Although Buenos Aires has recovered from Argentina’s economic collapse, the exchange rate is still favourable for many visitors. However, this secret has long been out and prices for many of the city’s finest restaurants, shops, and attractions have risen as a result. Fortunately, there are still plenty of free or budget-friendly things to do in Buenos Aires. Whether you want to the city’s vibrant art scene, traditional tango culture, or lush green spaces, you’ll find no shortage of ways to pass the time without busting your budget.
Take a Wander through Recoleta Cemetery
One of Buenos Aires’s most iconic locations, the Recoleta Cemetery is Eva Peron’s final resting place, among others. Entry is free, although if you want a map to find any of Argentina’s most notorious residents buried here you can purchase a map outside. There’s a faded beauty to the cemetery, with elaborate stone mausoleums and labyrinthine corridors to explore.
Go Market Hopping
Skip the trendy boutiques and head to the markets if you want to pick up some cool reminders of your trip to Buenos Aires on a budget. The city’s most famous market is located in San Telmo, where you’ll find no shortage of vintage pieces and antiques along Calle Defensa. The prices can vary quite a bit, but if you devote a day to rummaging you could unearth some heavenly bargains. If you want to pick up a traditional gaucho knife set or yerba mate gourd, the Feria de Mataderos is a very authentic market with a lively atmosphere. Bookworms won’t want to miss the used book market in Parque Rivadavia, which is usually tourist-free and wallet-friendly.
Visit the City’s Multitude of Museums
Many of Buenos Aires’s museums and monuments offer free entry and impressive collections. The Cabildo is one of the city’s oldest buildings, established in 1810. It’s free to enter on Fridays, while the National Fine Arts Museum is always free. The Museum of Latin-American Art of Buenos Aires is a world-class museum that’s well worth the entry fee, but those on a tight budget can visit without paying a cent on Wednesday afternoons.
Enjoy Open Air Tango
The city’s numerous green spaces provide an idyllic setting for a simple picnic and a bargain bottle of Malbec wine, but they also often host free entertainment. You will frequently see tango dancers in the park. If you feel inspired, you could visit a milonga for a lesson and dance session. Salon Canning and Catedral are two top spots to learn a few moves.
More Money-Saving Tips
You can still find excellent meals for shockingly low prices if you travel off the beaten path and avoid touristy neighbourhoods like San Telmo and Palermo. Supermarkets are also low in price and allow you to eat like a king on gourmet cheese and fresh produce, particularly if you’re staying in a hostel with a kitchen. There are internet cafes all over the city, but prepaid phone cards can be the best option for making cheap phone calls back home. Service providers like Lebara offer low rates to Argentina and other destinations so that you can work communication into your budget ahead of time. One of the best ways to see Buenos Aires is on foot, simply admiring the architecture, gardens, and vibe of the city. Conveniently, this also doesn’t cost a dime!