Getting around Buenos Aires

Public transport

The cheapest way to get around Buenos Aires is by bus (www.loscolectivos.com.ar) or on the underground, known locally as Subte (tel: +54 11 5166 5800; 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 SOFSE (tel: 0800 222 8736, in Argentina only; www.sofse.gob.ar), while Ferrovias (tel: 0800 777 3377, in Argentina only; www.ferrovias.com.ar) runs routes to nearby towns.

Taxis

You can easily hail yellow and black taxis from the pavement, but an extra-safe option is to phone for a radio taxi from a company like Radio Taxi Pidalo (tel: +54 11 4956 1200). Remises (fixed-fare taxis booked in advance) generally work out cheaper, especially for airport runs. Remises Universal (tel: +54 11 4105 5555) is a reliable operator.

Driving

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

Car hire companies in Buenos Aires include Avis (tel: +54 11 4326 5542; www.avis.com.ar) and Budget (tel: +54 11 4896 1655; 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.

Bicycle hire

Buenos Aires' bikeshare scheme is called Eco Bici (tel: 0800 333 2424, in Argentina only; www.buenosaires.gob.ar/ecobici). Once you register, you can use a bike for an hour at at a time. Alternatively, bicycle hire is available from BA Bikes (tel: +54 11 3425 9072; www.babikes.com.ar) at San Jose 539.

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