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

Puerto Madero 3

La Boca and San Telmo 22

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Buenos Aires Nightlife

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BASA Basement Bar

A new kid in Retiro, BASA comes from great stock given that its owners founded the legendary Gran Bar Danzon. Look down and be drawn...

Bahrein

  • Dance Clubs

Sheik—er, chic and super-stylish, this party palace is located in a former bank. The Funky Room is where beautiful, tightly clothed...

Bebop

  • Music Clubs

Lurking beneath Aldo's Vinoteca Restorán, this new musical hot spot is led by sommelier and owner Aldo Graziani. A huge jazz fan, he...

Club One

  • Dance Clubs

Also fondly known by its previous name, Palacio Alsina, this enormous downtown club meets all the prerequisites for an excellent night...

Cocoliche

  • Dance Clubs

Cocoliche enjoys cult status in both the straight and gay communities. Upstairs is a diverse art gallery big on young locals; downstairs,...

Confitería Ideal

  • Dance Clubs

Soaring columns, tarnished mirrors, and ancient chandeliers are part of Confitería Ideal's crumbling Old World glamour, along with a...

Contramano

  • Bars/Pubs

This was a pioneering gay disco when it opened in 1984, but—like its clientele—Contramano has grown up. Today it operates more as...

Dadá

  • Bars/Pubs

Cozy and colorful, Dadá has a short but sweet list of classic cocktails and an ideal bar to perch at while sipping one. With its owners...

El Beso

  • Dance Clubs

The standard of dancing is usually high at this club, which belongs to La Academia del Tango Milonguero, one of the city's best tango...

Florería Atlántico

  • Bars/Pubs

A flower shop and wine store combined with a whole lot of bar, this hip basement watering hole opened in 2013 and quickly became a fixture...

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