We love walking each destinations, not only because it promotes sustainable tourism but it is the best way to find unknown attractions and learn more about the city itself. It is even better if you can learn more about the history of the city, while walking! Everywhere we go we take a free walking tour as it allows us to walk while we learn more about each place.
We partnered with Free Walks Buenos Aires to explore this wonderful city. They offer four different tours, two free and two paid. The City Center and Recoleta tours are free while the Recoleta and La Boca tours are paid.
The good thing about the tours is that you can do all the four of them in just two days. We recommend on the first day to do the Morning Walking Through Recoleta Tour and the Recoleta Cemetery in the afternoon. The second day do La Boca morning tour and finish your day with the city center tour.
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Each tour provides information about different sections of Argentina’s history as you can learn so much from every neighborhood in the city. At the same time the tour is slightly different depending on which guide you get. We have been to Buenos Aires before, so it is great to have a unique perspective on the city.
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Day One: Exploring the Recoleta Neighborhood
Walking Through Recoleta Free Walking Tour
Our tour through the Recoleta neighborhood was lead by Francisco. The tours are offered in English and Spanish and meet everyday at 10:30AM in Plaza Estate del Vaticano (next to Teatro Colon).
He explained us a little bit more about the history of this neighborhood and the important people who used to live here. The interesting tour takes you through Av. 9 de Julio, Plaza San Martín, Retiro, Torre Monumental and Plaza Francia.
The tour takes around three hours and ends in the Recoleta Cemetery. This laid back tour is the perfect way to start your time in Buenos Aires after a long trip.
Recoleta Cemetery Paid Tour
Tour guide: Victoria
The Recoleta Cemetery tour takes place on weekdays at 3PM, starting in front of the main gate of the Cemetery. Starting with a brief history of the cemetery, the tour quickly moved its way through the doors.
Recoleta Cemetery is ranked as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world and as soon as you walk across the threshold you will know why. Each vault is beautifully designed and decorated by some of the top artists around the world. With over 4000 ornate mausoleums, it can be enjoyed on your own, but the tour gives you an interesting peek into some of the stories behind each resting place.
Our tour guide Victoria took us to many different vaults to divulge the rich history of those interred there, information about the artist who built the vault. Victoria even told us how we can get our own spot at this famous cemetery and how expensive it is!
With its many notable interments including several former presidents, the most visited site by far is that of Eva “Evita” Perón. There is quite a story behind how she ended up in Recoleta, which you can learn more of in the tour.
The tour ends around around 5PM which gives you some additional time to explore the cemetery before it closes at 5:30PM. The tour costs $150 ARS per person and does not require a reservation. Just meet at Recoleta Cemetery at 3PM and enjoy!
Day Two: Exploring La Boca Neighborhood and The main landmarks
La Boca Tour Paid Tour
Tour guide: Lucas
The tour meets in La Boca neighborhood on weekdays at 11AM. The tours are only in english at the time. It is the perfect walking tour for anyone as you only walk approximately 12 blocks over a two hour period.
La Boca is the first port in the city and the historic center of immigration into the city. The neighborhood is called La Boca because it is located in the mouth of the river.
Argentina received the second largest immigration population in the world, mainly spaniards and Italians. It was the main port until 1895, when shipping outgrew its small size. It is one of the cheapest neighborhood in the city and it is still the neighborhood where immigrants live.
We took a step back in time to learn about Benito Quinquela Martín, the man responsible for the colorful and art that La Boca is known for around the world. The tour went on to explore the eclectic conventillos, the birthplace of tango.
La Boca tour costs 200 ARS per person. The tour meets at the corner of Magallanes and Caminito. outside the Havanna shop on colorful corner, just look out for the orange shirt. After the tour you have plenty of time to head back to your favorite spots in La Boca to photograph on your own time.
City Center Free Walking Tour
The tours meet in front of the gates of the National Congress daily at 3PM. The tours are available in both English and Spanish. This last walking tour gets down to the politics of the rich history enjoyed through the other walking tours.
Visiting past the National Congress and Plaza de Mayo gives you a great historic and political perspective from the heart of the city. Plaza de Mayo, situated in front of La Casa Rosada, the office of the president of Argentina, has served as a meeting ground for all the good and bad times in Buenos Aires.
The most interesting part of the tour was the guide’s perspective on the recent events and economic hardships that the country is facing. Remember every guide provides their own perspective, which is one of many.
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