Buenos Aires Nightlife

Preparing for a night out in Buenos Aires has an element of marathon training to it. Rest up with a siesta, fortify yourself with some protein, and drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after. That’s right, the key to porteño nightlife is longevity—after all, an early night means hailing a cab at 6 am.

The scene here rivals that of any capital city, so you’ll find something

to suit every taste. Trendy cocktail bars, secret speakeasies, classic tango haunts, artsy watering holes, and packed dance floors await. To make the most of them, try following the locals’ lead.

Painting Buenos Aires red means looking sharp, going with the flow as you bar-hop, and not challenging your new B.A. buddies to raucous drinking games. Porteños adore going out with their friends, but it’s not uncommon to see a large group sharing a liter bottle of beer and swigging from the same glass. Latino lightweights? Not at all. This is just how Argentines roll—and once a night gets really rocking, they'll move onto their favorite tipple, Fernet y Cola.

Hours are relaxed, but there are general guidelines. The smartest bars kick off an evening with happy hours that begin around 8 pm and often stretch way beyond 60 minutes; downtown drinking establishments start even earlier to lure workers to part with hard-earned pesos, spawning the "after-office" across the city, which is now a nightlife fixture almost any day of the week. Theater performances begin around 9 pm and the last movie begins after midnight. By that point, lines to get into popular bars have started forming, but clubs aren’t buzzing until 4 am. If in doubt, turn up later than you consider reasonable when you’re meeting a local (30 minutes after the appointed time is the norm). The subte (subway) closes between 10 and 11 pm, depending on the line and day. Monday through Saturday it reopens at 5 am; on Sunday, however, trains don’t start running again until 8 am. So taking a cab to and from home is a good idea—it’s also quicker than waiting for a colectivo bus very late at night.

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Centro 20

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La Boca and San Telmo 22


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Buenos Aires Nightlife

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The Shanghai Dragon

  • Bars/Pubs

From the folks who brought Gibraltar and Bangalore to B.A. comes this hatrick establishment. Less dark and woody and certainly more spacious...

Thelonious Club

  • Music Clubs

The best porteño jazz bands (and occasional foreign imports) play at this intimate, upscale spot. Arrive early for a good seat, as it's...


  • Music Clubs

The owners of this dynamic space for art and live music have run an independent record label for more than a decade. On weekends they...

Verne Club

  • Bars/Pubs

Themed around Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , Verne Club runs a tight ship thanks to Fede Cuco—one of Argentina’s...

Victoria Brown

Steampunk is the name of the game at this Palermo bar named for England's venerable Queen Victoria. Pass through the storefront, enter...

Virasoro Bar

  • Music Clubs

This is an intimate art deco venue for local jazz maestros and appreciative audiences. It's a great space and you can get up close and...

Voodoo Motel

  • Dance Clubs

The self-styled club and music warehouse on the cool northern edge of Palermo Hollywood offers up a large dance floor and plenty of European...

Wherever Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

A superb whiskey bar close to Plaza Italia, Wherever carries 160-plus brands of scotch, both blends and single malts. Elegant with a...


  • Bars/Pubs

Half a block from the very cruisey section of Santa Fe, between Avenidas Callao and Coronel Díaz, Zoom offers a lounge bar, a maze,...


  • Bars/Pubs

There's nothing really special about this corner bar-restaurant except for its location at the epicenter of Palermo Hollywood, close...