Want to experience the best of Buenos Aires whilst not blowing your meagre backpacker's budget? The city is full of hidden wonders and cultural excursions which can be enjoyed without spending a penny.
1) During your first few days in Buenos Aires, you can get to know the city via a Free Walking Tour. These are a nice relaxed way to find out more about the histories and interesting stories behind important buildings which may have gone unnoticed in your solo explorations. The tours can be in English or Spanish, with the morning one leaving at 10.30am from the North-Western corner of El Teatro Colon and covering the city as far out as Recoleta. The afternoon tour leaves at 3.30pm from outside Congresso and focuses on the central road Avenida de Mayo. (Feel free to tip the guide at the end of the tour, they do an amazing job!)
2) Casa Rosada is one of Buenos Aires' most iconic buildings, where Evita famously gave her speech from one of the balconies. On weekends the house is open to the public with free half-hour tours. This is a great opportunity to delve into the history and changing times of the city.
3) Recoleta Cemetery is another important place to visit not only for it´s magnificence and grandeur but also for the fascinating stories behind some of the designs of the graves. Tours in English run every Tuesday at 11am, but this is only for a short time longer! At the end of the year they plan to charge $100 pesos for entrance into the cemetery so be sure to make the most of this opportunity
4) The Madres de la Plaza de Mayo walk around the plaza on Thursdays in protest against the government´s handling of affairs during the Dirty War and in memory of their ´disappeared´ children or grandchildren. This is an important sight to see, but be sure to do extra research on the tragic events of the past.
5) Buenos Aires has lots of museums and art galleries which are free to the public. Grey and rainy days can be improved by wandering through the rooms of Museo de las Bellas Artes in Recoleta (av. Libertador) or getting lost in the history of the city at Museo del Bicenetnnario. It´s even nice to escape the sunshine and visit Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (free to students on Wednesdays!)
6) The nightlife in Buenos Aires can get expensive, but you can enjoy most good clubs for free if you arrive before a certain time (usually 1 or 2am). It´s worth being one of the first people in an empty club before it fills up around 3 or 4am as this can be a great way to save money and allows you to party at some incredible, up-market venues with Buenos Aires' elite without spending anything! (Until you buy drinks of course)
7) Buenos Aires' districts provide entertainment enough just to wander their streets and watch the portenos go about their daily lives. Palermo offers green parks and good shopping (or window shopping!), whilst Recoleta has wonderful bakeries and beautiful buildings. La Boca offers a very European feel with Tango shows in the street and Caminito to walk along.
8) The San Telmo Markets held on Sundays can keep you occupied for hours walking the cobbled streets. They offer everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to handmade journals to cheap trinkets and second hand tableware. A great way to keep busy whilst soaking up the culture!
9) Buenos Aires is a politically turbulent city with a complex past. Throughout your stay, you will no doubt witness a few Protests and Marches along the main streets. These can be great to watch and follow, usually ending up at Plaza de Mayo. Along the way the groups will perform, play music, and explain their political message.
10) Finally, the city has many Churches and religious buildings which are usually free to enter and look around and can be awe inspiring to take in.