Buenos Aires Boliches: Nightlife in BA

They say that New York is the city that never sleeps, but Buenos Aires is one of the world’s frontrunners when it comes to 24-hour partying. Many of the best things about this fascinating city happen after dark, and you’ll notice that nightlife and nighttime activities play a key role in the lives of porteños. A few things to know: It’s normal to go for dinner at 1 a.m., after taking in a theater show on Avenida Corrientes; it’s normal to go for ice cream with your grandmother at midnight on a Tuesday; and it’s normal to wait until 11 p.m. before going to a bar. You get the idea: B.A. is a city for night owls.

So what about the boliches (nightclubs)? First of all, don’t even think about arriving at your chosen venue before 2 a.m.; this is when most clubs are opening their doors. Any time prior to this is reserved for hitting a bar or la previa, which is pre-game drinking at your or a friend’s house. Once open, the boliches amuse and entertain their clientele well into the early hours, often as late (or early) as 7 a.m. You’ll find all styles of nightclub too, from electronic and dance clubs to rock clubs and celebrity hangouts. As a general rule, although exceptions do exist, clubs in Buenos Aires throw all pretension out the window and focus on good old-fashioned fun. Porteños aren’t huge boozers, either, so you’ll rarely see the stumbling, mumbling drunks often seen in Northern European and American clubs. This, among other theories, explains their ability to keep the party going until the early morning.

Whether you do it once or every weekend, partaking in a night of dancing until sunrise is a must-do in Buenos Aires. To help you on your way we’ve handpicked a selection of the city’s best nightclub experiences. (Note that our choices aren’t just confined to the weekends.) Be brave and attempt the ultimate challenge: Hit a club on a Tuesday night and make it to your 9 a.m. walking tour on Wednesday morning.

Great Boliches in Buenos Aires

House/electronic music is huge in Buenos Aires and big-name international DJs are constantly landing on Argentine shores to entertain adoring fans with hours-long sets. One of the most popular nightclubs on the scene is Pacha (pachabuenosaires.com, corner of Rafael Obligado and La Pampa, Costanera Norte), which faces the river on the Costanera Norte. It’s from the same brand as the world-famous clubs in Ibiza, London and New York. There’s a huge dance floor, several bars and the latest in sound and lighting technology, while the open-air terrace is the place to be to watch the sunrise. Pacha opens on Friday, Saturday and public holidays and welcomes DJs such as John Digweed, Nick Warren and Fatboy Slim. Another favorite for well-known DJs is Alsina (palacioalsina.net, Alsina 940, Monserrat), just a short walk from Plaza de Mayo. It’s the host of two big electronic events – State on Friday and Big One on Saturday – and can hold up to 3,000 guests. There’s also a Sunday daytime party that starts at 3 p.m., which gives you enough time to nip home for a siesta before finishing the weekend in style. For more famous names in the DJing world, head to Crobar (crobar.com.ar, Libertador 3886, Palermo Parks), set beneath a railway bridge on the edge of El Rosedal in Palermo. Friday’s Be Techno event hosts local and international DJs, while Saturday is popular with the LGBT crowd. At Crobar you’re invited to arrive early for dinner, then stay on to mingle with the latecomers.

In the city center there are two clubs that take care of your house/electronic/funk musical desires. One is Bahrein (bahreinba.com, Lavalle 345, San Nicolás), a three-story nightclub that opens on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Chill out in the cocktail lounge; boogie to soul, funk, ’80s and ’90s pop in the Funky Room; or hit the no-holds-barred basement dance floor. If you take your partying seriously, make sure to spend a night at Cocoliche (facebook.com/Cocoliche, Rivadavia 878, Monserrat). Although it’s well known, it still manages to maintain an underground vibe. Go straight to the gritty basement, which impresses with its sound system and DJs, who spin techno, minimal house, drum ‘n’ bass and more. Cocoliche opens on weekends only.

For a bit of everything – DJs, live music, drag shows – head over to Palermo Hollywood’s Niceto Club (nicetoclub.com, Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo Hollywood). It’s a stalwart on the BA nightlife scene and consistently puts on excellent nights. The most famous is Thursday’s Club 69, an eclectic evening of baroque cabaret, transvestite strippers, break-dancers and booming techno music. It may sound bizarre but it’s definitely worth experiencing. Friday and Saturday nights are reserved for indie rock and electro and are popular nights with the city’s hipsters. Nightclub events kick off after midnight, before which the venue hosts live music performances by local and international artists. If you like nightclubs with live music, La Capilla (facebook.com/lacapilla.delrock, Suipacha 842, Retiro) in Retiro should be on your to-visit list. The big night is Friday’s Fiesta de la Flor. You’ll hear live music that covers everything from cumbia and Balkan to ska, hip-hop and dancehall. Bands start around 10 p.m. and resident DJs will take you into the early hours of Saturday.

If an all-round good time is your priority, make your way to Podestá (podestafotos.com, Armenia 1740, Palermo Soho), smack in the heart of Palermo Soho. It opens as a bar at 10 p.m. – happy hour runs from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. – and turns into a club with a good mix of locals, expats and students. Downstairs, the DJs spin rock and pop classics while upstairs is more of a dance/electro scene. The club opens from Thursday to Saturday. On trend in Palermo Hollywood is the Scandinavian-owned Unicorn Huset (unicornhuset.com, Honduras 5730, Palermo Hollywood). It’s open from Wednesday to Saturday, which makes it good for midweek partying as well as weekend fun. In true Scandinavian style, the vibe here is about drinking and letting your hair down, which leads to an ultimately young, fashionable and good-looking crowd. Unicorn opens at 9 p.m., and on a warm night it’s worth arriving early to grab a table in the garden. Should you have an urge for a midweek party, stop by Boutique (facebook.com/after.boutique, Perú 535, Monserrat). Previously called Museum, this Monserrat club is the king of after-work drinks. Every Wednesday from 7 p.m., suited workers go for what starts out as a quiet pint but turns into a booze-fueled meat market. DJs spin ’80s and ’90s pop to keep the atmosphere a happy one.

A city’s nightlife wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t have the see-and-be-seen venues that fill up with A- and B-list celebrities, plus a healthy amount of wannabes. Two such places – Jet (jet.com.ar, Rafael Obligado 4801, Costanera Norte) and Tequila (corner of Rafael Obligado and La Pampa, Costanera Norte) – can be found on the Costanera Norte. Jet is a small club that has made a name for itself by hosting exclusive fashion parties and music events. Open from Thursday to Saturday, it takes the form of a swanky lounge club where the clientele are expected to dress to impress in order to mingle with the cool and beautiful crowd. Tequila is about 500 meters down the road and is revered for bringing in the city’s most attractive women. Getting in is often all about who you know and not how many pesos you have in your pocket. That or you’ll need to be overwhelmingly good-looking or have the ability to charm the skin off a snake. Like Jet, Tequila is open from Thursday to Saturday.

Alternative clubbing options include Asia de Cuba (asiadecuba.com.ar, Olga Cossettini 751, Puerto Madero) in Puerto Madero. A restaurant by day, it becomes a chic, upmarket lounge club after midnight, attracting well-heeled tourists and Puerto Madero’s wealthy residents. Don’t bother with the restaurant; instead show up after 1 a.m., when the dance floor begins to fill up. Stroll along Avenida Juan B. Justo after midnight on a Friday or Saturday and you’ll spot clubbers milling around the doors of numerous nightclubs. In this vicinity is Rosebar (rosebar.com.ar, Honduras 5445, Palermo Soho), a warehouse-style nightclub with a huge dance floor, innumerable disco balls and groups of 20- and 30-something revelers. On Thursday, Rosebar hosts a busy after-office party from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, it’s a standard porteño nightclub party, but be prepared to confront the fashion police at the door.

One final club worth mentioning is Buenos Aires’ most-famous LGBT nightclub, Amerika (ameri-k.com.ar, Gascón 1040, Almagro). Although billed as a gay club, everyone is welcome and the varied clientele aid in creating a flamboyant and boisterous party. The club spreads over three floors and has a capacity of almost 2,000, which is made up of gay fellas, Lady Gaga wannabes, straight girls and hipsters. Amerika opens at midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and also puts on a popular Sunday party. On Friday and Saturday the admission fee includes an open bar.

Seven Days of Boliches

Monday @ Club Severino: Start your week off in style at this ever-popular event, which takes place at Bahrein. There’s a different theme each week, but in general the music mixes rock and pop, hip-hop and electro, cumbia and reggaeton. Enjoy free admission before 1 a.m. when you sign up for the guest list.

Tuesday @ Kika Club: For a few years now Kika’s Hype party has been the dominant event of Buenos Aires’ Tuesday nightclub scene. Positives are that the music – often played by international DJs – ranges from electro and drum ‘n’ bass to dubstep and deep house. Negatives are that it’s overcrowded; it’s full of tourists, expats and young students; and drinks are expensive. Until something else comes along, this is the place to be on Tuesday. Check it out but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Wednesday @ Asia de Cuba: Join the in-crowd at Puerto Madero for one of Asia de Cuba’s biggest nights of the week, the Link Up Party Coolest Connection. It attracts a crowd of regulars who show up around 1 a.m. The club isn’t cheap, so remember to bring plenty of pesos. Ladies enjoy free admission until 3 a.m.

Thursday @ Niceto Club: A fun night is guaranteed at the extravagant Club 69 event. Dance the night away to electro beats while sharing the dance floor with drag queens, transvestites, Village People lookalikes and B-boys. Due to its popularity, Club 69 draws many tourists. Still, you should check it out at least once. The affair kicks off at midnight and there’s an AR$100 cover charge. Girls go free from midnight to 2 a.m. when signing up for the guest list.

Friday @ Crobar: The BeTechno night at Crobar epitomizes the nightclubbing scene of Buenos Aires; great house music, international DJs, party-loving porteños and zero snobbishness. Previous performers include Marc Houle, Marcel Dettmann and Ben Klock, for those in the know. The cover charge is around AR$100 and doors open at 10 p.m.

Saturday @ Jet: Dig out your funkiest pair of pants and iron your favorite shirt: Saturday night is a time to mingle with the beautiful people at Jet. The door policy is notoriously strict, so plan your night carefully. Make prior inquiries about getting on the guest list or, if you have money to splash, consider reserving a VIP booth. If all else fails, stroll 500 meters down the road to Pacha.

Sunday @ Amerika: Continue your weekend’s exploits or dance away the Monday blues at this legendary anything-goes Sunday event. It’s predominately gay but is also a safe haven for all open-minded clubbers. Hard-hitting techno gets partiers on the main dance floor, with the last DJs starting their sets at 4:30 a.m. On the laid-back second floor, DJs spin Latin, pop and retro tunes. The cover charge is AR$100, and from midnight to 2 a.m. there’s a two-for-one drink special.

To avoid waiting in long lines and trying to convince ruthless doormen that you are cool enough to get into a club, do some preparation. The vast majority of clubs offer the chance to register on their guest list, which guarantees entrance up to a specified time. Simply go to their respective websites and send an email. Naturally, there’s no limit to how many guest lists you can be on. If you aren’t 100-percent sure of your final destination, register on as many lists as you possibly can.

At big-name DJ clubs, such as Alsina, Crobar and Pacha, you have the option of purchasing tickets in advance. This can be done in several ways: by contacting the club directly; via ticketing websites such as Ticketek; or at backpacker hostels.


22 Responses to “Buenos Aires Boliches: Nightlife in BA”

  1. Andi says:

    Loooooove Asia de Cuba! You HAVE to party all night to REALLY experience BsAs.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Ha! I went to three of these. I had a crazy experience at Amerika! It’s one of the stories in my memoir about living in Buenos Aires.

  3. No kidding — nightlife is king in BA, and Amerika is the best places to go dancing on Sunday night. In fact, lots of gay venues are fun for straight people, too, as Lisa Goldapple recently discovered in her round-up of the best of the gay nightlife scene in Buenos Aires. Check it out: http://www.therealargentina.com/argentinian-wine-blog/gay-venues-nightlife-in-buenos-aires/

  4. N.Brumer says:

    Dear Kika Nightclub;

    After paying the ridiculously overpriced entry free of 60 pesos, I (from Australia) and my friends from both (United Kingdom and United States) were assaulted by a pathetic excuse for a śecurity guard’ obviously so influenced by steroid usage that he determined our presence a threat. Using the term ´permisso’ he shoved his fat elbow into my friendś rib cage and staring him in the eyes continued to push him into a wall. We were doing nothing but dancing with a group of girls we brought to the club.

    We had no idea where this aggression came from. It was absolutely uncalled for. We spent over 400 pesos on champaign and vodka at the bar, and to be treated with such hostility and aggression for no reason other than this fools insecure anger at foreigners I am outraged.

    I will actively discourage any of my friends and work associates from ever attending your venue again. I am going to forward this email to the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, The Policia, and the Millhouse Hostel to also discourage people from attending your venue. I sincerely hope this costs you money and customers in the future.

    In order to avoid such emails I will give you 2 days to respond to this formal complaint with an apology acknowledging you have sternly warned your security staff to exercise more restraint and professionalism in their jobs, as well as a reduction in steroid consumption. If not, I hope to actively reduce your revenues by filing many formal complaints as to the actions of your so called śecurity staff´.

    I have traveled to many countries and never have been treated so poorly by staff at a venue. I once again wish to express my outrage at this pathetic manś aggression towards paying customers from a foreign country. As you know there are many tourists with money who frequent Buenos Aires, and I will do all in my power to alert them to what a shit fucking venue you operate under.

    Complements, N.Brumer.

  5. Véro says:

    Ok, I just got back from BA (March 2012), and here are some updates :
    Bahrein is over, it’s dead, DON’T GO THERE. We paid, went inside, it was empty except for a bunch of 15 year-olds wearing cheap clothes (the girls looked about 12), decided to stay a bit, had THE WORST drink ever (come on, how hard is it to make a Gin and Tonic), and promptly left.
    The Kika : Don’t even bother going there unless you want to hang out with a bunch of 18 years old boys in ugly jeans and white t-shirts, listening to bad music. It sucked. It’s always full though, and if you’re in that age group, you will probably love it.
    Konga : Great for a drink, but not for dancing
    Milion : Classy awesome funky place, great for drinks and dinner, MUST SEE old house… great decoration and styling, super friendly staff
    Shamrock/Basement : It was Ok… Upstairs feels like a college dormroom… very young kids, but pretty goof atmosphere. Downstairs is better, good DJ, pretty cute crowd. Not a bad place…

    BEST PLACE EVER : If you’re 25-40, like to dress nicely, like to look at beautiful people and listen to awesome music (not hip hop crap)…. Go to Isabel on Uriarte. We went there 5 nights in a row! Amazing place! There’s a cute inner courtyard at the back with a beautiful outdoor fireplace. The bathrooms will make your head spin (go see for yourself). If you want a classy, funky, glam place… GO TO ISABEL!!! We couldn’t get enough!

  6. sammy says:

    You guys definitely forgot to mention GOA/La France. It’s on Sarmiento and viamonte i believe. This place was legite, plenty of beautiful girls from 20+, no foreigners. you get to meet plenty of girls, decent music (not into the music they play here in BsAs but its not bad). Its just the place to be, the entrance line is at least a block long to go in and its a huge place. Entrance is 70 but if you get on a list its a little cheaper. Check it out and i gaurantee you’ll like it. I’ve been to las Terrazas which was fun too but not as great, i like locals more. I’ve been to liquid, shamrock,and crobar. From these i’d go to GOA, then las terrazas/crobar (close call), shamrock, then liquid. liquid blows, its just a bar where theres dancing basically, the music sucked and even worse was the sound system.

  7. Miu says:

    I went to Niceto last night and at first there was not a lot of people, but around 2 am it started getting full…Such a crazy night of drum and bass, around 3 to 4 dj’s & a crazy freak show. If you’re on the list you get a discount. If you’re into drum and bass/hard electronic music and want to party until daylight I definitely recommend the killerdrumz party.

  8. Tyler says:

    Hype@ Kika is garbage, especially after going to CLUBONE on sunday… i mean… kika was farther away, more expensive, shittier drinks and obnoxious people, it was like the tiny crappy expensive version of CLUBONE… with bad music and more assholes.

    CLUBONE is awesome…. i wish they had something going on last night and i would have went there again.

    Skip KIKA. I question this whole blog with that suggestion just existing on here.

  9. This seems like a solid guide. I’m just glad that there is something to do for dubstep fans too!

  10. Dubstep Yesterday says:

    Hi Dubstep today,

    There are a few dubstep nights about, search for a DJ called Daleduro, and a night called Bullybass.

    Even better though, check out ZZK at Nicetto Club for dubstep and other electronic music infused future sounds of Buenos Aires. Search for ZZK records or Future Sounds of Buenos Aires, for a taste of this new underground sound. It might even be the most exciting club in the world right now.

  11. Alejandra says:

    Argentinian men are so cute and they go very fast! In 5 minutes i had two boys inviting me for a dirink! Always there is an asshole but i did realy have fun.

  12. Jamie says:

    Does anyone know how to get on a guest list for one of these clubs – do they all have a guest list? My friend and I will be visiting BA for the next week and would love to check out the night life.

    Thanks!

    Jamie

  13. Rob says:

    Oh dear another article claiming night life in BA is amazing.

    Its soooo boring here. All the clubs are very commercial and the girls get groped constantly.

    The bar scene is rubbish so you have to wait around doing nothing until 2am!

    Please stop writing fictional stories about the ‘amazing’ night life here.

  14. The Babylonian says:

    I went to Asia de Cuba a few days ago and didn’t like it due to the fact that there were more men than women that night. I would instead prefer Club Makena in Palermo http://www.makenacantinaclub.com.ar/

  15. Debu Lee says:

    Hi every one~! My name is Deborah and I’m a promotor of L’arc and Rosebar, the most exclusive and coolest clubs in Buenos Aires~ Feel free to contact me for free cocktails, free entrance and VIP access. Facebook: Debu Lee, Cellphone and Whatsapp: 1564442969.
    If you wanna check some pics and vids you can go to:
    http://www.facebook.com/LARC.SATURDAYS
    JOIN US AND EXPERIENCE THE REAL PARTIES OF BUENOS AIRES!
    (This post is dated 08/05/2013)

  16. Pamela says:

    If anyone is looking for a different kind of experience, head out to PLAY (nicaragua 4432, Palermo Soho)
    Modern bar lounge caters to the 25-40′s, dress code is enforced, good variety of drinks, they only serve brand makes (Skyy, absolut, Johnny Walkers…not some of the garbage some bars serve you that leave you with a headache). Good looking crowd and great music (not reggaeton, bailante crap) The bathrooms will make your head spin (go see for yourself). When you have had enough of dancing you can head upstairs to the spa (yes they have massage rooms for intimate encounters) and a rooftop terrace with Jaccuzzi. Caution: this is not for the closed minded! Some hot action may occur.

  17. dj tgb says:

    hey man thanks a bunch… definately the best BA guide ever… so muhc better than the trip advisor bullshit places hehehe

  18. rafael says:

    Tips for The week?

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