When we first decided to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina, all we could think about was icon Eva Peron, tango in the streets, old-world cafés, colonial architecture, and first-class beef. While this is all true, we learned quickly that Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city that features both ritzy neighborhoods and equally downtrodden parts. And, while it is full of attitude and European flare, it’s important to note a few key tips before exploring the area:
1. Protect Yourself & Your Belongings
As with any large city, it’s important to be on guard. However, we were warned twice (by our hotel staff and a local) to hide our cameras while exploring the city. In fact, a French tourist was killed for his camera while taking photos at the Monument to the Fallen Malvinas in San Martin square on February 8, 2012. Additionally, while en route to the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo, several teens threw glass bottles at each other and an altercation ensued. Consequently, we changed our direction and opted to explore a different part of the city. Certainly, incidents such as these can occur anywhere in the world, and, as a result, it’s important to be alert and use common sense.
2. Watch Your Step
While venturing out, watch your step and try to avoid the dog droppings that cover the sidewalks. Also, if you are visiting the city during the warmer months, keep a look out for leaky air conditioning units. At first, you may think it’s sprinkling outside, but soon you’ll realize otherwise.
3. Understand The Contrasts
One the one hand, Buenos Aires showcases designer boutiques, grand hotels, and gourmet cuisine. On the other hand, you will find homeless people living in cardboard boxes and makeshift tents in public parks along with graffiti-covered shops, advertisements, and national monuments.
Enjoy your time by staying alert and safe!