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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Argentina > Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Weather

18°C

Local time Buenos Aires

Currency

AR$

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 a time. Alternatively, bicycle hire is available from BA Bikes (tel: +54 11 6698 5923; www.babikes.com.ar) at San José 525.

Featured Hotels

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Casa Calma

In the heart of downtown Buenos Aires, this wellness boutique equips its 17 rooms with jacuzzi tubs and six deluxe rooms have saunas. The vibe throughout is eco-chic, with furniture fashioned from recycled fabrics and floors crafted from sustainable pine. Healthy buffet breakfast, bicycle hire and an honesty bar are among its many attractions.

Faena Hotel

A pioneering design hotel, opulently contemporary Faena has been crafted out of a former grain warehouse along the docks of Puerto Madero. Designed by Philippe Starck, the interior is an eclectic mix of minimalist décor, regal furniture and quirky artefact, with facilities counting a spa, outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art meeting and events space and two stylish restaurants.

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires

A 5-star Park Hyatt property in the affluent downtown Recoleta district, chandeliers and working fireplaces set the tone in this grand palace - first built in 1934 and lovingly restored in 2006. The 165-room hotel commands an impressive array of art in its underground gallery, the Paseo de las Artes Duhau, and facilities include the Ahín Wellness & Spa with its indoor swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool.

Hotel Frossard

This centrally located hotel offers simple, modern facilities in an old, French-style house. Most visitors are attracted by the reasonable prices and ease of access to nearby cultural attractions rather than its specific charm. Offering bed and breakfast, Hotel Frossard is also surrounded by many of the city's finest cafés and restaurants which makes it a worthy budget choice in what can be a pricey city.

Telmo Tango

This friendly San Telmo hostel and bed-and-breakfast is a comfortable option for newcomers to Buenos Aires. Organised trips include outings to football games and sailing from Puerto Madero, and the English-speaking manager is happy to share his tips on the city. The building's top terrace is a nice little spot to catch the sun away from the busy streets. Ask for a room at the front of the building that benefits from a balcony.

Pop Hotel

This budget boutique hotel is located in the emerging neighbourhood of Villa Crespo amid a scattering of trendy cafes, art spaces and new restaurants. The hotel's design is fresh and urban, with 44 air-conditioned rooms boasting plenty of light and fitted with iPod docks and security boxes for laptops. The deluxe rooms offer private balconies and breakfast croissant delivery.