Getting around the city: Buenos Aires is a large, modern city with lots of public transportation options, but walking or renting a bike is really the best way to see the sights.
Buenos Aires’ taxis are everywhere, you can easily recognize them by their black-and-yellow paint jobs. We do recommend that you call a taxi from the hotel, but to get back to the hotel you will have to hail one in the street, so make sure it is a radio taxi. All taxis are metered, and you can ask for a receipt. The fare ticks upwards about every two blocks when the vehicle is moving and if it is not moving, it will tick every two minutes. Drivers do not expect a big tip, but it’s customary to let them keep small change. Taxis looking for passengers will have a red light that says “LIBRE” (free) lit on the upper right corner of their windshield.
Subte (underground or subway)
Buenos Aires’ Subte is the quickest way to get around the city. Bear in mind that it gets extremely hot and crowded during rush hour. It consists of “Líneas” (Lines) A, B, C, D, E and H.
To get in you have to buy magnetic cards called “subte-pass” that you buy in the “Boleterías” that you will see once you go down the stairs. You can also pay with the “SUBE” card, that can be used for buses and trains as well. You do not need coins to buy them, but small change is always appreciated. If you know you will be using the subway more than once, to save time and hassle buy several rides, since really long queues are usually formed.
To get in, you need to put your subte-pass or “SUBE” in the slot, take it out and then pass the turnstile. At some stations platforms are on opposite sides, so make sure you know which direction you have to take before going in. Also, you can make as many combinations as you wish just paying for one ride, as long as you don’t leave the subway system.
Trains operate from 5 am to 10:30 pm Monday to Saturday and 8 am to 10 pm on Sundays and holidays. Service is frequent on weekdays; on weekends you’ll wait longer.
Buenos Aires’ trains connect the city center to the suburbs and nearby provinces. They are used mostly by commuters and are not that useful for tourists, unless you want to visit Tigre or San Isidro.
Buenos Aires has a huge bus system, and it is impossible to learn it. You can get a guide called “Guía T” in any newsstand, or check online in pages like www.comoviajo.com or www.xcolectivo.com.ar where you will find full itineraries. Most routes (but not all) run 24 hours.
Bus stops are every 200 mts approximately. They have a black or blue post with the number on it, but don’t be surprised if you see the number stuck into a tree or light post, or no sign at all!
Coins are like gold!! Local buses do not take bills, there is a ticket machine on board that will give you small change. Most rides around town cost ARS 3, so just say “tres pesos por favor” to the bus driver and put your coins in the machine. It is useful to tell the driver the streets of where you want to go, just to double check if you are taking the right bus.
Make sure you know where you are going or take a map with you as the stops are not announced! To request the stop you have to go near the door and ring the bell. You also need to know that you cannot combine buses like you do with the subway, each time you get on one you need to pay a new ride.
To go anywhere in the country by bus, you will have to visit Retiro bus terminal. It is very long, 400 mts, three floors high and has slots for 75 buses.
You can buy a ticket to practically anywhere in Argentina. Advance purchase is not necessary except during peak summer and winter holiday seasons (January, February and July). Please note that no reservations can be made, you will only be able to buy a ticket, and they usually are non-refundable. While in and about Retiro station, remember to keep a very big eye on your bags!
There is a ferry service to and from Colonia and Montevideo in Uruguay. Most of them leave from the Buquebus terminal near Puerto Madero.