How safe is Buenos Aires safe to travel? One of the concerns when you’re planning your trip. Out of experience, I can say that Argentina is one of the safest countries in South America. I live in Buenos Aires for several years and I give you here all the info if Buenos Aires is safe to travel to. I made a map (see page bottom of the page).
How safe is Buenos Aires?
The U.S. Department of State gives Argentina a level 1 “Exercise normal precautions”.
In general, I can say that Buenos Aires is safe for tourists in the daytime. Of course, take precautions as you would do in every other city that you don’t know. There are pickpocketers active in the streets and in the subway.
General Safety Rules in Buenos Aires
- Don’t use your phone on public transport. The highest risk of robberies.
- Don’t use your phone or camera when waiting at a bus stop or near a train station.
- Wear your bag on the front side of your body on the street and in the metro. It’s also much handier in an area that is crowded.
- Put your phone, camera, … back in your bag if you don’t use it.
- Don’t put anything in your back pockets.
Common practice: The motochorros
Robberies involving motorcycles often occur in Buenos Aires. It’s the most frequent way for thieves to work in Buenos Aires. The thieves operate with two. One jumps off the motorcycle and steals your belongings and they are away before you know. Mostly violently.
Therefore, keep your eyes on the motorcycles driving around in the city. Especially on intersections.
One of the hotspots for motochorros is on Sunday during the Feria de San Telmo. It’s crowded near the intersections and motochorros are liking that kind of area.
Areas to avoid:
Shanty towns of Buenos Aires
There are some areas that you have to avoid as a tourist in Buenos Aires! Don’t go near the shanty towns around the train station Retiro. Because they are dangerous.
Pickpocketers are very active in that area. Be aware when you walk around any train station. Constitution and Retiro. If you want to go to Tigre, you need to take the train departing from Retiro. Just keep all your belongings close to you and walk straight to the train station. The most important thing to know when asking ‘is Buenos Aires safe”.
I had my own experience there. I was walking to the main post office which is located near Retiro. I was followed by a guy but my friend next to me was aware and looked all the time the guy into the eyes. To let him know that he saw him.
La Boca during the night
You probably want to visit La Boca. In the daytime, you will see a lot of tourists going there and it’s pretty safe. No problem will occur if you take your precautions. Also, the tourist police will be there. If you have any questions. :-). However, don’t visit La Boca if the sun is under.
I suggest you take a bus or taxi straight to the tourist point El Caminito or Boca Juniors stadium. Walking from another neighborhood in Buenos Aires to La Boca is not our favorite route.
9th of July Avenue
The 9th of July Avenue is the widest street in Buenos Aires and it gives pickpocketers a lot of movement and escape routes. Therefore, keep your belongings closer to you when you are around 9 de Julio Avenue.
Is public transport in Buenos Aires safe?
Taking a bus or metro in Buenos Aires is pretty easy and in general safe.
However, don’t use your phone or any other electronics when you’re taking the bus or subway. Thieves run up the bus when it stops and opens the back doors. Especially when you’re sitting next to a door. They jump in and out of the bus in less than 2 seconds.
Water safe to drink in Buenos Aires
Years I drink tap water in Buenos Aires. It’s just fine. But, if you head to rural areas, I suggest taking bottled water.
Emergency numbers in Argentina
Police: 911 (except in Cordoba, Mendoza, Iguazu, Tucuman, and Tierra del Fuego provinces, in which you need to dial 101 for emergency services)
Medical emergency (Ambulance): 107
Tourist Police (English): +54 9 11 5050 3293 (Whatsapp available)
If you need urgent help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died). Then call the national emergency numbers and your embassy in Argentina.
U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires: +54 (11) 5777-4354
Canada Embassy: +54 (11) 4808-1000
U.K. Embassy: +54 (11) 4808-2200
Citizens of the European Union can contact any EU-member embassy in case of emergency. (Ireland: +54(11)4808-5700, Belgium: +15 4414 4589, …)