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Feedback on Buenos Aires - Did you like it, is it safe, would you recommend it for only a 4 day trip?

Feedback on Buenos Aires - Did you like it, is it safe, would you recommend it for only a 4 day trip?

Jul 25th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 429
Feedback on Buenos Aires - Did you like it, is it safe, would you recommend it for only a 4 day trip?

Hi All - I just found out that I won a trip through my company and I have 2 destinations to choose from - San Francisco or Buenos Aires, Argentina. I don't know much about Buenos Aires so I am just starting to do my research. With this in mind, I just wanted to ask those of you BA experts out there:

1) For those of you who have been, did you enjoy your visit to BA?

2) Is it a safe city?

3) I am travelling from NY and unfortunately, I can't extend my time in Argentina at this point. The flight is around 11 hours direct and I will only be there for 3-4 days. Is it worth it to go for this short period of time?

I'm sure I will have more questions as things develop, but I appreciate your input in the interim. It will help me decide which location to choose. Thanks!!
lmavolio is offline  
Jul 25th, 2008, 12:01 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Hi,there is a lot of information regarding Buenos Aires in Fodors , I believe that yes it is worth it to visit it.
Enough time? Not ideally enough but if we are talking of four full days you will end up with a good idea.
Totally safe,? not exactly but reasonably safe, yes.
It is a very European city located at the deep South . It is a latin city, with good restaurants and hotels, people are good looking and hospitable and like to dress up.
It has an active cultural life, some good museums and people eat fairly late, good night life too.
On the other hand I love San Francisco so I guess either cities are a good choice , it is up to you. I know it is a long flight but it is a night flight if you sleep on planes you will wake up in Buenos Aires, tired but with the full day ahead of you.
It will be a taste of Argentina, there much more to see but if will a good beginning.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jul 25th, 2008, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 288
BA is fantastic - 4 days is pretty short. You won't want to leave. You can click on my name for a trip reprt with a lot more detail.
teach2travel is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 179
Hello Imavolio:

I would choose Buenos Aires in a heat beat for several reasons.

I suppose first is the chance for that "free" trip financial advantage. The flight to San Francisco is much less costly than to Bs. As. so it should be more easily visited at any future time.

Second, and more important than the first is that Buenos Aires is a wonderful city to visit. There is something grand for everyone.

Best steaks as they know how to cut the meat and they know how to cook it better than most other places.

The people are friendly and want visitors to enjoy themselves. On our first trip there some years ago [two months there] and on a local tour, one of the traveling Argentinians recognized us at North Americans and asked if we were being well treated. He wanted his country to be well thought of.

Another time in the city, we stopped what appeared to be a business person to ask directions. He did not know but soon stopped two others in order to help us. They all tried to be of help.

Taxis are cheap in the city. When we were there on our second trip, their economy was in it's early problem period. Taxis were being driven by unemployed engineers and other university graduates. They were not unpleasant to us "rich" tourists but they did talk a lot, even after we had paid the fare and were out of their vehicle.

Hotel staff were concerned for our safety. Once recommended taking the public transport for our local venture as he felt that the cabs would "rip us off" as too costly for where we wanted to go.

Your hotel will call a taxi for you as will restaurants or stores. They do this happily for your safety. Use this method rather than flagging a car on the street.

We are older and are treated with respect for our ages. That has not happened at home for many years but still does in Argentina. I felt as if I were a favoured old uncle.

You will find many exciting activities from Tango to other theatre, museums, public our door markets [flee market as well] and wonderful Italian food.

We saw many people consume a full bottle of wine with lunch but we never saw any drunks.

Did we enjoy Argentina? You bet. Would we go again? You bet. We will be there for our third time this winter and will spend a month or more in Argentina, much of that time in Buenos Aires.

Is it a perfect place? No.

Safe? The district of la Boca [port] can be rough at night but during the day it is safe and colourful. Of course one must take the usual precaution. Leave your gold jewelry at home and bring a Timex watch and do not flash your money around. No diffeent than San Francisco.

I would say that Buenos Aires is safer than many larger North American cities where one must also be cautious.

Shopping? You will not find better leather quality anywhere else and at better prices.

I bought two pair of shoes, all leather and good quality for $70.00 each. These would cost $450.00 a pair at home. My wife did the same with much more selection.

Rip off? Florida street is a walking street and full of tourists so expect tourist prices and rip offs there. My leather shopping was in the leather district where there are a lot of small factories with outlet stores in front.

With only four days, you will just skim the surface, but what a surface to skim.

Yes, I would be off to Buenos Aires but at a time when the weather is not too hot.

If you choose Buenos Aires you are sure to enjoy a trip of your lifetime and will want to return.

georgewoodie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Having been to both places, Buenos Aires would be our selection considering that the trip is free and the cost is much more than flying to San Francisco. You have rec’d some wonderful suggestions in the above posts. We want to add one----pickpockets are waiting for you! Make sure that you use a money belt for valuables. Also, counterfeit pesos seem to be a problem. Every place we either spent money or exchanged money in BA, the merchant held up the pesos notes to make sure there was a watermark and on the 5 pesos notes and larger, a tiny thin vertical metal strip was next to the watermark. Our hotel showed us how to look for counterfeit pesos and whenever we rec’d pesos---we looked at each one in front of the merchants/money exchangers.

Merchants and taxis never seem to have small pesos notes. Exchange your larger notes for 10s, 5s and 2s.

Also, depending on what days of the week you are there, ask your hotel about any market places and enjoy the festivities.
MnJ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 295
I'm one of the few who didn't like Buenos Aires, I think a lot of that has to do with my skin colour as I'm non-caucasian and the way I was treated. Despite that, it still would probably be my least favourite city that I've visited (and I have visited quite a few) for various others which I won't get into as I know a lot of people will disagree with me.

However, I definitely would not make my decision on going somewhere based other people's dislikes and likes.

You don't say where you're from but if your company is willing to pay for you trip to BA I'd definitely take advantage and go regardless, an experience is an experience. Plus you can go to Patagonia and Iguassu while you're there which are definitely must sees.
oceania is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 11:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Follow-up suggestion. Take three or four extra days and fly to Iguazu Falls and stay at the Sheraton in a falls view room. The falls are beyond spectacular.
MnJ is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,523
The oppotunity is there....go! You can go to the west coast any time and for cheaper.

THree of 4 days isn't very long... but it's a great place to visit.
If you think this is a chance of a lifetime, then by all means do it.

The flight is long, but as long as you are able to sleep you should be fine.
THe good thing is that their isn't any jet lag.. YOu are only changing one time zone..

Go, enjoy and make the most of your time. WIth only a few days, don't try and go anywhere else, just enjoy the city.'

Have fun.
kodi is offline  
Jul 26th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,934
one note for you is that their seasons are exactly the opposite of those in usa... so november is spring and may is fall....july is winter, etc..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 01:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Loved Buenos Aires - never felt unsafe during the day. Did spook out when I started to walk home after a concert at Theatro Colon. That's what all those stories do to you. But better safe than sorry. So I ducked into a smart hotel and asked them if they would kindly get me a taxi, and they did. Isn't that just wondeful, and shows you how welcoming and safe a place it is.

With it being a prize I guess you'll stay somewhere smart and will have spending money too. So .. although four days is a crazy amount of time viz a viz the length of the flight - go, why not? Especially if you have never spent time in a Spanish-speaking culture.

But then even if you have, I'd still choose it over San Fran (which, after all, you can go to any time).

If you can possibly get a few extra days, oh please do ... Iguazu is wonderful. And if money is tight you can enjoy it perfectly well without staying at the Sheraton.


afterall is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Love BA. I went there for work for only about 4 days but was able to fall in love with the city almost immediately. Very friendly and very cosmopolitan. The steaks are unbelievable, not just the taste but the size. I was served one that was about the size of my head for pete's sake. Also, the level of service in the shops and restaurants is something we haven't seen in the States in a long time. Go!
SharonG is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Posts: 5,243
When should we expect you back, SharonG?
avrooster is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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Posts: 3,124
I'm too booked with family stuff this year. And I'm waiting for Scarlett to finish her apartment!
SharonG is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Well, I was hoping your love for our city would prevail above all that, but we'll simply have to wait, I guess.... LOL!!!
avrooster is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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BsAs, hands down - and I love SF.
Four days is not a lot of time but enough to enjoy yourselves. Yes, it is a least as safe as SF. Like the SF Tenderloin area there is a neighborhood (La Boca) best to avoid after dark. On my flight to BsAs I met a couple from Florida who were going for a long weekend, something they said they do a couple times per year (they are airline employees)and enjoy every time.
Seamus is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Posts: 9,996
BA! I love SF, but for a free trip would pick BA in a heartbeat. Even though the flight is long from the Esst Coast, there is no jet lag which made all the difference for me. 3-4 days is short for either city, but you can still have fun and get a good sense of the city.
yestravel is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 11:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 429
Thanks everyone! Based on your feedback, I am definitely leaning toward BA. To answer some of your questions from earlier posts, I am from NYC, so I am definitely used to "big cities," but for some reason, I heard that crime is a bit worse in BA. Not sure if that is actually true...And I also agree, it is MUCH more expensive to travel to BA on my own vs SF. For the airfare alone, it makes it worth it to choose BA over SF. Thanks so much for all of your advice...I will post my final decision and if it is Argentina, I will DEFINITELY be posting with more questions soon. Thanks!!
lmavolio is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 12:32 PM
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Posts: 5,243
Great! Let's have the questions!
avrooster is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Posts: 1,630
the only crime i experienced was taking my husband w/ me to Bs As. he left our camera in a taxi!

its a wonderful place and i cn't wait to go back

AndrewDavid is offline  
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