Practical Hints – Buenos Aires

ATTENTION: The information below was uptodate in 2012. Please check carefully if it is still valid!!!

Arriving at the Aeropuerto Ezeiza take the bus operated by Martin Leon Tienda to go into the city. Unfortunately his desk is a kind of hidden. Ask at the information. The regular fare is 60 ARS (cash) but for 10 ARS more they will bring you to any centrally located hotel. If you do not have cash you can use an ATM in the airport hall, but I assume that the fee is high. It takes ca. 40 min to get into the city.

Arriving at Jorge Newbery you can take again the bus operated by martin Leon Tienda to get into the city. Their main office is in walking distance (ca. 100m) from the very important subte station Retiro. They have there a luggage locker too where you can leave your luggage for some hours if you want to vist the city.

Subte is the subway in BA. The cars are very old and I assume they have been used by the Indians that have lived here before the English people come. Subte is very good and depending on the line they come every 5-10 minutes. Tickets can be bought at the cashier at each station for 2,50 ARS cash. They change too. The subte is very fast and reaches most of the touristic targets much faster than a bus or a car. During the day it is 100 % safe. I have not used it after 8 pm.
However pay attention because the same subte station has different names on each line eg the station at the Place 9 Mayo is called on the line A ‘Lima’ on the line B ‘Bolivar’ and on the line D is called ‘Catedral’. If you want to change from one line to another within the station just look for “correspondencia ligna x”. Make sure when you enter the subte station that you take not only the right line but also the right direction. In some stations if you took the wrong direction you would need another ticket to change to the right direction.

Do not use the bus unless you know exactly which one to take and where it stops. You need coins (1,20 peso) and they do not change. Tickets can be bought in the bus at a machine behind the driver. If you want to get into the bus you have to make a sign to the driver, if not he will not stop. Wait in line for entering the bus. If you want to get off you need to push a button in the bus before the bus reaches the station you want to get off. If you need in any case a bus you should buy the “guia t” a booklet sold in the subte. All the bus lines are described there. Just for the subte you can use a touristic map and do not need guia t.

I have used in BA the tourist bus called “Buenos Aires Bus”. The bus is open roofed but if it rains they have a kind of  canvas cover. It starts at Florida and Roque Saenz Pena and has  20 stations in the whole city. You can get on and off whenever you want. The buses come every 20 – 30 minutes and have fixed stations. The stations are marked on a map that you get when you buy the ticket. An one day ticket costs 70 peso and a two days ticket 90 peso. I’ve bought a two days ticket. On the second day I’ve used the bus just to reach some places where the subte does not go (eg La Recoleta and San Telmo).

In BA it is very important to have coins and small bills (5 and 10 peso). A lot of shops and the taxi drivers can not or do not want to change. I have waited half an hour in a bank to change 100 peso in bills of 10 and 5.

I have used taxi only twice and both times was ok. Pay attention to use radio taxi only and use for paying small bills (10 and 20 peso). I’ve heard about people that had to pay 100 peso instead of 25 because the taxi driver “could” not change a 100 peso bill.

What I have not liked in Buenos Aires

  • A lot of poor people camping in nearly each park. They do not bother you (during the day) but you do not feel comfortable if you pass along with a 1000 euro camera.
  • The rubbish on the street is being crawled by poor people in the middle of the street.
  • I’ve heard from three different tourists who got robbed on the streets/in the parks by people using the “spitting-trick” in BA.