In Buenos Aires, tourists are best advised to take the bus or take the subte (subway) to explore individual parts of the city. The city’s public transport is cheap, works very well and covers the entire city. It is worth buying a city map and timetable if you want to stay longer than a few days.
Users of the Subte ( subway) chaos deal on the streets. The Subte is from Metrovias (Tel: 0800 555 16 16. Internet: http://www.metrovias.com.ar/) operated. It consists of six lines (A to E and H) and a connected system that connects the end of line E. Prepaid Subte cards or passports are available from the Boleterias (ticket counters) in each station for one, two, five, ten or 30 journeys.
Colectivos (local buses) are also suitable to get to the desired destination within the city district. Many lines run around the clock. No company is responsible for the bus system in Buenos Aires, but a detailed timetable is available on the website http://www.loscolectivos.com.ar/guided. The route and bus number can be confusing, so you should have a road map on hand and ask the locals for advice. The Colectivo you are looking for can usually be identified by the route number and the final destination, which are posted behind the windshield.
Trains that operate within the urban area are operated by Trenes de Buenos Aires – TBA (Tel: 0800 333 38 22; Internet: http://www.tbanet.com.ar/) and Ferrovias (Internet: http: // www. ferrovias.com.ar/) operated. With them you can easily reach the suburbs of the city. TBA operates the largest network with connections to Palermo, Belgrano, San Isidro and Tigre. Tickets are available at the train stations.
There are numerous yellow and black taxis. They can easily be waved up from the curb. In general, security is guaranteed in these taxis, but it is advisable to order a radio taxi by phone. Serious taxi companies include Premium (Tel: (011) 52 38 00 00. Internet: http://www.taxipremium.com.ar/) and Radiotaxi Pidalo (Tel: (011) 49 56 12 00).
Drawsare taxis with a fixed fare per route or small taxis that have to be booked in advance. They usually offer fixed fares that are cheaper than standard taxis. This applies particularly to the routes between the city and the airport as well as to longer distances. Recommended companies include
ABC (Tel: (011) 43 15 60 70),
Remises Universal (Tel: (011) 43 15 65 55) and
Annie Millet Transfers (Tel: (011) 67 77 77 77, Internet: http: / /www.amillet.com.ar/).
Driving in the city
There is little point in bringing a car to Buenos Aires. Traffic in the city center is hectic and there are numerous traffic jams during rush hour. The grid system of the streets is easy to understand. Arrows on the traffic signs indicate the direction of traffic for the respective street. Drivers in Buenos Aires tend to be impatient and have a low tolerance threshold for slow drivers. Accidents are common. If you are approaching an intersection without traffic lights at night, it is best to drive slowly and switch on the hazard warning lights.
The Microcentro (business district of the city) is a car-free zone between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Parquimetros (parking meters) in the Macrocentro(Suburbs) operate on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. They are fed with tokens that can be bought at the kiosk or at vending machines. The numerous Estacionamientos (parking lots) or Playas (parking bays) are usually displayed by a dummy human being waving a flag. Better hotels also offer parking.
Although driving in Buenos Aires is not recommended, a car can be very useful for excursions. There are numerous rental car companies in the city:
Avis, Calle Cerrito 1527, (Tel: (011) 43 26 55 42) and at Ezeiza International Airport (Tel: (011) 44 80 93 87. Internet: http: // www .avis.com /),
Budget, Avenida leandro N Alem 1110, (Tel: (011) 50 31 01 99; Internet: http://www.budget.com.ar/),
Dollar, MT de Alvear 449, ( Tel: (011) 43 15 88 00; Internet: http://www.dollar.com.ar/),
Hertz, Calle Paraguay 1138, (Tel: 011) 48 16 80 01) and Ezeiza International Airport, (Tel: (011) 44 80 00 54; Internet: http://www.hertz.com/),
Localiza, Rivadavia 1126, (Tel: (011) 43 82 92 67) and Jorge Newbery National Airport (Tel: 0800 999 29 99, only from Argentina; Internet: http://www.localiza.com.ar/).
Rental car drivers must be at least 21 years of age. Some rental car companies require a minimum age of 25 years. A valid driver’s license is accepted, however an international driver’s license is recommended. Reservations should be made in advance for trips on weekends or public holidays.
In the midst of hectic traffic and ruthless driving behavior on the streets of Buenos Aires, cycling is also not recommended. Bicycle lanes are rare. However, the existing network of cycle paths is constantly being expanded and there are already some good cycle paths in the city parks and partly along the river.
Bikes with three-speed gears and tandems are available from Bike Tours , 14th floor, Calle Florida 868, Tel: (011) 43 11 51 99. Internet: http://www.biketours.com.ar/).