The diverse neighborhoods of Buenos Aires can each necessitate a day to explore, meandering old streets and the architecture driven by the city’s history as a hub for immigrants. The first thing you’ll learn here is that this is a city worth walking. There’s a lot to see, a fact that tends to leave visitors thirsty. The ideal way to solve this is to vertically remove yourself from the bustling neighborhood streets, swapping the street level views for panoramic shots of the city from above. Rooftop bars are located at old iconic buildings throughout the city, ranging in ambience and style from backpacker hostels to high-end hotels and restaurants. Across that spectrum, these are the best rooftops to pop into for a drink in Buenos Aires.
Salon 1023 (Palacio Barolo)
Located at the top of the Palacio Barolo, one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings of Buenos Aires, this rooftop is Buenos Aires’ place to see and be seen during happy hour. Local business leaders, musicians, and other personalities about town tend to congregate here on top of this historic building. With a great selection of Italian cocktails and live music, Salon 1023 is a great spot to chill out after a long day of walking. The big star of the Barolo is its terrace, where you can watch the marvelous lighthouse with adjacent views of the city from all angles. There are no chairs or tables on the rooftop, but a roofed section nearby will give you the chance to sit down and appreciate the inner architecture of the palace. You may prefer to stand, however, because there’s always a chance you might bump into a local celebrity.
Where: Av. de Mayo 1370, Congreso, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Many who walk along the sophisticated Alvear Avenue in the posh Recoleta neighborhood tend to stop, stare, and snap a photo of the elegant facade of the Alvear Hotel. With so much outward class, it’s easy to assume access would be restricted. Wrong. You can pop in without invitation or reservation and simply take the elevator to the 11th floor to the warmly lit open terrace. This is for sure one of the chicest, most luxurious rooftop bars in Buenos Aires, and not just because of the Alvear itself but because of the panoramic view of the city you’ll enjoy while having an equally fancy cocktail. This bar offers a relaxed and fun vibe, with light bites available should you need to cleanse the palate between drinks. The rooftop bar is open Tuesday through Saturday year-round from 6:00 PM to midnight.
Where: Av. Alvear 1891, Recoleta, Buenos Aires
Dome Roof Top Bar (Tango de Mayo Hotel)
The Dome Roof Top Bar is located at a refurbished 1913 Art Nouveau building that now hosts the Tango de Mayo Hotel, the first tango-themed hotel in this tango-crazed city. The Dome Roof Top Bar maintains exclusive hours, open from 7:00 PM to 1:00 AM, Tuesday to Friday, but if you make it in your reward — beyond the cocktails themselves — is one of the most incredible views of the city’s domed buildings and the nearby Palacio Barolo. All accompanied by a wide variety of classic and signature cocktails. Live music happens over happy hour from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Where: Av. de Mayo 1396, Congreso, Ciudad de Buenos Aires
Sky Bar (Hotel Pulitzer)
Sky Bar is located on the 13th floor of the fancy Hotel Pulitzer near Plaza San Martín, near the Retiro train station. Its terrace offers a cool and cosmopolitan atmosphere, often with chilled live music to complement the stiff drinks. Sky Bar is a very popular after-work spot for office workers in Buenos Aires, so you should arrive early to secure a good table. Grab one near the edge if possible, as the skyline view at sunset is on par with any in the city. The atmosphere is fun and vibrant, just remember to leave the shorts at home as the dress code is smart casual. The bar is open nightly from 5:00 PM to midnight.
Where: Maipú 907, Retiro, Buenos Aires
Belushi Rooftop Bar
Belushi Rooftop Bar and Lounge is a trendy rooftop bar and restaurant in the heart of the cool Palermo neighborhood. Belushi offers a good selection of craft cocktails, beers, and tapas. Its location means you’re likely going to be tightly packed with gallivanting tourists, hip young professionals, and the city’s “in-the-know” crowd, but the Luchese cocktail will have you wondering why Fernet Branca isn’t commonplace in cocktails the world over. If you’re looking for a night out in Palermo, this is the place to begin the evening.
Where: Honduras 5333, Palermo, Buenos Aires
Portal del Sur Hostel
Located near Plaza de Mayo, Portal del Sur Hostel is in the heart of trendy San Telmo. This cool hostel features a rooftop bar that, because of its awesome views and warm atmosphere, draws libation hunters from beyond the hostel’s guest list. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself part of an impromptu jam session here, as an acoustic guitar is never far away. Portal del Sur is a perfect place to meet new people from all over the world while enjoying the heavy-handed drinks and excellent views. Even if a jam session fails to break out, pool tables, ping pong, cards, and various other entertainment options are available. This is the ideal spot to chill out while enjoying the great scenery of old Buenos Aires.
Where: Av. Hipólito Yrigoyen 855, Monserrat, Buenos Aires
Cielo Sky Bar
This rooftop offers one of the most famous views of Buenos Aires — the widest avenue in the world, La Avenida 9 de Julio, and the iconic Obelisco are just below, lined with tourists and locals and making for the perfect cover photo for your trip’s photo album. The drinks are exotic, and so are the people drinking them, in many cases — think vacationing movie stars and the yacht crowd. The Cielo Sky Bar is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM, and beyond the photo-op is a place where you should end an early night out — you won’t find a bar classier or more likely to make you feel as though you’re in New York City than this one.
Where: Cerrito 180, Monserrat, Buenos Aires