Buenos Aires at a Glance
Public Transport in Buenos AiresiStockphoto
The public transport system makes the city's sights easy to explore.
Taxis and Transfer Shuttles
Since Gran Buenos Aires is such a sprawling metropolitan region, you may be worrying about the long distances involved in getting from A to B. However, picking your children up from school, keeping an appointment at the walk-in clinic or going to downtown Buenos Aires to party aren’t that difficult. While driving in Buenos Aires isn’t particularly recommended, due to the sometimes chaotic traffic conditions, Buenos Aires has an extensive and comparatively safe public transport network.
When you have arrived at Ezeiza International Airport to the south of Buenos Aires, it’s easiest to pick up a pre-paid taxi service (remise) to the city center. They are usually available at any time of day, though less so in the busy morning hours. They take up to 45 minutes for the ride downtown. From there, you can continue your journey in an ordinary taxi.
There are said to be over 38,000 taxis in Buenos Aires, which are quite popular among expats who aren’t that familiar with Buenos Aires yet. However, you should make sure to board an officially licensed cab. They are black-and-yellow, have a roof light on top, and a license number on display in the window. The driver’s license should be visible on the dashboard or back of their seat.
If you are concerned about your safety in an unfamiliar environment, just call a remise by phone. Such a cab is slightly more expensive than your average taxi, but it’s also considered to be more secure and reliable.
Trains and Buses
After living in Buenos Aires for a while, you might give the city’s rail network a try. Buenos Aires has the oldest metro system in Latin America, and the subte counts among the most important means of transport for many porteños. With the SUBE smart card, it’s easy to pay your fare, but there are a couple of other things to keep in mind: First of all, subte trains only run from five or six a.m. to ten in the evening. Secondly, they only cover the city itself.
In order to go to the suburbs, you must take a local or regional train to the various zones of Gran Buenos Aires. There are several commuter rail lines in the Buenos Aires area:
- The Mitre Line runs from Retiro Station to the north, e.g. to San Isidro, Victoria, San Fernando, and Tigres.
- The Belgrano Norte Line also starts at Retiro and connects Buenos Aires to Villa Rosa in the north.
- The Belgrano Sur Line extends to the western parts of Gran Buenos Aires, ending in La Matanza and Merlo respectively.
- The Roca Line, which departs at Plaza Constitución, rather refers to a small network of railway lines covering the southern metropolitan area.
- The San Martin Line provides a connection between Retiro and the northwestern town of Pilar.
- The Urquiza Line runs from Federico Lacroze Station to the northwest, terminating in the partido of San Miguel.
If you have mastered the subte and the suburban trains, you might even venture onto one of the Buenos Aires buses. The local bus system is notoriously complex. Even with your trusty Guía T bus guide in your pocket, it may take you some time to figure out the colectivos. But when you do, you can proudly say that you’ve really settled down in Buenos Aires.