You don’t have to be a Spanish student in Buenos Aires to love free activities! It means more pesos for barbecues and shopping in one of the world’s best places to spend. It also means you’ll have the chance to see the city from a whole new perspective and alongside locals, who — you guessed it — love free things in Buenos Aires as well!
1. Hire a city bike
Buenos Aires is, today, a patchwork of bike lanes. The city’s government has recently implemented a series of measures to encourage people to take up the age-old practice of bike-riding, with the Eco-Bici (Eco-Bike) service that offers locals and foreigners the chance to hire a bike for free and take to the labyrinth of bike lanes spotted all across the city.
2. Fairs and markets everywhere and anywhere
Argentina’s capital is a commercial and cultural maniac of sorts that never rests when it comes to delivering the best deals, the best products and the best kept secrets you’ll find in the country, perhaps even in the entire continent. Highlights include the weekend Feria de Mataderos in the neighbourhood of Mataderos for gaucho goods and traditional produce and the Feria de Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo for books, handcrafts and antiques.
3. Noche de los museos
Stop cringing! Museum night is far from what you’d expect of an event of its name and supposed nature. This nocturnal adventure is an all-out excursion for all types, with the majority of the city’s museums opening their doors until the wee-hours (2 to 3am) of the morning with special activities, plays, displays and more. The city’s free bike service is also kept open to get bike riders from museum to museum.
4. Free tours
Buenos Aires is a competitive world when it comes for tourism. And that’s precisely why, like the world’s other tourist hubs, you’ll find countless options for free city tours that’ll take you to all the “must-do” destinations in Recoleta, Palermo, Microcentro, San Telmo and beyond. Beyond those private companies that just ask for a small tip for their guides, the City’s Tourist Office will also take you out on a free spin. As will we!
5. Cementerio de la Recoleta and Chacarita
Now before you squirm, take our word for it: cemeteries in Buenos Aires are unlike any you’d have seen before! Oh, and they’re free, of course. The Recoleta Cemetery and the Chacarita Cemetery are two gorgeous destinations for a hint of history, mystery and relaxation, where the sounds of traffic are faint and the extravagances of Argentine’s past is at its finest. Recoleta is known as the resting place of Evita, while Chacarita has some of the most superb open green spaces in the city.
6. Reserva ecológica costanera sur
We hope you realize that we don’t write these long sentences in Spanish to just confuse you… but also to inspire you to find out what on earth we’re talking about. The South Coast Ecologic Reserve is an inner city nature sanctuary in walking distance from the Pink House (Government House) and right at your doorstep if you’re staying in the chic Puerto Madero neighbourhood. This protected nature strip is nothing short of serene, and takes you back to a more natural time in the region, before the rapid urbanization that has since characterized big ol’ Buenos Aires.
7. Bosques de Palermo
More nature! Buenos Aires is one of the greenest cities on earth, particularly (and perhaps only) if you know where to go! One of the largest green spaces is the Bosques de Palermo (Forests of Palermo) parklands situated near the riverside and along Avenue Libertador, a ritzy playground for the rich, both past and present. The park has a range of landscapes and vegetation hotspots. The Bosques de Palermo are also a great place to enjoy the city’s cultural and family atmosphere, which comes alive mostly on weekends.
8. Carlos Gardel Museum free tour on Wednesday
If you’re keen to learn more about Argentina’s Tango culture then the Carlos Gardel Museum on Wednesday is your chance to do it well… and free! The pioneer of exported Tango, French-born Gardel was a composer of some Argentina’s most celebrated Tango lyrics and travelled the world to take the country’s national love song (and dance) to audiences everywhere. It’s just one of the many museums that open their doors for free on Wednesday night!
9. Stay informed
Argentina is home to Latin America’s only published English-language newspaper, the century-old Buenos Aires Herald, and has its very own Time-Out! Both are great for staying up-to-date with the city’s current cycle of free (and not-so free) activities, so check them out!
10. Do it yourself
Finally, public transport in Buenos Aires is cheap, easy and all about getting people off the road, which is why you’ll find loads of buses and underground services heading right where you want to go! The city’s official digital public transport planner is a brilliant way to map out all the places you want to visit both as a tourist and as a new resident in this expansive metropolis!
For more activities, find out what we have in store for you when you study with us in Buenos Aires!
Originally published on Ailola by Jayson McNamara on August 8, 2015.