Buenos Aires Nightlife

Buenos Aires is rightly famed for its tango, but the city offers more than dancing up a storm at a milonga (tango bar). The party scene here is legendary, with most places only getting busy past midnight and kicking on well into the early hours.

The popularity of the leafy Palermo neighbourhood continues to grow, as the hip and fashionable head to Las Cañitas and Palermo Hollywood to seek out the trendiest bars, clubs and restaurants. The now-polished Puerto Madero seduces with sunset drinks and dining, but many visitors are equally as enamoured with afternoon refreshments at one of the countless street side bars in San Telmo.

Buenos Aires brims with cultural offerings too. So whether it’s ballet and opera, or art and an evening concert, there is plenty to pass the hours.

The entertainment sections of The Buenos Aires Herald (www.buenosairesherald.com), Clarín (www.clarin.com) and La Nación (www.lanacion.com.ar) all list events. Tickets can be bought at venues, but there are also a number of centralised carteleras (ticket agencies), such as Cartelera on Lavelle 835 (tel: (011) 4322 9263) and Ticketek (tel: (011) 5237 7200; www.ticketek.com.ar).

Bars in Buenos Aires

Bar El Federal

Waling into Bar El Federal is like stepping back in time. Wooden boards laden with picadas (bite-sized mouthfuls of cheese, meats and pickles) are enjoyed by young, old, locals and tourists alike in this historic San Telmo watering hole. The area behind the bar is sunken, putting the bar top at table height, and so making a great spot to pull up a chair, order a red wine, and get chatting face to face to friendly bar staff.

Carlos Calvo 599, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4300 4313.

Housed in a stunning turn of the century mansion, Milion has earned itself a reputation as one of Buenos Aires’ very best bars. Pass through the stunning entrance arch, cut through the gorgeous indoor bar and you’ll emerge into a beautiful garden. The cocktail menu is a weighty tome with every imaginable drink up for grabs. Try the mojitos, which are particularly good. Grab a bite from the extensive menu and kick back to sounds of the in-house DJ’s laidback tunes.

Parana 1048, Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4362 6086.
Verne Club

One of Palermo Viejo’s hot new hangouts, Verne Club is the place to go if you’re after more than a pint of Quilmes or a large glass of Malbec - although you’ll find those here too. Among its Persian rugs, inviting Chesterfield sofas and vinyl-spinning DJs, you’ll find expertly made cocktails, a relaxed atmosphere and gourmet panchos (hot dogs) to soak up all the booze.

Medrano 1475, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4822 0980.

Clubs in Buenos Aires


Crobar, in Palermo, is one of the established ‘mega-clubs' in Buenos Aires where you can dance to mainstream house music amid a smartly dressed, wealthy set. If those tunes don’t cut it, there are myriad mezzanine levels and a back room playing everything from Latin pop to classic rock. Revellers find refreshment at four bars churning out an assortment of drinks and dance to international DJs on Friday nights. Live music is sometimes on offer. Check local listings for details.

Telephone: (011) 4778 1500.

Ultra hip and favoured by Porteños (Buenos Aires natives) and expats alike, Kika hosts some of the city’s most buzzing club nights. DJs play an eclectic mix of drum’n’bass, classic hip hop and electro. Tuesday nights are a particular favourite, despite the working week being in full swing. Be warned though, like most clubs in Buenos Aires, things don’t start swinging until the very early hours.

Honduras 5339, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4833 9171.
Niceto Club

One for the cool kids, Niceto Club offers a great assortment of club nights, from reggaeton (Latin urban music) to Thursday night’s weird and wonderful Club 69, which bubbles excitedly with flamboyant costumes, a good helping of cross dressing, and some thoroughly funky beats. It’s not all DJs and dressing up though; the owners are partial to a little bit of live music every now and then too.

Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4779 9396.

Live Music in Buenos Aires

Café Tortoni

As the most famous café in Buenos Aires, the history and literary connections of Café Tortoni make it a fascinating spot for a coffee. Downstairs, in La Bodega, it’s more known for its frequent tango and jazz shows. However, this fin-de-siècle coffeehouse does capitalise on its spot on the tourist trail, so prices are high. The tango show is good fun, even if the food isn’t up to Buenos Aires’s usual high standards.

Avenida De Mayo 825, Centro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4342 4328.
Ciudad Cultural Konex

This cool cultural complex hosts an array of live music nights, but none are as good as catching La Bomba de Tiempo, who bring their amazing and utterly unique percussion act to the stage on a Monday night. Like nothing else in Buenos Aires, this night will leave you wowed, but if you happen to miss them, there’s plenty of dynamic theatre and cutting-edge contemporary art hosted here as well.

Sarmiento 3151, Abasto, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4864 3200.
Teatro Colón

The refurbished Teatro Colón is home to the Buenos Aires Philharmonic orchestra, so there are often free classical music recitals held in the Salon Dorado (Gold Room). Tango is by far the dominant dance form here, and shows are always worthy of such a majestic setting. Music lovers fans will also find some incredible operas, performed by the Philharmonic, as well as ballet of the highest standard.

Cerrito 628, Centro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4378 7100.
Torquato Tasso

Torquato Tasso is one of the most reliable live music venues in the city, with regular performances from the cream of Buenos Aires’ musicians, such as legendary tango group Sexteto Mayor. When dining during a show, dim lighting can make the identification of forkfuls somewhat tricky, but the music is first rate. The bar serves a solid Malbec, and those who fancy taking it one sultry step further can participate in their daily tango lessons.

Telephone: (011) 4307 6506.

Theatre in Buenos Aires

Complejo Teatral De Buenos Aires

Theatre is very popular in Buenos Aires, with a good mix of international and Argentine productions available to both locals and visitors. Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires is a complex of five theatres, centred around the Teatro General San Martin, which stage a varied programme of Argentine and international plays, as well as children's theatre. As well as live productions, there are also regular film screenings and photography shows.

Avenida Corrientes 1530, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4371 0111.
Teatro Del Pueblo

The independent Teatro del Pueblo is a small-scale performance space that stages both modern and traditional Argentine productions. Tickets are cheaper here than at many of the other theatres in Buenos Aires. Although demure in size, Teatro del Pueblo fights above its weight in both production and historical value. As the first independent theatre in Latin America, it’s stuck to its guns and puts on hard-hitting and forward-thinking theatre.

Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña 943, Centro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Telephone: (011) 4326 3606.