Buenos Aires has something for everyone. Like in any big city, you wouldn’t have to try hard to blow $1000 on a fancy meal, drinks out and a top-end hotel. At the other end of the scale, however, there are tons of things to do for absolutely free in Buenos Aires. Discover all of the Free things to do in Buenos Aires.
My partner and I spent 6 weeks in the city in autumn this year, and still felt like we’d only just scratched the surface when we left. Here are some of our favourite free fun things to do in the city.
Take a Free Tour
There are two main official free tours offered in Buenos Aires; a morning and an afternoon one. The morning tour attracts a much larger crowd, and gives a great overview of the main sights and some of the history of the city. The afternoon tour focuses on the aristocratic history of the city and in particular about Eva Peron. The tour guides are friendly, enthusiastic and engaging, and taking either of these tours is a great introduction to Buenos Aires.
Peruse the San Telmo Sunday market
Every Sunday, the 10 blocks from Plaza de Mayo in the Microcentro to Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo are blocked off to cars and transformed into a pedestrian market with stalls offering everything from the usual tourist trash to antique furniture, jewellery and art work. A great place to rummage around and find some unusual souvenirs.
Watch a free tango show
In Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo, the same square where the Sunday market ends (or begins, depending on your point of view), transforms into an open-air tango arena. A linoleum mat is rolled out, speakers set up and locals come out and dance to the melancholy music. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can join in, or (like we did) just take an outside table at one of the many cafés lining the square and watch.
Wandering around Recoleta Cemetery
The famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried (though you’ll have to look hard; her tomb is marked with her maiden name, Duarte) is a great place to wander around for an afternoon, marvelling at the audacious splendour of some of the mansion-like tombs.
Discover the cool street art
Buenos Aires is one of the best cities I’ve ever been to to spot some great street art. This is not graffiti: rather than loads of messy tagging and ugly, half-hearted scribbled messages, the street art in Buenos Aires is well maintained and thoughtful. Just walking around most any area outside the downtown district, you can spot something interesting. For more specific information on how to find the best stuff, check out the post I wrote for Indie Travel Podcast .
Visit the free museums
Buenos Aires has tons of museums and art galleries, but most of them charge an entrance fee. The Museo de Artes Plásticos , a modern art gallery just beside the Palermo Rose Gardens (a lovely place to visit for a stroll through some excellently maintained public gardens) is free on Wednesdays and has an ever-changing exhibit of modern art by Argentine artists.
For something a bit more traditional, try the Museo de Bellas Artes in Recoleta just a few blocks from the cemetery, which is free all the time, and has a wide range of mostly European oil paintings and sculptures. For more on art galleries in Buenos Aires.
Go for a run in the Eco Reserve by Puerto Madero
Right beside Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires’ most modern district with fancy high-rise buildings towering over the canal, is the Ecological Reserve- a marshland that juts out into the Río de la Plata. It’s a great place to spot wildlife (birds, in particular) and to get away from the hectic pace of the city and, if you’re feeling energetic enough, go for a run along with many of the locals in this car-free area.
** A guest post written by Sam from Indefinite Adventure**
“Sam, a native of London, spent the last four years travelling solo around Europe, the Middle East and Asia learning languages, teaching English and eating his way through the local cuisine. Since January 2013, he has been travelling in South America with his long term partner, Zab.”