Health and security

Info on medical issues, staying safe in the city, and what to do if you are a victim of crime.

Health and security

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 (recent outbreaks of zika elsewhere in the Americas have not affected temperate Buenos Aires) and no vaccinations are required for entry into Argentina. 

Tap water is drinkable. Public hospitals are open 24 hours a day and attend patients free of charge, and pharmacies are easily found all over the city. See here for a map of public hospitals in Buenos Aires. See here for a list of pharmacies that open 24 hours.

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 around the city.

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, Ukrainian and Japanese. The address is Av. Corrientes 436. Tel. +54 11 4309-9700 ext. 6422. Email: turista@policiafederal.gov.ar

See here for a list of all police stations in Buenos Aires.

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.

The consumption of alcohol is legal only for people aged over 18. Drinking is prohibited in sports stadiums and 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).