5 Favorite Ways to Get Robbed

5. Pull out your iphone on the subway and start speaking English.

Even if no one suspected it before, when you start speaking English…they know.  They know you are a foreigner, and people inclined to rob will feel less guilty about robbing a tourist.  If you pull out a fancy phone, well that just seals your fate.

4. Walk around with a camera around your neck.

One piece of advice to take seriously if you’re concerned about safety in Buenos Aires is to avoid looking like a tourist.  Try to blend in by wearing appropriate street clothes, not tourist gear.  If you choose to carry a camera, keep it zipped securely inside the largest pocket of your backpack until you want to use it.  Carry your backpack on your front.

3. Get caught in the wrong barrio after dark.

It wouldn’t be a real city with out ‘the wrong side of the tracks’.  There are many parts of Buenos Aires that are unsuitable for after dark wandering.  Stay in well lit, populated areas.  Avoid wandering alone though unfamiliar areas.  When going far distances, it is always a good idea to take a taxi.  When hailing a taxi in the street, your best bet is a marked taxi labeled ‘Radio Taxi’.  Cab rides are inexpensive.  If you are dining in a restaurant, feel free to ask the waiter to call a cab for you when you leave.

2. Stumble around drunk in any barrio after dark.

Although nightclubs stay open until 7 in the morning, it is not socially acceptable to stumble around in a belligerent oblivion.  Acting in a way to draw attention will put one at risk for being robbed.

1. Flash your bling.

Buenos Aires is a fashionable city, where people dress up and you are sure to see some jewelry and expensive accessories.  To protect yourself from thieves, opting for more modest or understated accessories is a safe bet.  Leave your diamond rolex and oversized designer bag at home.


In the past six months in Buenos Aires I have been unharmed, and felt safe most of the time.  I was confronted once, and had I been in an empty street, I surely would have been robbed.  I take many more precautions to protect myself than ever before.  Buenos Aires is an amazing city, but be extra careful.

About MyBeautifulAir

Wherever I go, there I am.
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5 Responses to 5 Favorite Ways to Get Robbed

  1. Mom says:

    Is that #1 rule directed towards anybody we know???!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I will agree with all the above as they apply to big city living anywhere. I having lived here for 7 years, knock wood, we have never had any problems. I would argue there is not a direct correlation between real crime and all the bemoaning locals do relating to the “security issues”. Its like people in the US bitching about their taxes, when in reality, compared to other places, their taxes are not that high. Here “security issues” (like taxes in the US) are used to manipulate conventional wisdom in politics. You will hear more and more about “security” as we ramp up to the elections in 2011. As to why they are fixated on crime an Argentine told me it has something to do with the fact that during all the various military regimes from 25 years and before..there was NO crime. So relatively speaking, crime has increased (since the early 90’s) in a big way. But is it more dangerous that any other big city with 10 million living in the metro area? I don’t think so.

    With all that being said (sorry so much was being said!) the one element of crime here that does skive me out is the lack of dependency and trust of the police, especially in BA. Rife with political allegiances, patronage and other forms of corruption, it is hard to know whose side the police are on in a crime. Supposedly, under Macri there was a cleaning of house of sorts…but who knows who the new guys are working for, the criminal or the victim?

  3. Tpaul says:

    Hello MybeautifulAir & Elizabeth,

    I just spent a great month in BA. We are from the US, but my wife was born in SouthAmerica. She is of course fluent & I am pretty strong with my Spanish.
    We have two children and my work permits me to work from anywhere… I worked two of my weeks from there and it was just like here in the States. I had two internet connections… 1 for internet & 1 for Vonage U.S. phone line.

    So my questions are:

    1) What do you love & hate most about your decision to live in BA?
    2) What area north of the city is closest & safest to the city life?
    3) What is your opinion about living there?
    4) Are there schools there that will impress us for our kids (private I am sure, but that is fine)?
    5) Do you know if Argentine College Degrees transfer if someone moves to the US after their degree?

    Thanks for any time.. answer as little or as much as you can. Thanks so much.

  4. Pingback: Five Favorite Customs of Patriarchy | .My.Beautiful.Air.

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