The Basics

About Argentina
  • Full country name: República Argentina
  • Area: 2,776,890 sq km (1,083,000 sq mi)
  • Population: 37,812,817
  • Capital city: Buenos Aires (pop 16 million)
  • People: 85% European descent, 15% mestizo, Indian and other minorities
  • Language: American Spanish, plus 17 indigenous languages
  • Religion: 93% Roman Catholic, 2.5% Protestant, 2% Jewish, 2.5% others
  • Government: Republic
  • Language: Spanish
  • Time: GMC/UTC minus 3 hours; Buenos Aires observes daylight-saving time
  • Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
  • Weights & measures: Mostly metric, but rural areas may use the legua (league, about 5 km).

Health Issues
: Tap water is safe to drink. However due to differences in water composition, we recommend drinking bottled water only.

Business hours: Shops in downtown and commercial areas open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Shopping malls open every day from 10 am to 10 pm. Banks open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. You can obtain cash and perform other transactions 24 hours a day at the automatic teller machines spread throughout the city.

Crime: How bad is crime in Buenos Aires? The question is more difficult to answer than you might think. On one hand, many people who have visited Buenos Aires will say things like “I walked everywhere in Buenos Aires at all hours of the day and night and never had a problem or felt unsafe. I saw women pushing their strollers at midnight for gosh sakes. It’s safe.”

On the other, you will hear people who have been touched by crime say things like “the crime here is horrible, especially against tourists. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that goes unreported.” And you can certainly read stories in the newspapers about robberies, murders and all manner of terrible crimes taking place with alarming frequency.

But we need to put all the crime horror stories in perspective. Buenos Aires is a huge city of some 15 million people. Of course awful crimes are going to happen. They happen here but they also happen in Toronto, Munich, Sydney and Paris — in all big cities, everywhere.

Perhaps the best answer comes from the US Overseas Security Advisory Council which said Crime is a serious problem in Argentina that can be managed with common sense precautions.”  In sum, keep a tight grip on your personal items (purse, computer bag, etc), store your wallet in an inside pocket (instead of the back pocket of your jeans) and leave any flashy, gold or expensive-looking jewelry at home.

See for the full text of the crime section:

Vaccinations: If your only port of call in Argentina is Buenos Aires, you probably don't need to worry about vaccinations. If you will be visiting other regions or tropical locations, however, you might want to consider it. See for recommendations and check with your doctor for personalized care.



Use the following websites to supplement the information provided here!

Travel and Lodging

Welcome Argentina                  

Cicerones, Non-Professional Guides

Iguazu Private Tours                

20 Great Things to Do              

The Guardian Travel                

BA Local