Although there are many places in the city that can be explored on foot, public transport can take you to places further afield. This can be a lot easier than trying to drive yourself in this congested city.
Buenos Aires Transportation Travel Guide
Often the frequent and 24-hour buses (colectivos) are the only way of reaching the outlying barrios or the south of the metropolis while the compact subte, which serves the north and centre of the city, is reliable and easy to understand. Taxis and remises are also numerous and affordable, particularly in the evenings when the traffic is at compete grid lock.
1. Subte (Subway)
Metrovias, Bartolome Mitre 3342, Capital Federal. Telephone – 4959 6800.
Opened in 1912, this is South America’s oldest underground system and is the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to navigate the city, although it can get very hot and busy during peak times. The trains run from 5am – 10pm, Mon – Sat and 8am – 10pm on Sunday. Single trips cost around AR$1 and the magnetic ticket cards can be bought at the ticket offices (boleterias) inside the stations. Unfortunately there are no special deals for bulk buying.
The system is designed so that, rather annoyingly, you have to go down one line, change at least once and then head up again before arriving at you final destination. There are four lines, A,B,D and E that link the centre with the north and west barrios while line C runs north to south, connecting the other four lines and main train stations of Retiro and Constutucion. Every train line runs along a main avenue, A along Avenida Rivadavia, B along Avenida Corrientes, C along Avenida 9 de Julio, D along Avenidas Santa Fe and Cabildo and E along San Juan. A new line, H, is opening soon that will connect Retiro with Nueva Pompeya. Make sure you check the name of the last station on the train to find out which direction it’s going.
2. Buses (colectivos)
Telephone 0800 333 0300
The bus network is extensive to say the least – there are over 200 bus routes traversing the streets! Sort journeys cost AR$0.75 and if you travel into Gran Buenos Aires then fares increase to AR$1.70. You pay the fare directly into the machine behind the driver (notes are not accepted) and tell them how much you have paid. If you are travelling to the outer barrios then it’s best to state the actual destination. Each line has its own number and bus colour and run very frequently, with buses 5 and 86 running all night. It’s best to but a combined street and bus map from a kiosk to work out which one to take and just ask if you’re unsure.
Telephone 0800 3333 822
The trains connect the northern suburbs to the city centre are modern and air conditioned, in contrast to the more run down services that operate in the south of the city. Different private companies run the trains so it can sometimes be difficult to find the information that relates to the service you need and you will have to enquire at the stations about timetables and so on. The main stations serving Buenos Aires are Constitucion, Federico Lacroze, Once de Septiembre (known simply as ‘Once’) and Retiro.
4. Taxis and Remises (licensed minicabs)
Black and yellow taxis can be found in abundance and the red light in the window is illuminated if they are free. The fare should be approximately AR$4 every 20 blocks or so and agree the fare before you enter a remise. Travel with plenty of change as taxi’s rarely accept notes over AR$10 and you are not expected to tip. They are usually safe but there have been problems for tourists so be on the safe side and call a radio taxi or a remise when you need one.
- Mi taxi, 4931 1200, minimum AR$3 journey.
- Siglo XXI, 4033 4000, minimum AR$3 journey.
- Remises Blue, 4777 8888.
The key to negotiating the city while driving is to be confident. Everyone drives fast and there is ubiquitous horn-honking should you slow down or stall! The Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida del Libertador are one way and the microcenter (bordered by the Avenida de Mayo, L. N Alem, Avenida Corrientes and Avenida 9 de Julio) are closed to private traffic from 7am – 9pm. Parking is scarse but keep a look out for parking metres, estacionamientos or car parks in the city centre that are identified by a person waving a flag at the entrance.
You can check out the hiring of a car over the internet and all the online suppliers will facilitate you picking up your rental car at the airport or your hotel.