I am used to going out in England, having a few quiet beers, seeing the girls freezing in their tiny skirts and finally going to bed at two. The porteños (locals from Buenos Aires) have turned going out at night on its head for me and it is definitely not about going to bed quietly.
If asked to go out for a night out in Buenos Aires, do not expect to wake up the next day fit for doing anything else other that being horizontal. It takes a bit of adapting to get used to the crazy Argentine night life on top of the fact that you can find so much to do in the city: boliches (clubs), small bars, huge concerts or even bands playing in house parties.
The average big night out unusually starts with a big nap in (the siesta here). You will need to keep up your energy if you are going to maintain stamina with the porteños until the sun comes up. Dinner is normally at 10 or 11, perhaps sunk down with a wine or a beer. The average night out in England at this point would be well under way, perhaps with one or two even stumbling home. However, in Buenos Aires, the clubs are empty and the revealers are getting ready at home or even still napping. Later on at one o´clock, as the pints of beer are flowing in England, the football is on TV, and one or two people are already drunk and thinking about kebabs. In Buenos Aires, they are sipping wine in their homes or perhaps relaxing in a few bars. Two o’clock comes round and whilst the English are sleeping in bed, the clubs are just opening in Buenos Aires, and the dance floors are beginning to fill, and what a variety of dance floors there are!
From cheesy 80´s to sexy salsa or from tantalizing tango to trashy techno, there is a music to suit all tastes in Buenos Aires, as long as you have the energy to stay up to enjoy it. However, if you are going to a salsa or a tango place, be prepared to get showed up by the slick latin moves of the guys that frequent them. Also, be ready to fight for possession of a girlfriend that you come with, as most of the men here are not scared to try anything. I’m afraid a shy English guy with his two left dancing feet and timid stares across the room doesn’t stand a chance!
It´s been a big change and long gone are the days where I would go out for a pint. In Buenos Aires, I am much more likely to find myself sipping coffee or mate, sitting in plazas or hanging out in balconies as I socialize with friends. The change away from the seemingly insane charge for alcohol when Friday comes around is very refreshing and the long nights out mean that having fun is more the goal than getting overly excited and falling asleep, as I was so used to doing.