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Suggestions for a non-Spanish speaking person traveling to Buenos Aires

Suggestions for a non-Spanish speaking person traveling to Buenos Aires
11 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #42350  
N Posts: 3
Hello. I\'m currently traveling alone in Buenos Aires and barely speak the language. It\'s day one for me today, and already had a rough time communicating with people just trying to get the basic stuff (i.e., buying a SIM card, phone card, getting around, etc.). I\'m currently staying at a bed and breakfast around Av. Corrientes and Ayacucho. Can someone suggest things to do for a non-spanish speaking person? It\'s also my first time traveling alone, so i\'m still getting the hang of it. I\'m 26, female, and interested in anything fun. Just as long as people around me can speak English. 😊

Thanks in advance. Reply to this

11 years ago, July 19th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #42351  
Hi LenLen, I'm not sure how much help I can be as I live in Salta in the northwest, but as a fellow female and expat I would advise you to be careful when you're out and about on the streets. Thieving is rife and I dare say with your language barrier you could be seen as an easy target. The thieves in Argentina are a completely different breed to those from other continents. Usual tricks are stopping you to ask you the time and then while you're distracted make a grab for your purse.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you'll have a fab time in the big smoke. If you're trying to find the best things to do, my advice is to check out the local groups on Facebook in Argentina. Perhaps, you'll make some new friendships along the way. Most bloggers write in English so you'll be fine. Another great place to check out what to do while you are in BA is check out The Argentimes website. It's a weekly free paper produced in english for the english speaking population in BA. Their website is: www.theargentimes.com. It's always full of "what's on" and "what to do" in trendy BA.

There's a huge expat community in BA from many english speaking countries so I'm sure it won't take you long to come across one of them.

Good Luck Reply to this

11 years ago, July 21st 2008 No: 3 Msg: #42537  
Hello LenLen 😊

You could try the following forum to get in touch with expats in Buenos Aires.


Mel Reply to this

11 years ago, July 22nd 2008 No: 4 Msg: #42636  
Hi LenLen,
I don't know how long you are in BA or Argentina for, but you could consider taking a 'crash' course in Spanish. A few intensive days of learning and you may find all of that Spanish a lot easier to understand!
Also, you could consider moving to a more gringo-friendly hostel (look in Lonely Planet or similar). These places are usually full of English speaking travellers to chat to.
Good luck,
Ruth Reply to this

11 years ago, July 23rd 2008 No: 5 Msg: #42742  
N Posts: 3
thanks everyone! Reply to this

11 years ago, July 24th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #42988  
N Posts: 44
hey LenLen...

reading you post made me laugh cause i was in the exactly same boat one week ago.... first time buenos aires and zero spanish.
i left buenos aires this morning (after being there for a week) and arrived in Colonia (Uruguay) a few hours ago. (it is a really beautiful small town perfect for winding down after the fast-party pace of buenos aires)

anyways, not spèaking the language can be so unbarable especially in hectic situations.. (this morning when the taxi dropped me off at the ferry, i went into the ticket office and was told im at the wrong port!!! (the right one is another company and ten blocks away) now im running trying to get a cab... finally get one... guy spoke zero english.... so i keep saying the name of it "colonia express" he just keeps asking something in spanish... i keep fumbling through my phrase book.... then we are randomly driving along the water and hoping for the best... im already sure im fuct.... all of a sudden, sign: "colonia express" !!! and the fricking guys is like: "ahh, colonia express" in a tone as if i should have said that in the first place!!! (when it was all i kept saying over and over!!)
anyways i lucked out and that is my story of the week....

but the best advice i can give u is to go to the hostel called "Garden House". (this was recomended to me here by someone else)
it is honestly by far the best hostel ive ever been to on any trip.
the staff are all so cool and so helpfull its unreal..... whereas in other hostels ive been to, the staff is semi-helpfull... the people at the garden house are just awesome (and all speak near perfect english)
honestly i would be lost without the help of these guys cause theyve explained so much necessary stuff to me, not to mention they booked ferry tickets, hostels, finding info about other countries ill be going to etc...
and its also super chill and the cleanest place ive seen to date.
its 36 pesos for the 4 dorm room and less (not sure how much) for the 8 bed room

regarding safety of buenos aires... dont be discouraged by some of the posts.... its pretty safe as long as you dont do things like walk around looking confused with a map in one hand and camera in the other... then youre just a target.
definately stay away from La Boca at night..... but during the day its total safe (tonnes of tourists everywhere)
if you have to walk around alone at night, walk fast and ignore sketchy locals.
being a small cute girl doesnt really work in your favour as far as safety is concerned either...
so stick to safe areas like San Telmo and Palermo in the evenings where there are many tourists and gringos wlking about.... thats where all the bars are anyways...

enjoy buenos aires! Reply to this

11 years ago, July 24th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #43003  
N Posts: 3
I actually left Buenos Aires last night and now back in NYC. I had such a great time traveling alone in Buenos Aires. However, i lost my pink camera, and my ATM machine. So that was a killer. All my pictures of Buenos Aires are gonnneee. So devastated. Anyway, the more reason i should go back! 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, August 13th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #45366  
N Posts: 4
Hey Jrock... so you would definatley recommend going into Uruguay if in Buenos Aires? Did you see Montevideo?? Reply to this

10 years ago, December 18th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #57872  
B Posts: 3
Hi Len Len,

I'm about to be in the same boat you were in. I'm headed to Buenos Aires in a little more than a week, I'll be traveling by myself and I don't speak Spanish. Any advice you can give (or just words of encouragement 😉 would be great!

For that matter, if anybody else on here has advice or will be in Argentina Dec 28 - Jan 10 let me know!

Cheers Reply to this

10 years ago, December 18th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #57911  
N Posts: 28
Hi if you have some troubles with the language i could help you, just get in touch with me. Bye- Reply to this

7 years ago, July 3rd 2012 No: 11 Msg: #158329  
N Posts: 1
I know this is necroposting, but I am going to be going through this exact situation in the beginning of August. I dont know if anyone has been there recently and has any further suggestions than what is here already, but if so, please let me know.

Cheers Reply to this

7 years ago, December 7th 2012 No: 12 Msg: #164054  
N Posts: 1
In response to: Msg #57872 Hi Sarah,
I'm traveling to BA Dec. 26-Jan1.
I live in Texas and practice neurology so I have limited Spanish speaking skills. I can ask people if they smoke or where to get beer.
Some concern but excited.
Cheers, Bruce
In response to: Msg #57872 Reply to this

5 years ago, January 10th 2014 No: 13 Msg: #178554  
LenLen, I know your trip is long over, but I suspect other people are still finding your post like I did. I think the best way to experience Argentina is to pair up with Argentine students, especially if you are young. They take you behind the scenes to some cool spots, plus almost all of them speak good English. Just be warned, they will try to get you to practice some Spanish, too.

I met the group I hung out with while I was attending Spanish lessons in Buenos Aires. I lived in the same dormitory as some Argentine students and started going out to different places with them almost every day. My teachers at Ailola Buenos Aires strongly recommended spending time with college students if I wanted to see the real Argentina instead of the "tourist" Argentina. Reply to this

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