5 Free Things to do in Buenos Aires

Congreso-Buenos-Aires

I’ve been in Buenos Aires now (coming up) for 2 weeks, and knowing that I was going to be here for a while to study Spanish at a private language school in the city, I’ve been very conscious from the outset not to spend too much money. For that reason I’ve been trying to indulge mostly in free activities where possible. Below I’ve listed some of those free activities. If you’re ever in Buenos Aires and are on a strict budget like I have been, hopefully you find them useful.

Free City Tours of Buenos Aires

There are two free tours currently operating in Buenos Aires by BA Free Tours. The first is a city tour commencing every day (apart from Sunday) at 11am from Plaza Congreso where Rivadavia Av. meets Rodriguez Peña St. The city tour focusses on the downtown area of Buenos Aires, taking in highlights such as the Obelisco, Cabildo, and Plaza de Mayo. In summary the tour gives you a taste of Argentina’s culture, customs, and peculiarities.

The second free tour commences every day (apart from Sunday) at 5pm from Plaza San Martin. This tour focuses more on detailing the aristocratic history of Buenos Aires and its European influences. Highlights include the Monumento a Malvinas, Iglesia del Pilar, and Torre Monumental.

For more information on either tour you can visit the company website at http://www.bafreetour.com/english-home.

(Free Tour + Entry to the) Galeria de los Patriotas Latinoamericanos

It usually takes a lot for an art gallery to impress me these days. I’ve been to so many on my travels that I tend to sway towards more adventurous activities in my travels these days now than I do towards the more cultural. However, the Galeria de los Patriotas Latinoamericanos in Buenos Aires was particularly interesting because it wasn’t just a bunch of old classics. It told a story. It gave you a history of Latin America through the eyes of its iconic figures (both old and new.) There was everything from Che Guvara, to Juan Domingo Peron, Simon Bolivar, Evita, Tupac Catari, and Lionel Messi! There was also a room solely dedicated to Latin America’s most famous and influential women. If you’re interested in classical and/or contemporary portraiture you will love this gallery. However, even if you’re not it’s still a cool place to visit if you want to get to grips with the history of Latin America throughout the years. Entry is free as was the tour of the gallery (which we were given in both Spanish and English).

Free Argentine Tango Lesson

There are quite a few different ways/opportunities to get a free tango lesson in Buenos Aires, but most of them involve you either belonging to some sort of group, club, or hostel that has it included as an added bonus. For example, one of the weekly activities organised by my language school here in Buenos Aires is a free Argentine Tango lesson every Tuesday night.  I’ve heard of other people being offered a free lesson through their hostels too, but it tends to be more of a one-off sort of thing than a regular occurrence like they have on offer here at the language school. Alternatively, if you already know the basics of the tango and/or would be happy just to watch some local tango dancers (i.e. non professionals) in action, then there is a free Milonga (tango dancing event where local people go dancing) at La Glorieta that starts at 7pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. No experience is necessary to join in with the dancers, however it should be noted that tango dancers in Buenos Aires take their dancing seriously so it might be best to have at least one lesson (paid or otherwise) before you go to any Milonga.

Flea Markes

By accident I discovered the San Telmo Market or ‘Feria de San Telmo’ whilst walking in Buenos Aires on what would usually have been a quiet Sunday. As it turns out the market it already quite popular with local people and the atmosphere alone is worth going for – even if you don’t buy anything! You’ll find musicians playing instruments, local arts & crafts stalls, second hand clothing, food vendors, people on stilts, people juggling, people dancing… The list goes on. I didn’t buy anything while I was at the market other than some food (which I would have bought anyway as I needed to eat) so it’s entirely possible to go here and not spend any money if you don’t want to. The atmosphere alone is definitely worth  going regardless of your spending budget.

Free Bikes

If you’re planning on moving to Buenos Aires or becoming a resident temporarily, there is currently a system in operation called ‘Mejor en Bici’ (Better by Bike) that allows residents of Buenos Aires to use the bright yellow bikes free of charge for up to one hour. Most depots are in the downtown area but there are also some in Palermo too. The system was really designed to help local people in Buenos Aires, but I know some resident foreigners who have been taking advantage of the scheme too. You just need your ID (to prove who you are), a photocopy of the same ID, and some sort of proof of address. The latter can simply be a utility bill or your resident certificate. I should add that cycling around Buenos Aires is not something I have personally done. The main reason being that I’m not 100% confident cycling amongst heavy city centre traffic (and of course I’m not a resident.) However, having met some people over here who have used the bike scheme and enjoyed it I thought it was worth mentioning here! For more information on using the bikes you can go to the company website at http://ecobici.buenosaires.gob.ar/.

– If you have any other free things to add for Buenos Aires please let me know in the comments section below. Also, if you found this article useful you may also find my post on the cheapest, safest, and quickest way to get from Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport to Buenos Aires city centre something useful too.

2 Responses to “5 Free Things to do in Buenos Aires”

  1. Sam says:

    We really enjoyed the free tours, especially the 5pm one! I’d add to this list wandering around Recoleta cemetery, looking out for the amazing street art everywhere and visiting museums on days they’re free: the Museo de Artes Plásticos (near the rose garden in Palermo) is free on Wednesdays and the Museo de Bellas Artes (behind the Floralis Genérica) is free all the time! If you’re feeling energetic, there are also several good places to go for a run in the city – in particular the eco reserve in Puerto Madero, right by San Telmo.

  2. Adam Evans says:

    Good ideas – I stumbled upon the flea market too. It’s pretty tucked away but I found it pretty interesting.

    Have you tried the free Eco Reserve down by the sea? It was a bit cloudy when I went but would be good on a sunny day.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply