Buenos Aires Beat V: Buses, trains, and worn out boots

Taking a walk (or the subte) through the streets that inspired Gardel

Staff writer E.R. Pulgar will be based in Buenos Aires, Argentina until January writing a bi-monthly column for Journiest called Buenos Aires Beat. In its fifth iteration, he lets us in on the best ways to move around this romantic city.

Buenos Aires is often compared to Paris because of the architecture in the Retiro district, with its mansions and its mansard roofs. One could also think about the French capital when it comes to exploring the art scene, as well as the powerful and sprawling underground culture (as well as the fact that smoking is so ingrained here). Although most people only get as far as the mansards in Retiro for that all-too-common comparison that doesn't take into account the uniqueness and passion of this city, I do concur 100% with another parallel to The City of Lights: walking.

The first thing one will notice when looking at a map of Paris is that it looks like a snail, its arrondissements designed in a spiral that makes walking around the city easy and stumbling into a new neighborhood even more so. The Argentine capital isn't exactly a snail so much as a cluster: a map of Buenos Aires, bordered by its famous port, could be compared to a labyrinthine zig-zag condensed into a square. Like most cities, it's hard to maneuver walking until you've lived here a while, but those of us with boots worn thin by this city know well it's strange, delightful spirit. By having every district so close together, wandering somewhere entirely new and different is routine. To break from the Parisian comparisons, the architecture and attitude of each neighborhood is so entirely different that any porteño will tell you that there's more than one Buenos Aires. Now, imagine having two entirely different worlds at most a five minute walking distance from each other.

Residential Belgrano has absolutely nothing to do with ostentatious Recoleta; party and fashion district Palermo is completely unlike up-and-coming art hub La Boca. The spirit of Buenos Aires is the proximity of contradiction, of finding a villa bordering the marble splendor of the Retiro train station, the freedom of being able to walk from the government palace Casa Rosada all the way to San Telmo, where tango dancers and antique sellers flood streets dripping in old world charm. La Boca and the small villas that have sprung up in Buenos Aires bordering the marble splendor of the Retiro train station. With everything so close by, the temptation to walk everywhere is certainly there, and we're not saying don't take it, but there will be days where that party's just too far or it's late at night and you're somewhere strange. Thankfully, the city's public transportation is more than up to the task.

There's a huge collectivo culture here; since the (incredibly efficient and clean) metro system—here, subte—shuts down at midnight and the buses run all night, you will eventually board one of these bad boys like a local. This is where the true porteño city dweller moves around, taking off or putting on glitter before a night out, listening to the music the bus drivers are playing, or looking out the window very much lost. For those truly urgent times, and any New Yorker strapped for cash will be shocked by what I'm about to say, a taxi off the street is your best bet. The first time I jumped into an Argentine Uber, I found out two things: not only was this too-common alternative to a taxi from back in New York City unregulated and illegal over here, but it actually cost significantly more than you average taxi. Needless to say, breaking this habit once I get back to the states is a must—over here, I've learned the art of hailing a taxi where, in New York, I couldn't even afford to.

All this said and done, what can really beat walking around a city as beautiful, idiosyncratic, and welcoming as Buenos Aires? For those of us who earn in dollars, it's so much easier to move around; for porteños earning in pesos, this city is as expensive as New York. My advice? If you truly want to discover the city, lace up your good boots, turn off your phone, and lose yourself in this sprawling, lovely maze.

Read More from Journiest

Subscribe now

Related Posts

Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

To top everything off, all of the Cleaning Pros booked through Handy are vetted and background checked. And you can even check out each Pro's ratings and reviews before you book.

Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.


Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

getaway cabin all seasons

Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

getaway essentials

Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.


Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

getaway activities

UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake Travislaketravis.com

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years Evebluegreenvacations.com

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.