The second largest city in South America after Sao Paolo, it has a distinctly European feel to it. With cafes and wine bars on every corner, you might have that nice feeling of walking around a Parisian neighborhood. The biggest surprise for me was to find how hard Argentinians party. Buenos Aires is a hot spot for those who love music, food, dancing, and arts.
Also Known as the Broadway of Latin America, you have an entire street packed with world-class theater. The nightlife is incredible, the good clubs open at 2am, and some of them remain open until noon! The Berliners of America will assure you a good time in their capital of Tango. Make sure to walk around the queer neighborhoods of Palermo, La Boca, and Recoleta for a relaxing glass of wine or to lay down in any of their beautiful parks.
Gay City Guide
Buenos Aires Gay Parade November 4, 2017
Porteños -how Argentinians from Buenos Aires are known- are some of the most open-minded and accepting people in Latin America. The scene, though, isn’t an in your face, let’s-get-it-on place like Rio. Rather, in Buenos Aires, gay men socialize in a fairly low-key way, mainly around the city’s trendy outdoor bars and stylish restaurants. They do have their gay bars and “gayer” neighborhoods like Palermo. But you won’t encounter a Castro or a Chelsea where gay guys hop from bar to bar.
The schedule here works like this: Sunset/afternoon cocktail or wine, get ready for dinner, and take a nap before going out (Really…take a nap), dinner is around 10 pm, meet up in a fancy outdoor bar, head to the club around 2-3 am, party until you can. The guys here are very hot, a mix of Italian, Spanish, German, French, Irish, and English. Like any other gay mecca of the world, Buenos Aires has a lot of bars, clubs, saunas, and sex clubs as well. Here is a list of my favorite spots and parties:
Crobar (Go Saturday)
In the heart of Palermo, this is the place to be any Saturday Night or, I should say, Sunday morning. Crobar is a Club under a XIX century train Archway with one of the best sound systems and DJ lineups in the city. The spacious club, with an outdoor, open terrace, brings the hottest guys in town together in one place every weekend. Porteños, when clubbing, get as up front as Brazilians; if they like you, they will let you know and will kiss you before you even have time to think about it. If it is not a match they will smile at you and continue walking. Don’t take it personally, and enjoy the kiss fest. Saturday parties are known as Rheo, other parties are organized but aren’t produced on a regular basis. If visiting the city check their Facebook page for invites Rheo
Location: Marcelino Freyre S/N, Arco 17, Palermo
GLAM (Go Thursday)
This is another big venue, popular with the younger crowds that go out to sing along to the top 40 hits. DJs are not as good as the ones that play at Crobar but it is still an extremely popular party, and it gets incredibly busy on Saturdays as well. I prefer Crobar, but if you feel like Club hopping you can check this one out as well. The venue has a huge dance floor, two bars, and an outdoor patio. Thursday is also a good night to visit Glam.
Location: Cabrera 3046, Palermo
AMERIKA (Go Friday)
This place is a Buenos Aires institution. The wildest disco in the city, where everyone comes together, from drags to “straight” dudes just looking for good music. The public that comes is incredibly mixed. It has a wild, semi-dark room on the first floor that a lot of curious guys confuse with a bathroom 😉 . Has two dance floors, and capacity for almost 2,000 people.
The main dance floor normally plays techno and deep house, there is another, smaller dance room with a view to the main dance floor where they play mostly Latin hits and Reggaeton tunes. Each room has its own bar. Fridays and Saturdays there is what they call “Canilla libre” (free drinks), basically they are included with the cover price. But it is cheap, terrible alcohol, so if going with these drinks in mind I recommend sticking with beer. If you want better liquors you will have to pay for those drinks.
There is a VIP bar on the first floor to the right, opposite the dark room, where you can buy good booze. Sunday the cover is free before 2.30 a.m. with RRPP list, access card, or with tickets from previous nights.
Location: Gascon 1040, Almagro (Friday and Saturday from 1 a.m. 6 a.m. Sunday 8 p.m to 4 a.m.)
Plop is a party that attracts younger guys. These are very informal and fun parties. Plop is held at Teatro Colegiales (now called Vorterix), they have done some nice refurbishing and upgrades to the venue, an old and elegant neighborhood theatre that they transformed into a party house.
Location: Federico Lacroze 3455, Colegiales (Fridays after 1 a.m.)
“It’s not just the best party. It’s a magical JOURNEY.” This is their motto. This party is held once a month, or sometimes every 2 months, at Palacio Alsina. This is probably one of the coolest parties in town!
Palacio Alsina is a huge, elegant, historical industrial building in Monserrat Neighborhood, which was the first gay, big disco in Buenos Aires.
For more than a decade, this was the gay spot every Friday and Sunday to dance, right now it is straight most nights, but hosts special gay parties called Fiesta Dorothy! from time to time. This club has some of the best light effects in town and gathers trendy people from all ages.
You should check their Facebook page to get updates about the next party, as this event is not held on a regular basis.
Location:@ Palacio Alsina | Alsina 940, Monserrat
Wharhol party is organized at The Sub Club every Friday night after midnight. The attendance is predominantly twinks in their early 20 with their high school girlfriends. You will see one or two 40-year-olds hunting twinks. I personally don’t enjoy the vibe, it’s too poppy for me.
Location:Córdoba 543, Retiro, Buenos Aires, C1054AAE, Argentina (Fridays, after 1 a.m.)
The place to go on Wednesdays, their motto is “Wednesday is the new Saturday.” It takes place in a big venue, with two floors, three bars, and a terrace with a balcony. It features performers and stand-up comedy, art exhibits, movies, games, and more! Try to get there before 2 a.m. because around that hour the place gets packed, and there is a line to get in.
Location: Av. Juan B. Justo 1658, C1414CWS, Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Wednesdays and pre-holiday dates, midnight)
One of Palermo’s newest gay bars, PEUTEO is located in Palermo’s SoHo district. The best night to go to this trendy bar is Thursdays. Over the weekends it can be a good spot for pre-gaming and warming up your feet before heading to any of the big parties like Rheo, Dorothy, or Amerika.
Location: Gurruchaga 1867 – Palermo , Buenos Aires, C1414DIK, Argentina (Opens Wednesday – Saturday from 7 PM to 3AM; Sunday 2PM to 10 PM)
The biggest Gay bar of Buenos Aires brings one of the cities mixed queer crowds, from gay to lesbians to drags and trans. Popular among the 30s crowd, Sitges has a great Drag show every weekday. It gets very crowded on weekends after 1 AM. Also a good space for pre-gaming, especially if you are going to AMERIKA which is just two blocks away.
Location: Av. Córdoba 4119 – Palermo , Buenos Aires, C1188AAHArgentina
Buenos Aires’ gay stripper and drag show bar located in Recoleta, a couple of steps from Santa Fe and Pueyrredon.
Location: Av. Santa Fe 2516, Recoleta, (Basement), Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Everyday midnight)
Top 3 Hotels
This 5-star Park Hyatt hotel is the definition of true luxury. Conveniently located in the heart of the French heritage district of Recoleta, Park Hyatt is one of the finest Buenos Aires hotels. The hotel combines two buildings: a Palace from 1934, restored in 2006, and a contemporary building, designed in total harmony with the original architecture. Wide and secluded gardens and an art gallery connect both buildings. Its 165 rooms have marvelous views of the city and the tranquil garden and are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Decorated with Belle Epoque furnishing and contemporary painting, rooms at Palacio Duhau are equipped with air conditioning, heating, and plasma TVs. All of them offer panoramic views, and some have fireplaces and spa bathtubs.
A full buffet breakfast is served daily. Argentinean specialties can be ordered at Duhau Restaurante, the main property restaurant featuring a large wine cellar. Al Fresco dinners can be enjoyed at Gioia Restaurante & Terraces, which features a private terrace overlooking the palace and its gardens. Best rate: 900 USD
Faena’s elegant, sexy appeal will seduce you as soon as you step into the hall. Located in the modern and restaurant district of Puerto Madero, each of the 105 rooms is designed in a way that offers guests a unique experience of modern elegance. Inspired by Alan Faena and designed by Philippe Starck, rooms echo the decadence and romance of the Belle Epoque whilst providing a modern feeling and first-class comforts.
The Library Lounge offers an intimate atmosphere around a wood-burning fire. A place for relaxation and comfort where you can enjoy over 500 works of literature from the library as you savor a morning coffee, a healthy lunch, or an intimate chat. A cozy constellation of toasted coffee grounds and tea service on crystal and silver serving trays. After coffee, you can go and relax in their chic pool or their famous spa. Best rate: 650 USD
Also located nearby the French heritage district of Recoleta, The La Mansion of the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires is a restored early 20th-century, French-style mansion adjacent to the Mani building and across from a manicured garden. The hotel has one main restaurant for all day dining and an intimate bar lounge, as well as 24-hour room service and banquet facilities to accommodate any sort of business and social events. Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires offers 138 guest rooms and 27 suites in a contemporary tower and an exquisite Belle Epoque-style. Four Seasons is the only hotel in the exclusive Recoleta neighborhood featuring an outdoor swimming pool in the gardens. Guests can also relax at the award-winning spa and state-of-the-art gym. Best Rate: 950 USD
Top 3 Restaurants
The most authentic, high-quality, famous Parilla you can get in town. I know this is a hard statement when there’s a lot of competition for the title of best parrilla in town, but I feel very passionate about this one. Why? Don Julio brings a great balance between traditional and modern Argentinian cuisine. You can expect a first world dining experience with an incredible selection of malbec, knowledgeable waiters who know the menu inside out, walls lined with old wine bottles signed by past guests, and light fittings made from wagon wheels. The dining room looks into an open kitchen and has a real nice feel to it.
The top romantic dining experience in one of Buenos Aires’ hidden gems. You won’t notice the dark, quiet, closed door with no visible name board. Even when using a map application you will have a hard time locating it at first. But all the secrecy is worth it once you enter this intimate, dimly-lit, fine dining place. Book your table at least 4-5 days in advance and be on time. They don’t have patience for late comers and you will lose your table. This 17 course experience is superior to any other similar restaurant in the city, perfectly crafted food with a cosy environment. The crispy pork with pear ice cream was a miracle in my mouth. Each one of the dishes was delicately prepared, with excellent presentation, freshly sourced and packed with rich flavours. A truly unique, high cuisine experience.
Not a high end restaurant but one of the best pizzas I’ve had in my life. A piece of Italy in the heart of Buenos Aires. What a marvelous experience. If looking for another fine dining recommendation, then head to the Park Tower’s St. Regis restaurant for some indigenous and contemporary cuisine, or to I Latina for a similar experience to the one you will have in Aramburu, but if you want to discover a local treasure and one of the best Italian Restaurants in South America San Paolo is your place.
Good hostels start at about 200 ARS (14 USD) range for a large, 10-person dorm room. The more popular hostels are around 300 ARS (20 USD) for a 6-8 bed dorm. Private rooms with a shared bath start at around $500 ARS (40 USD) a night. Milhouse Hostel is really popular with backpackers and is a great place to meet other young travelers if you are on the road with friends or alone, but it is expensive when you compare it with others. A night in Milhouse starts at $40 USD for a shared dorm. If you’re a gay solo traveler stay in any hostel in Palermo, you will be next to the best gay venues and there might be other solo gay backpackers in the hostel like yourself. 😉 My top two Palermo recommendations are Back in BA and Art Factory Palermo
Budget hotel prices
Centrally-located hotels start around 420 ARS (28 USD) for a twin/single room and $500 ARS (33 USD) for a double room. Most include breakfast, free WiFi, and many include air-conditioning. There’s a good number of Airbnb hosts here and you can get a shared room (i.e. couch) for as low as 150 ARS ($10 USD), while prices for a private room start around 270 ARS (18 USD).
At a regular sit down cafe a dish will be around 80-100 ARS (6-7 USD) per dish, though you can find lunch specials at the cafes downtown for 60 ARS (4 USD). If you are on a real budget my recommendation is to stick to street pizza and empanadas. They are incredibly delicious and you can find them as cheap as $1 or $2 USD. If feeling fancy, a steak begins at $150 ARS (10 USD), bottles of wine at $120 ARS (8 USD), and pastas at $100 ARS (7 USD).
If you are looking for a really nice sit down meal with good steak and wine, expect to pay around 320 ARS (21 USD). You can buy a week’s worth of groceries and good wine for around 600 ARS (40 USD).
The bus and subway are less than 1 USD for a one-way ticket. Taxis and Ubers are incredibly cheap here, you can get a good ride for 6-9 USD
Top Things To Do
Argentina’s national, seductive dance is a must for any visitor. Either watch a show, go to a local bar, or sit around any fair market on a weekend and you will find it anywhere you go. There are plenty of places offering free lessons.
Shop in Palermo’s Soho district
This neighborhood, or barrio, of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, is located in the northeast of the city, bordering the barrios of Belgrano to the north and Almagro and Recoleta to the south. Not only does it have the best restaurants and gay venues, but it is also home to Argentina’s top designer boutiques. I went crazy here! A top leather designer’s shoes for $80 USD and incredible, designer, sexy swimmers for $25 USD
Get Lost in the colorful neighborhood of La Boca
La Boca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Argentina, with its colourful houses and pedestrian streets, the Caminito, where tango artists perform and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs, and Italian taverns. The actual area visited by tourists is only a few blocks long and has been built up for tourism very actively over the last few years. If you are a football lover, you will see la Boca stadium just a few blocks west from the Caminito street. This is a day activity, at night it can get a bit dangerous.
Get Crazy at San Telmo Market
For the best cultural and cheapest shopping experience in town, come to San Telmo on a Sunday for their antiques fair at Plaza Dorrego. The vibe and energy are incredible! You will see street performers, artisans, and delicious street food sellers in one of Buenos Aires’ most iconic neighborhoods. Loved by locals, come and support the art of their people. I still have my handmade leather boots! They were $15 USD!
Get the full Eva Perón Experience
First, go visit her grave that is located at the iconic Recoleta cemetery. I know it sounds weird to go to a cemetery for a tourist adventure, but this is one of the city’s most visited attractions. Here you will find the resting place of not only Evita but the Paz family as well. Open daily from 7am-5:30pm. After you visit her grave make your way to her house.
In Museo Evita they explores Eva’s life from childhood through her career as an actress, onto her role as the First Lady and, ultimately, ending with her death. You will understand why she is such a significant figure to the Argentine people and why you are doing this whole Eva Peron experience tour. It’s open 11am-7pm daily except for on Mondays. At sunset time, get to Casa Rosada, located at the city’s Plaza de Mayo, probably the city’s most notable landmark, and if you are an idiot like me you will probably start singing and dancing to “Don’t cry for me Argentina” Open weekends from 10am-6pm.
Be fancy in Recolleta
The high-class, fashionable neighborhood, filled with local boutiques, cafes, and galleries. There is also a street fair every weekend. Nice European vibe with really good places to eat.
My favorite museum in Buenos Aires. With its striking architecture, the Malba was organized around the Costantini Collection, and has continued to expand its selection of works from modern artists across Latin America. It also maintains a cultural center, which stages art and film exhibitions and develops cultural activities. Their mission is to collect, preserve, research, and promote Latin American art from the onset of the 20th century to the present.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
This fine art museum is host to many significant works, from European masters to pre-Renaissance days. Additionally, there is an expansive collection of 19th and 20th century Argentinian paintings and sculptures that make up one of the most impressive collections in the country. It’s open 11am-8pm daily but closed on Mondays.
The Teatro Colón is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is ranked the third best opera house in the world by National Geographic, and is acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. If they are not showing anything when you visit, take a walking tour of the facility. It is jaw-dropping and stunning. Also see any of the shows playing at Avenida Corrientes theaters. Buenos Aires has a thriving theater scene, and the acting and productions of their plays are as high as those on Broadway or West End.
Jardin Botanico Carlos Thais
The rose graden!!!! Such a beautiful park. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic on a lovely afternoon or to just stroll around and relax after a day of touristy activities.
Only 45 minutes away from central Buenos Aires. The place where Argentinians keep nature. In such a big city it’s easy to feel trapped. Buenos Aires doesn’t have enough parks and green areas to balance their massive size, so this is the place locals go when in need of connecting with nature. Full of canals, you might feel like you are in a tropical venice. The train is less than $2 ARS (less than $0.15 USD) and the ferry is about $75 ARS ($5 USD).
El Ateneo Grand Splendid Bookstore
El Ateneo Grand Splendid is one of the best known bookshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2008, The Guardian placed it as the second most beautiful bookshop in the world. If you are looking for a book, here are 12 amazing books to read when on the road.
Quick visit to Uruguay
Visiting Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay is just one hour from Buenos Aires via ferry. The historic quarter, rife with Portuguese influence, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a big change of pace from Buenos Aires. Don’t miss out on the lighthouse while you’re here. The ferry cost can seem steep at more than $2,000 ARS ($130 USD) round-trip, but you can save money by taking the slower one that gets you there in three hours.