After our Saturday night at Cafe Tortini, we were a bit late getting underway on Sunday morning. It was about 11 AM by the time we had finished breakfast and began the 5-block walk down Av. Callao to the 'Callao' station of the 'D' subway line (shown as Green on the city map). We were headed a fair distance this morning, for the area of magnificent parks near the Botanical Gardens, Zoo and also not far from Jorge Newbery Airport.
As Lonely Planet says, this British-designed subway system is the oldest in South America, having begun operations in 1913. The 'A' line is particularly antique and worth a look, but we did not get a chance to use it. I was planning to do so when we returned to the city on our last day but, because they were having rotating labour strikes, I decided to give it a miss. At a ticket price of US$0.70 each, this is the way to go if you want to save money! The 'D' line is equipped with modern and clean cars and it whisked us along quite nicely.
When we were purchasing our tickets, a local Doctor of French/Italian decent came over to give us a few clues. We ended up having a nice conversation with him in broken French as we stood in the subway carriage until we reached our stop at Scalabrini/Ortez streets.
It was a bit of surprise as we emerged from our underground world to see the wet streets and gutters running with water. The first sign of rain we had seen since arriving in the city 3 days earlier!
As all tourist know the subway is the most quick way to go to any place, and in BA the cheapest too!!!
We got 5 diferent lines:
1)"A": from Plaza de mayo to Primera Junta (Caballito Neighborhood), this is the best because connect you with all the other 4 lines.
2)"B": From L.N Alem to F. Lacroze
3)"C": From Retiro to Constitucion
4)"D": From the downtown to Belgrano Neighborhood
5)"E": From Downtown to Flores
The Cost: $ 0,70
Although the subway lines can be inconvenient for a lot of places, we used it several times during our 4 days in Buenos Aires, to get out to the Botanic Gardens in Palermo, to get to Congress and once just to ride the old fashioned wooden cars that are still running on Line A.
The cost is 70 pesos per ride (about 25 cents), we were able to transfer lines without having to pay again.
Some of the stations on Line A only have access going in one direction and at least one stop had different street access if you were going one direction or the other. So check the signs before heading into the station.
The Subte is the best way to travel quicky from one place to another in Buenos Aires.
The network counts five lines : A, B, C, D and E going into all directions and at their beginning building a frame around the micro-centro of the city. The frequency is about 4-5 minutes all day long.
The subte is thus very practical but is interesting also for other aspects!
The linea A and C have kept their old wagons from the beginning of the century (respectively 1913 and 1930) with wooden seats and warm little lights!
The decoration of the walls is also exceptionnal : all stations have mosaic peintures with different topics : tango dancers, the city, the working portenos,...
And last but not least, the metro stations are equiped with TV diffusing infos, videos clips and advertising!
The only problem is that there are no metros anymore after 11pm...
Although the old 'A' subway (Subte) line offers the most romantic trip, with it's tiled stations and wooden trains, we were quite happy with the decorations in the more modern 'D' line.
Here, at the Scalbrini/Ortez station, we were treated to this very nice fresco as we emerged from the train!
There are 5 lines in Buenos Aires: A, B, C, D and E. It will take you to almost every place in downtown and surrounding areas. The cost is 0.70 cents (pesos). There are signs everywhere, so you can't get lost.
The service is quite good, although kind of hot in the warm seasons. Click on the link below to see a map of it.
Subways here are known as "Subte", and as mentioned in a few of my other tips, it's a great way of getting around. Each subway line is color coded, and the picture shows the green line stop at Bulnes. Bulnes is where you will find the Alto Palermo Shopping Center, in the district of Palermo. The green line is the handiest of them all. Get off at Tribunales for the Colon Theatre, get off at Scalabrini Ortiz for the parks of palermo (Japanese Garden, Botanical Garden, Rose Garden, etc)
The Argentine subte consists of only 5 lines, not enough to go everywhere in this city but good enough to go to the main places a tourist will want to see...
If you re going downtown this is the fastest and more efficient way to get there.
Its really cheap 0.70cents (Argetnine cents) and you can travel as long distances as you wish, even changing from line to line but its only one journey, once you ve left the underground world and gone u to the surface, you ll need a new ticket to start travelling again.
The subte pass is just to avoid buying a ticket every time you want to travel, so you can put 21 pesos in your subte pass and then you ll be able to do 30 trips. But theres no unlimited pass yet, so the card will be worth the amount you want to pay for the number of trips you ll be doing. The only difference is you re paying for it in advance.
Its really hot in summer, so try to avoid it.
It may not be not the most streamlined subway system in the world, but certainly the best way to get to many areas of the city, Buenos Aires metro system is cheap (a single fare covers the whole system), efficient and reliable. It's also well used and quite safe, though all the usual advice about pickpockets and bag dippers applies.
Most of the sights of the city are within walking distance of each other, one way or another, but unless you're very organized you're bound to find yourself wanting to get from Point A to Point D or P at some stage - the subte's probably the way to do it.
There are six main lines (A, B, C, D, E and H), all starting from downtown, a bit like the prongs of a fork, so you may have to come quite a way back along one line before you can move out along the "prong" youy need. The trains are fast though and they run every 4 or 5 minutes, so there's never long to wait.
Avoiding rush hour's best if possible - that's 7:30 and 9 in the morning, 6 and 7:30 at the end of the day.
The A line is a city attraction in its own right. The first metro line in Latin America it still has its original 1913 wooden cars and some beautiful tiled panels and decoration on the stations.
Subte (from "subterráneo", that means "underground") is the name of the subway. It is a cheap an fast way of getting around this huge metropolis.
One "subtepass" costs 0.70 Argentinian pesos (about 0.25 $).
Subte (de "subterráneo") es el nombre que recibe el metro. Es una forma rápida y barata de viajar por esta metrópolis enorme.
Un "subtepass" cuesta 0.70 pesos argentinos (algo así como 25 centavos de dólar).
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