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Buenos Aires Guide

According to World Cities Culture forum, Buenos Aires has the highest number of bookshops per person than anywhere else in the world.

Argentina Time (AST) is GMT -3 hours, meaning that it’s 1 hour ahead of New York and 4 hours  behind London. Argentina has not calculated Daylight Savings time since 2011.

US Citizens will need: 

  • A passport with validity upon entry, must have at least one page empty to be stamped. 
  • Tourist or Business Visa not required for stays of 90 days or less.

For more detailed info, check out Argentina Travel.

All COVID-19 entry restrictions have been lifted. 

Source: iVisa

Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) International Airport (EZE) is the main and busiest international airport in the city. It takes 45 minutes to 2 hours to reach city center.

Bus (Colectivo): Cheapest, Least Comfortable

  • Takes about 2 hours to reach city center.
  • It cost $0.30 USD to ride.
  • We recommend you take the 8 bus because the other buses will not leave you in a safe area.
  • You may or may not have a seat on the bus.  

Private Shuttles: Best Option

  • Minibus Ezeiza (San Telmo- Defensa 417): Runs Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, for USD $4-8 USD. The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes.
  • Aerobus Ezeiza (San Telmo- Av. Belgrano 254): Runs Monday Friday 8am-6:30pm, for USD $4-8. This shuttle also leaves every 30 minutes.
  • Manuel Tienda León (Tienda León’s terminal Retiro Eduardo Madero 1299): Runs 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, cost USD $8-10 and the shuttle comes every 30 minutes.

Taxi (Remís): Most Comfortable

  • Prices range from $30-40 to reach city center.
  • Takes 45 minutes-1.5 hours to reach city center.
  • You can request the taxi prior to arrival or when you arrival at terminal.

Jorge Newbery Airport (AFP) is the second busiest airport in Buenos Aires for domestic flights. 15-30 minute rides to the city center. 

Bus (Colectivo): Most Convenient

  • Lines that pass through the airport are: 33, 37, 45, and 160.
  • Use the App ComoLlego to figure out which bus to take.
  • Can be crowded.

Private Shuttle: Last Resort

  • Manuel Tiendo Leon: leaves the airport every hour.

Taxi (Remís): Best Option

  • USD $5-12 to ride.
  • Takes 15-30 minutes to get to your destination.

This is the only city in Argentina with a metro system: Buenos Aires Underground Subte, which only has 6 lines therefore it is fairly easy to learn and navigate when switching lines. 

There are no longer any paper tickets for the Sube. In order to use the Subte you will need a Sube Smart Card (which can be used for buses and trains as well as around the city) or a Sube E-card. A smart card can be purchased at the city’s tourist centers, stores or kiosks. These cards are always rechargeable, it can be done at any ticket office.

An average trip ticket is ARS 16.50 (USD $0.24). Prices may vary depending on the trip.

Buenos Aires is considered one of the best destinations to solo travel and as a female too, but there are always safety precautions to take when traveling to unfamiliar places. There is petty theft, so be street smart and hang on tightly to your valuables. It’s important to be vigilant and wary of your surroundings.

The emergency number in Buenos Aires is 101 or 911.

Safety tips:

Don’t leave valuable possessions in your back pockets.

Do not take unfamiliar streets or alleyways when walking in town.

Always stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings when walking alone.

Ignore cat-calling, if you feel uncomfortable, politely but firmly tell them to stop and walk towards a big crowd.  

Safety tips for the night-owls:

Try to avoid taxis alone at night unless it is a “Radio Taxi”. You are less likely to be harassed or scammed in a “Radio Taxi”. Avoid walking alone at night even if it is to and from a bar.

Travel in groups of 2 or more- especially if you are a solo female traveler. Make sure you lock your doors.

Buenos Aires is partly cloudy all year round while the summers are warm, wet, and humid. Winters, however, are cold and windy. 

  • March, April, May (Fall) and September, October, November (Spring): BEST TIME TO VISIT.
  • October and November: Best time to see the jacaranda trees bloom.
  • April and June: Best travel deals.
  • January & March: Wettest months.
  • July: Coldest month.

Spanish is the official language of Argentina but there is a large population that speak Italian and Levantine Arabic. Regardless, Spanish remains the most widely spoken language in Argentina. 

Here’s a few basic words and phrases:

Hello: Hola

Thank you: Gracias

You’re welcome: De nada

Excuse me: Perdóneme

I’m sorry: Lo siento

Please: Por favor

Good morning: Buenos días

Goodnight: Buenas noches

My name is…: Me llamo…

Check, please: La cuenta por favor

I don’t understand: No entiendo

Do you speak English?: ¿Hablas inglés?

Where is…?: ¿Dónde está…?

Call the police: Llama la policía

Appropriate etiquette can guide you through this interesting and unique culture. These tips are helpful to avoid any misunderstandings with locals.

Social settings:

  • A kiss on the cheek is how Argentinians greet one another, even strangers. 
  • Argentinian’s have good eye contact, but the men tend to stare.
  • Argentinian’s are direct, open and communicate loudly.
  • Argentina’s use of personal features as nicknames, do not take it personally. 
  • Do not take their jokes offensively, Argentinians, culturally, make jokes that have to do with your appearance. 
  • Argentina has a lively nightlife but it does not start until 2am, therefore do not go to clubs until then.
  • Do not drink alcohol in public areas, you may see adolescents doing so but it is not a respectable thing for adults.
  • Stray away from conversations about politics, religion, or any sensitive topics that can offend Argentina. 

Wine and dine:

  • When entering an Argentinian home, greet with a kiss on the cheek and make sure to bring a gift for the host.
  • Do not introduce yourself to others, allow the host to introduce you.
  • Always dress nicely and presentable
  • Punctuality isn’t a large part of Argentinian culture; it is expected for people to be late and have a late meal.

The local unit of currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS). Approximately ARS 67.49 equates to USD $1.

Exchanging money is best done at the airports in Buenos Aires. It is recommended to not exchange money at ATMs on the streets.

Tipping! It is not expected but desired. If the service was great, most employees will hope for a tip. The usual rate for tipping is 10%. 

Argentina’s electricity outlets are 220 volts with 50 HZ standard frequency (C or I). If the appliances you use are between 220-240 volts, they can be used in Buenos Aires. Plugs are typically 2 pronged and flat. While some plugs are three dots and rounded.

Your converter should look like this:

Argentina power adapters - what plugs are used?

Drinking tap water straight from the faucet is safe to do. The British installed a water system in 1869 that made the water safe to drink, even better than the water in the UK.

Despite that it’s safe to drink, many travelers taste and smell chlorine and other chemicals in BA’s tap water. So it is recommended to drink bottled water instead since the water compositions have changed. 

Here’s how to get a SIM card (“chip”) in Buenos Aires:

  • Make sure your phone is unlocked. 
  • Claro, Movistar, Personal, and Nextel are the main carriers on the market with the most extensive networks. 
  • Pick up your SIM cards at the airport, official network store, supermarket, kiosk, pharmacies or shops.
  • Argentinian SIM cards usually cost approximately ARS 10 (about USD $0.15). 
  • The cost of making and receiving calls will vary depending on the carrier.

Uber is currently available in the city, other options include Cabify and Easy Taxi. 

Drivers can be a little crazy so it’s not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own.

Argentina is one of the more progressive countries when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. Argentina was the first country in South America to legalized same-sex-marriage in 2010 but even in 1887, same sex relations/activities were allowed.

Rights to change gender without a doctor’s consultation was legalized in 2012; Argentinians do not need reassignment surgery or hormones but if they want them, they are provided for free by the state if requested. Rights to change gender without surgery was legalized in 2018. Same-sex adoption was legalized in 2010. The LGBTQ+ community has the rights to donate blood and be part of the military. It is illegal in some areas to discriminate towards the LGBTQ+ community and they are only protected by the military code but not included in the general discrimination code. 

BA has been more eco-friendly throughout the years by reinforcing hotel guests to reuse bed sheets and towels. Since 2009, BA has made bicycle paths and biking a source of transportation around the city.

Must See Highlights for Eco-Travelers:

  • Bosques de Palermo (Palermo Woods)
  • Puerto Madero
  • Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve

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Most of the streets are organized in grids, similar to NYC, so it's easy to get around Buenos Aires.


Puerta cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, is the best way to dine in BA. It's when chefs are transform their private homes into limited seating restaurants.