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.

 

 

 

A New A Line

(Photo by casimira parabolica)

After a heartfelt last ride in the city’s antique subway wagons, the historic A line closed down during the Summer for remodeling and maintenance. Today at 8pm a modern new subway opens to the public. Although the picturesque wagons with their wooden seating, dim lights and manually operated doors will be missed, the new wagons will be air-conditioned and will once again allow tourists to stop at some of the city’s most emblematic historic landmarks including Plaza de Mayo and the Casa Rosada, Casa de la Cultura, Café Tortoni and 36 Billares, Congress, Las Violetas and Parque Centenario. Additionally, the stations have been intervened by some of the city’s most talented street artists including Triángulo Dorado, Martín Ron Murales, Dame, Nazza Stencil, Georgina Ciotti, Stencilland and Run Don’t Walk.

 

March in Buenos Aires

(Photo by [..næ..])

As the legal recess comes to an end and schools begin a new academic year, the city picks up its pace and prepares to receive Autumn and the Easter bunny in full swing.

Live music, art exhibits, and the Colón Theatre Season are all part of the upcoming cultural program.

Festivals and Events

Inauguration of the A line: The historical A subway line, which has been closed during the Summer for renovations, will be reopening this March. On your way to the Tortoni and Congress, look out for the gorgeous new murals at the Plaza de Mayo station by Triangulo Dorado  and other artistic interventions at the different stations and on the subways themselves.

Masa Crítica: 3rd of March. This monthly event gathers bicycle riders the first Sunday of each month at the Obelisco on Av. 9 de Julio with the purpose of touring the city thus promoting the use of bicycles as transport. If you would like to join you can rent a bike at Bici Naranja.

Nighttime tour of the Ecological Reserve- 9th of March. Discover the nightlife of the city’s ecological reserve under the light of the moon.  Sign up in advance for the tour on the 5th of March at 0800-444-5343.

CiuDanza:  14th-17th of March.  Parque Las Heras, Plaza San Martín and Parque Patricios will be the stages for this dance festival that merges dance with urban spaces. Find the full program here.

Colón Theatre 2013 Program: The stunning theatre kicks off their annual program of operas, ballets and concerts. Check out the full program here.

Easter Weekend: 28th-31st of March. With the Autumn chill comes the friendly Easter bunny full of comforting chocolate. Friday the 29th is a national holiday.

Live Music

Elton John- 2nd of March. The legendary singer/songwriter will be playing at Estadio Velez Sarsfield on Saturday. Get your tickets here.

Ian Anderson- 10th of March. Jethro Tull’s leading man will be playing live at the Gran Rex Theatre. Tickets here. 

Moon Park- 16th of March.  The second part of the Moon Park electronic festival, featuring Sasha and Hernán Cattaneo will be taking place at Centro Costa Salguero. Tickets here.

The Killers- 31st of March. The popular Vegas band will be staging a live show at GEBA. Tickets here.

Art Exhibits

MALBA

Adriana Varejao- 27 Mar- 30 Jun.

MAMBA

Ronald Shakespeare Retrospective- 21st March

MACBA

Geometry in Argentina- 9th of March

Juan José Cambré- 16th of March- 12th of May

MNAD

Lucio Boschi Photography- 15 Mar- 28 Apr.

Buenos Aires Transport System

Buenos Aires is a large city and can be intimidating for visitors to move around in, however, the city streets are visibly named and numbered and the bus system can be understood with a little help from a Guia T, available at any newspaper stand. Below is a small guide with tips to help you out with the city’s transport system.

Taxis

(Photo by Garton)

Taxis in Buenos Aires are black with a yellow roof. You can hail them from the street or call a taxi company to have one pick you up (the safest method).  Available cabs have a red light on their window on and once inside they have a digital clock that shows the amount of money you have to pay. During the day the initial meter is 7.30 pesos and then 73cents/200 meters, at night the initial meter is 8.70 pesos and then 87c/200m.  If you’re going to the outskirts of the city (provincia), keep in mind that they may charge you extra for the return since they’re not allowed to pick up passengers outside of Capital Federal. An alternative option in the outskirts is to take a remis, which are private cars that you can ask for in a remiseria. They don’t charge the return and work with different rates.

Subway

(Photo by Armando Maynez)

The city has a pretty extensive metro (subte) system, which is very practical and will take you quickly across the city. Subway rush hours can be daunting though (8-9am and 6-8pm) so avoid them if you don’t like the idea of being squashed in a crowd, also, always beware of pickpockets. A copy of the subway map is available here, and subway timetables here.

Buses or colectivos

(Photo by mehan)

Buenos Aires has a very large network of buses identified by number and color. Tickets can be bought with coins and fares will depend on the bus line and distance but usually range between 1.10 – 2.00 pesos. When you get on the bus (after hailing with your hand at the corresponding bus stop) let the bus driver know the street you’re getting off on and then he will enter the amount in the ticket machine. Most buses stop every 2-3 blocks and you have to ring the bell by the back door to announce that you want the bus to stop. Basic bus protocol is: respect the line at the bus stop, be willing to offer your seat to pregnant women, adults with very small children, older people and people with handicaps.

Now, how to know which bus to take? There are two ways, through the Internet or with the Guia T or Guía Filcar which can be purchased for around 10 pesos at any newspaper stand. In the Guias, first look for the street and approximate numbering of your location on the street list. There you will find a map and grid number. Go to the map and on the grid you will find all the buses that pass through the area. Then look for the street and numbering of the place you are going to, locate the map and grid and find which bus numbers coincide. Finally go to the back of the Guía and look for the bus number where its route will be detailed.

Online there is also a webpage www.comoviajo.com that helps you find the best transport to get to your destination. To find the best public transport option click on the left hand corner where it says “En Colectivo, Tren o Subte.” There you will be asked to introduce the address where you are parting from. First it will ask you for calle (street name), Altura o Esquina (numbering or cornering street), Provincia and Localidad (Anywhere in the city center is always Capital Federal). Click on Siguiente Paso and introduce the same information for your destination. Finally, the webpage will ask you how many blocks you’re willing to walk (¿cuantas cuadras estas dispuesto a caminar?) and what you prefer (¿que preferis?) which usually just gives you one option- the quickest (ir de la forma mas rapido). When you press continue you will get a few possible results with where to get on, where to get off and duration of the ride.

Trains

(Photo by Flodigrip´s world)

Traveling by train is a quick option to get around in the city and there are two lines, Mitre and Sarmiento.  The Mitre has branches from Retiro train station to the north of Buenos Aires and has a train line that also goes to Rosario, and the Sarmiento line goes to the West and South from the terminal in Once. More information on timetables and routes here.

Next to the Retiro train station is also the long distance bus terminal.

We Recommend: A Trip Down the A-Line

(Photo by cyph3r)

The ride begins at the Plaza de Mayo Station, at the A-Line subway that’s at the heart of the historical district, below the emblematic Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada. The picturesque wagons that date back to 1913 still preserve the wooden seating, dim lights and manually operated doors immediately taking both the locals and visitors to another time.  The first stop on the historic path is the Peru Station, which was renovated to look like it did in the 1900´s and keeps its ticket booths as well as displaying evocative black and white pictures of the subways path, where once, each station had a different colored mural on its walls so that the illiterate would know when to get off. The Subway continues through Avenida de Mayo where the historical Casa de la Cultura and Traditional Cafes such as Tortoni and Los 36 Billares can be visited. It then crosses the 9 de Julio Avenue, after Avenida de Mayo station, riding into Rivadavia Avenue where you can find the Congress above Congreso station before passing though ghost stations Alberti and Pasco. These two stations were so close to each other that they were closed down in 1951 and it is rumored that when the lights go out it is possible to see passengers from those times still waiting for the train.   Further down the line above Castro Barros Station is gorgeous teahouse Las Violetas, which dates back to 1884 and serves assorted platters of cakes and sandwiches. Finally, close to the Rio de Janeiro Station is Parque Centenario, a large park that was opened in 1910 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Argentine Independence. The subway then continues up to Primera Junta which was the original end of the circuit and through to the recently added Puan and Carabobo stations. A map of the Buenos Aires subway lines is available here.

 

Our tip: Avoid the subway during rush hours (8-9.30AM and 6-8PM) or as an old local expression says, you will be riding like a sardine in a can!