Unsafe areas in Buenos Aires and place to avoid.
Buenos Aires Capital (city) is in general is not a dangerous city to explore, either by day or by night. Like any big city, some places are not safe and criminals are lurking around every corner to mug the unsuspected tourist.
These guys are professionals, operate in groups of 2 and more and are preying on people not paying attention to their surroundings.
These dangerous places are normally surrounded by poverty stricken areas where there is a lot of crime, like the area surrounding “Retiro”.
“RETIRO” OR MAIN BUS AND TRAIN TERMINAL.
This is a very popular and busy place with a lot of people and situated next to one of the poorest areas in Buenos Aires. It is very unsafe! Changes are very good that you will be taking a train to visit Tigre or the long distance busses from the bus terminal. You might be carrying luggage and valuables. With so many people you tend to forget to pay attention to the people around you. But these criminals know your every movement.
One of the things criminals do to target tourists is by squirting a liquid (mosquito repellent or vinegar mix) on your clothes or suitcase. They are always operating in a pairs. One person will be approaching from the front and a 2nd person will be standing close by to help you clean the mess. At first you are so shocked and then grateful for this kind person to be helping you. But in this moment they mug you.
Tip: You might want to safe a couple of pesos and walk from Retiro to the city centre but it is much safer to take the taxi immediately when you exit the terminal.
There are always young people or children who are looking for coins “Una moneda”. These youngsters can get quite aggressive if you don’t give them something. This is quite common around the city but especially around “Retiro”.
Tip: If you spot a group of teenagers hanging around and watching people walk by, try to avoid them. Even locals are affected by these crimes such as muggings and theft.
EL CAMINITO IN THE LA BOCA NEIGHBOURHOOD.
This area is a very popular tourist attraction and famous for the tango shows. It is a beautiful place to visit and I guarantee you will enjoy it if you exercise care. This whole section has been cordoned off and if you stay inside these barriers and take care of your personal belongings you should be fine. Never leave any cameras, bags or personal belongings for 1 second out of your sight.
There are always a lot of people over weekends and this is when the criminals are watching. Because there is so much do to and see you get distracted and that is the moment when they steal your things. This area is considered extremely dangerous at night. When the shops close up, you should head out. There is also no subway access to La Boca.
La Boca is another poor neighbourhood in Buenos Aires and children are always looking for coins.
Tip: Never go outside of the barriers. Always watch your personal belongings when watching a tango show at one of the restaurants. Tie your bag to the chair.
Is not unsafe but it’s very crowded by day with shoppers and businesspeople. At night, sidewalk shows by performance artists draws a big crowd and pick-pocketing incidents do occur.
Tip: Take care not to walk around Avenida Colon at night.
Soccer is extremely popular in Argentina and you will always find live football at one of the stadiums. But when River and Boca are playing people go absolutely crazy. These fans are fanatics. Now the football match in itself is not dangerous. I am also certain you will not get robbed. But if you are unaware of the competition between the two teams you will certainly get beaten up if you sit amongst the opposition and support your team.
Tip: If you support Boca sit with the Boca supporters etc. If you don’t know which team to support enjoy the match but try to say as little as possible, if possible!
SUBTE OR METRO.
During peak hours the Metro is very crowded. Most of the times you will be standing until you reach your destination. Pick pocketing are common crimes in the Metro or Subte. But a little more dangerous is when you get followed by a group of people. Normally they have watched you and want some personal belonging especially your camera, cell phone, jewellery or bag.
Tip: Always look around especially at night if you are being followed.
Constitucion is a very dangerous place, especially at night. Try to void it.
Don’t be paranoid in Buenos Aires. There is no need. Police are always present in and around touristy places like Puerto Madero. You are safe in the well-known areas. Be on the lookout for people watching you or hanging around in groups. Always take care of your personal belongings and don’t get distracted.
If you find yourself in a area that you don’t know, walk fast as if you know where you are going. Trust your instincts and you will be fine.