buenos aires nightlife

Buenos Aires has a special kind of sparkle at night. (Photo: Getty Images)

Buenos Aires

Still Awake? This Is Buenos Aires for Night Owls

Buenos Aires is full of life by day, but it has a special kind of sparkle at night. Between the clubs and the milongas, Buenos Aires comes out to play as the sun sets.

The Argentine capital definitely does not go to bed early, and neither should you. Head out for a drink, to the theater or in search of the famous tango: whatever you’re into, Buenos Aires by night has something for everyone.

If you’re in the mood to tango…

Sensual and addictive, the tango is one of Buenos Aires’ (and Argentina’s) most famous exports. No visit to the capital is complete without having spent at least one night perfecting (or learning) the steps to the sound of live music.

The best option is to go to a milonga. These sessions, in which dancers of all levels meet to dust off their skills, are regularly held throughout the city. One of the most famous is La Catedral, in Almagro. With its casual, industrial warehouse setting, La Catedral exudes a bohemian vibe with a serious passion for tango. Tuesday nights there are particularly spectacular, and it’s the perfect option for absolute beginners.

Another of the capital’s well-known milongas is La Bruja in Palermo, held every Saturday in Villa Malcolm, on a dancefloor with more than 80 years of dancing history. La Bruja welcomes both beginner and advanced dancers, and is perfect for those traveling solo.

buenos aires nightlife
The tango is one of Buenos Aires’ most famous exports. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you like electronic music (amongst others)…

If your musical tastes are a little more up-to-date, Buenos Aires’ clubs are where you want to be, just make sure you don’t arrive until at least 2 a.m., because in Buenos Aires, the party doesn’t start until the early hours.

Niceto in Palermo is an institution, a place where Buenos Aires’ night owls have been congregating for more than two decades. The club reinvents itself every night, jumping from techno to hip hop and reggae. But Niceto’s biggest day of the week is Thursday: renamed Club 69, it features burlesque performances and drag shows and dances. A definite must-see.

If you’re into signature cocktails…

Before setting the dancefloor alight, do as the locals do and start the evening off with a drink (or two) in one of Buenos Aires’ many bars filled with character. For something a little different, try Frank’s in Palermo.

This speakeasy bar definitely doesn’t do things by halves. You enter through a telephone booth and you need to give the password of the day to get in. Check their Facebook page to get clues for the password, and once you reach the bar itself, order yourself a Negroni: you earned it!

If you’re a fan of musicals…

If you’re looking for a dose of culture, head on over to the Avenida Corrientes, one of Buenos Aires’ main thoroughfares, and the nerve center of performing arts in the capital. There you’ll find one theater after another, each with something different on offer, whether it’s a ballet, musical, or reinterpretation of a Shakespearean classic.

Opened in 1906, the National Theater (now known as Nacional Sancor Seguros), has been part of life in Buenos Aires for more than a century. Get to know its history and spend the night there seeing a show, especially if you’re into musicals, something the theater does particularly well.

If you’re looking for something a little different…

Looking for something cultural, but with a twist? You don’t even need to leave the Avenida Corrientes to find what you’re looking for. In Buenos Aires, the nightlife isn’t just about drinking and dancing, and in the Argentine capital, even the books go to bed late.

buenos aires nightlife
Find your next big read after dark. (Photo: Getty Images)

Many of the bookstores on the avenue have at least one night a week when they close past midnight, and if you think that after 10 p.m. you’ll be all on your own, think again, they’re usually full of people looking for their next big read.

One of the most atmospheric stores is Lucas, where you could spend hours looking through the used book section alone.