Walking Tour Safety Instructions
Safety advice for your walking tour – a must read!
As you get ready for your walking tour of Buenos Aires, please take the time to read the following suggestions BEFORE you head out (and pass this information on to anyone else who will be on the tour with you). Our tours are tailored so that you get to immerse yourself in the flow of city life, so you’ll want to be informed and well prepared. Please go over the safety tips below as they are designed to keep you safe and maximize your overall experience.
First up, don’t be scared! Buenos Aires is like most other major cities around the world, in that if you are sensible and take a few common-sense precautions, you should be fine. Being on one of our tours will also increase your safety as you’ll have an extra pair of (local) eyes to watch out for you. However, that does not mean you should ignore the following important advice…
What to bring on the tour (and what NOT to bring)
The general rule for strolling the streets of Buenos Aires is to bring only what is absolutely necessary. Instead of bringing the entire contents of your wallet, some cash (pesos, and perhaps some dollars, most places here will accept dollars, except taxi drivers) and ONE credit/debit card should be enough.
It is not necessary to bring your passport unless you need to change currency, so it’s best to bring a different and more easily replaceable form of ID, or even just a photocopy of your passport. The less you have with you, the less you have to worry about.
That goes for other items as well. You will definitely want your camera to take photos, but there is no need to bring every piece of high-priced technology you have. It will be a burden to carry and may attract negative attention. Expensive jewelry/watches, clothing or accessories should also be left at home or in the hotel (as they can mark you out as a target, especially in the case of jewelry). Taking such precautions will go a long way to keeping your wallet and camera safe.
Keep your valuables safe
Please be aware that petty theft and pick-pocketing are common problems in Buenos Aires, even in the safest neighborhoods. Of course these crimes are more likely to happen in crowded downtown areas, street fairs and public transportation (where other noises and distractions may make the crime nearly impossible to detect), but can occur at any time.
In all crowded situations, simply be aware of where you are and who is around you. If you make a point to keep your valuables well contained and close to your body in a safe spot, you will most likely avoid trouble. Thieves tend to target those who appear unaware (e.g. those walking around looking in one direction, holding their camera or iPhone away from themselves in the other direction).
This advice is especially important to keep in mind ON THE SUBWAY – as crowded trains have unfortunately become something of a hotspot for pickpockets. If you look at local subway riders, you will not see unattended or unzipped handbags, but you will see chain wallets and people hugging their backpacks to their chest. Taking such simple precautions, keeping your valuables close to you and again, being aware of your surroundings, are the best ways to make your subway ride safe.
Pedestrians: watch out!
Buenos Aires is a city that is wonderfully laid out and well connected for walking, so it makes sense to see it on foot, to get an up close and personal experience. However, this does come with some obstacles. Sidewalks are often uneven and in disrepair and the old cobblestone streets in certain neighborhoods are inconsistent as well. Please wear comfortable shoes and always watch where you step!
And although there are plenty of people on foot, the pedestrian does not have the right of way in the streets of Buenos Aires. Cars, motorbikes and the hundreds of city buses may not yield at a crosswalk, busy intersection or a yellow light, so it’s best not to challenge them (they are bigger than you!). The easiest way to make sure you are safe on the walking tour is to stick close to your guide, and never cross or step out into a road unless they do.
*Thanks for taking the time to read this – we also highly recommend that you read our article on general safety and street smarts in Buenos Aires for a more detailed description of how to prepare for Buenos Aires city life!