not even back home then).

USA
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8. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

We just got back from 2 weeks in BA. We walked pretty much the entire time everywhere from Belgrano to Puerto Madero (we would walk around 15 miles a day). We personally had zero issues during our time there. Taxis were friendly, people were friendly and generally everyone was very nice. We felt very safe, cops were always around (not doing much, but around).

I will note a few things though. First, we had zero issues in San Telmo or Florida Ave (when changing money) with pick pockets. Nearly every tourist was mumbling "there are pick pockets everywhere" and were being super anxious in those areas. I'm convinced not much petty crime goes on there since every tourist is on edge. In a way it is sort of funny listening to each tourist mumble under their breath about watching their wallet. Second, we did see a small crime once in two weeks. This occurred at the market outside the Recoleta cemetery. An older man (probably 60s) was wearing a nice Rolex, was targeted by a man who shoved him, took his Rolex and ran into oncoming traffic to a waiting motorcycle. The market outside Recoleta, was without a doubt, the most uncomfortable area we visited in BA in that it always felt as if you were being watched by multiple people waiting for the right time to grab a purse or wallet or watch. For instance, I had to have made eye contact with the guy who stole the tourist's Rolex a half dozen times before he grabbed the watch and ran off. I would be careful there.

Otherwise, really no issues. Living in DC and travelling extensively around the world, particularly NY, BA felt much much safer than DC or NY.

We had a great trip. Just don't wear your jewels and fancy watches.

Buenos Aires...
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9. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

I have read and heard about people getting robbed blocks from the Alvear Hotel, which is heavily policed etc but we lived in that barrio and never ever had a problem.

I wore silver jewelry and nothing flashy and ended up using my phone instead of a watch .. ordinary phone, it is a city full of people that cover the spectrum, rich rich to very poor .. so like any big city with tourists, there will be a thriving pickpocket/thief population too .

Being from DC .. I am sure you knew , going in, how to manage :)

I am so glad you had a good time. I am missing BA soooo much :)

Hudsonville...
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10. Re: Trip report re safety concerns

Sending my daughter off to study in Buenos Aires. Reading a lot about safety issues and the anti-theft messenger bags to protect her laptop and personal belongings. Thoughts on this? I read it's a safe city(gotta be careful naturally) , but then about purse slashings on the bus and subways. i trust this site for good advice.