Generally speaking, the public transport system in Buenos Aires is pretty reliable and cheap. The subte (subway) takes you to most parts of the city, and is porbably the fastest way to get anywhere, save a taxi. Just avoid using the subte during peak times, it gets really crowded!
Colectivos (local buses) are also frequent and quite fast depending on traffic, and cover the whole city with hundreds of routes. All transportation costs between AR$1.10 and AR$1.25, which is incredible value!
Check out this site for more information: http://livinginbsas.blogspot.com/p/transport-in-city.html
Retiro Bus Sation is situated in an unsafe part of Buenos Aires where petty crime is a big issue for travellers walking through the area from the bus station to the city centre. I urge people to either take a radio taxi or a remise to their accommodation or attraction when arriving at the bus station (This also applies if you plan to depart from the bus station).
To minimise the risk, I decided to book a remise to my hostel when I arrived at Retiro Bus Station from Bariloche. The remise is rather expensive for the short distance but I was guaranteed to get to my hostel safely and that the journey was already paid for which was the peace of mind that I wanted.
It cost 45 ARP for a standard journey (including 6 ARP for extra baggage).
The subway is conveient and easy to use . There are four lines covering a good portion of the city .The price is only 1.10 peso each way and they rune until about 10:30 at night .There is a ticket booth at each stop.
Yello and black taxis are everywhere in the city and although we did our fare share of walking ,in the evenings we caught cabs . They are metered abd cheap .We were told by our hotel and we had read ,not to flag cabs in the street but to have the hotel or restuarant calla radio cab. We did this and had no problem at all .Not sure if things would have went well with street taxis but we didn't take a chance.
I loved taking the train to places a little outside of the city. It's super cheap and great for people watching. Remis are good for late at night or when it's raining and it's hard to find a cab. Here are some things I learned about transportation in buenos aires:
Before we boarded our flight to Buenos Aires; Liz, Rob and I relaxed in the Admiral's Club. Having status on AA grants Liz and I access to this lounge. I was able to guest Rob into the Club. I enjoying hanging here before a flight with the free drinks, food options, and free internet. We spent a good amount of time here enjoying some snacks and a few beers between Rob & I. Liz caught up on some e-mails and school work while having a club soda with lime.
The public transport in B.A. is on buses, here called "Colectivo" which reach every place and are very frequent but it is not too easy to decipher the system. Best to ask the locals who are very friendly and helpful with informations.
The "Subte" (underground) was built in 1912 as the first one in South America but not much has been done since which means that the 5 lines are not really the backbone of public transport, the network si simply much too small.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot street signs. A lot of streets have company sponsored signs in black and red clearly posted, but on smaller streets you'll sometimes be hard pressed to find a street name. Look for a small blue sign with white lettering, posted on the side of a building. Sometimes they just aren't there, though.
Oh yes, Buenos Aires is a big city with millions of people and millions of cars. Sometimes the traffic is really grande, and the pollution everywhere!
The subway system is old but very useful and will probably take you everywhere. I used it many times. The only problem was the heat, every time I was inside the train I desperately wanted to go outside to breath the fresh air!
The buses are also a good option if you can oriented youself a bit. Most of the times I asked a local about the number of a bus telling him my destination. Then inside the bus I was asking several people and at least one could tell me where to stop! :) It costs only 1 peso. Keep always some spare chance because you just put the coin in the machine.
Don’t forget to walk! It’s the only way to feel a city, even a big one like BsAs. Do it during the day though because in the night it’s kind of risky.
The taxis are thousands here! just raise your hand and say your destination. Although there are some “smart” ones, you will find them reliable and cheap.
I really do not know which line you can find this unique train, but it is easy to find because it belongs to the same line which ends in Retiro Train Station. This train is running since 1911 and the Government still preserves it.
By the way, the underground in Buenos Aires is the Second World's oldest subway...And for sure you can visit all the cioty using this very efficient transportation!!!
Marcone and I went there last january. We had a lot of fun!
Buenos Aires has more than 38,000 taxis, more than any other city in the world. Radio taxis have meters and you will rarely spend more than $4 US on a ride in the city. If four of you are riding, be careful when getting into the front seat. The meter often juts into your forehead. When leaving a taxi, it is impolite to slam the doors. Tips are not expected, but they are appreciated. Taxi drivers HATE to make change. They'll break down a 20 peso note, but start to shake if you hand them a 50. Give them a 100 peso bill and expect a full, screaming rant. It's best to have plenty of small bills in hand if you are using taxis.
It's very easy to move around Buenos Aires on foot, because the blocks are all square, as opposed to many cities in Europe. All of them are signaled in the corners. All signs show the direction of the traffic and the number of the street.
Retiro train station has some fantastic edwardian architectural components including disused cast iron art nouveau elevator entrances on the platforms. Most of the ironwork seems to have been shipped over from liverpool UK
A fantastically easy and relatively safe subway system. There are still a few remnants of the original subway decorations at some of the stops. Linea C had some wooden escalators in 2005 and some nice spanish tiles. Linea A apparently still has the original wooden carriages but we didn't check this out.
While in Buenos Aires I used travel agents to assist me for several trips. I have especially good experiences with these two travel agencies:
Biscaro-Donnet at Maipu 812, Piso 13K - firstname.lastname@example.org
Cecilia Tours at Cordoba 904, Piso 12C - www.ceciliatours.com.ar
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