Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Nightlife in Buenos Aires


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No visit to Buenos Aires is complete without experiencing at least one night “out on the town”.  Regardless of your age or preferences, Buenos Aires’ has a wealth of cultural and entertaining night time activities to offer you.  Everything from an elegant, romantic dinner by the old port docks in Puerto Madero to dancing your heart away at the hottest night club in Costanera Norte until after the sun comes up.

Buenos Aires is very appropriately called the “city that never sleeps”.   Argentines usually start eating dinner between 10 and 11 p.m. and love to share lingering conversation over the dinner table and later continue it at a separate cafë or bar with an after dinner coffee or drink. A quiet weeknight get together with friends can easily last until 2 a.m.  So it’s not hard to see that “party” nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday last until the following morning (7 or 8 a.m. and even later).

On any given night, you can enjoy Buenos Aires’ cosmopolitan flavor in its diversity of  restaurants, movies, theatres, bars, clubs, concerts, and festivals.

Movies

Like in other parts of the world, the once spacious and elegant movie theaters of Buenos Aires have been transformed into the multiplex movie theaters found on the Lavalle Mall  or now house theater productions along Avenida Corrientes.  Modern multiplex theatres can also be found inside most of the closed shopping malls and in Puerto Madero.   Movie listings include Argentine and international films, with a majority coming from Hollywood.  Most movies (except for animated films) are shown in their original language with Spanish subtitles.

Theater

Buenos Aires is home to over 170 theaters and showcases up to 400 shows at a time.  This combination of commercial, independent and government sponsored theaters provides spectators with a full range of theatrical and musical genres to select from.

The brightest theater lights, Broadway style, are to be found on Avenida Corrientes.  A stroll along a few blocks reveals musical comedies,  tango shows, and local versions of productions from around the globe including Broadway hits.

Independent or alternative theater, also known as teatro off , can be found mostly in the barrios (neighborhoods) of Abasto, San Telmo and Palermo.  Most productions are avant-guard plays attracting a younger crowd of performers and spectators.

The city’s Secretary of Culture operates the Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires where five theaters offer plays, dance and musical performances.  A rich variety of national and international productions and activities can also be enjoyed at the elegant national theater, Teatro Nacional Cervantes.

No discussion of theaters in Buenos Aires can ignore its main jewel, the majestic Teatro Colon.  From its opening in 1908, with its superior accoustical design (among the top three in the world), to 2006, when it closed for restoration, the stage of Teatro Colon featured stellar national and international performances in opera, ballet and symphony orchestra.  Though the theater house itself  is under restoration, the theater is still active and performs in a variety of other theaters.

Tickets can be purchased at theater box offices, many of which are open several hours before showtime.   If you can read Spanish, the website alternativateatral provides information on theaters, listings and reviews.

Tango

No visitor to Buenos Aires should leave without experiencing the beauty and passion of the tango.   Tango music and dancing, born in the cafes and bars of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th century, is still a main attraction for visitors and Porteños of all ages.  In addition to the street tango dancers you might stumble upon on Calle Florida, you can experience tango by either seeing a professional tango show (with or without dinner included) or seeing the locals dance tango at a milonga (tango salon).  Many tango salons offer tango classes before the night’s dancing.

Bars

Argentines are definately highly social and love to get together with friends.  Bars start filling up after the dinner hour, usually between midnight and 1 a.m..  Though bars are scattered throughout the city, the most popular bars are clustered in certain areas such as Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, Plaza Serrano in Palermo, the nearby streets of Palermo Hollywood, the Cañitas area in Belgrano, Puerto Madero and Vicente Lopez Street (between Junin and Azcuenega) in Recolecta.

Nightclubs

If  dancing is what you’re looking for, you’ll have to wait until at least 2 a.m. to hit the dance floor when most boliches (dance clubs) open up.  Argentines enjoy a wide range of musical genres and though some dance clubs play exclusively electronic or techno music, most others play a combination of national and international rock, pop, salsa, 70’s and 80’s music.  Not as highly concentrated as bars, some of the hottest boliches are found in Costanera Norte as well as Palermo, Cañitas, and San Telmo.

Casino

You can find roulet, poker, Black Jack, slot machines and more at the Casino Puerto Madero.  It is more commonly known as the Casino Flotante (floating casino) because it is a replica of a 19th Century Mississippi-style riverboat,  Free transportation is provided from the parking lot located at the corner of Leandro Alem and Cordoba streets every 15 – 30 minutes and admission is free 24 hours a day.

You can find out other interesting tips in this Buenos Aires Travel Guide.

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