Gay Guide to BUENOS AIRES
Roll-over Rio! Boys in the know fly three extra hours south to Buenos Aires where the mighty River Plate empties its load into the Atlantic Ocean and passions flare in a land of Polo and Tango!
From luxurious five-star hotels to charming bed-and-breakfasts, we have stayed and reviewed many of the leading gay-friendly places to stay in Buenos Aires. Nearly all are located the three biggest gayborhoods of Palermo, Recoleta, and San Telmo.
Buenos Aire’s gay scene is spread across the city’s different districts, each offering a unique taste of Argentinian gay life and culture, from the trendy cafes of Palermo to the bright lights of Palermo!
The Palermo district is quite large and is definitely the gayest part of Buenos Aires and is made up of pretty plazas and a vibrant cafe and bar nightlife. Plaza Serrano is the center of Palermo. The Palermo district is divided into two sections, Soho and Hollywood. Soho is where your will find most of the little cafés and bars. Hollywood is home to some of Buenos Aires’ best restaurants.
Buenos Aires scene is constantly evolving and there’s a wide array of weekly, monthly, and one-time-only parties so check out the posters and flyers in the bars to find out what´s happening during your stay. Alsina, Adolfo Alsina 940, is a monthly dance party (be sure to check dates) and definitely worth a visit. More information here.
San Telmo is a mix of the hip and the gritty. This historic neighborhood has become home to several small gay bars and restaurants. Narrow streets paved with original cobblestones create a special atmosphere in an area that’s home to antique stores, art galleries, street performers and tango clubs. Here you will find bell epoque buildings next to modern day apartment buildings. Pop into the Pride Cafe for a café con leche inside or have a sandwich or a fuller meal on the patio, shaded by large umbrellas.
Shopping lovers will adore the Mercado San Telmo, an indoor market that combines fruit and vegetable stands with antique stalls so that you never quite know whether you’re going to come across a bunch of bananas or a piece of Argentine history. Dont miss the Sunday Flea Market, a San Telmo event held on a pleasant plaza right outside the Mercado and covering the entire square and featuring a crafts market that stretches the length of Defensa, San Telmo’s main street.
The best thing about this area is that it is not overly gentrified. It still retains an edge, with stunning murals adorning some of the vacant and crumbling buildings. Its charming mix of antique markets, hip stores and great restaurants and coffee shops make it one of the more unique gay districts we have visited.
After getting lost in San Telmo, head east to the Puerto Madero and walk north. Eventually, you will see the Faena Hotel on your right (definitely visit if you have never been). Eventually, make your way to Palacio Duhau and relax in their bar and enjoy a whisky or two. This walk will show you two very different worlds in Buenos Aires
Recoleta, is an upmarket district that is home to some of the city’s best hotels and shops. The most famous landmark is the Cementerio de Recoleta (Recoleta Cemetery). One of the world’s great cemeteries, this above-ground burial is place filled with monuments to the very wealthy. Eva Perón is buried here, in a simple mausoleum for her family, the Duartes.
At one end of Avenida Alvear is the gracious Alvear Palace, and if you’re into old, grand hotels, this is the spot for you. The lobby has marble floors, plush couches, and oriental rugs. The rooms are spacious and gorgeous, and such added attractions as a top-notch spa and afternoon tea in the stylish L’Orangerie, make this an urbane belle époque favorite. It anchors this end of Avenida Alvear as luxuriously as the Four Seasons does on the other end, with its leather/mahogany-accented or French country-style rooms, outdoor pool, cityscape views, and the customary Four Seasons service.
At the heart of Buenos Aires you will find Plaza de Mayo. At one end of the plaza is the Casa Rosada or Pink House, the home of Argentina’s presidential offices. Look at the elaborate balconies. You can just imagine Eva Perón on one of those balconies. You can take a tour and enjoy the architecture.
If you see only one tourist site in Buenos Aires, make sure it’s Museo Evita in the Palermo district. It’s loaded with her dresses, shoes and hats. She was one of Argentina’s biggest fag hags — surprise, surprise — and here you’ll find out more about those gay designers and hairdressers who gave her that touch of star quality.
Palermo is home to, the Museum of Latin American Art (Museo de Arte Latinoamericano Buenos Aires or MALBA) and the Museum of Decorative Arts, one of our favourites, which is housed in an early 20th-century mansion that was built in the French style and is furnished lavishly with antiques and other collectibles.
Unlike Rio, Buenos Aires itself doesn’t really have beaches. Still, in February and March there’s no shortage of men and women skimpily sunning themselves in the parks of Recoleta and Palermo. Beachgoers head to Mar del Plata, a few hours south of Buenos Aires.
In February, gay men in the know head to the nearby Province of Entre Rios for Argentina’s little-known Carnaval de Gualeguaychú. It’s got all the hot bodies of Rio, and the spectacle runs every weekend in February.
Visitors relish the abundance of outdoor cafés, the quality of the pastry, coffee, and wine — try some of the award-winning Malbecs — and the idiosyncratic pronunciation of Spanish with its soft, almost silent “s” and “zh” sound substituting for “ll.”
even if gastronomy is not your priority, be sure to visit one of the restaurants on Corrientes or Lavalle for a bife de chorizo (famous Argentine beefsteak cut) and a parrilla (grilled meats). They are absolute musts!
Brandon, located at Fitz Roy 1722, is a gorgeous place to hang out and have a coffee, food or a strong Gante, artsenal Belgian beer. The best part is this: it is open all day long unlike most cafes. If you are hungry, want a beer, coffee or anything, this is your signature spot.
La Carniceria Parrilla and Ahumados. Make a reservation! I repeat, make a reservation. Do not miss this opportunity to eat well in Buenos Aires. Trust me. This is a small intimate venue with amazing food; then, go dance it all off at 2 AM somewhere.