Buenos Aires

Train to Tigre

There is the overground train - multiple companies run these, and can be used for going from Retiro to Belgrano or as far as Tigre.

Just outside Estación Tigre Retiro Station - Platform There is a direct train from the Retiro station to Estación Tigre. Takes under 50 minutes for the trip and the last station is at the center of Tigre and the fare is AR$1.10 [2008], and it runs quite frequently. If you have the larger paper-back sized Guia-T, it has a map of Tigre.

Estación Tigre is at the main part of the town, and it also has the launching areas for many boat companies for a trip through the delta. This place also has many restaurants, and tourist attractions.

There is also another train called the Tren de la Costa which goes from Maipú–Bartolomé Mitre station in Buenos Aires to Estación Delta. To get to Bartolomé Mitre take a train from Retiro, the ride costs AR$0.65 and takes under 30 minutes and the last station is Bartolomé Mitre on that line. At that station walk over the connecting bridge to the Maipú station, and take the Tren de late Costa from Maipú.
This train will end at Estación Delta which is just two minutes from the coast-line, and a 10 minute walk to the Estación Tigre area which has a large number of boat launches, restuarants. The Tren de la Costa is a tourist train that has scenic stations along the way. The one way ticket is AR$8 and it allows you to get off and and on at every station on the route, and the train usually runs every 30 minutes, taking around 40 minutes for the full ride.

On the Tren de la Costa, two stations are worth stopping by: Anchorena and San Isidro. Anchorena is adjacent to a large unspoiled green park with no shops and on the banks of the river. It has some trees to sit under for a nice picnic on the river. San Isidro has shopping, crafts, and food right at the station. It also has a nice park just outside the shopping center.

[March 2008]


Guia-T If you have all the time in the world, try the Colectivo, but this is very confusing, the Guia T guide is not the easiest thing the world to comprehend, and you must have coins to pay for the ride. You need to know a bit of Spanish, at least to ask if this goes to the place you want - because many streets are one way, it is not easy to figure out which direction a bus is going, so ask the people waiting in line, or ask the driver - va a Sante Fe for example. They might reply otro meaning take the other bus on the same route - even though the bus may have the same number, many times they run a shorter or slightly different route. Or he may say no, wrong direction, then ask or look for the next one way street for the bus in the opposite direction. So, this is not a easy task, the guide is not very good in that it does not show the path and direction or bus-stop for each bus, so this option may not work for every tourist.

An excellent internet guide which also provides information on how to get from point A to point B and colectivo number and map is Viajo Asi web site. It offers maps, walking directions, subte directions, as well as colectivo directions. The directions from that website were usually correct, though in a few cases it reported an incorrect starting point. Therefore, always confirm their directions with the route description in the Guia-T.
The colectivo is a good way to take it slow, see different parts of Buenos Aires. The key thing to note is that since most of the streets in the city of Buenos Aires are one way only, the ida will be on different, adjacent street from the regreso route.


Subte Ticket Subte Station The subway is called Subte and it is very good - roads can get into very bad traffic jams, so if subte is a possibility, go for it - buy the 10 ride pass for AR$9 [2008]
Also - be very careful to pick the right street entrance and the right turnstile to enter the subway. You must choose the correct one because once inside, you can only take the train in one direction. Very few stations have access to both directions, so if you make a mistake, have to pay for another ride to cross over and use the other turnstile or keep going until you come to a station that has access to both directions. Some subway maps identify the stations that have access to platforms in both directions - there will be a horizontal bar in the circle representing a station, but not all maps offer this legend.

While the subway is the best choice where possible, the subway does not have a wide-spread network which explains the heavy use of black-smoke spewing diesel buses on the streets! The heat in the stations and the trains can also get stifling but this is an issue only in January and February.


While it is important to be cautious and aware, I think the tourist guides are a bit too strong on harping about dangers of hailing cabs. As long as you trust your instincts and are comfortable in cities like New York, should have no problems hailing a cab and taking it. It is also a matter of convenience - at the hotel, it is easy to get a radio taxi called in. But after dinner, after a walk around in the neighbouhood, it makes no sense to worry about this and call in for a cab when you can just do what the locals do, hail a cab on the street and not worry about this too much. And, do be careful about large bills since change is hard to get, and there are reports of counterfeited bills - best to have exact change or small bills to pay for the ride, around the Microcentro and neighbouring barrios, tabs should run around AR$10, so have AR$10 bills and change with you. Taxis in Buenos Aires are a very good deal, just under AR$1 per kilometer in 2008.

Café Tortoni

Café Tortoni - Inside Café Tortoni at Av. de Mayo 825 is well written about on the web, they have absolutely amazing chocolate. They serve churros too, but frankly, the churros are not as good as they are in México and are cold and more salty than sweet. On the back of the menu they claim churro is a national pastry - but this was the only place in Buenos Aires that I found serving it.

The chocolate drink is very delicious, thick, feels like it is just melted chocolate with some magical transformation so that there is no watery taste, but is still flowing liquid. This comes with a small pot of hot milk, and of course, three packets of sugar - everywhere in Buenos Aires, sugar is always available. In this case, skip the sugar, the chocolate is great just as is, and if needed, dilute it with the hot milk. This is definitely something not to be missed if visiting Buenos Aires. And then alternate between dunking the churro in the chocolate, and drinking the chocolate. This is good living!

While the cholocate is excellent, this place also has a lot of history, it has been open since 1858, visit the Café Tortoni web site for more info. The downside is that it is now on every tourists itinerary so there is a line to get in in the evening but it was never full in mid- to late-afternoon.

Buenos Aires

One more city to add to the amazing list - so much to see in Buenos Aires, great food (beef, beef, and beef), incredibly clean city, lots of green spaces, and good transportation.

Short takes and tips for travelers to Buenos Aires. There are many web sites with information, so this is only the list of things I did not find at other web sites after a web search, or things that were really interesting.

Click here for: Buenos Aires Photo Album

You can get by with English, but note that most people will only be able to speak in Spanish, so knowing a bit of Spanish is recommended.

Arrival: After a long flight from the US, you want to get to your room with least amount of trouble - take the taxi if you are in a hurry, or take the Manuel Tienda Leon bus. The bus is air-conditioned and quite comfortable, but requires a transfer to another bus to get to your final destination. The bus is half the price of the taxis, so if there are two or more people, taxi is a better option. There are many stalls selling taxi/remis services, but the best option is at the Taxi Ezeiza's blue/white circular, stand-alone booth, just outside the exit from the customs area. For the return trip, call their number (+54 11) 5480-0066 to reserve a taxi. Airport to the City costs under AR$65, while City to the Airport is under AR$55 (this includes tolls). [2007 Prices - factor in 10%-20% inflation! In 2008, the prices were AR$88 and AR$60 respectively!]. They also respond very quickly to email at their info@taxiezeiza.com.ar address, you have to communicate in Spanish - use the free translation services available on the web if you need it!

Eating - Buenos Aires

The Buenos Aires Photo Album pages include some restaurant and food photos.

Buenos Aires has its unique food style - anything you want as long as it is some cut of beef, and grilled. Cut of beef may be a restrictive definition, you can get any body part of cow grilled! The range and taste is not as good as one might find in New York, Montreal, or Chicago, so prepare accordingly. There was a period between 2002 and 2007 when prices in US$ were quite good, but inflation is very high in Argentina and by 2008, the mid-range restaurants would range around US$15 to US$20 (not including wine) for lunch and higher for dinner. This type of food would be a minimum for good eating as far as tourists may be concerned. And just like Europe, no restaurant serves plain water for free so have to order water for around US$2-3 per bottle.

These external links are great guides to refer to:
Guía de Restaurantes de Buenos Aires which seems to be a popular local site, with many customer comments. Even if you don't understand Spanish, they have great summaries that rate the food, the service, and provide an indication of the cost of one meal (without drinks).
Asado Argentina » Beef has pictures, explanations of different cuts of meat. Given the amount of beef you might eat in Buenos Aires, this is a good site to read about what you may be eating!

Food: Yes, grilled food is only thing they eat here in Buenos Aires! Seriously, the beef at any parrilla is excellent, Bife de lomo or bife de chorizo were good at all price points - even at under US$15. They do have better beef down in Argenttina, grass-fed cattle make better beef than US grain-fed cattle! French Fries are common side dish, but if you need ketchup, must ask for it, it is not normally served here.