Buenos Aires Nightlife

Buenos Aires may be most famous for tango, but the city is brimming with all sorts of cultural offerings – from ballet and opera to contemporary art and popular music concerts. Party fiends will find Buenos Aires's nightlife one of the most active in the world. Bars get busy towards midnight, and clubs don’t generally get going until gone 0200. Palermo continues to be popular with the fashionable crowd, especially the areas of Las Cañitas and Palermo Hollywood, which are packed with trendy bars, clubs and restaurants.

The streets surrounding La Recoleta Cemetery are good places to go out at weekends, when the pavement bars and cafés remain busy until the action moves to the nearby clubs. San Telmo has a good smattering of atmospheric, historic watering holes, plus new, neon-lit bars, while Puerto Madero is increasingly popular for sunset drinks and dining.

The entertainment sections of newspapers The Buenos Aires Herald (www.buenosairesherald.com), Clarín (www.clarin.com) and La Nación (www.lanacion.com.ar) list events, performances and screenings, and the tourist office and kiosks supply the most up-to-date details about what's on. Bars, bookshops and hotels are also good sources of information.

Tickets can be bought at venues, but there are also centralised ticket agencies (carteleras), such as Cartelera, Lavelle 835 (tel: (011) 4322 9263). Ticketek (tel: (011) 5237 7200; www.ticketek.com.ar) has a ticket booth at Alto Palermo Shopping on Santa Fe.

Bars in Buenos Aires

Congo

Swanky cocktails and a lovely garden area keep the good-looking crowd returning to Congo in their hoards. Inside this swish Palermo hangout, find welcoming leather couches, and inviting light meals such as delicious garlic shrimp. There isn’t a sign, but you can’t miss it later on in the evening, as there is nearly always a queue.

Honduras 5329, Palermo
Tel: (011) 4833 5857.

El Federal

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. On a warm evening, nab a seat on the pavement and soak up the San Telmo buzz.

Corner of Peru and Carlos Calvo, San Telmo
Tel: (011) 4300 4313.

Gran Bar Danzon

Located in the centre is Buenos Aires's longest established wine bar, Gran Bar Danzon, which is a fashionable place to sip Argentine wines and well-made cocktails. The interior is slick, the drinks list extensive, and the clientele fittingly well turned out.

Libertad 1161, Centro
Tel: (011) 4811 1108.
Website: www.granbardanzon.com.ar

Clubs in Buenos Aires

Crobar

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. Revellers find refreshment at four bars churning out an assortment of drinks and dance to international DJs on Friday nights.

Paseo de la Infantana Isabel, Palermo
Tel: (011) 4778 1500.
Website: www.crobar.com.ar

Niceto Club

One for the cool kids, Niceto Club offers a right old 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.

Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo
Tel: (011) 4779 9396.
Website: www.nicetoclub.com

Pacha Buenos Aires

For the super-club experience and the very best in national and international dance music DJs, head to Pacha Buenos Aires. Inside, the large main dance area fills up with a trend-conscious crowd – sunglasses worn indoors is a popular look – while out in the warm night air, the DJ on the terrace keeps the crowd moving as they anticipate the sunrise across the water.

Costanera Norte and La Pampa
Tel: (011) 4788 4280.
Website: www.pachabuenosaires.com

Live Music in Buenos Aires

Bar Sur

It's easy to become sucked into the tango obsession that prevails in Buenos Aires and there are numerous venues to listen to, watch or participate in tango. For a reasonably priced and authentic taste of a tango, make your way to a charming corner of San Telmo for Bar Sur, where audience participation is encouraged.

Estados Unidos 299, San Telmo
Tel: (011) 4362 6086.
Website: www.bar-sur.com.ar

Café Tortoni

This is the most famous café in Buenos Aires, and its history and literary connections make it a fascinating spot for a coffee. Downstairs in La Bodega sees frequent tango and jazz shows; however, Café Tortoni does capitalise on its spot on the tourist trail, and prices are high. The tango show is good fun, even if the food offered during isn’t up to Buenos Aires’s usual high standards.

Avenida De Mayo 825, Centro
Tel: (011) 4342 4328.
Website: www.cafetortoni.com.ar

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’s 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.

Defensa 1575, San Telmo
Tel: (011) 4307 6506.
Website: www.torquatotasso.com.ar

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, scattered throughout the city centre, which stage a varied programme of Argentine and international plays, as well as children's theatre.

Tel: (011) 4371 0111.
Website: www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar

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.

Avenida Roque Sáenz Peña 943, Centro
Tel: (011) 4326 3606.
Website: www.teatrodelpueblo.org.ar

Music and Dance in Buenos Aires

Teatro Colón

The recently refurbished Teatro Colón is home to the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, and sometimes there are free classical music recitals held in the Salon Dorado (Gold Room). Opera, also performed by the Philharmonic, is of a high standard. Ballet is also performed here. However, tango is by far the dominant dance form, and tango shows can be viewed in countless bars, cultural centres and even in the city streets.

Cerrito 628, Centro
Tel: (011) 4378 7100.
Website: www.teatrocolon.org.ar

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