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Safety


SAFETY IN BUENOS AIRES

Is Buenos Aires a safe city? YES.
Is the world a safe place? Well, not always!

Generally, Buenos Aires is not a city that poses any great risk to travellers and you should be able to walk around the city without worries.

However, bad things can and do happen. To prepare you for the worst, we’ ve put together some tips for the Buenos Aires first-timer.


* If you have further tips or stories you would like to share, we welcome your comments below.


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IN THE CITY:


PICKPOCKETS: are a common problem: don’ t keep anything important in your pockets and keep a close eye on your bags – it’ s probably best to leave your passport locked up at your hotel or hostel unless absolutely necessary. Take special care of your belongings on trains, buses and in crowded areas.


WATCH OUT
for snatch and run thieves: a common trick is for motorcylists to speed past and grab your bag.


ATMs:
check the door is properly closed behind you and secure your money in a safe place before leaving. If drawing out a lot of money at one time it might be worth taking a taxi. Avoid drawing out money at night wherever possible.


IN BARS, PUBS OR RESTAURANTS,
avoid hanging your bags on the back of the chair or on the floor where they can easily be snatched – loop the strap over your knee or keep hold of it.


ARGENTINES
are accustomed to foreigners and generally likes to help out and chat to travellers but be wary of strangers being too friendly. If you’ re feeling unsure in an area, avoid looking too much like a tourist – put the map away and hide your camera!


LOOSING YOUR PASSPORT
is one of the most common problems for travellers but it is easily avoided – lock your passport up at the hostel/hotel and carry a photocopy for ID- this will suffice for all but official circumstances (police, embassies, banks). If you have to carry it keep it well hidden – a discrete money belt or secure inside pocket are the best options.


HOSTELS:
No matter how friendly your roommates seem, never leave money or valuables in your room – thieves can easily find access to shared rooms. Lock your stuff up or ask if your hostel has a safe.

TAXIS:
Always take licensed yellow taxis – taxis are generally very safe but women travelling alone at night (particularly if they have been drinking) may feel safer by noting down the registation number (on the door in the yellow circle) or driver details (on the back of the drivers seat) – if you do feel unsafe let the taxi driver know that you have noted down his details.


However, the most common problem with taxis is being over-charged (make sure they put the meter on!) or being driven the long route to your destination – the latter is hard to escape if you are new to the city but generally by knowing your destination off by heart and speaking a little Spanish you can avoid any problems.


Finally,
make sure you have change for the cab – $100 notes often can’ t be changed so if you don’ t have change check with the driver before getting in. Reports have been made of drivers returning a $100 note because they have no change, having cleverly switched the $100 note for a fake so be wary of free fares- taxis are never free!


WALKING IN THE CITY:
drivers in Buenos Aires do not always respect road rules, particularly when it comes to pedestrians – technically you can cross when the walk light is white or green but always look both ways – cars will often cut in even when it’ s your right of way.


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ON THE JOURNEY:


LUGGAGE:
keep an eye on your bags at all times, especially in bus terminals, train stations and on public transport.


BUS: Argentina’ s long distance bus service is one of the safest and most comfortable in South America. There is a space under your seat which is perfect to put a small backpack or travel bag and can be closed and covered by your legs. The luggage hold is very secure and typically employs a ticketing system but non-the-less it’ s worth keeping a close eye on your stuff during stops.

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VIOLENT ATTACKS:


Violent attacks are rare but they can and do happen. If you are misfortunate enough to find yourself in an assault involving a knife or gun, do not resist or fight back. Hand over your belongings and try to stay calm.

Be aware that in Argentina, minors can not go to prison for any reason – unfortunately this means that the younger generation are often to blame for violent crimes.


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TOURIST POLICE:


For victims of crime or theft, contact the Buenos Aires tourist police.


Languages: English, Italian, French, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Japanese.


Address:
Avenida Corrientes 436. Buenos Aires.
Telephone: 0800 999 5000 (toll free) / 4346 5748
E-mail:
[email protected]



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