What do you get when you mix the beautiful architecture of Europe with the rich cultural traditions of Latin America? You get Buenos Aires, Argentina. Buenos Aires, known as the Paris of the South, is a treasure chest of the most iconic features of France, Italy and South America: neoclassical architecture, intricate sculptures, lively tango dancing and, of course, delectable food.
With so much to do, see and eat, it’s easy to let your savings account dwindle down after only a few days in Buenos Aires. However, for those on a student budget, there are ways to explore the city without having to take out another loan.
WHAT TO DO
- Free Walking Tour – Buenos Aires Free Walks are a perfect starting point for travelers new to the city. The tour company offers free tours daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. which visit main attractions including the Obelisk, Teatro Colon, Plaza de Mayo, the Pink House and the Cathedral
- Free Tango Show – Club Tango’s website lists tango shows and classes almost daily, with several of the shows costing less than $5, and some free. This site is in Spanish, so if it’s been a while since you’ve brushed up on your high school Spanish, you should know that to find free shows, just look for the word “Gratis.”
- Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – the Museum of Fine Art, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, is always free to enter because it is a national museum. On display are works by El Greco, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Manet, Sorolla, Gauguin, Degas, Cándido López and other Argentinian artists.
- Feria de San Telmo – Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors and locals alike enjoy the San Telmo Fair in one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods. You can spend the day strolling through rows of shops offering all sorts of antiques and crafts. With a market this big, it may take more than one Sunday to explore the whole area.
WHAT TO SEE
- Recoleta Cemetery – Cemeteries may not be the usual tourist attraction, but Recoleta Cemetery is a must-see while in Buenos Aires. The cemetery hosts an array of ornate tombs adorned with stained glass, life-sized statues and even furniture – the most famous vault being that of Eva “Evita” Perón. Entrance to the cemetery is free.
- Casa Rosada – The Pink House, known for its light pink exterior, is Argentina’s presidential palace. While there is more than enough to take in from the outside, the palace offers free tours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
- Madres de Plaza de Mayo – Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., you can see the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo march in a circle around the plaza to commemorate the disappearance of their sons and daughters during Argentina’s Dirty War. It’s a tradition that has been kept up for 30 years and still stirs emotion.
WHERE TO EAT
- Las Cabras – While the service may not be the best, Las Cabras (on Fitz Roy) is renowned for its good food at low prices. While in Argentina, trying the carne parrillada, or grilled meat, is a must – so dig into the menu of Argentinian steaks and chorizo (probably not the best place for vegetarians) paired with fried eggs and fries.
- Pehache – Art exhibition, store and café, Pehache is an old house turned into a space for design and art. There’s a café in the house’s garden that offers dishes, drinks and pastries at low prices. While you’re there, be sure to explore the inside of the house to check out the modern and exquisite interior design and art studio.
As you can see, there are more than a few ways you can experience the culture of Buenos Aires without hurting your wallet. Be sure to check out StudentUniverse’s student flight discounts to Latin America, and begin your journey today!