Buenos Aires is one of the most interesting cities in the world. It is cheaper than most tourist destinations and it has a rich culture. If you love tango and Latin American culture, this city is the best place to experience them. But there are a few basic things you should know before you go to Buenos Aires.
From the Airport
Buenos Aires has two major airports — the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) which is located at the heart of the city and the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) which is located 22 kilometers outside the city.
If you’re coming from Ezeiza, it’s best to take the HI travel shuttle service which costs around $11. This service has many drop-off points within the city proper of Buenos Aires. To ensure that your trip is hassle-free, it is best to reserve a shuttle space online (www.hostelshuttle.com.ar).
You can also try the personal car service called Service Star Car, but this one’s a bit expensive, since it uses top-notch cars such as the Lincoln Town Car, Citroen C4, and Citroen C6 Sedan. If you’re coming from the Aeroparque airport, you’ll have to pay $92. If you’re from Ezeia, you’ll have to pay $132.
There are a lot of scammers in Buenos Aires so it is best to avoid taxis. You can instead try the minibus SRI service which costs around $21. The bus schedule is from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and a bus leaves every 15 minutes.
There are three major telecommunication carriers in Argentina — Movistar, Claro, and Personal. You can get a SIM card of any of these telco networks at the airport for around $30.
The AEP has a luggage service that charges $18 every 12 hours. EZE unfortunately doesn’t have an on-site luggage storage facility.
The currency in Buenos Aires is the Argentine Peso. You can do currency exchange in Banco de Nation located in both EZE and AEP.
Getting Around Buenos Aires
The Subte or the Buenos Aires metro is the cheapest way to get around the city. The flat fare is only 1.10 pesos or 8 cents (in US dollars). If you want to get around the city more easily, it’s best to take the taxi. A taxi ride around the city can cost around $3 to $10 depending on the destination.
You can take the bus as well. There are about 140 bus lines that operate around the city 24 hours a day. If you love walking, you can travel by foot, too, as Buenos Aires is a pedestrian-friendly city. You can also rent a car or a bicycle.
Argentina is located in Latin America but it has a strong Italian and Spanish cultural influence. Argentines are mostly of European descent. This separates them from other Latin Americans. The city is filled with European-style architecture.
Argentinians have strong family values and Roman Catholicism is the official state religion. Argentines are blunt, frank, and direct but they can also be diplomatic and tactful. It is important to maintain eye contact when talking to locals as this indicates interest.
Spots for Adventure Seekers and Foodies
If you love food, you should join the numerous food tours around Buenos Aires. Fuudis allows you to book mobile dinner tours in assorted Buenos Aires nabes (neighborhoods). The dinner tour will take you to three restaurants — one for appetizer, another one for the entree, and the last one for dessert. If you like to try something different, you can walk around the bohemian San Telmo quarter. You can also go to Palermo to find the best Buenos Aires staples such as gelato, chorizo sandwich, and empanadas.
Buenos Aires is fascinating and incredibly cheap. It definitely deserves a spot in your travel bucket list.