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. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Centro Cultural Torquato Tasso

    San Telmo | 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. ...Read More

  • 11. Club Aráoz

    Palermo | Dance Clubs

    A serious party crowd is found at Club Aráoz. Bump and grind it at Thursday's block-rocking hip-hop night; Friday and Saturday see DJs spinning...Read More

  • 12. Club Atlético Fernández Fierro

    Almagro | Dance Clubs

    The creative force behind this laidback venue is the eponymous Orquesta Típica Fernández Fierro—a scruffy young tango collective known for its...Read More

  • 13. Club One

    Centro | Dance Clubs

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

  • 14. Cocoliche

    Centro | Dance Clubs

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

  • 15. Confitería Ideal

    Plaza de Mayo | Dance Clubs

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

  • 16. Crobar

    Palermo | Dance Clubs

    With frequent visits from "superstar DJs" and a dependable line-up of local party starters, this is the Buenos Aires base of the international...Read More

  • 17. El Beso

    Congreso | 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 schools...Read More

  • 18. El Querandí

    Montserrat | 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 might...Read More

  • 19. El Viejo Almacén

    San Telmo | 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 the colonial...Read More

  • 20. Jet Lounge

    Costanera Norte | Dance Clubs

    When the most beautiful of people feel like dancing with a bottle of Champagne at 4 am, they come here. Things get even more glamorous a few...Read More

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