We are travelling to BA in late March and early april. We have chilren ages 2 and 5. We've been looking at renting an apartment for the week we are there (we have done this in other spots) but we are looking for some advice on here in BA we should select.
Our main dilemma- we've heard that the buses in BA are very numerous, but we are used to travelling via subway when on vacation. Most of the apartments we have been looking at in Recoletta are many blocks away from the subway. So, how important is staying near the subway when visiting BA? Are the taxis numerous and safe, so it wouldn't relaly matter much?
Typically, we head out in the morning, come back for lunch and naps for the kids, then head out later in the afternoon and evening, then back for bedtime. Is there another part of the city that you would recommend for a family to stay in? Or, are we just over-thinking this and should select a nice apartment because the transportation is good all around for tourists?
Thanks for any advice and recommendations you might have.
Recolleta is a pretty busy part of town, although close to most places. The Palermo district is more laid back, close to the subway and near some nice parks. It's where I'd prefer to stay, but then I do not know the city terribly well.
I never had any trouble with taxis -- or buses for that matter. Just close your eyes at every intersection!
I live in Buenos Aires (and born there). Most appartments for temporary rent seem to be in either Recoleta, Retiro & Plaza San Martin, or else in Puerto Madero. Recoleta is an expensive and elegant french-style neighbourhood, with houses and appartments built about 50 years ago (sound materials). Many people invested on those appartments an now rent them to tourists or else inherited them. It is not precisely close to main attractions as you will soon find out (except for Recoleta's cemetery and the nearby design center shopping and also there is a street full of restaurants). Actually the neighborhood is quite large, so distance to those locations may vary significantly depending on the appartment you rented. Certain places are really quiet, while others are hectic.... In general it is a very safe place, full of wealthy argentineans or else tourists.
Palermo -the option suggested by the other user- is just another option, just another neighborhood- yet more middle class... and depending on the street you might find yourself in a noisy disco area.
There are actually 5 subway lines in Buenos Aires, and of course they do not run all night long.
Taxis may or may not be safe. As a local inhabitant I would call a radio-taxi (which is a taxi you can call on the phone, by registering your address and phone number with the taxi company). Unfortunately sometimes taxis charge turists more than they should because they take longer ways or they adjusted their meters to go faster. Of course whatever number the meter reads or shows, it is meant to be argentine pesos, not dollars. We also have remisses (similar to the taxis but without a meter. It charges by the distance, with a minimum distance requirement, and unlike taxis they look just like any other car in the street. You either call the remisse agency and give them your address, or else you go on your own to the remisse agency on foot and ask for the next available remisse). There are so many remisse agencies!!!).
Subways may be too hot in summertime and crowded in rush hours... same as buses. I would definitely recommend you to see the Subway line A, because most of its units are really antique wooden wagons. I think that is a very pintoresque trip. But you should choose off-peak hours to travel comfortably. Also bear in mind that sometimes the subway has a reduced way because they shut down certain subway stations when there are demonstrations. For example demonstrations generally take place at MAY SQUARE (in those cases subway stations Line A: Catedral and Line E Bolivar might be shut down). My advice would be to be flexible. I mean, I travelled to different european countries and the bus genarlly arrived at the time shown next to the bus stop. Buenos Aires is different. For one thing, do not expect schedules to be met, and do not even expect schedules to be shown to you near any bus stop. And if certain bus runs along whatever streets, their might be some detour or unexpected change in about 10% of the trips (the bus driver may take another route or a detour to avoid traffic or a demonstration). The message would be: be prepared for the unexpected. Do whatever you would do at a crowded city in your own country ...that is: do not be worried, just try to imitate the rest and keep your eyes on the handbag or wallet just like anywhere else.
I second what Seramos said; during rush hour, it is wise to avoid Subte anyway, especially with small children. But during that, busses are no treat either...
As to lodging, Recoleta, although posh, touristified, WAY too expensive and not too cozy, may be the best option in your case. You needn't worry about Subte not being near; there's over 300 bus lines crossing BsAs, so there's always one close enough. Given the architecture of the subway net, it isn't much use for sightseeing anyway, as the lines only spread from one point with no interlinking.
recoleta is posh and safe, albeit somewhat hectic at the main arteries.
But, since you'te going with 2 small kids, consider Palermo Viejo:
is beautiful, quiet, has that old-fashioned neighborhood charm, should be cheaper than recoleta, although less fancy,
it's in the walking distance to Zoo and couple of wonderful big parks which the kids will enjoy, and subte actually goes nearby (forgot the exact line - line D I believe)
I would just like to add that, if you're planning to go around with the city bus, hold the children tight: the rides can be pretty, pretty wild
Have fun in B.A.,
I sure had...
fell in love with the city
Hi Andysh and thanks for your post,
What you heard is correct, buses in Buenos Aires are the most common means
of transport, with a great frequency and lots of destinations. However to
move around downtown, the subway is also a good alternative as well as
Apart from Recoleta you might want to check Palermo Hollywood or Soho, this
is a centered location very nice, beautiful and filled with trees... Lots of
restaurants, shops and very easy access from most locations...
Taxis are not expensive at all and they run all night and day...
All in all I think that you might want to select the apartment either in
Recoleta or Palermo, transportation is good all around that area of the
Let me know your thoughts on this and please feel free to contact me any
time for tips or advise on anything regarding BA or other locations of our