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Terrible traffic is one of the first things you will notice about Buenos Aires but fear not, there are alternatives to driving! For starters, Buenos Aires is very easily walkable city especially the areas of Palermo, La Boca, San Telmo, Recoleta, and Belgrano. Watch out for the heat and thunderstorms in the summer!
One of the best ways to figure out how to get to where you are going by public transportation is by dialing 131 from any public phone. After you say your location and your destination, the operator will give you the best way to get there through the Subte (subway), or the Colectivo (bus) as well as the closest stops.
There are 200 bus routes in Buenos Aires but don't worry about getting to know them all. There are a few that will come in handy for your stay and you'll find it easy to get accustomed to the system with a map (you can get one at any news stand). Bus fares depend on your destination and you have to pay as you board. The ticket machines only accept coins and they give back change. If you have access to the internet there is an excellent website http://www.omnilineas.com/ which you can click on your starting point and destination and you will be give the the choice of routes and where they run.
The Subte is South America's first underground railway!
The subway runs from 5am to 11pm Monday-Saturday. On Sundays it opens at 8am and closes 10:30pm.
The boleteria (ticket booth) have stored value cards for 5- and 10- rides. There is no discount, but the ride is cheap. It is far easier to buy this ticket that wait on a ticket line.
The Subte has historic ceramic wall tiles on most of the lines that add a thematic and artistic dimension to subway travel. Take some time to read the explanatory panels next to the tiles. Unfortunately, the newer lines and the extensions won't be so beautiful. The Subte has a website for updates.
The Subte is a highly efficient means of travel in the city. However, during rush hour it can be very crowded and should be avoided due to active pickpockets. If people are crowding you, they may be setting you up, so at the next stop, just get off and board the next train.
Other tips regarding pickpockets:
1) The husband and wife should never carry the same credit cards
2) A third card should be left in the hotel safe with all of your home currency
3) Never carry more than a day's cash need. Leave the rest in the hotel safe
4) Alert your credit card company when you are traveling as to where and when. That way, they won't inadvertantly close your account thinking it might be suspicious activity
5) Travel insurance doesn't cover cash losses
6) Banks in BsAs limit withdrawals up to AR $1,000 (about U.S.$ 250) per day
7) Find a charge card that doesn't charge the common 3% foreign exchange fee.
8) Try not to look like a tourist who is lost or confused. If in doubt, ask a station agent.
9) Keep your credit card numbers and the toll free customer service line phone number in the safe, apart from the wallet.