Free Things To Do in Buenos Aires
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The chic, sprawling neighborhood of Palermo in north Buenos Aires is divided into three parts: Alto Palermo, Palermo Chico, and Palermo Viejo (which is further broken into Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood). Alto Palermo is known for its museums and urban parks, like Carlos Thays Botanical Garden. Palermo Chico, which hosts extravagant mansions tucked behind the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires (MALBA), is a hidden spot often overlooked by tourists. And Palermo Viejo is where you'll encounter the most color and local flair. Palermo Soho houses a trove of high-end boutiques, bustling cafés and bars, and cobble-stoned streets. Neighboring Palermo Hollywood, located just north of Soho, brims with lively tapas bars, film studios, and festive outdoor markets.
Most travelers agree vibrant Palermo is a comfortable place to stay with easy access to public transportation and authentic restaurants. "Safe, fun, great food, trendy […]. While Recoleta still receives all the referrals Palermo was for us a better representation of what Argentina was really like," claims one TripAdvisor user. There's plenty to do in Palermo. The only question is where to start. You can reach Palermo easily via subte Line D to Bulnes.
- #2View all Photos#2 in Buenos AiresFestivals, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDFestivals, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
To get your culture fix, you'll want to head straight to the Fería De Mataderos. Here, guachos (similar to cowboys) saunter on majestic horses and market vendors offer a colorful array of crafts and food. Ornately costumed tango dancers ignite the streets with traditional country dancing and guachos rival each other in Argentinean contests to win prizes. If you tire of watching all the fun from afar, you can sign up for boleadoras (guacho classes). And if you should get hungry, you'll find no shortage of tasty steak sandwiches to munch on and scrumptious local wines to leisurely sip.
Recent visitors enjoyed the festive ambience of the Fería De Mataderos. One TripAdvisor user comments, "I loved the atmosphere of Feria de Mataderos [...] With its gauchos, dancers and musicians this fair is organized for and by local people, not for tourists." If you don't have time to trek to Fería De Mataderos, head to the vibrant and festive outdoor Sunday market along San Telmo's Defensa Street instead.
- #3View all Photos#3 in Buenos AiresParks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
When you tire of meandering down the bustling Avenue Libertador, take respite at the city's tranquil rose garden. Located in Palermo Woods (also known as Parque Tres de Febrero), this lush green space bursts with color thanks to more than 1,000 species of roses found here. The Rose Garden exudes a Zen-like charm similar to Paris' Tuileries. The path extends into to a serene Poet's Garden and features an Andalusian patio, teeming with colorful tiles imported from Seville.
One TripAdvisor user exclaims "This area is beautiful, relaxing and charming worth several photos and pleasant to walk through or roller skate around."
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This beloved cemetery—located in the ritzy Recoleta neighborhood—is the resting place of many notable political figures and elites in Argentine history.
You'll probably recall Madonna belting out Tim Rice's lyrics "Don't Cry for me Argentina" in her rendition as Eva "Evita" Perón in the 1978 musical, Evita. But what you may not remember is Eva Perón's role as the outspoken and influential first Lady of Argentina in 1946, nor her untimely death at age 33 from cancer. As you stroll through the cemetery, you'll not only catch a glimpse of Ms. Perón's ornate resting place, but also discover a wide array of art nouveau, art deco, and modernist mausoleums. Another highlight is the towering Círculo Militar, a black structure imported from Paris that features stunning white marble angels. One TripAdvisor user comments, "It is a necropolis full of architectural art. A visit to the city wouldn't be complete without this."
- #5View all Photos#5 in Buenos AiresMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDRead More
For art aficionados, the National Museum of Fine Arts is an aesthetic wonderland. The collection sprawls across 30 rooms and three floors, showcasing international art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Inside, works of Rembrandt, Goya, Manet, Modigliani, and Picasso hang on the walls. The museum's permanent Latin American and Argentine collections can be found on the first floor, while temporary exhibitions are located throughout the building and in the outdoor pavilion.
Recent visitors highlight the museum's stunning presentation and design. One TripAdvisor user comments, "If you enjoy outstanding art, superbly presented, in a wonderful atmosphere, this is the museum to visit." Travelers also suggest purchasing an audio guide upon entrance, since most titles and descriptions are written in Spanish. Audio guides cost 36 ARS (approximately $8 USD).
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When visitors want to take an evening stroll, many head to Puerto Madero, where dazzling city lights illuminate the port that once served as a major destination for European trade. During the day, this area rests as a quiet business hub, but by night, this little neighborhood bursts with energy. Trendy porteños flock to the neighborhood steak and seafood restaurants and tango at festive dance clubs. Standout spots include Rojo Tango and Asia de Cuba, which are both for their sultry dancing and festive décor.
Recent visitors highlight the wide variety of cuisine available here as well as the striking Puente de La Mujer (Bridge of Woman), a white structure designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava's bridge is speculated to have been inspired by tango dancers. According to one TripAdvisor user, "The modern architecture is breathtaking. Across the woman's bridge (a sight in itself) is a good museum of modern art […] great for an afternoon stroll." You'll find Puerto Madero just north of San Telmo and La Boca.
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If you came to Buenos Aires to dance, sashay your way over to this stylish southern neighborhood where tango has left its mark. Though its streets garnered a reputation for seediness in the early 1990's, the area has since blossomed into jam-packed bohemian blocks. Meander through San Telmo's cobbled streets and you'll pass colonial houses, quaint cafés, traditional restaurants, eclectic shops, and festive flamenco and tango clubs.
For shopping, venture to Calle Defensa, a narrow, cobbled street lined with stores. For food, sit down at La Brigada, a steakhouse known for its hearty steak dishes. And for dancing, head to Independencia Street, which brims with nightclubs. If you happen to find yourself in San Telmo on a Sunday, you'll also want to peruse the vibrant San Telmo market in Plaza Dorrego, where you can pick up some fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and vintage clothing. One TripAdvisor comments, "There are lots of things to do […] getting lost in the endless antique stores, people-watching in a café, gorging on meat and wine in a parrilla."
- #12View all Photos#12 in Buenos AiresParks and Gardens, FreeTYPEParks and Gardens, FreeTYPERead More
In this verdant, 18-acre botanical garden, you can take a rest from the hustle and bustle of the city and savor the scenery from a park bench. Boasting around 5,000 species of plants, this tranquil oasis lures visitors with its versatile array of flora, as well as beautiful statues, trickling brooks, buzzing dragonflies, and organic vegetable garden. Another highlight: The garden contains a green house imported from France in 1900.
Recent visitors praise the garden's idyllic location in the heart of the city and suggest strolling through its enclosed green space when in need of respite. One TripAdvisor user describes the garden as a "very beautiful and wooded place in the middle of the city. In an hour you can enjoy it."
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This fashionable neighborhood located in southern Buenos Aires brims with trendy boutiques and art galleries. Once a gritty shipyard bustling with European immigrants, this now vibrant port houses local artists, soccer fans, and middle-class workers alike. Its name—which translates to "The Mouth"—is derived from its distinct location near the Río de la Plata (the estuary formed by the meeting of the Uruguay and Paraná rivers).
Make your way to Vuelta de Rocha's triangular plaza and you'll come upon the start of colorful Caminito, a popular pedestrian sidewalk flanked by bright murals and shimmering metal houses. Here, you'll also find the taxicab-yellow stadium of Argentina's most popular soccer team, Boca Juniors, along with lively cafés, bars, and casual tango institutions. Most travelers highlight La Boca as a tourist hotspot, but a must-see destination for Buenos Aires first-timers. According to one recent TripAdvisor user, "La Boca has a charm to it and it's summed up in one word...tango! Go there, walk around, find a cafe/restaurant to your liking and just take it in."
- #16View all PhotosfreePlaza de Mayo#16 in Buenos AiresHistoric Homes/Mansions, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDRead More
Tourists have flocked to this historic square ever since Argentina declared independence from Spanish colonial rule on May 25, 1810. One major draw is the Casa Rosada (or Pink House) perched at the plaza's eastern tip. Casa Rosada contains Argentina's presidential headquarters. From its lofty balcony, Evita once spoke to swarms of Peronists (members of Buenos Aires' poor labor class). Another feature is the Pirámide de Mayo (May Pyramid), which was erected to commemorate the country's uprising and holds the stature as the city's oldest monument.
Most visitors recommend visiting the plaza to gain insight into Buenos Aires' culture and history, but warn that frequent protests occur here. One TripAdvisor user comments, "The plaza, itself, is always crowded with protesters. There is ALWAYS a protest. "
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