Travelling to Buenos Aires on a budget
Buenos Aires is a pretty good place to come to for a holiday. They have cheap food and alcohol to keep you drunk and full for most of your time here. There are cheap shows and free tours to show you the city without breaking the bank too much. But what happens when you realize that, after stuffing your face with parrillada after parrillada and seeing all the “must do´s” of the city, you do not have as much money as you thought you did. Well never fear! I have been in that situation for the past few months and I will try to help you out.
Where do I buy cheap clothes
I arrived to Buenos Aires in summer and it was super hot! I packed for these conditions and was well prepared with enough shorts and sleeveless Tees to keep me cool in the hot summer months. But out of nowhere winter came and didn’t seem to want to leave. I needed more clothes! I went shopping in Palermo and a few outlet stores in villa crespo, but everything seemed way too pricey! I quite like thrift shopping as you get better deals and more unique (insert hipsterish adjective here) stuff. Thrift shops are known as a feria Americana here in Buenos Aires, and like many other cities around the world, some of these are shops selling second-hand designer brands (still expensive) and some just have a lot of stuff to sift through (cheaper). The cheapest place for clothes that I have seen is in the local ferias on the weekend. Here you can get a wide range of stuff. Everything from scarves (bufandas) to shoes (zapatillas), you will have to search the stalls, but these will be your best bet to finding cheap clothes and accessories.
What can I do for fun in Buenos Aires without money
One thing I love about Buenos Aires is that a lot of fun activities that are cheap or free. There are free walking tours around the city thanks to the company Buenos Aires free walks. They give tours of Recoleta with the grand mansions and parks that were built by the aristocrats and the Grand building of there many different styles littered down Avenida de Mayo. These change depending on who is running the tour and always give interesting stories about the history of the city. They do make all of their money on tips so it is best to give them whatever you can, but still much cheaper than a lot of other tours around. Recoleta cemetery (and others, there is many cool cemeteries) is also a good way to spend the day peering into the crypts of the country’s richest occupants and is free for your browsing pleasure. Every weekend/holidays there are ferias in many different parks around Buenos Aires that are free for you to meander around and browse which feria sells the cheapest cosa (thing) that you might be after. The bubble is a great site for English speakers and is a great way to find things that are happening around the city. It´s also a good idea to follow some of the local city pages such as Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Market, and Turismo Buenos Aires. If you´ve done all of these and there´s no fun things and you are still bored and looking for fun things to do, go for a walk and discover some of the hidden gems Buenos Aires has tucked into it barrios.
Cheapest way to get around Buenos Aires
The cheapest way to travel around Buenos Aires is to walk (obviously). A faster way is to bike/skateboard around the city, there is plenty of bike lanes around the city that link up with each other. This is my favourite way to get around, it´s faster than most public transport and usually not very crowded with other users (mornings and after work are exceptions). Trains are my 3rd option after walking or biking/skating, The trains are pretty good for getting you around the city and they are pretty cheap (even giving you free transfers between stops). The trains have free wifi at most stations, but not between the stations, but it is fine because it allows you to load up your instagram/facebook at each stop to continue browsing between them (keep a good hold of your phone as people have been known to just grab it out of your hands and run). The bus (colectivo) is a good way to get to places that the train does and is around the same price as the train (depending on where you are going). Taxis are good for getting you to the airport with your bags but they will charge you for this luxury (take the bus it is way cheaper).
How to eat cheap in Buenos Aires
Food is pretty cheap in Buenos Aires but you gotta know where to look to get your super deals. Most pizza places are pretty good for a cheap eat, but if you want to try the cheapest head over to fabrica de pizza. From monday to thursday they offer 3 pizzas for 60 pesos! I would not get your hopes up for “la mejor pizza en todo de Buenos Aires” but it´ll keep you and 2 others fed, I like to slice a tomato for the top and turn it into a cheap napolitana. Making food at home is probably your cheapest option, but finding the ingredients in a language you are not efficient at can be daunting. There are a few stores to keep in mind when trying to live cheap. Dieteticas are good at getting your bulk dry goods, everything from spices to beans, it is a great place to stock up for meals. Verdulerias are where you get your veggies, there is a lot of these around and some are more expensive than others, I have found that the self-service places are usually the cheapest. Carnicerias is your butcher, they usually have pretty good daily specials on at most of these so it is best to have a look around. If you are hungry for a quick snack empanadas are usually a good, cheap, and readily available way to satisfy a craving real quick.
Where to live cheaply in Buenos Aires
This is probably the hardest thing to find unless you have friends here. But a good guide is if you want cheaper rent get out of the touristy barrios. The farther out of the city the cheaper it gets (but the more travelling you have to do). Avoid the Palermo to San Telmo area and find the local paradise that will make your wallet sweat a little less. I´ve found a lot of places on craigslist and other sites that can help you find a house in exchange for work but be careful because some of these might not be all that better in the end of the day.