The Hornet Guide to Gay Buenos Aires
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Home to the legendary Eva Perón, Buenos Aires, the capital and the most populous city of Argentina, is one of South America’s the top tourist destinations. Famous for its Spanish and European-influenced architecture and culture, gay Buenos Aires is also the home to a variety of ethnic and religious groups.
Argentina was one of the first Latin American countries to officially legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. With its progressive social agenda, the LGBT community comes to Buenos Aires for its warm Latin culture and thriving nightlife.
Fun facts about Buenos Aires
The Paris of South America, Buenos Aires lives up to its reputation as Latin America’s cultural center. It’s also a pet-friendly city, and people genuinely love their furry companions. This city boasts the highest percentage of pets per capita in the world. Dogs are especially popular; about 60% of households own at least one. And all those dogs mean you’re more than likely to see professional dog walkers with a pack of 10 canines roaming the city’s affluent neighborhoods.
There are over seven hundred bookstores in Buenos Aires. Argentinians love to read — which makes sense as some of the world’s greatest authors — like Jorge Luis Borges — come from Buenos Aires. You’ll find a variety of bookstores here, from intimate boutiques to huge emporiums like Ateneo Grand Splendid, which doubles as one of the city’s most exciting tourist attractions.
And while many people know how to dance a tango, did you know that the tango originated from the city’s seedy brothels? Its sexy movements are meant to portray of a pimp and a sex worker. Carlos Gardel, a French-Argentine singer, exported the dance to France where it became widely popular and earned a more sophisticated reputation.
Must-visit places in Buenos Aires
You can’t miss the magnificent Casa Rosada near Plaza de Mayo. It’s the executive mansion for Argentina’s president. As you might guess from its name, the palace is popular in part due to its pink facade.
Speaking of Plaza de Mayo, the plaza itself is another Buenos Aires landmark worth exploring. Aside from Casa Rosada, Plaza de Mayo is also home to the May Pyramid and the Hacienda Palace.
The Buenos Aires Japanese Garden is one of the most extensive Japanese gardens in the world outside Japan. It has a cultural center, artisan shops and a restaurant — though you don’t want to miss the greenhouse and its collection of bonsai trees.
For an authentic local experience, check out La Boca, a working-class area near the Riachuelo River. You’ll find steakhouses and street artists surrounding Caminito, a narrow alley reminiscent of the district’s early immigrant days. Or check out Plaza Dorrego, a square located in the heart of San Telmo with cafes, bars and pubs. Live entertainment, including tango exhibitions, make this neighborhood buzz with activity.
If you’re a history — or Madonna — buff, you can go on a tour to follow the footsteps of Eva Perón. And if you’re not Perón-ed out, there are two museums with Evita memorabilia. You can also see where she lived and where her body lay at her famous mausoleum at Recoleta Cemetary.
For comic fans, a small sculpture of the famous Argentinian character Mafalda sits on a park bench in San Telmo, her neighborhood in the comics. Two of her friends, Manolito and Susanita, are also there to take photos with.
Museo Xul Solar offers a different type of museum experience. This museum has most of the artist Xui Solar’s work, along with documents, letters and the “heirlooms of the cosmos” that this artist created. The galleries are just below Solar’s former apartment, where his room is preserved, complete with his library of around 3,500 books.
Gay Buenos Aires nightlife
Guys in gay Buenos Aires love to start partying late. Similar to Spain’s laid-back attitude, Argentinians enjoy a late nightlife. Bars and clubs usually open around midnight and the place doesn’t get busy until after 2:30 a.m. So make sure take a disco nap and have a late meal before your gay Buenos Aires experience.
To start your night, check out Sitges first. One of the busiest bars in Avenida Cabrera, Sitges offers nightly entertainment from drag shows to late-night dancing. Flux Bar, another local favorite, offers happy hour starting at 7:00 p.m. for the early crowd. Socialize with friends and enjoy a wide variety of cocktails at Flux Bar and start your night off right.
Contramano is Buenos Aires’ oldest gay bar. It hosts different theme nights and plays different genres of music for party-lovers. And at Pride Cafe, artists hang out for light bites, coffee and drinks.
When it’s time to go clubbing, Amerika Disco is the place to be. Dance the night away with local DJs spinning hit after hit. Glam is full of cute guys dancing to pop music, but don’t forget the outdoor section for when you need a break.