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 (www.subte.com.ar). Pay for buses with coins once onboard – many operate 24 hours a day. For the 6-line Subte, buy pre-paid Subtecards from boleterias (ticket booths) at each station. Trains are operated by Trenes de Buenos Aires (tel: 0800 333 3822) and Ferrovias (tel: 0800 777 3377; www.ferrovias.com.ar) and are a good way of getting to nearby towns.

Taxis

Yellow and black taxis can be easily hailed from the pavement. An extra safe option is to telephone a radio taxi; a reputable company is 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 (tel: (011) 4315 6070) and Remises Universal (tel: (011) 4315 6555).

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 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: (011) 4378 9640; www.avis.com.ar) and Budget (tel: (011) 4314 7717; www.budget.com.ar). Drivers must be at least 21 years old but some companies state 25 years. A valid driving licence is acceptable but an International Driving Permit is recommended.

Bicycle hire

A new Buenos Aires cycle scheme means those who register at www.mejorenbici.gob.ar have free, two-hour use of yellow city bikes found at various points around Buenos Aires. For longer jaunts, road bikes and tandems can be hired from Bike Tours, 14th floor, Calle Florida 868 (tel: (011) 4311 5199; www.biketours.com.ar).

Edited by Tina Banerjee
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