With my last trip to Argentina many people asked me if it was dangerous and where was the best place to stay. People outside the travel realm consider South America grouped as one big area and its reputation is not the best. There have been popular tabloids of kidnappings in Colombia, the “eccentric” new president of Venezuela is always in the news, and the new president of Bolivia has also caused quite a stir.
Remember that you will always hear a few bad experiences when someone travels.
This is because sometimes things happen and other times you don’t do your research correctly and you aren’t smart enough to stay out of trouble (lets face its true sometimes. But in the end I can tell you that Argentina is “pretty safe”, as long as you mind your surroundings and dont stand out. Its a big city so take the normal big city precautions and everything should be ok.
You can read about my most dangerous Argentine story here.In order to find the best Buenos Aires accommodation we first have to talk about barrios (neighborhoods in Spanish). The best barrios in Buenos Aires should be centrally located to all Buenos Aires attractions, be reasonably priced, and be safe. Being the tenth largest city in the world all the areas of the city are not going to be safe.
Just like any big city we have to understand that there are bad Buenos Aires barrios but for the most part you don’t have to walk around with a security safe like when you’re completing all the things to see in Egypt(specifically when you’re walking in Cairo). Another thing you have to consider is that there a lot of Americans living there (not to mention other expats).
The most popular places to stay are Palermo, Recoleta, and San Telmo (dont worry they are all safe).
This is the trendiest of all Buenos Aires barrios with the upscale hotels lining the streets. Here you can also find all the upscale stores and boutiques (picture New York Fifth Avenue). The most exclusive hotels are in this part of the city as well which make it extremely popular. It’s generally more expensive because of the surrounding areas and also because a lot of expats prefer to live there. Not the best of locations in terms of Argentina tourist attractions, but there is still is great architecture and things to see in Recoleta.
The greenest (Palermo Nuevo) and largest of all Buenos Aires barrios. Many of the parks were inspired by famous neighborhoods in London and Paris. This popular Buenos Aires barrio is split into various parts and at times it’s hard to decide in which part you actually want to stay. Many of the popular bars and clubs that you have heard of about will be in the most chich, Palermo Soho, near the popular Plaza Serrano. Another very popular area for expats and visitors to stay which make the prices in Palermo higher than in other areas. The location is very poor being the farthest of all the Buenos Aires barrios. In some areas you will find it gets baron and desolate at night.
Not the trendiest part of town nor the most popular, here you will not find Polo Ralph Lauren stores or massive shopping malls. What you will find is the true Buenos Aires. The center of San Telmo is Plaza Dorrego. It is the 2nd oldest plaza in Buenos Aires second only to the popular Plaza de Mayo. Of all the Buenos Aires barrios, San Telmo is very centrally located, any tourist attraction is either a brief walk or short cab ride (a 25 min cab ride to Palermo is only $13 bucks as of May 2010). It is always well lit and there are always people gathering in Plaza Dorrego. Dont worry about not getting your Starbucks fix everyday because the old cafes lining the streets serve some of the best coffee in the world.
We didn’t include the newest area of Buenos Aires Puerto Madero, but many people don’t look to stay there as it is ridiculously expensive. You also have the micro centro which is the closer to the center of the city. But the three listed are the most popular.