Save your pesos and centavos. You can visit Buenos Aires for FREE!
It’s true. Plane tickets aside (and accommodation and food and souvenirs…), you really can visit Buenos Aires for free. Buenos Aires has your typical European city appeal — architecture, romance and charm — but without the ridiculous Euro price tag attached. Great food, historical landmarks, charming neighborhoods and shopping districts, it’s the perfect city for the budget traveller. Here are some ways to get the most of your Buenos Aires visit.
Free Walking Tour.
The best way to see Buenos Aires is via their free walking tour. You heard it, FREE! BA Free Tour offers two tours per day. One in the morning and the other one in the afternoon.
The City Tour is a day tour and gives a great overview of the downtown area. The tour starts at 11am at Plaza del Congreso. Some highlights include:
- Playa de Mayo
- Casa Rosada (or the big pink house!)
- and much more..
I think the tour lasted a good 2.5 – 3 hours. And I have to say, my feet felt every hour. It’s a great tour, don’t get me wrong, but there are no rest stops and you’re constantly on your feet. By the time we reached the big pink house, you can tell, everyone was wiped. So consider this a slight warning and be prepared. Also, bring a snack bar and water. You’ll need it especially on a hot Argentinean summer day.
The Aristocratic Tour is an early evening tour and starts at 5pm at Plaza San Martin. The 2 hour tour consist of a relaxing stroll through the history of the Aristocratic Buenos Aires and the European influences. Some highlights include:
- Cementerio de la Recoleta
- Av.9 de Julio
- Torre Monumental
- and much more..
I really enjoyed the afternoon tour. The pace feels slower and you can truly get a sense of the French and Spanish influences in Buenos Aires architecture. Also, it’s not as crowded — the tour itself and the city.
Why is there a giant metal flower in the middle of Buenos Aires? I have no idea but it looks cool, right? Even better, the flower opens and closes with the sun by hydraulic machinery. In the morning or day time, the flower is wide open and in the evening time, the flower closes almost all the way. I hear it’s better to visit in the evening because the flower lights up! We had loads of fun practicing our jumpin’ shots here.
La Recoleta Cemetery.
It’s not like I venture to many cemeteries back home to compare, but La Recoleta is definitely the most impressive, unique cemeteries I have ever seen. Aside from New Orleans and our brief visit to Boston, you don’t get to see many cemeteries built from the ground up, rather than buried below.
Fun Fact: It took over 25 years before Eva Peron, more famously known as Evita, is buried at La Recoleta. She’s locked up in a vault 18 feet below the ground.
Caminito in La Boca.
La Boca may be small, maybe the size of a neighborhood block (if that), but it’s the most eclectic, vibrant part of town. You can’t come to Buenos Aires and not visit La Boca. 30 minutes tops but I’m willing to bet the best pictures you’ll take during your entire BA stay.
But fair warning, you’re not going to want to venture outside of La Boca. Yup. You guessed it. You’re in the ghetto so unless you’re willing to risk it all, it’s tourist suicidal. Cabs are plenty so be smart, get in one.
San Telmo may be famous for its shops and boutiques, but if you ask me, this is the place to get your Boca gear and souvenirs! I recommend saving La Boca towards the end of your trip because I guarantee most of your souvenir shopping will be done here. One thing I regret is not coming home with a Boca jersey. 🙁
I was so expecting to see a flood of tango dancers throughout the city at every corner cafe in Buenos Aires. Isn’t that how you’d picture BA too? Sadly that’s not true. However, you can see street tango dancers in La Boca. It’s more of a tourist getup along with the silly tango cutout boards you can pay to take a picture in. Or, if you choose to dine at one of the few restaurants on the strip, they’ll have tango performers entertain you while you enjoy your lunch outdoors. But if you’re like us, we just walked up and down the streets and watched the show for free! 😉
We didn’t get a chance to visit museums. The weather was too perfect to be stuck indoors. But Buenos Aires is home to some awesome museums. Some like Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and MALBA are free!
Next time you’re in BA, save a little, experience a lot. Because the best things in life are really free!
Got any more? Share your Buenos Aires free tips in the comments!