A Local’s Guide to Buenos Aires Nightlife

Replete with character-rich bars, speakeasies, tango houses, and nightclubs, Buenos Aires is an oasis of cool – pure heaven for night owls. Insider Marisa steers you to the best hidden spots.


Photo © Sean O'Reilly

Note: Though many COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed within Buenos Aires, some venues may be operating under reduced hours or limited capacity, and/or may require masks.


Start your night at some of the city’s more laid-back bars, located in Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhood, San Telmo. Doppelganger (locally called Doppel) specializes in classic cocktails like negronis and pisco sours. Then check out Napoles Bar, once a massive storage unit for an antique collector. He decided to put his wares on display – from vintage cars and motorbikes to old barbershop chairs – and added a well-stocked bar for good measure.


Buenos Aires has a thriving underground bar scene. Speakeasies with hidden doors are everywhere, such as Florería Atlántico in Retiro, a chic cocktail bar masquerading as a flower shop.

In Palermo, the undisputed nightlife epicenter of the city, you’ll find the Harrison Speakeasy. It used to be a completely secretive, upscale affair that’s now widely known to be concealed beneath Nicky NY Sushi. (Ask to “see the wine cellar.”) Getting past the doorman can be a challenge at this members-only joint, but it’s well worth the incredible cocktails and glamorous atmosphere if you manage to get in.

Try the Verne Club for its author-inspired menu and absinthe tasting, before vying for your place in line at Uptown. The wait can be frustrating at this hotspot, but once inside you’ll enjoy a full-on homage to the New York subway, complete with trains, turnstiles and urban graffiti.

Located on a quiet, tree-lined street in Villa Crespo, Bar 878 may seem out of the way, but it’s easily the most welcoming and laid-back underground bar in the city.

Palermo nightclubs

Niceto Vega is Buenos Aires’ street of nightclubs. Head to legacy favorite Club 69 at the Niceto Club to see and be seen. Try Makena Cantina Club for your live music fix, then head bayside to Terazas del Este, a waterfront bar that becomes Bayside Nightclub on Saturday.

Gay Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is one of the most gay-friendly cities in Latin America, which is well-reflected in the nightlife scene. The early-birds watering hole is Pride Café in San Telmo, but the real party happens late night – catch a drag show at Sitges in Palermo.


An Argentina night without tango would be a sin, so be sure to check out a milonga (tango house), designed for dancing the night away.

Maldita in San Telmo is a classic,  and its live orchestra El Atronfe draws a crowd – Tuesdays are “Tango Queer.” (Note, Maldita is temporarily closed as of 3 November 2021.) For newbies, your best bet is La Cathedral in barrio Almagro, well known for its relaxed and informal vibe. If you’re not a night owl, hit up El Beso’s matinée milonga near the Callao metro stop, where dancing starts at 2pm. Go on Tuesday nights for an all-night event. Finally, end the night at La Viruta, an after-hours milonga in Palermo.

Want to know more about Argentina? Listen to the World Nomads podcast. How drinking mate defines Argentinians, how to kiss properly when you greet someone, and meet Popi, the scientist who's saving penguins.

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