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Buenos Aires: Top Ten Best Free Things to Do

Updated on February 5, 2015

Best Things to Do in Buenos Aires

This top ten is a guide for those of us with time and interest to know a place, Buenos Aires, on our own. The tourist attractions here are all major city sights. Almost all of them are included in some of the city tours, that travel agencies offer you. However, here you will find a way to do them without time constraints, pressures, and most important of all: for free.

Buenos Aires Skyline from the Reserva Ecologica

Best things to do in Buenos Aires
Best things to do in Buenos Aires

A Little of History and Background.

Pedro de Mendoza founded Buenos Aires in 1536, but thanks to the Indians and the constant food shortage, the city was abandoned five years later. Fortunately (well, not for the Indians), that was not the end of the story. Buenos Aires was founded again in 1580 by the captain Juan de Garay, who parcelled the land between his sixty four men and women, the first humble residents of the city. At first, the development of Buenos Aires was slow. But, since the second part of the nineteenth century it became explosive reaching today a population of twelve millions.

So, Here is the List of Best of Buenos Aires

  • Buenos Aires Guided tours: The Under Secretariat of Tourism of Buenos Aires offers free guided tours several times per month. To be included, you have to be at a prearranged point to meet the guide. From there you walk around a neighbourhood to see all its commercial, architectonical, and historical attractions. The neighbourhoods change every week and you can check time and meeting points here.

Tango in San Telmo

Tango: Best of Buenos Aires
Tango: Best of Buenos Aires
  • Buenos Aires Self-guided tours: If you don’t have time for waiting to the guided tours, and like walking, don’t worry. The entity of tourism of Buenos Aires has a number of proposal trips with maps to follow them. You can print itineraries with detailed descriptions, and maps from this site. Worth mention are Boedo Tango Trail, Monserrat Historic City Area, and San Telmo.

  • Reserva Ecologica: The ecologic reserve is a piece of the Pampa transferred to the city. The land was gained to the river by throwing debris along the south riverside path in the seventies. As years went by, the site was populated by flora and fauna from the Pampa region. You can walk along the paths to forget for a while the immensity of the city.

  • San Martín Theatre: The most important theatre in Buenos Aires. It always offers free shows in some of its halls. Besides it has a picture gallery and many halls dedicated to exhibitions that tourists can access for free. It is a perfect plan for rainy days. Location: 1530 Corrientes Avenue http://complejoteatral.gob.ar

  • Caminito: famous for the tango of the same name (though the tango refers to a road in La Rioja province) Caminito is a narrow street converted in an open air museum by Benito Quinquela Martin: a renown painter from La Boca. Visitors can appreciate in it all the colours of the conventillos (boarding houses) of La Boca neighbourhood. The best time to visit is on weekends, when a plastic arts fair functions there. Be aware that Caminito is not a place a traveller wants to be at night. Location: La Boca neighbourhood.

  • Plaza Dorrego: Situated in the middle of San Telmo neighbourhood, this Square and the streets surrounding it are a must on Sunday mornings. Tourists can see folkloric and tango dancing street shows while walking among impressive old Spanish buildings of the nineteenth century. Besides, there is an antique market where visitors can buy excellent souvenirs of their vacation. Location: Defensa and Humberto Primo streets, San Telmo

  • Cycle of Great Concerts (Ciclo de Grandes Conciertos): if you like classical music, the Faculty of Law of Buenos Aires University is your place. Every Saturday evening a local classical group performs there. For a complete schedule go here.

  • Palermo’s Lakes and Forests: It is one of the great green areas of Buenos Aires. It has two artificial lakes and covers almost eighty hectares. It is the favourite place for Argentines for walking and cycling. Intersection of Sarmiento Avenue and Libertador Avenue.

Buenos Aires Botanical Garden

  • Buenos Aires Botanical Garden: planned by the French landscape designer Carlos Thais at the end of the nineteenth century. The botanic Garden covers an area of more than seven hectares with a huge variety of plants from all over the world. It is located at Av. Santa. Fe 3951

.

  • Recoleta Cemetery: with Mausoleums and classic sculptures everywhere, this six hectares graveyard is a summary of Argentine history. The most important personages of the country are buried side by side here. The top, of course, is the Eva Duarte tomb, a true site of pilgrimage for half of the Argentines.

There are plenty of free activities going on in Buenos Aires every day besides those mentioned abode. But because of the multiplicity of proposals and the ephemeral nature of most of them, Tourists have to be alert not to miss them. Good sources of information are papers: Clarín, La Nación, or if you can not read Spanish, Buenos Aires Herald. They have a segment in the entertainment section dedicated to the free spectacles of the next few days. Other good resource is the Centro Cultural San Martín they distribute a guide with cultural activities around the city, some of them free.

Architecture of Buenos Aires

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Photo of Tango courtesy of Andrea Balduci, Other photos courtesy of Diego 3336

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    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      6 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Very good Hub! I have never been to Buenos Aires itself, although I know the airport. Congratulations on an interesting read. I very much doubt I will ever get to see this city, but as I love Tango, it was an important read for me. Congratulations! Voted Up, etc.

    • jacobo7 profile image

      jacobo7 

      6 years ago from Buenos Aires

      great hub, great tips. you might like this blog - there are some great pics from Buenos Aires.

      http://beautiful-argentina.blogspot.com/

    • angela gundry profile image

      angela gundry 

      7 years ago from Ventura , Ca

      I love free travel tips! thank you!

    • profile image

      pure komachi 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for put together all these resources about Buenos Aires, and for free. Great Hub.

    • Bogdan Cocian profile image

      Bogdan Cocian 

      7 years ago from Buenos Aires

      I am a big fun of the lakes from Palermo and the Botanical Garden. Great places to escape from trafic and noise.

      Although, it means going out from the city, I find Tigre Delta a nice destination for weekends.

      Nice article.

      www.brujulaba.com.ar

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I was especially appreciative of the notice that travelers would not want to be in Caminito after dark. The botanical garden is one of the places I would love to visit. I love gardens and the natural beauty of the country. Have never been but the pictures show enough to interest me. Nice hub, thanks!

    • Woodson profile image

      Woodson 

      9 years ago from Minnesota

      As a former resident of that great city, I heartily endorse all of these activities. Thanks for bringing back good memories.

    • David Ventura profile imageAUTHOR

      David Ventura 

      9 years ago

      I am glad that you have found here in Hubpages the information you were looking for.

       

    • profile image

      amy 

      9 years ago

      I kept on looking for places to visit and this website helped me for after three hours on my laptop

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