Buenos Aires is similar to most major Spanish cities in that things begin late. No self-respecting person would want to be seen in a club before 2am, and most clubs stay open until 7am. The best thing to do is have a late dinner and then go to a pre-dance bar. Don't be surprised if you see people still arriving at restaurants to start their dinner at 1 a.m. Discos open at about 1:30 a.m., but no one arrives before 2:30, and the crowd doesn't peak until 4:00.
Most Argentineans like to go out at the weekends so bars and clubs can be rather quiet during the week, Fridays and Saturdays being the best nights to go out. Do your sightseeing on weekdays and save the weekends for clubbing!
Between dinner and dancing, most people go to bars to have some drinks, meet friends and decide which disco they are going to later. Most dance clubs have cover charges in the range of $15, generally including appetizers or even dinner.
The first main queer quarter cluster is to be found in streets off Avenida Santa Fé. Check out Men 2 Men Bar (formerly Punto G(, open every day with stripper and drag shows - staple parts of BA's bar life. More of the same can be found in the nearby stylish basement dive that is Search, in a little street were rent commonly roam - open daily from 11pm.
More fun and more obvious than both is Titanic Club in a side-street yet further along Santa Fé. Sink down into a metallic, grey, gay pre-dance basement bar with - you guessed it - strippers, who use the entire length of the stage-cum-bar to strut their stuff. Shows all end in the same naked hard-cock action, but these muscle boys ring the costume changes to death along the way - anything from animals to spacemen, via Ancient Egypt. Again, open daily but this time from the dazzlingly early hour of 7pm.
You are now well placed for one of either two nearby clubs. Contramano - open Tue-Sat from 12am and Sunday from 8pm - has one mid-size dance floor, surrounded by mirrors and full of 30-somethings. It is the longest running gay club in Buenos Aires, playing a mix of pop and Latin music. “Contramano” is very central and also a good bet if you want to go out mid-week.
There are some nice cosy tables back near the main bar, and you can head upstairs to another, slightly darker bar, and then up once more to where it's darker still! Pretty cruisy and unpretentious all said.
The nightlife is best during the weekends. Check out our Alsina (formerly Palacio's) scorching-hot Sunday T-dance. It's especially nice since it starts (relatively) early at about 11 p.m.
Equally cruisy but completely different is nearby Angel's with its two dance floors and two bars open Thursday to Sunday from 12am and catering for a mix of young disco boy babe bunnies, TVs and TGs. You'll either love it or hate it.
The other main bar-club cluster is to be found just north at the junction of Avenida Cordoba and the street called Gascon. You'll see some of the same TV's that were at Angel's at the Bach Bar on Cabrera, open Tues-Sun from 10pm. But the main style haunt is definitely Sitges on Cordoba itself, open Weds-Sun from 10.30pm and - reaching far back, bar beyond bar - is packed with pre-club posers propping up walls or lilted at tables.
If your music tastes are more eclectic take a short cab ride to “Oxen” a massive new club with a young crowd and live entertainment. “Oxen” is open both Fridays and Saturdays as is the well established “Bunker”; although it is a bit further from the main downtown area.
Palacio Alsina (Fridays, with a Tea Dance on Sundays from 6pm-midnight))
Many are just itching to get down GLAM, back on Cabrera again but much further down than Bach Bar. Open Thurs-Sat from 1am, GLAM has one dance floor playing all the latest tunes, two bars, a pleasant patio where you can actually talk and a dark room upstairs where there isn't much talking. Cheap, the place gets very crowded on Saturdays, not least because some use it is a springboard onto the other club in the area - Amerika, back on Gascon.
Fridays and Saturdays, shirtless hunks head to Amerika and take to the beat on the main dance floor and in surrounding levels throughout the club. Don't even think of hitting the place before 2:00 am. Imposing Palacio is giving it a run for its money on Fridays and Sundays. This impressive dance space is built into a former multistory factory. As the colored lights flash, its high ceiling and vaulted cast-iron ornamentation give an almost unworldly sensation as you dance.
Ah, Amerika: the biggest gay disco in BA, open Sat 1am-8am, and a bizarre experience. The truth is that it has a very mixed clientele, with lots of straight lads looking for easy girls and free booze - all you can drink for the 15 peso entry! There are two dance floors - the main one with house music, the other one above with Latin music - and three bars. With capacity 5000, they really cram punters in, so much so you often practically get pushed around, rather than actually going where you want to. There's little respite in the heaving dark room above where only the most experimental 'straight' boy dare stray.
Several bars and clubs are popular for "pre-dancing." Bach Bar is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 p.m., featuring Cupid Night on Wednesdays, Games on Thursdays and karaoke on Sundays. In spite of its small size, In Vitro offers enjoyable strip shows at reasonably low prices. It's open every night.
After a hard day's strolling, visit Inside, where Diego and Matías will give you a warm welcome in their charming restaurant-cum-bar. The menu includes many typical dishes, including a great range of Argentine meat. Dimly lit and decorated in cool red, this venue is quite popular among gays. Strippers, singers and dancers complete the crew. Don't miss their shows. Weekends are ideal to meet local gays.
Divided into three interconnected rooms, Sitges comprises a lounge facing the street, a round drinking bar and a large backyard. If you're alone, you probably won't be for long.
Tired of fashion and cool discos? Though noisy, Angels (Viamonte 2168; $5-11) offers strip shows and a heavily visited dark room ideal for flirting.
One of most glamorous restaurant-discos in BA is Palacio Buenos Aires (Adolfo Alsina 934; +54-11/4334-0099; $4-12). While listening to dance and house, you will be kindly assisted by attractive waiters in this stylish and renovated building, Friday and Saturday from 1 a.m.
Amerika (Gascón 1040; +54-11/685-4416; www.ameri-ka.com.ar; $3-9) offers three floors, each with its own music. A must.
Confusion (Scalabrini Ortiz 1721; $4-8) attracts drag queens and trannies, as its name suggests.
Contramano (Rodriguez Pena 1082. www.contramano.com; Wednesday to Sunday, $8 cover) was Argentina's first gay club, and is still very popular. It attracts an adult crowd in their 30s to 50s, who sometimes look like the cast of a Village People movie. The young guys seeking out older guys are generally hustlers.
Men to Men (Anchorena 1347; +54-11/4829-0664; $4-9) was born in 2002 and drew the attraction of the younger set with stripper shows.
Chueca (Soler 3283; +54-11/4963-3430; www.chuecabsas.com.ar; drinks $5-14) is another predancing venue with humor and stripper shows.
These are the most fashionable restaurants, bars and discos in town because the trendiest gay personalities go there. They attract the artists, who attract the famous models and actors, who attract everyone else.
Generally the most desirable gay guys are found at these mixed clubs, because of the "good taste" environment. These places can be tense or exciting, depending on your perspective, since you never know who "is" and who "is not."
Be careful, as you may encounter some homophobia in these places, and if you approach the wrong person the wrong way, you might get kicked out.
Highly recommended discos: Pacha (Av. Costanera and La Pampa; +54-11/4788-4280; www.pacha-ba.com, email@example.com; $12) is in the same style as the one in Ibiza and has an interesting mix of people, especially on Fridays. Be sure you go to the ground-level club. The one upstairs is full of 50-something husbands and their secretaries "working late at the office." If you are 25 or older, Buenos Aires News (Av. Del Libertador 3883, Paseo de la Infanta; +54-11/4778-1500; www.buenosairesnews.com; $10) is the disco you've been looking for. Your ears will be pleased to listen to rock, salsa, dance and trance.
Alternative venues: El Living (M.T. de Alvear 1540; +54-11/4815-3379; www.living.com.ar; $6-18) looks like an MTV studio set. Very "modern" people go there. It features a Chinese restaurant inside, where you have to sit on the floor if you want to eat. But be sure to finish your dinner and stand up by 1:30 a.m., because that same floor becomes the dance floor. Podestá (Armenia 1740; +54-11/4832-2776; www.elpodesta.com.ar; $7-16) is an all-in-one restaurant, pub, lounge, disco and happy hour. Don't forget to try the appetizers! El Dorado (Hipólito Yrigoyen 947; +54-11/4334-2155; drinks $4-13) offers disco, dance, electronic and house. A great place to flirt.
|Bar Name||Address||Type||No on Map||More Info|
|Anchorena||Anchorena 1121||Swingers Club||
|Bulnes Class||Cabrera 4390, Almagro||Bears||
|Cero Conseucencia||Cabrera 4390||Disco||
|Contramano||Rodríguez Peña 1082||Disco||
|Flux||Marcelo T. De Alvear 980||Lounge Bar||
|Inside||Bartolome Mitre 1571||Restobar||
|KM Zero Bar||Av. Santa Fe 2516, Recoleta||Disco Bar||
|Man to Man||Anchorena 1347, Recoleta||Cruise Bar||
|Search||Azcuénaga 1007, Recoleta||Show Bar||
|Sitges||Av, Córdoba 4119, Palermo||Pre Dance Bar||
|Toms||Viamonte 638 Centro||Cruise Bar||
|Zoom||Uriburu 1018, Recoleta||Cruise Bar||
|Casa Cruz||Uriarte 1658||Resto/Cocktail||
|Kim Y Novak||Güemes 4900||Cocktail/Show Bar||
|Olsen||Gorriti 5870||Lesbian Disco||
|Axel Hotel||Hipolito Yrigoyen 968||Lesbian Disco||
|Pride Cafe||Balcarce 869, San Telmo||Bistro/Cocktail||
|Chueca||Honduras 5255, Palermo||Resto Bar||
|Club Name||Address||Type||No on Map||More Info|
|Angels||Viamonte 2168, Recoleta||Disco||
|Amerika||Gascon 1040, Almagro||Disco||
|Alsina||Alsina 940, Monserrat||Disco||
|Casa Brandon||Luis María Drago, 236||Disco||
|Glam||Cabrera 3046, Recoleta||Disco||
|Gothica||Mitre, 1539, Centro||Disco||
|The Sub Club||Av. Cordoba 543, Centro||Saturday Party||
|Verona||Hipolito Yrigoyen 968||Lesbian Disco||