Getting Around Buenos Aires
The best way to get around Buenos Aires is by subway, also known as "the subte." The subte is quick, affordable, and easy to navigate with maps, easily attainable at subte stations. Bus lines are also efficient, although they are less trotted by tourists. Taxis are another convenient way to get around the city; however, taxi drivers are known to scam foreign visitors by taking longer, more round-about routes to increase the fare. Look for black and yellow radio taxis, which are metered. With an efficient public transportation system and abundance of taxis, there's no need to rent a car in Buenos Aires.
Buenos Aires' major airport, Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini (EZE), with many international carriers sits 45 minutes west of the city by car. There are several direct flights offered daily between major U.S. cities such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Domestic flights sometimes fly through Jorge Newberry Airport (AEP), which is located just 15 minutes north of Buenos Aires by car. While some visitors may opt to hop on a Leon bus (which runs roughly every 30 minutes between the city and both airports), taxis are the most hassle-free means of getting into town. Flagging a taxi will only set you back about $35 ARS (roughly $8 USD).
The subte, part of the city's Light Rail Line and Urquiza Rail system, is easily accessible, making stops all over Buenos Aires. You can buy single tickets for 1.20 ARS (about $0.25 USD), but a multiple-journey travel pass might be the most cost-effective option. Available in two-, five-, 10-, or 30-journey increments, the card grants you access to the subte's six lines. Trains run Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and subte passes can be purchased at all subte stations.
The city buses, known as colectivos, are cost-efficient and run 24/7. Within the city, fares start at 1.10 ARS (about $0.25 USD) and increase according to distance. Prices outside the city vary between 1.75 and 2 ARS (roughly $0.50 USD). You will need to bring exact change to purchase your ticket, which can be done on the bus. Many bus drivers speak do not speak English but are very friendly will try to be helpful. Also, remember to keep your wits about you as pickpockets are known to find victims on the bus. For more information on routes, purchase the Guia T, a comprehensive route map available for purchase across the city or consult the Los Colectivos official website (written in Spanish).
Radio taxis are easy to spot with their clearly marked "radio taxi" sign. These taxis are metered and feature a red "libre" sign when available. When you enter one of these taxis, keep in mind the meters start at 3.80 ARS (about $1 USD) and increase by time and distance. Many Argentinean drivers are known for leading tourists on long routes and returning counterfeit change, so mind your surroundings and be vigilant. Typical fare from downtown to San Telmo costs between roughly 16 and 20 ARS (roughly $3.50 to $4.50 USD). Tipping is not required, although locals tend to round up to the nearest peso.
Renting a car in Buenos Aires should be avoided, unless you're planning to explore outside of the city. With dense traffic, few (observed) driving rules, barely visible signage, minimal parking spots, and a high accident rate, driving is more of a disaster than an easy way of getting around town. If you're planning to drive, it's also important to note the major driving roads tend to build up with traffic during rush hour. Car rentals are conveniently located nearby airports and can be booked through a variety of city hotels.
Another option is hiring a remis (car and driver), which can save you the hassle and stress of navigating through the city. Though hiring a car and driver is more costly and typically requires a multiple-hour booking minimum, remises are a much more reliable form of transportation. For more information, ask your hotel concierge about a trusted car and driver service. Remises Universal boasts a fleet of over 230 vehicles and is ideally headquartered in downtown Buenos Aires.
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