Argentina: 5 Things to Know Before You Go!

If you're traveling to Argentina you'll most likely stop in Buenos Aires, which is by most accounts a very safe city, and local police keep it that way by actively patrolling all tourist areas.

Violent crime is extremely rare, and smaller towns in Argentina are even safer than Buenos Aires.

Nevertheless, it is important to remember there are always pickpockets in tourist areas on the lookout for easy prey. Always protect your valuables and keep your passport and tickets in a safe at your hotel. The Buenos Aires barrio of La Boca, just a few blocks away from the famous street Caminito, has seen a number of thefts lately. Take special care when you‘re in this area.

We know there is a lot to read before going to Argentina - like what vaccinations do you need? - so we asked our friends in the adventure travel space to give us some tips on what they wish they knew before they went to Argentina.

Five quick tips for Argentina

1. Carry Change.

Check your 100 peso note BEFORE giving it to the shop assistant – they can claim it was counterfeit and give you back the counterfeit! Also, coins are like gold. It‘s hard to get change anywhere and you can‘t take a bus without coins! Mat Lewis, i-to-i

2. Avoid demonstrations.

They happen all too regularly in Buenos Aires and occasionally can get a bit violent. Agustina Marmol, Dolomite Mountains

WorldNomads: There are a couple of places in the city that are the focal point of protests. If there's going to be trouble, it'll be here.

3. Know Your Bearings.

Always know where you are on the map. Buenos Aires is the kind of place where fancier, tourist-friendly neighborhoods are directly adjacent to some rough spots. Josh Steinitz, NileGuide

4. Take Taxis at Night.

Buenos Aires is safe for women traveling and sightseeing alone, but you should be aware that the men there will whistle at you when you pass by, and comment on your looks. During the night it‘s better to take a taxi to where you are headed instead of walking the streets alone, that applies if you are travelling alone or not, especially for La Boca area. Antonija, GeckoGo

WorldNomads: And watch out for these common scams and petty crimes.

5. Beware of Dogs.

There are large packs of dogs hanging around some of the bus stations, so beware. Most of the time they won‘t bother you but it‘s always better to travel with a friend, power in numbers. Christina Tunnah, WorldNomads

Need some handy Spanish travel phrases? Try our Spanish Language App.

Read more stories from WorldNomads.com to help keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com - an essential part of every adventurous traveller's journey.

What did you learn in Argentina and wish you knew before you went? Leave us a comment...

12 Comments

  • Ray said

    Always try to hand over the exact fare for a taxi ride - occasionally yoy will receive counterfeit notes in change if you handover a large note

  • Jess said

    Argentina has got less safe in recent years. Keep your guard up at all times and avoid any streets that are not crowded. I love Argentina, but it has it's ugly side. I was robbed in La Boca, two blocks from Caminito - some young guys pointed guns at me and my friend and set a pack of dogs on us. We got away without any serious injuries, but count ourselves lucky.
    Don't carry a debit/credit card with you (if you are robbed and they find it, they will escort you to a cash point and make you take out as much as you can). Keep some cash in your bra/shoe. Try to blend in in terms of clothing (including no fancy glasses).
    I hate guided tours, but for safety reasons I would recommend it if you want to visit La Boca or San Telmo. Also be careful in Once.

  • Estan said

    One of the prevailing myths about Buenos Aires is that it is "safe." Part of that is the fault of the tourism industry, along with the unwillingness of governments to tell the truth about negative factors. But in 2013, the Argentine judicial system, acting independently of the don't-tell Kirchner government, prepared a study of homicides in the city of Buenos Aires. The result: a homicide rate of 6.09 per 100000 population. Compare that to the 2014 homicide rate for NYC (which no reasonable person considers safe) at 4.0 per 100000. As for robbery, the published UN numbers for Argentina reveals that the country has by far the highest theft/robbery rate in the entire western hemisphere.

  • German said

    Esteban is wrong. Chile has the highest theft/robbery rate in the Americas, with about 60% of homes having been target of some kind of theft during 2014.

  • Broke said

    Hey everyone I went to Argentina and I like it so much ! It's incredible the people, their passion and love! Also you should try mate and alfajores! The bestest are Havanna and Águila. Oh I cannot forget ASADO! You know, its the best meat ever. If you like Football you must to visit the River Plate's Stadium! La boca isn't attractive at all. Its a turist zone, but its dangerous. But not for that you should say that Argentina isn't pretty. If you get the chance to go to a concert, its a beautiful and louder crowd! You must to visit Palermo, Puerto Madero (so beautiful). You shouldn't speak like that! All the countries has their bad side but not for that you're gotta be mean. You know what? It isn't Buenos Aires, its every state! Río Negro, Usuharia, Cataratas, Misiones... It has a very warm way, and such a beautiful paradises! I'd love get back there! At the end, you're going to miss their passion, warm and love... Did u saw when Argentina get into the Final world cup? EVERYONE was so happy, emocional and proud. I was there and it was brilliant I felt me like an Argentinian! So before say those things about a country, you gotta say the beautiful things and investigate good for enjoy of a better the trip. South América is "a bad suggest to go" but you gotta travel before judge. Besos xox.

  • Martin Grahan said

    Buenos Aires, horrible place not recommended at all!

    I am 21 yo man at my "sur america" trip with my gf, I am here in Buenos Aires right now and I couldn't regret it more, first I already got robbed twice, first time my cellphone at the streets, second time my notebook and all my money they had a big knife and was scary as fuck, I was staying in "lanus" neighborhood (extremely dangerous) I didn't knew. The only places to stay safe here are the wealthiest neighborhoods (some parts of palermo, some parts of recoleta, whole puerto madero is OK, some parts of belgrano and some parts of nunez) if you are going anywhere else cancel your booking right now! And carefully investigate about the neighborhood you are going, this is serious and can cost your life.

    OVERALL
    Buenos Aires is a huge city, but very gray, people look depressed, the economical situation is distasteful, there are a lot of families living on the streets even camping on the main avenues, trash everywhere, overall poverty, lot of protests because corrupt government, huge ghettos areas inside the main city, drug addicts at night in the "congreso" (a must go for tourists) area willing to kill for a next "paco (crack)" dosis, people is always trying to get advantage of tourists, they up the prices 5 times more just for us, they give us counterfeit money as exchange, etc.
    DO NOT stay at hostels, since everything in Argentina is centralized in Buenos Aires poor people from the whole country goes to the hotels to get a job in Buenos Aires or study and they WILL steal the stuff of the tourist, they might be actually good people but they really need the money to survive the next day.

    PROS
    Nightlife is crazy, it never ends, Argentinians party hard until 7AM and then they make after parties, is sick.
    Is relative inexpensive.
    If you like grilled meat with just salt you will be in heaven.
    Girls are beautiful, like Italian girls or even better, but they are used to local Argentinians trying to prey on them, touch them, force them, so is not easy to start a conversation with then specially if you are in a loud bar or club, once they see you are not predating them they will love to have a chat, you can and should invite them drinks (most of them are poor and can't afford to drink at the bar/discos that's why they drink all they can before entering the place).

    Nothing more to say I am leaving this city forever tomorrow, me and my gf lost more than 6.000 € in two weeks just in robberies and I almost got stabbed in the "congreso" area walking alone at night.

    This is as 09-May-16: my advice is to AVOID this place, unless you are in a big group or an adventurer or business.

  • Alexzandro said

    I love argentina. Every country has its ugly place. Just like nigeria, there are a place you cant pass in the night with a bus. But here in libya is the worst, every body have guns. If you work some will pay you. While some will nöt. Pls i want to visit argentina. I want to stay there and work. But i dont have anybody there. Pls help me out. Am a nigeria but right now am in libya. I want to live in argentina. Pls help. I will jae very greatful.

  • Cecil said

    Are there lots of knee grows in Argentina?....I avoid knee grows because of their propensity to crime and violence.

  • Lin said

    Ha ha. Knee grows. Love it. No, i havent seen many of those!!! There is no dole there. Dangerous, yes can be but just try not to look like a tourist. I was robbed by a taxi driver. Always write down the rego number. Carry little money at night and avoid quiet streets. I have been twice and going again soon. This time travelling around by bus. Enjoy, dance, eat steak...learn Spanish. Do it all.

  • hope said

    I'm still making my research about buenos aires coz I'm planing to go and study spanish there..
    well.. now I'm scared as i will be alone and as a girl i don't know how it will be

    i live in dubai and its so safe here i can go alone anytime anywhere and carry phons and wear my gasses and watch without thinking off all you guys talking about we also can leave our personal items on a table in caffe and go the the bathroom and come back everything on its place.

    can i get some advice if i can go or not at all??

    thanks.

  • LarryPowers said

    Seriously, if I were a girl, I will never entertain going to Argentina alone. Even with a tour group, you have to make sure you have selected reputable tour groups, because some of the operators are crooked as hell. Your life and well-being are above everything else. Even tough looking and worldly guys get robbed, harassed and so on, so a lone girl stands no chance. So speaking from experience as a guy that has been their couple of times for work, I would not advice it.

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