A nocturnal city, Buenos Aires bustles with after hours entertainment that takes place every night of the week, but particularly from Thursday to Saturday. Nightlife can be found everywhere, but particularly in Costanera Norte and Las Canitas in Palermo where the young and wealthy flash their designer rags. The streets around Reconquista and Avenida 25 de Mayo, known collectively as ‘El Bajo’, is a walkable circuit of fashionable bars and restaurants while San Telmo also has some interesting places to sip cocktails. Check Wipe magazine for listings.
Buenos Aires Nightlife Travel Guide
Apart from the usual myriad of bars and clubs that line the pretty streets there is, of course, the tango – possibly Argentina’s most famous export. Argentineans are crazy about the dance and you can even study for a degree in it at the Academia Nacional del Tango. You can watch the professionals dance in glitzy shows that rival anything on broadway at the El Viejo Almacen, Avenida Independencia 300, y Balcarce, San Telmo, telephone 4307 7388. Open 2pm – 2am daily with a show at 10pm. Or, if you fancy having a go yourself, visit one of the cities atmospheric dance halls on tango nights called ‘milongas’ to join in or to watch the locals twirl and spin into the early hours.
The days, times and locations of milongas changes, so check out Buenos Aires Tango or El Tangauta, from kiosks, for details. Probably the most authentic place to hear the tango being sung by regulars and locals is at El Chino, Beazley 3566, Nueva Pompeya. Friday and Saturday, 10pm onwards.
The residents of Buenos Aires are not particularly heavy drinkers and it’s considered unusual to see drunken people in the bars and clubs. However, savouring a glass of alcohol while people watching is a popular pastime, particularly at the 100 year old Bar Plaza Dorrego, Defensa 1098, y Humberto, where the outdoor seating spills out into the beautiful Plaza Dorrego.
Café Tortoni, Avenida de Mayo 829, entre Piedras u Tacuan, telephone 4342 4328, is another Buenos Aires institution. Opened in 1858, it is considered by many to be the oldest and most traditional café in the city and has attracted a plethora of famous faces over the years. Jazz and tango shows can be seen downstairs.
The clubbing scene is well established and attracts a number of world-class DJ’s. There are often full-moon parties in the parks and along the river and remember to go after 3am otherwise you could be on your own. Door policies are not particularly strict, with small clubs charging AR$5-12 and larger ones AR$20-30 for admission. There maybe a system in the club where you are given a ticket for a free drink at the door which is then stamped when you claim it at the bar. Make sure you hand the ticket back in when you leave, otherwise you could be fined. Here are some of the most popular clubs in the city.
1. Maluco Beleza
Sarmiento 1728, entre Rodriguez Pena y Callao, Tribunales. Telephone – 4372 1737. Open Wed, Fri – Sun, 10pm onwards
A Brazilian club with lively patrons dancing to afro, samba and reggae music. Sunday is a particularly popular night.
2. El Dorado
Hipolito Yrigoyen 947, entre Bernado de Irigoyen y Tacurai, Monserrat. Telephone – 4334 2155. Open Tues and Sat 12.30am onwards
A niche club that’s a favourite with all dance music fans. Tuesday is drum ‘n’ bass night while Saturday is alternative.
Avenida Costanera Rafael Obligado y Sarmiento, Costanera Norte. Telephone – 4771 5870. Open Thurs 9pm – 3am, Fri 1am – 8pm, Sat 1.30 am – 7am. Closed Jan.
Highly fashionable and popular with the rich, well-heeled university and tourists. Mint attracts world-class DJ’s and has a riverside terrace with beds should the dancing tire you out.
La Pampa, y Avenida Costanera Rafael Obligardo, Costanera Norte. Telephone – 4788 4280. Open Friday midnight onwards and Sat 2am onwards. Closed Jan.
Another branch of the international super-club, it is big (with a capacity of 3,000), glitzy and glamorous – you may even spot some of Argentina’s celebrities here.