Getting around Buenos Aires
The cheapest way to get around Buenos Aires is by bus (www.loscolectivos.com.ar) or on the underground, known locally as Subte (www.buenosaires.gob.ar/subte). Pay for buses with coins once onboard – many operate 24 hours a day.
Alternatively, buy an electronic SUBE card (www.sube.gob.ar) from a post office or ticket booth, which can be topped up with credit and used to travel on most buses, subway lines and local trains.
Trains on the Mitre and San Martin lines are operated by the state–backed Corredores Ferroviarios (tel: 0800 222 8736, in Argentina only; www.cferroviarios.com.ar), while Ferrovias (tel: 0800 777 3377, in Argentina only; www.ferrovias.com.ar) run routes to nearby towns.
Yellow and black taxis can easily be hailed from the pavement, but an extra safe option is to telephone for a radio taxi from a company like Radio Taxi Pidalo (tel: (011) 4956 1200). Remises (fixed-fare taxis booked in advance) generally work out cheaper, especially for airport runs. Trusted companies include ABC Rent A Car (tel: (011) 4315 6070) and Remises Universal (tel: (011) 4105 5555).
Traffic in the city centre is heavily congested, but the grid system is reasonably easy to master, with arrows indicating the directions on street signs. Accidents here are common. One tip is to slow down and flash the vehicle lights when approaching cross intersections without traffic lights at night. Microcentro (the financial centre of Buenos Aires) is off limits to traffic between 0700 and 2100. Parquimetros (parking meters) operate 0700-2100 on weekdays in the Macrocentro (outer city), and take tokens (fichas) purchased from kiosks or coin machines. Numerous estacionamientos (car parks) or playas (parking bays) are usually marked by flag-waving dummies.
Car hire companies in Buenos Aires include Avis (tel: (011) 4326 5542; www.avis.com.ar) and Budget (tel: (011) 4326 3825; www.budget.com.ar). Drivers must be at least 21 years old but some companies ask for drivers to be at least 25 to hire a car. A valid driving licence is acceptable but an International Driving Permit is recommended.
The Eco Bici (www.mejorenbici.gob.ar) cycle scheme allows users to register online for a free, two-hour use of the yellow city bikes found at various points around Buenos Aires. With over 100km (62 miles) of protected cycle routes, visitors can pick up a bike at one station and leave it at another, with over 30 stations dotted around the city. Alternatively, bicycle hire is available from BA Bikes (tel: (011) 3425 9072; www.babikes.com.ar) at San Jose 539.