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Public Transport in Buenos Aires

The “Paris of South America” enchants tourists and expats alike. Read our Expat Guide to living in Buenos Aires for an introduction to the city’s infrastructure – transportation, healthcare, schools, and more! Life in Buenos Aires has more to offer than art and parties, after all.
The public transport system makes it easy to explore the city's sights.

On the Road

Gran Buenos Aires is a sprawling metropolitan region, and you may be worrying about the long distances you might have to cover when going from A to B. However, it really is not all too difficult to pick your children up from school, keep an appointment at the walk-in clinic, or go to downtown Buenos Aires. While driving in Buenos Aires isn’t particularly recommended, due to the at times chaotic traffic conditions, the city does have an extensive and comparatively safe public transport network.

After arriving at Ezeiza International Airport to the south of Buenos Aires, the easiest way to get to the city center is to pick up a pre-paid taxi service (remis). 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, and should cost around 400 ARS (around 23 USD). From there you can continue your journey in an ordinary taxi, by bus, by train, or on foot.

There are said to be more than 38,000 taxis in Buenos Aires, and they are quite popular among expats who aren’t that familiar with the city yet. You should make sure to only use the officially licensed cabs, which are black and yellow. You should be able to see if the cab is available, as a sign will read “libre” (“free”). Just beware of taxi scams. They are quite common in Buenos Aires but can be easily avoided. For example, pay attention to where you are going – some drivers will try to bump up your fair by taking you the long way round, If you’re not sure of where you’re going, act like you do. Keep an eye on street signs – confidence is key!

Suburban Trains, Subte and Complicated Buses

After living in Buenos Aires for a while, you might want to give the city’s rail network a try. Buenos Aires’ subway system, Metrovias (Spanish only) is the oldest in Latin America, and the subte counts among the most important means of transport for many porteños. With the SUBE card, it’s easy to pay for your trip, and the more you use it, the cheaper the fares get. Keep in mind that most subte trains only run from 5:00 to 22:00. Please refer to the official Buenos Aires website for more information on fares and other payment methods as well as schedules.

The subte only covers the city itself. To get to the suburbs, you need to take a local or regional train to the various other zones of Gran Buenos Aires. Several commuter rail lines operate in the Buenos Aires area:

  • The Mitre Line runs from Retiro Station in the northeast in several directions, including to Rosario, Santa Fe, and Tigre.

  • The Belgrano Norte Line also starts at Retiro and connects Buenos Aires to Villa Rosa to the north.

  • The Belgrano Sur Line extends to the western parts of Gran Buenos Aires, ending in González Catán.

  • The Roca Line, which departs from Plaza Constitución, covers the southern metropolitan area including, for instance, Haedo and Cañuelas.

  • The San Martin Line connects Retiro and the northwestern suburb of Pilar.

  • The Sarmiento Line covers the western suburbs, starting at Once and ending in Moreno.

  • The Urquiza Line runs from Federico Lacroze Station in the northwest to the partido of San Miguel.

 

You can find maps for each line with the Argentine Ministry of Transport.

As an alternative to the subte and the suburban trains, you might even venture onto one of the Buenos Aires buses. The local bus system is notoriously complex, and even with your trusty Guía T bus guide in hand, it may take you some time to figure out the colectivos. But when you do, you can proudly claim to finally have settled down properly in Buenos Aires.

 

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