Buenos Aires

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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  • 1. Bahrein

    Centro | 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 youth...Read More

  • 2. Bar du Marché

    Palermo Hollywood | Wine Bars–Nightlife

    One of the growing number of wine bars in the city, Bar du Marché is getting it exactly right. This cute French-inspired spot has an ample wine...Read More

  • 3. Niceto

    Palermo Hollywood | Dance Clubs

    One of the city's best venues features everything from demure indie rock to the outrageous and legendary Club 69 on Thursdays (think under-dressed...Read More

  • 4. Rojo Tango

    Puerto Madero | Dance Clubs

    Five-star food, musicians, choreography, and glamour: you wouldn't expect anything less from the Faena Hotel + Universe. Crimson velvet and...Read More

  • 5. Salón Canning

    Palermo | Dance Clubs

    Several milongas call this large dance hall home. The coolest is Parakultural (P 11-15/5738–3850 w www.parakultural.com.ar ), which takes place...Read More

  • 6. 12 de Octubre

    Almagro | Dance Clubs

    Cobweb-covered bottles line the walls of this tiny venue, with maybe the most authentic tango music in town. It's known by all as "El Boliche...Read More

  • 7. 878

    Palermo Viejo | Bars/Pubs

    B.A.’s original speakeasy has spawned a spate of followers over the past few years, but it remains a classic for cocktail lovers: 878 has an...Read More

  • 8. Acabar

    Palermo Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    This offbeat bar in the heart of Palermo Hollywood has become a big hit, and the lines to get in are only exacerbated by the abundance of board...Read More

  • 9. Amerika

    Palermo | Dance Clubs

    This immense gay disco has three floors of high-energy action and shows. Friday and Saturday are fun and frivolous verging on hectic thanks...Read More

  • 10. Angels

    Once | Dance Clubs

    Technically in the otherwise business-oriented barrio of Once (pronounced On-say), adjacent to Almagro, Angels sits just behind the magnificent...Read More

  • 11. Antares

    Palermo Soho | Bars/Pubs

    Originating in Mar del Plata in 1999, Antares is now a successful national brewer making seven of its own ales, which you can taste in shot...Read More

  • 12. Asia de Cuba

    Puerto Madero | Bars/Pubs

    Once the spot to be seen sipping Champagne and eating sushi, Asia de Cuba still draws a smattering of Argentine celebrities, though it's now...Read More

  • 13. Bangalore

    Palermo Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    A pub and curry house in Buenos Aires? Well located, the Bangalore has it all—right down to a blazing log fire in winter. There's limited seating...Read More

  • 14. Bar Británico

    Barracas | 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 in passionate...Read More

  • 15. Bar Sur

    San Telmo | 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. The...Read More

  • 16. Bebop

    Montserrat | 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 makes sure...Read More

  • 17. Buenos Ayres Club

    San Telmo | Dance Clubs

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

  • 18. Caracas Bar

    Palermo Soho | Bars/Pubs

    Catering to hip young things, Caracas has the great selection of rum-based cocktails and the kind of funky vibe you would expect from a Venezuelan...Read More

  • 19. Carnal

    Palermo Hollywood | Bars/Pubs

    Opposite Niceto, Carnal and its buzzing terrace are immensely popular during the warmer months and remain busy all night long. The name is completely...Read More

  • 20. Casa Bar

    Recoleta | Bars/Pubs

    A sports bar rather incongruously housed in a beautiful French mansion, Casa Bar lures in year-abroad students keen for an NFL or European soccer...Read More

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