5 Tips and Must-Know Phrases
for Buenos Aires
Don’t bring home any bad memories as souvenirs from Buenos Aires. Follow these five tips and learn these essential Spanish phrases to play it safe in Argentina’s exciting capital city.
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Buenos Aires is a big city, and like most big cities, it can be dangerous. While sometimes victims are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time or cursed with bad luck, there are some tactics that can help keep you out of scammer’s crosshairs.
Wearing sunglasses ensures that you will not make accidental eye contact with anyone. It also allows your eyes to wander, check out street signs, and remain anonymous. This is not the time to strut your stuf: focus on blending in and not drawing any attention to yourself.
2. Keep quiet
If you don’t speak the language, try to speak as little as possible. Speaking anything other than Spanish just marks you as a foreigner and thus an easy target. Even if you do speak Spanish, be careful when you use it and with whom. If someone detects your accent through your Spanish, they may decide to try and pull one over on you.
3. Avoid dangerous areas
This should go without saying, but some travellers are set on seeing everything, even the shady areas. However, if your hostel or hotel tells you not to go somewhere – don’t go there. In some areas, the police allow a certain amount of crime because they get a cut or have other deals with the criminals. These areas are extra dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
Just because you have yet to be scammed, does not mean you’re safe. Do not allow yourself to become complacent. Stay vigilant, keep an eye on your things and your surroundings, and (as terrible as it sounds) stay suspicious!
5. Memorize key phrases
Like I said, keeping quiet is your best defense, but if you do need to speak, here are some key Spanish phrases that might help you ward off potential scammers.
- No soy turista – I am not a tourist. Even if this is a lie, it is a quick way of saying “Hey, I’m not an idiot, back off.”
- Dejáme en paz – Leave me alone
- No pago más – I won’t pay any more.
- No me hables – Don’t talk to me
- No me toques – Don’t touch me
- No quiero – I don’t want it
- No gracias – No thank you
- Ayuda! – Help!
If you heed this advice, you will significantly decrease your chances of being targeted. Keep all of these tips in mind, and memorize these phrases, you’ll be happy you did!