Free things to do in Buenos Aires

Free things to do in Buenos Aires is from travel blogger Sarah Edwards of Not Another Travel Blog.

Argentina is known as one of the pricier destinations in South America but a trip here doesn’t have to break the bank. There are plenty of free things to do in Buenos Aires that will help you visit this amazing city on a backpacker budget. With these tips you can even take in some tango without shelling out hundreds of dollars to see a formal show.

Whether you’re looking for arts and culture, gardens, nature or even some quirkier attractions this is the perfect city to explore. It takes at least four to five days to see the main highlights of Buenos Aires. Luckily, many areas can be covered on foot. If you do need to cover wider areas, the city’s public transport is easy to use and very cost effective, making it an all round great destination for travellers on a budget.

Visit La Recoleta Cemetery

free things to do in Buenos Aires - A mausoleum at La Recoleta, photo Not Another Travel Blog

A mausoleum at La Recoleta, photo/Not Another Travel Blog

La Recoleta Cemetery, located in the city’s Recoleta district, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Buenos Aires. Visiting a cemetery for fun may sound a little strange but believe me, it’s seriously impressive. There are over 4,000 above ground vaults, many with beautiful architecture and stone carvings. Winding paths take you through the cemetery past grand mausoleums and crumbling tombs; you can even see the final resting place of Eva Perón. The cemetery has many famous residents, including Argentine presidents and Nobel Prize winners; it’s an atmospheric place to explore.

Enjoy the art and architecture

free things to do in Buenos Aires - Interested in architecture? Check out the National Congress, photo courtesy Not Another Travel Blog

Interested in architecture? Check out the National Congress, photo Not Another Travel Blog

Not for nothing is Buenos Aires known as the Paris of South America; this is most obvious in the city’s architecture and thriving arts scene. The European style architecture is noticeable throughout the city and there are many historic buildings to take in. You can spend days wandering the streets taking in the impressive buildings and wide tree-lined streets. Be sure to check out the Teatro Colón, the Palace of the National Congress, Casa Rosada and San Martín Palace for starters. Many free walking tours cover the most notable buildings and residences, providing an insight into the city’s history. I took one given by Free Walks Buenos Aires recommended by my hostel. For art, the National Museum of Fine Arts of Argentina, unlike many of the city’s other galleries, is free. It merits a couple of hours admiring the collections.

Wander El Caminito

Free things to do in Buenos Aires -Caminito, Buenos Aires, photo Not Another Travel Blog

The brightly-painted shanty houses of El Caminito, Buenos Aires, photo/Not Another Travel Blog

The area of La Boca is one of the city’s more down-market neighborhoods but, despite that, is still popular with tourists. Spend a morning wandering the colorful streets of El Caminito with its brightly-painted shanty houses and many street markets. You can also watch free tango shows outside many of the small bars and restaurants lining the streets. For the price of a drink you can watch for as long as you like. It’s safe enough to explore the main streets but take care not to venture too far off the beaten track. Most find it safer to get here via taxi, Uber or public transport rather than walking, as the neighboring areas can be risky to walk through.

Browse San Telmo Market

Free things to do in Buenos Aires - Vintage matchboxes at the San Telmo market, photo Not Another Travel Blog

Vintage matchboxes at the San Telmo market, photo/Not Another Travel Blog

San Telmo, another less refined part of the city, comes alive on Sunday when the arts and antiques market takes place. Browse stalls full of quirky trinkets and antiques, and enjoy a meander around the area’s cobbled streets and admire the architecture. There are many historic buildings. You can get a sense of Buenos Aires’ history as you wander.  Another bonus: the streets are often busy with street performers and entertainers. Be careful though, as it’s notorious for pickpockets and tourists can be a target.

Stroll through the ‘hipster’ Palermo District

Free things to do in Buenos Aires -

Stroll through the Palermo District, the ‘hipster’ part of town, photo Not Another Travel Blog

For a more up market experience, the Palermo neighborhood is an up and coming, ‘hipster’ part of town. Full of bars, coffee shops and eateries it’s one of the best places to come for dinner and a few drinks. Palermo is the largest district in Buenos Aires and home to the city’s Botanical Garden which is a lovely place to explore on a sunny day with thousands of species of plants and trees. It’s also well known as a shopping area, though, if you’re on a budget it might be more window shopping that you indulge in.

There are plenty of free things to do in Buenos Aires, especially in the summer months when the city’s many parks are busy with locals and tourists gathering to enjoy some sunshine. These attractions mentioned here are the ones to prioritize if you want to see as much as possible while spending as little as possible. Diviértete!

What are your favorite free things to do in Buenos Aires?

Sarah is currently a full time traveller exploring the world with her partner, Rob. Find out more about their adventures; everything from foodie tips to travel itineraries and travel stories  on their blog Not Another Travel Blog. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Read more about BA from travel blogger Claudia Tavani, All the things to do in Buenos Aires to feel (a bit ) like a local.

Read more posts in our free things to do series:

Free things to do in Santa Fe
Free things to do in San Diego
8 free things to do in Melbourne
5 free things to do in Seattle
5 free things to do in London
Free things to do in Ipoh, Malaysia
Free things to do in Budapest
11 free things to do in Edinburgh
Free things to do in Lisbon
Free things to do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Free things to do in Ottawa
7 Free things to do in Rome
5 free things to do in Copenhagen
5 free things to do in Barcelona
Free things to do in Paris the City of Lights
Free things to do in Toronto, Canada

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4 Responses to “Free things to do in Buenos Aires”

  1. Lynn
    May 11, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Great post!Argentina is high on my bucket list.
    Thanks for the info you definitely upgrade my knowledge about Buenos Aires.

    • Billie Frank
      May 12, 2017 at 9:34 am #

      That’s what we hope the free things series will do for readers. Hope you get there soon.

  2. Courtney Blacher
    June 11, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    I LOVE your “Free things to do in” series. Thank you for sharing. I wish you do “Free things to do in Istanbul”.
    Courtney Blacher recently posted..Long Beach Visitors GuideMy Profile

    • Billie Frank
      June 12, 2017 at 9:56 am #

      Glad you’re enjoying the series, Courtney. So far no one’s offered to write about Istanbul. If one of our fellow travel bloggers offers to do it we’ll definitely say yes. Thanks for the great suggestion!

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