Health and security
Buenos Aires is a safe city with good health and security services.

Health

Buenos Aires is a safe, modern city with high police presence and good quality health provision. There are no major health risks in the city and visitors can rest assured that outbreaks of zika in more tropical areas of South America have not affected temperate Buenos Aires. No vaccinations are required for entry into Argentina. 

Tap water is drinkable in the city. Public hospitals are open 24 hours a day and attend patients free of charge. For an ambulance, call the free number 107 24 hours a day.

Pharmacies

There is a wide network of pharmacies throughout the city with coverage in every neighbourhood. Many open at night and every pharmacy displays a list showing coverage. A prescription from a public hospital or private clinic will be needed to obtain prescription-only medicines. 

Security

Like with any large metropolis, petty crime and theft does exist, and visitors should always take precautions, particularly in tourist hot spots and crowded places. We recommend keeping your belongings with you at all times, taking licensed taxis, and ensuring your bags or rucksacks are kept closed. Stick to well-lit streets in the evenings and keep "bling" to a minimum. If you have an emergency, call 911. For other issues, the following services will be happy to help you:

Tourist Ombudsman (Defensoría del Turista)

If you suffer from any type of abuse, mistreatment or discrimination during your visit, please contact the Defensoría de Turista, the public office responsible for defending the rights of tourists. The office is located in the Museo de Bellas Artes "Benito Quinquela Martín", on Av. Pedro de Mendoza 1835 (La Boca). Opening times are 10.00-18.00, Monday to Sunday. Phone: +54 11 4302-7816, email: turista@defensoria.org.ar. You can also visit any one of the  Tourist Assistance Centers in Recoleta, Puerto Madero or Palermo Lakes.

Tourist Police (Comisaría del Turista)

The Tourist Police Station assists with missing persons, lost items and victims of theft and other crimes. The office will also help tourists contact their local embassies or consulates. Interpretation is available in English, Portuguese, French, Italian and Japanese. The address is Av. Corrientes 436. Tel. +54 9 11 5050 3293 / 9260. Email: serv.turista@gmail.com

Sex tourism

Sex tourism, people trafficking and sexual exploitation are severely punished in Argentina. Please phone the free number 102 to report any kind of sexual commerce or the exploitation of children or adolscents. This phone line belongs to the city government's Council for the Rights of Children and Adolscents.

Smoking and alcohol consumption

Smoking in the Buenos Aires is prohibited in closed public spaces and on public transport, as well as in restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping centres, cinemas, etc. There are some exceptions in the case of venues with more than 100 m² that can choose to provide seperate isolated spaces for smokers, as well as for clubs dedicated specifically to smoking and the sale of tobacco.

Alcohol and drugs

The consumption of alcohol is prohibited for those aged under 18. Drinking is also prohibited in the public throughfare and in sports venues. Supermarkets are permitted to sell alcohol until 10pm; restaurants, bars and nightclubs until 5am. Note that alcohol is not sold the night before or on the day of local, regional or national elections.

The possession, manufacture and sale of narcotic drugs is prohibited by law in Argentina, with the exception of marijuana for personal consumption (authorised by the Supreme Court of Justice in 2009).
 

Useful telephone numbers

911

Emergencies 24 hours a day

103

Civil defence, 24 hours

100

 Fire service, 24 hours

144

 Domestic / gender-based violence 24 hours

101

 Police, 24 hours

145

 People trafficking, 24 hours

107

 Medical emergencies, 24 hours

102

 Children's services, 24 hours