New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires: Guide to a Rowdy All-Nighter, or Not!

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New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires is one big party on the city’s colorful streets. 

The end of the year falls during the Southern Hemisphere’s hot summer, so just like Christmas expect a laid-back – but all-night –  summer fiesta.

It should be noted that on the holidays many ‘porteños’ (Buenos Aires residents) head to beaches on the Atlantic Coast or a vacation house in the province.

This leaves the city emptier than normal, but those that remain in Buenos Aires party at all costs. 

Buenos AIres obelisk at dusk
On NYE some people gather at Buenos Aires’ Obelisk

Visitors might find themselves savoring a traditional asado at a local parrilla, watching some of the best tango performers in the world and later marveling at a fireworks display from a rooftop.

If you’re ready to learn the Argentine way of ringing in the New Year, read on.

Out with the Old Year: A Buenos Aires Tradition

In Buenos Aires, a unique tradition marks the last working day of the year.

Between Christmas and the New Year, people joyously throw their old ripped-up agendas and papers out of their windows.

This symbolic act, a release of the past year’s burdens and stresses, is a cathartic way to say goodbye to to the last year.

Buenos Aires’ NYE littering tradition: throwing out the old calendar

Streets in the business district become blanketed with fluttering pages, a testament to the city’s readiness to embrace new beginnings, fresh opportunities and littering. 🤪

While the tradition has waned somewhat with the digital age, there are still enough analog enthusiasts to keep the end-of-year tradition alive.

So far, no one has started chucking their phone out the window instead.

In business districts of the city, you can witness this ritual, a charming nod to the past in our increasingly online world.

Dining Out: Steakhouses and Fine Restaurants 

For Argentines, the early evening New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually getting together with friends and family in private homes, and predictably the main meal is usually the traditional asado.

Visitors can have a similar restaurant experience at a parilla (steakhouse) or make a reservation at one of the city’s many fine dining establishments.

Many local high-end hotels and restaurants have New Year’s Eve celebrations with a special menu. 

Ideally, find one where you will be on a rooftop to enjoy a cool breeze and a nice view, or a place with air-conditioning if it’s hot.

If dining out on New Year’s Eve, it’s important to make a reservation, as spots fill up.

In Argentina, workers get increased holiday pay, so some restaurants choose to close for the night.

Those that remain open get good business but tend to have elevated prices to make up for the labor costs.

New Year’s Eve Tango Show Specials

Puerto Madero Tango is, as the name suggests, is located in the slick Puerto Madero neighborhood, so it’s a prime spot for New Year’s Eve to see the fireworks afterward.

Puerto Madero with the Women’s Bride, as night comes on

The show is a colorful, elaborate production, the staff here is lovely and they outdo themselves on New Year’s Eve.

Check to see if there are any reservations on our partner site: Puerto Madero Tango NYE.

Faena Hotel is famed for hosting celebrities and provides a lavish experience for welcoming the New Year.

Their iconic show is Rojo Tango, blending captivating music, and sensual dance, in a phenomenal ambiance that provides an intimate glimpse of the world of tango.

Afterward, lucky attendees are perfectly placed to experience the fireworks over the water and the spontaneous street party that always takes place on the docks.

It’s a ‘Top‘ (as Argentines say) activity for New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires. 

The crowd tends to encompass a wide range of nationalities and you may spot a famous face.

While it seems like a completely touristy thing to do, Argentines attend tango shows on special occasions too.

The Midnight Toast

As with Christmas Eve in Buenos Aires, New Year’s Eve means a countdown at midnight.

But unlike the other city that never sleeps, New York City, there isn’t a central place for a countdown like Times Square.

Instead, there are parties across the city.

Wherever you are there will be a countdown and when the clock strikes twelve there are exclamations of ‘Feliz Año Nuevo.

Just like on Christmas, at midnight everyone says ‘chin chin‘ to the New Year with a clink of the glass.

Fireworks light up the sky (although new laws mean there are much fewer than in past years) and m80s break the eardrums.

There’s no mistletoe in sight, but hugs and kisses are bandied about once the New Year is ushered in.

All Night Parties on New Year’s Eve

Typically teens and young adults will take off from the family home soon after midnight.

The city’s biggest nightclubs begin to fill up at 2 a.m. and the party goes all night.

Since there are no open container laws in Buenos Aires, many people just group together in the city’s parks and plazas or gather on the street.

In Palermo, Plaza Serrano will be filled up with people as will the surrounding bars and clubs.

A yearly block party in Palermo Hollywood at the corner of Ravignani and Gorriti has DJs, cocktails and dancing and goes all night.

It’s a tradition for news crews to show up in the morning to film people still partying and ask their wishes for the New Year to goof on their inebriated state.

The large nightclubs in Puerto Madero such as Asia de Cuba welcome an older, slicker crowd.

In San Telmo, the street party never ends in the first place.

It starts around Plaza Dorrego and spreads out from there onto the surrounding cobblestone streets.

Hang Out in a Nice Hotel

If you’re at the age where you think New Year’s Eve is amateur night, you’re not wrong.

There are certainly novices on the street, and it can get noisy and messy, so you can be forgiven for just deciding to chill out in a nice hotel room with your sweetie and a bottle of champagne.

There’s nothing like starting the new year well-rested and feeling good.

About Transportation & Other Closures

Public transit shuts down between 10:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and starts again at 8:00 a.m.

There usually aren’t many taxis.

It’s ideal to be within walking distance to your desired activity but there are always ride-share services, which will probably be in high demand.

Also, if you want to stock up on Malbec before the night gets going, be aware that chain supermarkets and shops will close around 9:00 p.m. and closed on New Year’s Day.

Safety on the Streets

In Buenos Aires on New Year’s Eve, as the champagne flows and the sky above Buenos Aires bursts into a kaleidoscope of fireworks, it’s easy to get dizzy with delight.

While you’re toasting to new beginnings, the exhilaration can easily sweep you up, but remember to keep your wits as sharp as your senses.

Many young people from the province come into the city to party, some to drive around showing off their tricked-out race cars, so be cautious crossing busy avenues.

Puerto Madero gets crowded so keep a close watch on your phone and wallet.

Tuck your essentials into an inside pocket – they’re like secret guardians for your valuables.

Happy New Year!

The lights and sounds of ‘Feliz Año Nuevo‘ will reverberate all night throughout Buenos Aires.

Whether soaking in a show in Puerto Madero, or partying on the boisterous street parties of Palermo and San Telmo, you’ll dance into the new year with enduring memories of ringing in the new year in Buenos Aires style.

But wait, there’s more! The 12 days of Christmas aren’t over yet.

On January 5th the Wise Men are due to visit and January 6 is the Day of Kings.

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