Buenos Aires is the black sheep of South American cities. It’s a relatively rich and almost European-feeling city that combines grand architecture and a collision of cultures with great nights out. Oh, and some of the tastiest food you could ever imagine.

Not everyone is rich in Buenos Aires, however – there’s a problem with poverty and petty crime here. Extreme inflation has really made its mark on the city and everyone’s starting to wonder if it will recover. Cue social unrest and demonstrations…

I completely understand why you’re asking “Is Buenos Aires safe to visit?”

While it may have a different vibe compared to other urban areas in South America, there are still several important safety considerations you should keep in mind.

I have put together this insider’s guide to help you travel safely in Buenos Aires. It’s packed full with information, from whether Buenos Aires is safe to travel for families, to travel tips for solo female travellers.

Whether you’re embarking on a solo travel trip to Buenos Aires, or want to drive in Buenos Aires this epic guide has you covered.

Colorful street museum in La Boca Buenos Aires
Welcome to Buenos Aires!
But is Buenos Aires dangerous? Let’s find out…

There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, as things change quickly. The question of “Is Buenos Aires Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on who you ask.

The information in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practice common sense, you will probably have a wonderful and safe trip to Buenos Aires.

If you see any outdated information, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. Otherwise, stay safe friends!

Updated December 2023

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    Is Buenos Aires Safe to Visit Right Now?

    Buenos Aires is safe to visit. As quoted from the official Buenos Aires Tourism report, “From January to September 2023, 2 million international tourists visited the City of Buenos Aires”. Most travellers had problem free visits.

    Buenos Aires is one of the larger cities in South America and it makes for a very cool place to explore. Big cities = tons of stuff to see, do, eat, experience. Buenos Aires is one of the most popular backpacking destinations in Argentina too.

    Tourist numbers are steadily increasing and the number of crimes is slowly improving. But that’s not to say that the Argentine capital isn’t without its problems.

    It is safe compared to other South American cities but it also depends on where you’re going – there are some things you need to be careful of. Nowhere’s 100% safe, right?

    Crime is on the up in certain districts of Buenos Aires, but overall, the statistics are improving. I’m talking about being especially alert in San Telmo, Florida Street, Avenida de Mayo, La Boca, Retiro, Avenida 9 de Julio, and the Rivadavia Avenues around the Obelisco de Buenos Aires. Distraction techniques, scams, pickpockets – you name it.

    Gatherings and protests are likely to happen. It’s kind of part of life in Buenos Aires.

    These often happen around Plaza de Mayo and Avenida 9 de Julio. Social unrest can lead to piqueteros – roadblocks that can make getting in/out of the city tricky.

    Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires is the place where people protest in front of the government house.
    Plaza de Mayo
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Argentina’s safety suffers from widespread corruption, which means there can be issues catching criminals. Inflation is also a big problem now and it doesn’t show any signs of getting any better.

    Also, there’s tension relating to the British-owned Falklands. Protests sometimes occur outside the British Embassy and British businesses.

    Aside from that, there’s no actual danger right now that’s going to put a stop to your Buenos Aires trip. You should have a trouble-free visit.

    Check out our detailed where to stay guide for Buenos Aires  so you can start your trip right!

    Safest Places in Buenos Aires

    When choosing where you’ll be staying in Buenos Aires, a bit of research is essential. To help you out, I’ve listed the safest areas to visit in Buenos Aires below.


    Walkable and affluent, Recoleta is simply a joy to wander around thanks to its exquisite architecture.

    The barrio of Recoleta is distinguished as one of the most expensive places to live in Buenos Aires. It’s great for anyone who wants to base themselves in a very safe area.


    This sprawling coastal region can be split into smaller parts, like Palermo Hollywood – home to trendy restaurants and fashion stores – and chic Palermo Soho. Here you’ll find the green space of Parque Tres de Febrero, as well as galleries and museums like MALBA and the iconic Museo Evita.

    It might be one of the liveliest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, but it’s also one of the safest. 

    Villa Crespo

    Villa Crespo is definitely one of the most authentic and best neighbourhoods to stay in Buenos Aires.

    It’s a middle-class area with a cool edge – close enough to Palermo for the city’s traditional and iconic tourist hotspots, but still holds its own and keeps things local and authentic.

    Primarily a residential area, here’s where you can feel most like a porteño (resident of Buenos Aires).

    argentina safe to drive road
    Safety tip 101: just don’t wander around at night.

    Places to Avoid in Buenos Aires

    In order to have a safe visit, it’s important to know the areas in Buenos Aires that aren’t super safe. I would avoid:

    • Some parts of Once and La Boca
    • East border of San Telmo
    • Constitución’s train station
    • Around transport hubs in Mendoza

    It’s important to know that all of the places I’ve just listed CAN be visited, but I’d recommend doing this during the day and taking some extra caution. As long as you do your research and use your common sense while exploring, you’ll be perfectly fine.

    Keeping Your Money Safe in Buenos Aires

    One of the most common things to happen to you whilst travelling is losing your money. And let’s face it: the most annoying way for this to actually occur is when it’s stolen from you.

    Petty crime is pretty much a problem all over the world.

    The best solution? Get a money belt.

    Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
    Active Roots Security Belt

    Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

    It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

    Hide Yo’ Money!

    15 Top Safety Tips for Travelling to Buenos Aires

    Here I have shared with you some handy safety tips for travelling to Buenos Aires. I’m all about smart travel and want to help you do the same! 

    1. Learn some Spanish – challenge yourself and learn Spanish! It’ll help more than you think.
    2. Be vigilant in crowds and busy public transport – keep a close eye on everything.
    3. Take particular care at the Retiro Bus Station – known for its pickpockets.
    4. Careful at ATMs – be aware of who’s around you and don’t get money out at nighttime.
    5. If you do become a victim of crime – head to the tourist police. It’s the best you can do.
    6. People sometimes pose as other tourists – in a hostel and hotel lobbies especially.
    7. Get yourself a sim card – if your phone doesn’t work in Argentina, get a temporary sim.
    8. Don’t hang your bag on the back of a chair at a cafe – It’ll go missing, keep it secure.
    9. Always keep an emergency stash of cash – Never keep all your cards/ currency in one place. And hide it all from thieves with a hidden money belt.
    10. Don’t put all your valuables in one place – especially large sums of cash.
    11. Avoid wearing anything too flashy – designer handbags, expensive jewellery—you get it.
    12. Walk around like you know where you’re going – looking lost = tourist = target.
    13. Steer clear of any political protests – they can turn nasty.
    14. It’s not worth mentioning the Falklands – so don’t.
    15. Don’t do drugs – even a small quantity can land you a long spell behind bars. For real.
    16. Take a good medical kit with you – you never know when you might need it!
    17. Protect against mosquitoes keep mozzies away, cos dengue fever exists.
    Argentine Steak and Wine Dinner
    Argentine Steak and Wine Dinner is the biggest danger in Buenos Aires

    So there you go. Buenos Aires is a cool city to explore, but definitely not always the safest, especially when it comes to your money.

    Watch your surroundings, be careful in crowds, and don’t fall for distractions. You’ll be fine.

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    Is Buenos Aires Safe to Travel to Alone?

    There’s a lot to be said for solo travel. Doing stuff by yourself means you get to learn about what you want to do, challenge yourself (with no one to back you up) and maybe even grow as a person. 

    It can get boring though. Plus, you’re bound to be more of a target for petty crime if you’re by yourself. So here are my tips for solo travellers in Buenos Aires…

    • Stay at a nice Hostel in Buenos Aires – it doesn’t have to be fancy, just a place to meet friends.
    • Head to an event – there’s always lots going on in the city that is popular with locals and tourists.
    • Go on a guided tour – a good chance to meet some fellow travellers.
    • If you do go out partying, don’t go absolutely wild! 
    • Keep in touch with friends and family back home – let people know what’s happening…
    • Definitely make friends with the people who work at your hostel or hotel too.
    • Spread your important documents, cards and cash around – use a safe at your accommodation.
    • Don’t travel with too many things– keep it minimal and learn to pack light.

    There’s literally so much to do in Buenos Aires for solo travellers, with fun activities going on all the time.

    Oh, and the nightlife is popping. It’s the perfect way to meet new friends.

    So book yourself somewhere social, get chatting with people and head out into the city. It’ll be awesome!

    Is Buenos Aires Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

    Buenos Aires is actually a good city to explore as a solo female traveller. This modern city isn’t too tricky for solo female travellers to explore and get to grips with…

    … But there’s always going to be some annoying men out there who might be overbearingas well as some other safety concerns that you may be worried about. But it’s ok! Here are some pro tips for solo female travellers in Buenos Aires to help you have an ace time:

    • Ignore catcalls – I know it’s awful, but the best way to respond is no response.
    • Machismo is part of society – so be aware of this macho way of thinking.
    • Watch your drink (and food) when you’re out – don’t leave either unattended.
    • Women do go out partying by themselves though, especially in Palermo and Recoleta. 
    • Go out with other travellers. Find yourself a social hostel that fits what you’re looking for!
    • Don’t wander around down deserted, unlit streets at night time
    • Make a scene, if needed. If you really feel uncomfortable that is.
    • Avoid telling people details of your travel and/or any personal details – lying is ok.
    • Try to blend in – take a look around you at what other women are wearing, and copy it much.
    I met lots of solo female travellers in Argentina, and they all loved it!

    So, Buenos Aires is actually a pretty cool place to go for a solo female traveller. It’s probably a bit overwhelming for a first-time travel trip as a solo female, but that’s not to say it can’t be done. It’s a multicultural city that’s open-minded and geared up for a lot of fun.

    Where to Start Your Travels in Buenos Aires

    Popular but safe
    Recoleta, Buenos Aires
    Popular but safe


    Recoleta is an affluent district characterized by its Paris-style townhouses. The charming area is filled with former palaces and upscale boutiques, and it is perfect for morning and afternoon strolls.

    Is Buenos Aires Safe for Families?

    Buenos Aires is a great place to take children! Safe to say you won’t be getting bored here. The opportunities to enjoy Buenos Aires with children are endless!

    Learning to travel safely is paramount when with little ones. Planning your trip well is the best way to go.

    There are loads of chic little hotels spread around the city, as well as hostels and guesthouses. You should definitely research before you book.

    A good idea would be to rent an Airbnb or an apartment. That way you also get a kitchen to make some food in, thus keeping your costs down. This will also help if you don’t want to adapt to that Latin lifestyle of late-night eating (restaurants don’t open until 9 p.m.) and strolling.

    kids playing music on the streets buenos aires argentina
    These kids seem like some safe lads.

    However, it’s a breeze for children to eat around Buenos Aires.

    Thanks to a sizeable Italian community, there are plenty of places where you can grab a bowl of pasta or a pizza. Easy food for a picky eater. Restaurants will also often let you share your dishes, too.

    Bonus: children under 4 travel for free on the public transport system. Also, it’s normal for people to give up their seats for little ones and their parents.

    All in all, Buenos Aires is safe for families.

    Getting Around Buenos Aires Safely

    So, how do you safely get around in Buenos Aires? Well, here are my tips on how I would do it.

    Driving in Buenos Aires

    Thinking of driving in Buenos Aires? Think again!

    I seriously don’t recommend driving in Buenos Aires. The drivers in Buenos Aires can be pretty aggressive, unpredictable, and just downright crazy at times.

    Taxis in Buenos Aires

    There are around 40,000 taxis in Buenos Aires. They’re a pretty cheap and safe way to get around the city as long as you make sure you get a proper (licensed) taxi.

    Uber is absolutely safe in Buenos Aires. In fact, it’s one of Uber’s fastest-growing markets.

    If you hail a cab in the street, make sure it’s painted black and yellow and has taxi flags and a red light at the top of the windscreen – if they’re free, that is.

    Then there are radio taxis. You can spot them from the company logo that should be present on the passenger doors.

    Make sure the driver uses the meter. After 6 pm, the price goes up by 20%. That’s not a scam, just the way it is in Buenos Aires.

    are taxis safe in argentina
    This is a radio taxi – if you didn’t know.
    Photo: Aleposta (WikiCommons)

    Public transportation in Buenos Aires

    Public transport around Buenos Aires is safe, but there are some sketchy places to be aware of.

    Looking after your belongings and not keeping valuables in your pockets is the best way to go, especially on crowded buses and subte lines.

    You can download an app to check lines and connections. I’d recommend this for your safety: much less chance of getting lost.

    But note: buses don’t take cash. You’ll need to get yourself a SUBE card to tap in and out. Head to a tourist booth with your passport to get your hands on one.

    Generally, public transport is safe in Buenos Aires. Just watch your stuff at peak times.

    Crime in Buenos Aires

    The most common crimes in Buenos Aires in 2022 were robberies and theft. Tourists can be common targets for petty crimes like theft but are seldom victims of violent crime.

    Distraction techniques are often what catches tourists out. These are somewhat common tactics for criminals and you should always be on the lookout for suspicious behaviour. This includes someone spilling food, drink, or mustard over you and offering to help clean it up.

    Keep your belongings close and keep your wits about you. My top tip is one thing that has prevented me from being robbed EVER—I swear by it… zip pockets!

    Zip pockets are great as no one can just reach in and steal your stuff without you noticing. They also prevent you from dropping or losing items.

    A playground/court near the La Boca district buenos aires argentina
    Be careful in places like La Boca
    Photo: Mariëlla van Leeuwen

    Despite a reduction in crime rates over the past few years, many locals still feel unsafe at times. If you feel unsafe, alert the tourist police or cause a scene. In my travel experience, locals will swiftly come to your aid. 99% of people are lovely, you just have to watch out for the 1%.

    To best avoid crime in Buenos Aires:

    • Don’t get too drunk

    • Don’t do drugs

    • Don’t walk around at night

    • Don’t carry or wear flashy items

    If you stick to these basic precautions, in addition to the previously mentioned 15 travel safety tips, you will be ok. Most likely.

    Another thing that will help is…

    What to Pack For Your Buenos Aires Trip

    Everyone’s packing list is going to look a little different, but here are a few things I would never want to travel to Buenos Aires without…


    Hanging Laundry Bag

    Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

    Gifts for backpackers

    Head Torch

    A decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples, or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must.

    Yesim eSIM

    SIM card

    Yesim stands as a premier eSIM service provider, catering specifically to the mobile internet needs of travellers.


    Monopoly Deal

    Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

    Pacsafe belt

    Money Belt

    This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off.

    Getting Insured BEFORE visiting Buenos Aires

    Getting some good travel insurance is the best measure to take if you are worried about safety on the road. Even if you’re not worried, I would still say that travel insurance is ESSENTIAL.

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    FAQ’s on Safety in Buenos Aires

    A big part of travelling safely is knowing as much as possible about the area you’re going to. Whether that’s visiting Buenos Aires or anywhere else in the world, being prepared is essential. That’s why I’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions on safety in Buenos Aires below. 

    So, How Safe is Buenos Aires?

    I’d say, as long as you use your common sense and your street smarts, visiting Buenos Aires is safe.

    Though Buenos Aires isn’t exactly like other South American cities, it also isn’t exactly like developed Western cities. Simon Kuznets (a super famous economist) once said there are “four sorts of countries: developed, underdeveloped, Japan, and Argentina.”

    So Buenos Aires has a legacy of richness and potential that’s now sort of crumbled away. But the only sort of. There are still some issues though…

    The inflation thing is pretty bad, people are losing their jobs, homelessness is becoming a pretty big thing and crime is actually increasing in touristed areas. The government – and corruption of it – are taking a lot of porteños to the streets to demonstrate their frustration with the way things are going. And I don’t blame them.

    It may get worseBut for now, I’d say Buenos Aires is safe.

    It even feels like a safe city. Certain neighbourhoods aside (like most cities in the world), there are many safe districts of the city that are wholly walkable, leafy, affluent, interesting, filled with heritage… And that’s before you even start getting hungry.

    Join the citizens and eat, drink and dance away your worries. You’ll be fine.

    Seba in the car pouring hot water in the yerba mate
    Have fun in Buenos Aires, mate.
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Looking for more info on traveling to Buenos Aires?

    Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels!

    And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!