If you’re traveling on a budget, it might be challenging to find activities to do for free if you aren’t just looking to sit and watch the clouds go by in a park. We’ll include six lesser-known outings in Buenos Aires that’ll set you back exactly $0!
Outside of the free walking tours and free museum visits on Wednesdays or the CCK, there’s much more to the city than meets the eye. If you’re not aware of activities that might be more niche, but just as interesting as mainstream events, it’s normal to get lost in the aisles of infinite cultural possibilities. So, typical goings-on just might not be enough to satisfy your (possibly empty) pocket.
We’re not just talking about Eventbrite filters, ex-pat meetups, or friendly outings, which can definitely be fun or useful. Talks, seminars, concerts and visual arts: we’ve got you covered. Check out these activities and you’ll be glad you made it to Buenos Aires, for sure. We recommend looking for dance lessons, music and visual arts, as they usually aren’t aimed at a Spanish-speaking audience exclusively. However, if you want to access free activities like talks, seminars and courses it might be good to take some Spanish lessons and brush up on your skills!
All these events require you to register prior and are time-sensitive as, because they’re free, they’re also in high demand. Don’t underestimate the power of Argentina’s love for freebies: tickets tend to run out fast. There are no buts if you don’t manage to get a foot in the door (literally.)
Here Are All the Free Can’t-Miss Activities in Buenos Aires, Argentina:
AMIA has been a staple of Jewish culture since it opened, but for a long time, it has offered much more than just Jewish-related topics. It has a long and fascinating history, and it’s an important part of Argentine culture, so you should definitely visit. Not many travelers are aware of AMIA, mostly because it’s located in a not-so-touristy neighborhood (El Once.)
The cultural center offers both courses and events for free, and requires you to sign up. Be it an Israeli film festival, an “Argentine Politics 101” talk, or even opera, you’ll be sure to enjoy any of these. All of these activities are PG and kid-friendly (“para todo público”), which is a plus if you’re traveling with kids.
Tip: Check out their website calendar (“Agenda”) for the announcement on free activities available; they’ll be posted at the beginning of each month. You can also call or email, old-school.
Address: Pasteur 633, Buenos Aires City
Barrios Creativos: A Myriad of Free Workshops and Events
Buenos Aires’ Barrios Creativos is a free initiative sponsored and funded by the city. There’s plenty to choose from, so it’s key to filter out information to taste. You can choose type of activity (“Disciplinas”), province (“Provincias”, even when traveling across the rest of Argentina!), neighborhood (“Barrio”), location (“Lugar”), and age range (“Edad desde…, Edad hasta…”.)
You can scroll–almost–endlessly through free workshops to do like physical expression, dance, acting, visual arts, even boxing! No speaking required. The little squares on the website will show you everything you need to know about the free event or course after you filter the info to your liking.
Be sure to check the boxes located at the bottom of the filters for “Actividad gratuita” (Free things to do) and “Inscripción abierta”. Then you can be sure that there is no catch, money-wise, and that you’ll be able to attend.
Tip: Stay updated by checking Barrios Creativos’ Instagram page, @culturabarrios.
Address: Locations vary, events take place in different spots across Buenos Aires
Tecnópolis: Art, Science and Technology Outside the Metropolitan Area
Tecnópolis is located in Greater Buenos Aires. While it’s not in the prettiest of neighborhoods, paying a visit to this massive venue is well worth it. Tecnópolis, for one, has a history of hosting the biggest, most relevant international concerts like Radiohead! It also hosts local bands on the regular.
But the best thing about Tecnópolis might be its wide cultural program, which spans themes that go from wildlife conservation and nuclear energy to book fairs and music. It’s not so easy to get lost in what is basically a huge park: the map is very clearly divided into sections and there are trained guides everywhere who will be glad to help.
Because it’s entirely state-funded, all of activities hosted within Tecnópolis are free. Tickets go on sale each Tuesday for general events and on Wednesdays for the “Micro-estadio” (Mini-stadium.) Places are first-come, first serve and all the activities have limited capacity. Tickets go on sale here.
It’s a great place to take your kids as it has–among other things–a dinosaur theme park. And, for those of you looking to get that extra fix of Argentine culture, we recommend “Polo cultura argentina”, “Polo cultivar lo humano”, and “Polo desarrollo sostenible”. If you’re looking to have a picnic or spend the day outside, the park is also a great option; you can find it by going to the “Humedal” section of the map.
Tip: Take some time to walk around the venue before going to a specific event.
Address: Avenida General Paz and Barrio 1603, Greater Buenos Aires.
Centro Cultural “Paco Urondo”: Visual Arts For Everyone
The “Paco Urondo” Cultural Center (CCPU) is (you guessed it!) a space for culture and the arts that belongs to the Faculty of English and Philosophy of the University of Buenos Aires. Because it hasn’t gotten that much media attention, it’s perhaps the least known on the list, but at CCPU you’re surely find something from the programming alluring.
CCPU is located in Microcentro, between San Telmo and Plaza de Mayo. Meaning, it’s likely you’ll be in the Microcentro area anyway at some point during your trip. You can plan ahead and make room for CCPU: you won’t be disappointed. All you have to do to get tickets is click on “Actividades” (Activities), which will usually take you to a Google Form, which means you’ll get your ticket info in your email inbox. Afterward, you can go for a classic BA after office.
Also read: San Telmo Market in Buenos Aires
Address: 25 de Mayo 201, City of Buenos Aires
Extensión Universitaria: Free Courses and Football in Continuing Education Programs
If you want to have an authentic Argentine fútbol experience–whether by playing a match or watching from the bleachers–this is the place to look. The football team hailing from the Design, Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Buenos Aires rehearses weekly in Ciudad Universitaria (one of the University’s famed uni campuses!) You can ask to join by going to the Facultad (Department) in person, or by contacting the team on Facebook. If you’re an intellectual, the team at the Department of Philosophy and Letters might be a great fit.
Now that you’ve got fútbol covered and you’re ready to bask in Buenos Aire’s free educational programs, and if you’re staying for longer, a good resource is the Continuing Ed programs at the University of Buenos Aires. It offers classes, courses and seminars (we personally recommend the courses at the Dept. of Philosophy and Letters). This means a high Spanish competency, though. There are great courses on Argentine history, and even creative writing workshops. You can shoot an email to the Continuing Education and see if the teacher speaks English and can make some accommodations.
Email: [email protected]
Tip: There are thematic free courses within each Department. You might want to look up courses in each Department according to your interests. E.g.: if you’re looking for a course on Human Rights in Argentina, you’ll want to go to the Law School’s cont. ed. website.
Student Concerts: Facultad de Derecho and Universidad Nacional del Arte
Doesn’t that look incredible? Hidden in–almost–plain sight, the Auditorium of the University of Buenos Aires’ Law School is a hidden gem for free concerts, mostly classical. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you can no longer go to the auditorium in person. The Grandes Conciertos is only playing on the radio (RADIO UBA) these days. But seeing as things are looking up here in Argentina, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to give this place a shout out. In-person concerts take place every Saturday from March to December in two shifts 4 PM and 6 PM.
As for the Universidad Nacional del Arte’s music conservatory: it’s basically where the best of the best in Argentina are being trained (yes, there are many other music unis, but this is the most well-known for it’s wide array of programs.) Some of the best concerts take place here if you’re looking for more niche classical and contemporary music–programming can stem from folklore and tango to electroacoustic music and piano duos. Sonata for harp and trombone, anyone? All of the different univeristy ensembles, groups and bands from all of the different degrees play at the Department of Music and Sound Arts (“DAMus” for short.)
You don’t need to get tickets to the Universidad Nacional del Artes’s concerts. You just have to show up a bit before the show starts.
Tip: check out details for the Department concerts here at @artesmusicales.una
Address: Avenida Presidente Figueroa Alcorta 2236, City of Buenos Aires.