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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Buenos Aires Nightlife

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Bar Británico

  • Bars/Pubs

Opened in 1928, this traditional corner bar opposite Parque Lezama is an iconic spot. Day and night it's full of characters who engage...

Bar Sur

  • Dance Clubs

Once a bohemian haunt, this bar went international after serving as a major location for Wong Kar-Wai's cult indie film Happy Together.

Breoghan Brew Bar

Two brothers with a passion for craft beer lead this pub, which has become a refreshing alternative to the expat haunt Gibraltar. Ramiro...

Buenos Ayres Club

  • Dance Clubs

Rousing live orchestras keep even nondancers entertained at the nontraditional milongas that are this club's hallmark. La Orquesta...

Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso

  • Dance Clubs

Here classic trios and quartets share the stage with young musicians performing hip tango and folk sets. There are also milongas on weekends.

Doppelgänger

  • Bars/Pubs

With a list of 100 cocktails and an excellent menu to match, this corner bar on the edge of San Telmo is a hidden gem. The fancy glassware...

El Querandí

  • Dance Clubs

The polished shows at this classic café trace the history of the tango. The dancing and costumes are great, although the stagy interludes...

El Viejo Almacén

  • Dance Clubs

This place was founded by legendary tango singer Edmundo Rivero, but he wouldn't recognize the slick outfit his bar has become. Inside...

Gibraltar

  • Bars/Pubs

A traditional British boozer, Gibraltar delivers a taste of London in the heart of San Telmo: ale is poured at the classic wooden bar,...

Indie Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

This modern watering hole—an underrated corner bar on the eastern edge of San Telmo—serves up drinks under mood lighting. A predominantly...

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