Top Mobile Apps for Travelers in Buenos Aires

app

(Photo by Georgie Pauwels)

Technology has made travel all the easier, and there are a great variety of very useful mobile apps to help us when we are in a new city. Below, we’ve selected a few of those that we think are practical for people travelling to Buenos Aires.

Language

If you need a Spanish app, of course Google Translate is the most immediate option, however, we recommend Porteño Spanish  which will help you with the language and the local lingo.

Also, if you’re learning Spanish, or any other language, Hello Talk allows you to connect with native speakers to practice.

Money

Two useful apps while travelling anywhere are XE Currency, for exchange rates, and ATM Hunter, to help you find the closest ATM.

Transport

There are many apps to help you around the city in terms of transport. Como LLego offers you transport options and directions for getting from one place to the next, BA Subte  is the local subway app, Trenes en Vivo is a useful app for those who travel by train and lets you know at what time the next trains are coming in, Easy Taxi is an international Taxi app that also works in Buenos Aires for calling cabs, BA EcoBici lets you know where you can find public city bikes and bike paths.

City Guides

International city guides are available from Trip Advisor that offers offline city guides, including one for Buenos Aires, from Travel Guides by Triposo and a GPS guide by Digi Guide.

Dining, Wine-ing, Dancing

Guía Oleo and Restorando are two apps that offer restaurant listings and reviews that will help you pick out the best places to stop for a bite and make reservations.

Otherwise, try CookApp for closed door dinner options.

Argentina Wine App, in English, and Vinomanos, in Spanish, are two wine apps that specialize in Argentine wine and are useful to pick out and discover some of the best local bottles.

Hoy-Milonga is an app for Tango enthusiasts that want to know when and where the BA milongas are taking place.

LightOut is BA’s nightlife app for those that like to dance till dawn.

 

 

 

The ¨Bondi¨ Identity

(Photo by Libertinus)

Colectivo and bondi (Lunfardo slang) are the common local words for bus. And, the colorful bus lines, with their character bus drivers are truly a part of the local identity.

The bus system in Argentina dates back to the 1930’s when due to the economic crisis, taxi passengers began to dwindle and cab drivers came up with the idea of collective taxis. The exact date is the 24th of September of 1928; it was then that taxi drivers stood on their stop and began to holler out promotional tariffs to specific destinations (Plaza Once and Plaza de Mayo).

From then on routes began to be established, and bigger cars were purchased until the lines were made official and actual buses began to circulate.

As many travelers have noticed, one of the defining characteristics of the Argentine bus system is its colorful bus lines.  As this mode of transport was private, the initial reason for this was to distinguish one line from the other.

One of the most popular color combinations was red and black. Some speculate that this was because the owners of the buses were anarchists.

The colorful system however did not last long. In 1936 the Transport Corporation was founded and bus lines were either bought or confiscated, their colors traded in for a uniform red and ivory.

Then, during the 50’s,  the Ministry of Transport determined that all buses should be silver with a blue lining.  It wasn’t until the privatizations in the 60’s that buses recovered their traditional coloring.  Bus tickets, were also different colors depending on the bus line and distance, and many collected them.

Now a days bus tickets have been homogenized thanks to the ticket machine, yet this colorful city emblem keeps unique chromatic combinations, as well as occasionally sporting fileteado porteño, and decorations inside the buses such as engraved mirrors, curtains and special lighting, amongst others.