Ins and outs

Air

Buenos Aires has two airports, Ezeiza for international flights and domestic flights to El Calafate and Ushuaia in high season, 35 km southwest of the centre; and Aeroparque Jorge Newberry for domestic flights and Aerolíneas Argentinas and puna flights to Montevideo and Punta del Este. Visit www.aa2000.com.ar for detailsA display in Ezeiza immigration shows choices and prices of transport into the city. 

Bus 

Buses connect Buenos Aires with towns all over Argentina and neighbouring countries, and arrive at Retiro bus terminal. Always take a Radio Taxi to the terminal, and take a remise taxi from the terminal into town, since the area is insalubrious, and ordinary taxis here are not reliable. 

Car
 

Driving in Buenos Aires is no problem if you have eyes in the back of your head and nerves of steel. 

Ferry 

There's a ferry port at Puerto Madero, where boats arrive from Uruguay. 

Train 

Next to the bus terminal is Retiro railway station, serving the suburbs and a few provincial stations such as Rosario and Tigre, with only one long-distance train to Tucumán.

Getting around

Colectivo 

There is a good network of buses - colectivos- covering a very wide radius; frequent, efficient and very fast (hang on tight!). Check that your destination appears on the bus stop, and in the little card in the driver's window, since each number has several routes. Useful guides Guía T and Lumi are available at news-stands and kioskos, give the routes of all buses. A cheap tour of the city can be had by taking the No 29 bus in La Boca - El Caminito - all the way through to the posh residential suburb of Belgrano (the bus goes further but this trip will have already taken you at least an hour). You will pass by colonial houses in San Telmo, the Casa Rosada, the wonderful buildings of the Tribunales, the bustle of Marcelo T Alvear and Avenida Santa Fe with its nearby shops, trendy Palermo, and then take your leave in Belgrano near Subtestop Juramento and catch the Subteback to the city.

Subte 

(Metro)The best way to get around the city, the Subteis fast, clean and safe (though late at night it's best to take a taxi). There are six lines, labelled 'A' to 'E', and line 'H'. A, B, D, E and H run under the major avenues linking the outer parts of the city to the centre. The fifth line, 'C', links Plaza Constitución with the Retiro railway station and provides connections with all the other lines. Note that in the centre, three stations - 9 de Julio (Line 'D'), Diagonal Norte (Line 'C') and Carlos Pellegrini (Line 'B') - are linked by pedestrian tunnels. Free maps are available from Subtestations and the tourist office.

Taxi
 

Taxis are painted yellow and black, and carry 'Taxi' flags, but for security they should rarely be hailed on the street. Taxis are the notorious weak link in the city's security, and you should always phone a Radio Taxi, since you're guaranteed that they're with a registered company; some 'Radio Taxis' you see on the street are false, call one of the numbers listed on page , give your address and a taxi will pick you up in five minutes. You may need to give a phone number for reference - use your hotel number. Alternatively, ask your hotel before you leave for the day which taxi company they use, as these will be reliable, and then you can always call that company when you're out, giving the hotel name as a reference. Alternatively, remisetaxis (private cars) charge a fixed rate to anywhere in town, and are very reliable, though can work out more expensive for short journeys. La TerminaliT011-4312 0711, is recommended, particularly from Retiro bus station. Remisetaxis operate all over the city; they are run from an office, have no meter but charge fixed prices, which can be cheaper than regular taxis. About a 10% tip is expected. 

Tourist Information

The 
national office www.turismo.gov.ar provides maps and literature covering the whole country. 

For city information, visit www.bue.gov.ar, a great site in Spanish, English and Portuguese. Free guided tours are usually organized by the city authorities: free leaflet from city-run offices. Audio guided tours in several languages are available for 12 different itineraries by downloading mp3 files and maps from www.bue.gov.ar.The Tango Information Centre is a very helpful, privately run tourist office.

South American Explorers www.saexplorers.orgoffers knowledgeable advice and the clubhouse is a comfortable gathering place for travellers. 

Buenos Aires Day & Night is a free bi-monthly tourist magazine with useful information and a downtown map available together with similar publications at tourist kiosks and hotels. 

Orientation 

The city of Buenos Aires is situated just inland from the docks on the south bank of the Río de la Plata. The formal city centre is around Plaza de Mayo, where the historical Cabildo faces the florid pink presidential palace, the Casa Rosada, from whose balcony presidents have appealed to their people, and where the people have historically come to protest. From here, the broad Parisian-style boulevard of the Avenida de Mayoleads to the seat of government at the wonderfully imposing Congreso de la Nación, lined with marvellous buildings from the city's own belle époque, including the theatrical Café Tortoni iwww.cafetortoni.com.ar built in 1858 and frequented by Argentine writer Borges. Halfway, it crosses the widest street in the world, the 22 lanes of roaring Avenida 9 de Julio, a main artery leading south, with its mighty central obelisk and the splendid Teatro Colón.

The main shopping streets are found north of Plaza de Mayo, along the popular pedestrianized Florida, which leads to the elegant and leafy Plaza San Martín. This central area is easy to walk around and you can buy everything from chic leather bags to cheap CDs, with lots of banks, internet cafés and locutorios (phone centres).

Just west of the centre, crossing Avenida 9 de Julio, is the smart upmarket suburb or barrioof Recoletawhere wealthy Porteños (Buenos Aires' residents) live in large apartment blocks with doormen and gold door handles, and you'll find most of the city's finest museums, as well as the famous Recoleta Cemetery, where Evita Perón is buried. Just outside the cemetery, there's a busy craft market at weekends, innumerable cafés and bars, and the chic Buenos Aires Design, an upmarket shopping centre filled with exclusive products. Further north still, via the elegant green parks of Palermo, with its zoo, wonderfully shaped planetarium and botanical garden, is the fabulous barrioof Palermo Viejo. This is the place to hang out in Buenos Aires, and a relaxing place to shop, as you stroll leafy cobbled streets past 1920s buildings and browse in cool designer clothes and interiors shops. The whole area is alive with bars and excellent restaurants, and there are fabulous places to stay in Palermo Viejo too, making it possible to avoid the city centre altogether if you want a quieter visit.

Puerto Maderohas become the most popular place to eat close to the centre, with busy restaurants filling the handsome brick warehouses on the stylishly renovated docks area. This is a good place to go for an early evening drink, and to stroll past old sailing ships and painted cranes. Further south, the green spaces of the Costanera Sur are busy in summer with Porteñosrelaxing, groups of friends sipping mateor barbecuing steak. Here there's a Reserva Ecológica where you could retreat for some inner city wildlife, and walk or cycle for a couple of hours. Just inland, the city's most atmospheric barriois irresistible San Telmo, once the city's centre, with narrow streets where cafés and antique markets are tucked away in the attractively crumbling 1900s buildings. Now the area is a lively and bohemian artistic centre with a popular market in the quaint Plaza Dorrego and along the cobbled street of Defensa on Sundays, where tango is danced for tourists among stalls selling silver, plates and bric-a-brac. Nightlife is lively here, but you'll also want to explore the city's tasty restaurants in Recoleta, Palermo Viejo, or the Las Cañitas area in between the two.

Street layout 

Streets are organized on a regular grid pattern, with blocks numbered in groups of one hundred. It's easy to find an address, since street numbers start from the dock side/the river rising from east to west, and north/south streets are numbered starting from Avenida Rivadavia, one block north of Avenida de Mayo, and rise in both directions. Juan D Perón used to be called Cangallo, and Scalabrini Ortiz used to be Canning (the old names are still referred to). Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña and Avenida Julio A Roca are commonly referred to as Diagonal Norte and Diagonal Sur respectively.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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