The Buenos Aires Subte
UPDATE 2:: As of 7th January 2013 the Brugeoise wooden trains have sadly been removed from service.El Subterráneo de Buenos Aires (simply known as El Subte) is often the easiest and quickest way to get around Buenos Aires, although it can often be crowded, hot and uncomfortable, particularly at peak times.
It costs 2.50 pesos per journey, which allows transferring between lines. Tickets can be bought at every station, although queues can be long at peak times. You can buy as many tickets as you like and you can get 1, 2, 5 or 10 journeys on one ticket, but there is no discount for buying in bulk. If you are going to be in Buenos Aires for a few weeks it might be worth getting a Sube card which can be pre-charged with cash and used on all Subte lines and on an ever-increasing number of bus lines. Again, these cards offer no financial incentive, but do at least mean you don’t need to worry about having enough change or small notes to travel.
UPDATE 1: As of January 2013, the cost of travelling by bus and suburban train (not Subte) will start from 3 pesos per trip if you do not pay with a Sube card, which makes them more worthwhile getting hold of.
The Subte has 5 main lines, A to E which radiate out from a central point (around Plaza de Mayo), making travel across town a bit of a challenge as such a journey would involve travelling into the centre and back out again.
One little quirk to watch out for is the station naming conventions. Both Lines B & D have a stations called Pueyrredon and Callao but in each case they are completely separate stations, several blocks apart and no transfer is possible between them. However the stations where you can transfer between lines have different names. For example you take Line D to 9 de Julio where you want to change to Line B to head up to Abasto. Follow the signs to the Line B platform, wait for your train and you may notice you’re no longer in the same station, you’re now in Carlos Pelligrini, there is no 9 de Julio on Line B. It’s all a bit confusing to start with, but you’ll soon get used to it.
Linea A: The line you’ll catch when you come on the daily tour This was the first underground train line in the both the Spanish speaking world and the southern hemisphere and runs from Plaza de Mayo, through Congreso to Plaza Once and beyond. Notable for the original wooden carriages still in use – get on at the front for a driver’s view of the tunnels.
Linea B: Useful for getting to Abasto (get off at Carlos Gardel) for some shopping or Peruvian food in one of the restaurants along Anchorena. Also can be used to visit Chacaritas cemetery (Federico Lacroze), the final resting place of the aforementioned Señor Gardel.
Linea C: Runs from Retiro to Constitución, not a great deal of interest along the line that is not served by other lines.
Linea D: From a tourist point of view this is the most interesting line. Running from Plaza de Mayo (Catedral) to Palermo and Belgrano there are things to see at most of the stops along the way. My free daily walking tour starts at Plaza Italia, on Line D.
Linea E: Legendary Tango spot, Esquina Homero Manzi is close to Boedo station.