New York City is called the city that never sleeps but I think Buenos Aires might actually be more deserving of that title. In many European and North American cities, bars and clubs close around 2-3am. Here in Buenos Aires they don’t even open until then!
Buenos Aires is the ultimate place to blow your backpacker’s travel budget and completely ruin your sleep schedule all in one glorious night. If you are head out to enjoy the fun, here is how your night will most likely break down.
The pre-party, as known as dinner, usually begins around 11 pm. Yes, here it is completely normal to have a dinner out with the family, grandma and grandkids included, at 10, 11, or even 12 o’clock at night.
Trust me, you’ll need the late night food to sustain yourself for the hours upon hours of dancing and drinking that will follow. If you are going out with a group of friends, look for a casual bar/restaurant to start off with. Pizza is a favorite pre-party food and feel free to order some beer but don’t overdo it.
Porteños might party all night but, unlike many foreigners seen stumbling home, they are usually better about limiting or spacing out their alcohol consumption. Take it easy at dinner or you might end up the stupid foreigner who ruins the party by puking on the dance floor later.
After dinner, an event in itself that can take hours, you’ll finally be ready to head out to see the real Buenos Aires nightlife. The city is huge and as such there is a place literally for everyone. Most people head to laid back type bars first (check out Le Bar in the downtown) which often close early (around 2 am). Here is where you will be able to scope out the hotspots for the night. The clubs and bars in the city often hold weekly or special events and unless you are deeply embedded in the nightlife scene, it can be easy to miss the best party. By heading to a place like Le Bar first, you will be able to ask around and find out the “it” party for the night.
Once the bar closes, it is time to head to the real party. Between 3-6 is when the action happens and the clubs come to life with live music, fashion shows, performances, and of course lots of dancing. If you get lucky and end up at a great party, for sure stay but many locals find club-hopping around to different places more fun. Buenos Aires is huge though and you’re best bet is to stick to the clubs in a certain area of the city (i.e. Palermo or Downtown). The “best party in town” often depends on the night of the week. For Thursdays, I’d suggest Niceto Club while Jet is the place to be on a Saturday night (dress to impress; this place has a strict door policy).
Porteños are friendly, social people and if you are lucky, you’ll meet some locals while in the club who will invite you to their after party. A good afterparty can go until noon the next day so be prepared. These private after parties usually take place at someone’s home or a rented out space (clubs and bars) depending on the size of the party.
If you don’t get invited to a private party, you can still dance ‘til morning – or even afternoon – at a number of clubs in Buenos Aires that stay open extra late/early. Miloca is open well after sunrise, which you can watch from their patio while still drinking and dancing away. If you’re not quite ready for the sun, head to Cocoliche, a dark laser light filled space that literally stays open until 1pm the next afternoon.
Couple Travel Tips
- Make sure you get dress up before going out. Many of the nightclubs have strict dress codes and you won’t be let in at very many places in your backpacker cargo pants and sandals.
- Again, don’t overdo it with the alcohol. Buenos Aires is a relatively safe city but nowhere is completely safe if you are stumbling home drunk.
- There are also companies that offer Pub Crawls for tourists visiting the city. These can be a fun way to meet other travelers but aren’t nearly as fun as going out to a club yourselves.