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Buenos Aires: Essentials

updated February 21, 2017


Airport Bus Service
011-54-11/4315-5115, tiendaleon.com.ar
Manuel Tienda León buses run between the international airport and the downtown Retiro station. Its kiosk is located inside Arrivals. Buses into the city leave every half hour until 9 p.m. (Call for the night schedule.) The ride takes 40 minutes. $8.70, one way.

Remises Taxis
Avoid the cabbies who holler at you, and go straight to a remises booth to book a car. Drivers take up to four people per car and operate on a flat rate. $20 for a ride to the city center.


The bus, or collectivo, system is complicated and chaotic, so don't waste your time trying to figure it out if you're only in B.A. for a few days. Newspaper kiosks sell city-bus guides (Guias T) for 70¢. Buy your tickets onboard (28¢ per ride).

Commonly referred to as the subte, this small subway network makes convenient tourist stops, including Plaza Serrano, the Bosques of Palermo, and Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo. It runs 5 a.m.-10:20 p.m., so it's not an option for late-night transportation. Ask for a free map (mapa) at any station. 24¢ per ride.

Taxis are cheap and plentiful. To avoid hailing an unlicensed cab, look for a certified 'Radio Taxi' (written on the car doors). Available cars will have the 'Libre' sign lit in their front windows. Four people per taxi. Rides from $1. (If you need to call: Radio Taxi Ciudad, 011-54-11/4923-7007, radiotaxiciudad.com.ar)


At newsstands


  • Buenos Aires Heraldbuenosairesherald.com

  • Time Out Buenos Aires, timeout.com/travel/buenosaires

    Buenos Aires Outdoors
    011-54-11/4797-1143, buenosairesoutdoors.com.ar
    Low-impact outdoor tours, including day trips to Tigre, and to traditional ranches (see Escapes box on page 8). $50 for a half-day tour of the pampas (the provincial grasslands) and local ranches; includes horseback riding.

    Fall in Love With Buenos Aires
    011-54-11/4656-5714, fallinlovewithba.com
    Run by a couple with extensive experience, these historical walking tours put a refreshing emphasis on the porteño perspective. Pedro Porqueras's specialty: Recoleta Cemetery. His five-hour tour by minivan also includes a coffee break at the historic Café Tortoni. $10-$15/person for three-hour walking tour, $30-$50/person for van tour.

    Free city tours
    Buenos Aires Undersecretary of Tourism, 011-54-11/4114-5791, bue.gov.ar/recorridos
    Guided walking and bus tours. Themes are varied and include a good mix of neighborhoods and topics, such as "Notable bars of Recoleta" and "Eva Peron." English tours take place as indicated on the online schedule. Call the office for more information (in English). Space is limited on bus tours; call Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to reserve. Free.

    La Bicicleta Naranja
    Pasaje Giuffra 308 (corner of Balcarce), 011-54-11/4362-1104, labicicletanaranja.com.ar
    Tours leave from San Telmo and focus on the southern or northern sections of B.A., or the riverbank and coastal grassy wetland Reserva Ecológica. Rentals include comfortable orange bikes with helmets, locks, storage bags, maps, and a drink. $19 for four hours with a guide.



  • Emergency Police 101, Fire 100, Medical Emergency 107

  • Help in English Tourist Police Station, 0800-999-5000 (or 011-54-11/4346-5748)

  • International operator 000, Directory info 110

  • Tourist info 011-54-11/4312-7276 or 011-54-11/4313-5503 (Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.)

  • Concert, theater, and sports tickets Ticketek, 011-54-11/5237-7200, ticketek.com.ar

  • For local calls, drop the international access number (011), the country code (54), and the city code (11). All local numbers have eight digits.
    Counterfeit bills are common in B.A., so you should always exchange currency at a reputable place. But to detect phonies, hold the bill up to the light. If it's real


  • The ink on the denomination number will change colors.

  • There will be a metallic thread woven into the border between the picture and white spaces.

  • The portrait of the historical figure will be clear, not blurry.

  • The paper will have the same feel as a US dollar bill.
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