1. Take a walk
Not through Villa 31, please, unless you have some sort of Fight Club wish to get your gringo ass beaten and/or robbed. Instead, head over to the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur (Ecological Reserve). This 865-acre park is a quiet and pretty safe place to stroll, bike, or enjoy a bottle of Malbec while taking in the skyline.
2. La Noche de los Museos (Night of the Museums)
For one much-anticipated night every November, BA’s museums, universities, and artistic spaces open their doors for free from 7pm to 2am and host films and performances of jazz, tango, folk, techno, choral, and rock music. Hundreds of thousands of people attend, and the night usually ends in a massive street party. Leave it to Buenos Aires to find a way to combine culture and la joda so well.
3. Florería Atlántico
Okay, so it is in some way a Recoleta speakeasy, but it makes the list anyway for being so much more. A charming flower and wine shop up front, you then pass through a refrigerator door into a subterranean chamber, where late into the night you can enjoy a coffee or a cocktail in an environment that could not get any more tranquilo.
4. Skate (or be a poser)
Over the last few years, Buenos Aires has taken huge strides toward becoming a premier city for skateboarding. Check out these free skate parks where there will be no mala onda police officers or cranky neighbors messing with you: Plaza Houssay, La Rural, Parque Centenario, Converse Skate Plaza (Norte), or Converse Skate Plaza (Mataderos).
At night, some of the roads north of the city, such as in the neighborhoods of Olivos or San Martin, are relatively traffic-free and are ideal for longboarding.
5. People watch
Buenos Aires is full of all types. Sit along the wall of Plaza Dorrego and watch the people coming and going. You can expect everything from makeout sessions to beggars to kids playing at all hours, and you may even be treated to impromptu street music.
Buenos Aires has some of the most vibrant street art in the world, with a vast array of murals by internationally renowned artists like Jaz and Pum Pum. Best to get permission to paint someone’s privately owned wall…and do the world a favor and please paint something more creative than just your name in ‘wannabe gangsta’ style.
7. Tango lessons
Step it up from just watching the show — become part of it. Many milongas offer lessons well into the wee hours of the morning. Learn a thing or two early in the night, and put it to practice until dawn at one of the many milongas scattered throughout the city.
Etiquette is huge at La Calesita. Men and women are seated on opposite sides of the room, and snagging a partner involves an intricate code of subtle nods and eyebrow twitches. Several milongas welcome novices — try Tango Cool, La Viruta, or La Marshall.
8. Hop on a local bus for a cheap city tour
A couple of pesos will get you all around the city at a time when there isn’t much traffic, and can more safely show you parts of the city you probably have no business walking through at night. The 23, 26, 46, 70, and 76 all go through villas. Slightly safer, though arguably more predictable and boring, would be the 152 between Retiro and La Boca where you can see the back of the Casa Rosada and the English Tower all lit up by night.
Simply put, a telo is a sex hotel, rented by the hour. Ranging from the fantastically tacky to full-on luxurious, they are all over the city. Frolick on a waterbed under a mirrored ceiling (although, seriously, you can get more creative than that).
Go to Los Jardines de Babilonia to play out Julius Caesar fantasies you may not have known you had. Be Jabba the Hutt to your tied-up Princess Leia in the Star Wars room at Rampa Car, or if you’re not sure how creative your partner wants to be, go classy and clean at Del Bosque. Even the most high-class telo won’t run you more than $60 an hour, and some will only cost you about $10.
10. Swingers clubs
Just for fun, let’s throw out the idea that you might be interested in one-upping the telo idea. Buenos Aires has a couple of swingers clubs, just saying, including the multi-level Anchorena and the slightly seedier Reina Loba. Whether you want to participate (no judgment here) or just go and watch (think of it kind of like a live art exhibit, if that makes your horny / curious–yet-guilty conscience feel better). Your night is bound to at least be more interesting than a night at home with pizza delivery and Netflix.
Yes, this is an article on things to do after midnight. And yes, dinner is well within the possibilities. Get the idea of dining at 6 or 7pm right out of your head — most places don’t even open until 9pm, and if you show up that early you’re likely to be the only person seated.
Whether you’re trying out a new restaurant or are invited to a friend’s house for an asado, don’t be surprised if dinner goes on until well after midnight. After all, this is BA and you need to be fueled up for whatever the long night holds.