Nightlife in Buenos Aires means anything that happens around town after 2 a.m. A cultural rather than an astronomical phenomenon, the "night" can stretch on well past sunrise, passing breakfast without a yawn, and quite often making it to lunch in one piece. And that's just on Thursdays.
The average porteño, you see, is more interested in partying long and flirtatiously than hard and incoherently. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall do an hour of Jägerbombs, only to spend the next eight hours beneath a table, stone cold blotto?
Try this itinerary. Meet some friends in a pizzeria or parrilla around 10 p.m. Eat, drink, and be merry, going easy on that second bit. Stroll to an ice-cream parlor at around midnight and indulge in one of the city's famous gelatos. Hit a cocktail bar at 1 a.m., and a nightclub a couple of hours later. Dance until dawn. Join your new friends on the terrace and welcome the sun with pagan fervor. Find an after-party, and then dance some more.
Prehistoric in nightclub terms, this sweaty, unpretentious joint in Palermo Viejo is a great place to catch live bands (including decent local reggae, ska, and hip-hop outfits) during the week. Thursday nights are synonymous with Club 69, the legendary drag ‘n’ techno fiesta that’s not as edgy as it used to be but still a blast.
The city’s Costanera Norte promenade is dotted with clubs and discos, most of them at the upscale, dressy end of the spectrum. Jet is one of the best, with a roster of top-notch resident DJs and an impressive schedule of international guests. Dance till dawn, then watch the sun rise over the river.
With two dance floors crammed (and I mean crammed) with a good mix of locals and gringos, Kika Club has established itself as one of the best places to hang out after 2 a.m. in Palermo Viejo. Tuesday night’s Hype is one of the best midweek parties in town (against not especially stiff competition, it must be said).
If you’re a serious clubber, the kind who judges a place as much by the quality of its sound system as by how many Cuba Libres it hands out for free before midnight, consider a night at Liv. Friday and Saturday nights attract a cool but friendly crowd. Like everywhere else, drinks are pricey.
There are plenty of people whose idea of bliss is to stand on the terrace of this megaclub on a warm summer’s morning with a backdrop that is part beautiful people, part muddy brown river, and a soundtrack that is part house, part 737s roaring in to land at the nearby city airport. For the full VIP experience, book a table and uncork some champagne.