This is where all the young, pretty Argentinian boys come to party! Picture a more laid back version of Buenos Aires, throw in some lavish historical buildings, and you have yourself the sprawling city of Córdoba! Bursting with cool and trendy hangouts, we found ourselves mingling with the young and urban locals who showed us the best way to soak up the gay nightlife of Córdoba .
The countryside of Cordoba, with its picturesque valleys and mountains, offers the perfect escape for when you need a break from city life
Surrounded by picturesque valleys and mountains, the countryside offered the perfect escape for when we needed a break from city life. Known as the ‘Sierras de Córdoba‘, the lush greenery and rolling hills made us forget that we were just a miles away from Argentina's second largest city. It's easy to see why Argentinians choose it as one of the best places to relax. In fact, it's so peaceful that Che Guevara's family moved into the nearby town of Alta Gracia when he was a young boy, to help him with his asthma (the house has since been converted into a museum).
We've put together our gay travel guide to Córdoba with everything you need to know about the best gay hangouts, places to stay, things to do and more.
Gay tour of Buenos Aires and Mendoza this November!
Limited spaces available. November is Springtime in Argentina and one of the best months of the year to visit. We've teamed up with the excellent gay travel company Ursula Hosting to offer our readers an exclusive 5% discount off their hosted experience in Buenos Aires with an “add-on” to include Mendoza. The tour will take place between 26 November to 3 December 2019.
What we cover in this guide
Is Córdoba safe for gay travellers?
The youthful atmosphere of Córdoba brings with it a fun and exciting (albeit quite small) gay scene. It is mainly based around the bohemian neighbourhood of “Güemes” with a few other places like Beep Bar found towards the northern end of the city. Córdoba is a relatively small and safe city, so you can easily get around on foot.
As a gay couple travelling in Córdoba, we found it to be very welcoming and quite liberal, mostly because of the large student population. We had no problems booking a double bed at the places we stayed, and even saw a few young gay couples happily walking the streets of Barrio Güemes holding hands.
Gay hotels in Córdoba
There are a handful of gay friendly hotels in Córdoba. These were the ones that stood out for us, either from our own personal experiences or recommendations from fellow gay travellers:
Azur Real Hotel
Why we love it
- Deluxe suites come with hot tub
- Beautiful rooftop terrace with Jacuzzi
- Gorgeous modern decor
- Lovely extras like wine and cheese tastings
Azur Real has to be one of the best gay friendly boutique hotels we've experienced in Argentina.
Located just 15 minutes of a walk from some of the best gay bars Córdoba, it's safe to say that this hotel is right in the middle of a gay friendly haven.
With a small gym for working out, a beautiful rooftop terrace, and romantic outdoor jacuzzi, what's not to love?
We loved the modern decor throughout the hotel, with its polished wooden floors and soft colour palettes painted on the bedroom walls! If that wasn't already the perfect mood setter, Azur Real provides its guests with wine and cheese tastings every night. Did someone say wine o'clock?
The spa is complimentary to all guests and can be pre-booked so you can have it all to yourself (we took advantage of the massage services that were available!) Breakfast is a treat with fresh juices, delicious homemade breads, jams and more. The bar is the perfect spot for a romantic evening cocktail and chatter with fellow tourists. We literally did not want to leave!
STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL
Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.
Howard Johnson La Cañada Hotel & Suites
Why we love it
- Spa, gym and rooftop pool
- Good location
- Excellent on-site restaurant
- Nice mid-range option
Howard Johnson is a mid budget gay friendly option, located by the La Cañada riverfront, close to the gay hangouts in Güemes and just 4 blocks from Córdoba's largest shopping centre (Patio Olmos).
We didn't stay there ourselves but many fellow gay friends we met in Córdoba rated it highly.
With a gym, spa, and stunning panoramic views of Córdoba, Howard Johnson is the perfect place for a romantic city break.
You can choose between standard rooms or more luxurious suites, with gorgeous views and lots of splashes of colour. A free buffet breakfast with fresh juices, fruit and rolls is served every morning in the restaurant.
The Los Aliños restaurant is an elegant spot to sample some regional cuisine. You can either stay in for the night, dining on spicy Latin dishes, or you can decide to grab a quick drink in the lobby before heading out on the town.
Explore the city of Córdoba
Córdoba is a beautiful city filled with historical monuments, plazas and parks. Make sure you take the time to enjoy the architecture as well, including the gorgeous cathedral and the university buildings.
Why we love it
- Central location
- Excellent price
- Free basic breakfast included
- Cute balcony windows in some rooms
Located in the heart of the city, 531 Hostel is an excellent gay friendly choice if you're looking for budget accommodation.
Perfect for all the history buffs, the hotel is a short walk to Córdoba's beautiful cathedral as well as many museums.
You'll also be close to the best gay bars whilst still having a clean and comfortable place to sleep at night.
Even though this is a budget hostel, it's not a crazy party hostel, so you know you'll be able to get a good night's sleep! Though you can still chill out in the cool common areas if you want to socialise with fellow travellers and share some travelling advice.
Private rooms are available if you don't want to be sleeping in a dorm. Then when you wake up in the morning, you can expect a basic free breakfast! You are also free to use the well-stocked kitchen to make your own meals, and practice your Latin cooking…
Visit Alta Gracia on a day trip
Córdoba is a great spot to base yourself while exploring the many surrounding areas. One of the prettiest towns to visit on a day trip is Alta Gracia, where Che Guevara spent his childhood.
Gay bars in Cordoba
The gay scene of Córdoba may not be as big or diverse as it is in Buenos Aires, but that doesn't mean it isn't as fun! Most of the gay hotspots are located in Barrio Güemes, which is the heart of the city's nightlife; while a handful of bars are located a bit further north. We stopped by a few of the city's most popular gay bars, and these were some of our favourites:
- Beep Pub: We can't resist a good drag show -and with the Argentinian scene featuring some of the most fiery and sassy queens in the world, we knew we were in for a treat. Located on the corner of Avenida Colon in the North of city, you'll know you're in the right spot when you see a group of pretty boys handing out discount flyers. Although it's called a pub, it's doesn't get busy until after midnight, so you can enjoy a quiet drink before partying!
Beep Pub is open Tuesday to Sunday until 5am, and is located on José Antonio de Sucre 173
- X-Bar: With fabulous cocktails, classic pop tunes and an electric vibe, we had one of the best nights out in a long time inside this gay bar! We tried the famous Córdoban Fernet (herbal alcoholic drink with coke), and honestly, we believe the hype (although we weren't a fan of the medicine-y aftertaste).
The X-Bar is open daily until 5am and is located at Av. Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear 362.
- Capitán: This bar is more of a gay friendly microbrewery. It's one of the best places in Córdoba to try some artisanal beers. We sampled the “Otro Mundo” and it was divine! We also loved the outdoor terrace – a cool place to hang out and chat with the locals.
Capitán is open daily until around 1am and until 4:30am on weekends. It is located at 244 Achával Rodríguez.
Sample Córdoba's best wines
Visit the finest wineries in the Calamuchita Valley and learn about the winemaking process, while sampling some of the delicious wines of course!
Gay clubs in Cordoba
The Argentinians do everything late. Dinner is from 10pm and people don't go out until after 2am. So if you're planning a night out, try to factor in a disco nap beforehand – it's gonna be a late one. With a wide range of gay friendly clubs in Córdoba to check out, here are just some of the highlights:
- Zen Disco: This gay club has proven to be popular with the young crowd! It's also a Resto Bar, so you can get a few choripán snacks down you in between the dancing. We were there during one of their most popular events, the “National Trans Queen” annual pageant, and we had a Ball (wink!).
Zen is open only on Fridays and Saturdays until around 5am and is located at Av. Julio A. Roca 730.
- Maldito Lunes: We found this to be one of the best gay friendly clubs in Córdoba, especially if you're into reggaeton. It's only open on Mondays, which is handy because that's the one day of the week Beep Pub is closed. They have a mix of shows, stand up comedy and dance nights each week, so whichever night we went, we had a totally unique experience.
Maldito Lunes is open all day Monday until around 5am the following day and is located at Larrañaga 67.
- Club Belle Epoque: A very queer friendly night club with regular alternative events such as drag races and limbo pop. We got down on the dance floor to the best LGBT anthems ever made, both old and new. If you're heading to Córdoba, we recommend you check their Facebook page to see what events are coming up!
Belle Epoque is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 11.45pm-5am, located at Lima 373.
Explore the region's Jesuit history
Visit some of the towns around Córdoba to learn more about the Jesuit missionaries who immigrated here from Northern Italy and enjoy the historic architecture that still stands today.
Gay events in Córdoba
The main gay event in Córdoba is the Pride in November. There is nothing more beautiful then seeing the Argentinian community come together to celebrate their diversity and express their love! However, outside of Pride, there are still a handful of other non-gay specific events that are also worth checking out:
- Córdoba Pride March (November): As we said before, Córdoba's “Marcha del Orgullo” is the only main gay event in the city. But boy, do they make it count! It started in 2008 and takes place every November. With a huge Pride march that runs through the main streets of the city, LGBT and its allies of all ages use the day to celebrate all things Pride! With tons of activities taking place throughout the city, we recommend checking out their Facebook page so you don't miss out on anything.
- Cosquín Folk Music Festival (January): The “Fiesta Nacional del Folcloro” is held in Cosquín, a small town near to Córdoba (about an hour away). This is one of the most important folk music festivals in Argentina and takes place over 9 days in the summer holidays. We weren't necessarily the biggest fans of folk music before we went, but we were up for the new experience and thought we'd give it a go – and wow! With massive stages, singing competitions, and big folk stars galore, we think we've officially been won over by the banjo playing, cow boy hat wearing musicians. We highly recommend it!
- Doma y Folklore (January): Another festival that takes place in January is the Festival Nacional de Doma y Folklore of Jesús Maria; or National Festival of Dressage and Folklore of Jesús Maria. Another new experience that was well worth checking out, the festival takes place in the city of Jesús Maria (also around an hour out of Córdoba) and features 10 days of horse-breaking competitions and Argentinean music. Definitely an exciting event to see Argentine gauchos attempting to keep their seat on unbroken steeds. Yee-haw!
- Cosquín Rock Festival (February): Cosquín's other famous festival is the Cosquín Rock Festival where you can (not surprisingly) rock out for two days to more than 130 Argentinean and international rock bands. This festival is a little more up our street. Heaven knows we love a good rock tune! There are six different stages and what used to be purely rock music now also has added sections for alternative and electronic acts. The atmosphere is filled with a mix of all music genres and lovers, and is truly something to behold.
- Carnival (February): Carnival is celebrated across Argentina during February – usually during the two weeks prior to Lent. Before the Argentinian Catholic community fast for 40 days, they make sure they party hard. One of the best places to go is in downtown Córdoba itself where there are always some festivities going on. The neighbourhoods of San Lorenzo and San Augustín generally have the main Carnival celebrations, along with Corredera Square, San Agustín Square, Poeta Juan Bernier Square and Cristo de Gracia Square. With the city awash with colours, music, and laughter, Carnival represents everything that is beautiful about Argentina.
- Oktoberfest (October): Argentina's very own Oktoberfest takes place over 11 days in October in Villa General Belgrano, located an hour and a half from Córdoba. Villa General Belgrano is a German-founded city so it's fitting that they hold a national beer festival here, with typical German music, costumes and food, as well as a daily parade through the main street. We love Germany, and we love Argentina, so having the two be brought together this way was a magical experience! If you're in Córdoba and want to experience drinking beer in Leiderhosen in a brewery, then this is the festival for you!
Things to do in Córdoba
The young student population makes Córdoba a fun city with an exciting, vibrant atmosphere, which we completely fell in love with. You will find plenty of interesting gay friendly things to do in the city but the real beauty lies outside of Córdoba. The city is surrounded by the type of picturesque mountain scenery that will spruce up your Instagram gallery. Whether you go north, south, west or east of Córdoba city, there is a Sierra that awaits you with its own unique landscapes, little villages, natural parks and estancias (cattle gaucho ranches).
Take a romantic weekend getaway
We highly recommend gay travellers to explore the North of Córdoba by car, particularly Villa Carlos Paz, La Falda, Camino del Cuadrado and Ascochinga, because this is one of the most scenic drives of Argentina. Spend the night in the gay friendly El Colibri, Estancia De Charme, an old Estancia recently refurbished by its French owners and modelled on Seville's famous Maestranza building. Here you can relax, unwind, do lots of horse riding and just exist and feel part of the beautiful scenery.
Alta Gracia day trip
Alta Gracia is perfect for a day trip and famous for the Museo Estancia Jesuitica, an old Jesuit estancia from the 18th century which has been converted into a museum. This is also where Che Guevera famously lived during his childhood; you can even visit his house which is now a famous museum. We came here for a day trip and had a lunch stop over at the highly rated Herencia restaurant. If you're not travelling by your own car, you might like to make the most of the town and its history, by joining a guided tour led by a local guide.
Free walking tour of Córdoba
La Docta is an excellent company that uses local students as guides to show you different parts of the city of Córdoba. This is a great way to discover the main sites of Córdoba including Plaza San Martín, the stunning Cathedral of Córdoba, and the famous National University of Córdoba, one of the oldest in Latin America. While it is a free walking tour, at the end you can decide how much you think the tour was worth and just pay that. Since the guides are all local, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time while learning all about the city's history. We loved our guides' personal touch on our tour, and felt we got to see the city in a much more intimate light.
Trekking in Los Terrones
The Los Terrones National park, north of Córdoba city, offers some world class hiking, very interesting rock formations, and amazing landscapes. The hikes range from simple to challenging, and there is also a 120-year-old ranch museum to explore before you enter the park. You can visit Los Terrones as a day trip from Córdoba (it's probably best to rent a car) or spend a night or two in nearby Capilla del Monte village. Along with some lovely 19th-century mansions, Capilla del Monte is famous for frequent UFO sightings! We weren't lucky enough to spot one unfortunately…
Quebrada del Condorito National Park
This is the place to come and see the largest bird in the world: the Andean Condor. Located 86km from Córdoba town, the Quebrada del Condorito National Park is easily reached by public bus and makes a perfect day trip. We went up via the hiking trail (but you can also do it by bike), and we were awestruck by the incredible scenery. Come as early as possible to maximise your chances of spotting these elusive birds. We were lucky enough to see a mummy condor showing her babies how to take their first flight. A truly magical place!
Learn about Argentina's Jesuit Legacy
The area around Córdoba has a rich history with beautiful churches, estancias and Jesuit missions. Even if you're not visiting in time for the Festival Nacional de Doma y Folklore of Jesús Maria (see the events section above for more about this) you should still visit the town of Jesús Maria and explore the Jesuit Estancia of San Isidro Labrador, a pioneer of winemaking in the region. If you're not travelling by your own car, you can join a tour to discover some of the charming Jesuit towns in the area.
Sample the local wines
You can't travel within Argentina without appreciating all the incredible wine. While the Córdoba region isn't as famous as, say, Mendoza, there are still plenty of excellent wineries to visit in this small area. Jesuit missionaries started planting vineyards here in the 16th century and you can visit a few of these wineries in the Calamuchita Valley on a tour, with tastings of course! Córdoba has a reputation for producing sophisticated malbecs, pinot noirs, and chardonnays, so you'll have lots of delicious choices.
Visit the Evita Fine Arts Museum
The Evita Fine Arts Museum (Museo Superior de Bellas Artes Evita in Spanish), can be found inside an opulent Beaux-Arts mansion with a staircase and balcony that will make you want to pose like a princess. It's right next to the Parque Sarmiento (see below) as well. In the museum, you can enjoy a wide range of artworks by artists from Picasso to Goya, as well as a fun sculpture garden outside. There are also regularly changing exhibitions so check the Facebook page when you're visiting to see what's on.
Relax in Parque Sarmiento
Right next to the Evita Fine Arts Museum is Córdoba's largest public park which is a lovely place to relax and explore. Since it was designed by French architect/landscape artist Carlos Thays the park has a distinctly Belle Époque vibe with rosebush promenades, a beautiful bridge over the artificial lake, water fountains and pergolas. As well as having a picnic or just relaxing there are bike paths, a swimming pool, skating rink and even a zoo located within the park. The Greek-style amphitheatre is a popular spot for seeing local plays and musical performances.
Shop for handicrafts at Paseo de las Arts
On weekend afternoons there's a local crafts fair held at Paseo de las Artes in the hip neighbourhood of Güemes, and it's the perfect place to shop for gifts or souvenirs. We enjoyed looking at each of the vendors stalls as they told the finest artisanal goods! They all lined the street selling everything you could imagine, from children's toys to handmade jewellery. There are plenty of food stalls as well, so you can wander along as you munch on some delicious food, peruse the stalls and watch local street performers. The area is also full of cafes and restaurants as well, if you want something more substantial.
Gay friendly restaurants
Córdoba is known as Argentina's second city and while it may not be as busy as Buenos Aires, it has just as much of a great foodie scene. There's a variety of different cuisines on offer in restaurants across the city. These were our favourite hidden gems we loved, recommend and would definitely visit again. Make sure you also read more about our favourite food in Argentina!
To impress your lover, bring them to República. This gay friendly restaurant is a little way out of the city centre, but absolutely worth the drive (or taxi fare). Miguel, the extremely charismatic chef, is as passionate about engaging with guests as he is with his delicious creations. We chatted with him at length about the evening menu, and were truly inspired by his devotion to Latin cooking. We wanted to try something we'd never find anywhere else and found ourselves eating a dish filled with unique flavours. It featured macaroons with sour cream, Dijon mustard, soya sauce and pate de higado de pollo (chicken liver pate) with brioche and pear confit. Take us back!
Alcorta Carnes y Vino
Alcorta Carnes y Vino is the best parilla (steak house) we tried in Córdoba with yummy bife de chorizo (sirloin steaks), pasta, fish dishes and, of course, excellent wines. It's located in a lovely old house that's been remodelled, brining together classical elements with modern furnishings. Alcorta is popular with locals and tourists so make sure you reserve a table ahead of time. Just remember, in Argentina, people don't have dinner until around 10pm, so don't expect much atmosphere beforehand!
Head to Alma Dórica if you're on the hunt for good vegan or vegetarian food in Córdoba. Located in the Nuevo Córdoba neighbourhood, Alma Dórica serves a wide variety of vegan hamburgers, wraps, salads, desserts and also has a full bar with beer/wines/liquor. There are regular live music performances as well as local vendors sometimes selling their arts and craft wares, so you can soak up the city's artistic elements whilst you wait for your food. Alma Dórica is open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner, but only for dinner on Sundays.
If you were out late partying in the gay scene and needed a sleep-in, don't worry about food the next day, because Brunchería has got you covered! This cafe is the perfect spot for breakfast, a late brunch, or a snack, and it doesn't need reservations. But you can be rest assured that no matter what time you rock up, you are guaranteed delicious pancakes, toasties, granola, eggs, pizza… basically anything you could want! Located in the trendy Güemes neighbourhood there's also a lovely rooftop terrace to look out over the city while you enjoy your meal.
Córdoba's most popular pasta restaurant, for when you want a break from all the Argentinean steak, is definitely La Mamma. They serve an extensive array of pasta dishes, along with meat and fish dishes but you're really coming here for the delicious homemade pasta. Make sure you try the Grande Mamma sauce; a mix of caramelized onions, cream cheese, mushrooms and beautiful greens. La Mamma's desserts are also mouthwatering so try and save some room!
Before you go
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own fabulous trip to Córdoba. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
How to get there: You can fly to Córdoba via regional lines from Buenos Aires, Mendoza and other Argentine cities or international flights from within Latin America. It's also possible to travel to Córdoba via bus from most of the major cities in Argentina.
Visa requirements: If you are travelling from most of the EU countries, USA, Canada and Australia then you don't need a visa to stay in Argentina for up to 90 days as a tourist. You will, however, need to show that you have a return/onward travel ticket if you arrive by plane and, of course, a passport that's valid for at least six months from when you arrive. Go here to check information about visa requirements for Argentina.
Getting around: The main areas of Córdoba city are easily walkable, but there's also a local bus system which requires a rechargeable card which can be bought from nearly every kiosk in the city. Otherwise, you can get an Uber or use a local taxi. If you're looking to explore the area around Córdoba your best bet is to hire a car or join a tour.
Power Plugs: Argentina uses two main types of power plugs; type C which is common in Europe and type I which is mainly used in Australia, New Zealand, China and the South Pacific. If you are travelling from the United States you will need to bring a travel adaptor.
Travel insurance: Travel insurance is a must for travellers to Córdoba, or anywhere. You just never know when you might have to deal with theft, injury, illness, cancellations or the airline losing your luggage. Luckily, with WorldNomads Travel Insurance you'll be covered for all of those things plus more. We have used and loved World Nomads for years and have no hesitation recommending their service to other travellers. Their coverage is affordable and comprehensive, plus it's easy to make a claim online if you need to.
Safety and Security: another way to stay safe during your trip to Córdoba is by using CloseCircle‘s “virtual bodyguard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Read more about CloseCircle and other ways to stay safe while travelling in our article on the topic.
Vaccinations: Make sure you are vigilant about using mosquito repellent when travelling in Argentina, as mosquitoes can be carriers of many diseases. The CDC also recommends that travellers to Argentina be vaccinated for Typhoid and Hepatitis A, especially if you will be travelling to rural areas. For more detailed information check out the CDC website here.
Currency: The currency used in Córdoba (and the rest of Argentina) is the Argentine Peso, which is abbreviated to ARS. €1 is worth around 48.50 Argentine Pesos and $1 is about 43.25 pesos.
Tipping culture: Tipping is not expected in Argentina, although you can do so if you really want to show appreciation for good service in a restaurant or for your tour guide.
Internet access: Most hotels, restaurants, cafes and the like will have free WiFi in Córdoba, although it might not always be the fastest or most reliable service. If you want to make sure you will be able to get online easily take a portable WiFi device or pre-order a local sim card.
Online privacy: Since Argentina is gay friendly with progressive laws you will not need to worry about using gay dating apps or keeping your online use a secret. But if you do prefer your online activities to be private we recommend ExpressVPN for travellers as it's very reliable and affordable.
Accommodation: We always use Booking.com when searching for the best accommodation in Córdoba because they have so many options and the best prices. They also provide free cancellation for most listings and their 24/7 customer support is excellent.
Sightseeing and adventure: When looking for the best tours and activities in a new place such as Córdoba, we love to use GetYourGuide. They have an easy to use online booking system, so many choices of fun things to do and excellent 24/7 customer support.
When to visit: The nicest time to visit Córdoba in regards to weather is during spring and autumn when it's not too hot or too cold – just right! But if you're visiting for specific events (like Pride) then you'll want to time your visit to the event, check our section on events in Córdoba above!
Gay map of Cordoba
Here we've made a map showing all the best gay friendly accommodation, bars, clubs, restaurants and things to do that we've mentioned in this guide. We hope you find it helpful when planning your own gay trip to Córdoba!
For more inspiration:
- Find gay friendly accommodation in Córdoba
- See our gay country guide to exploring Argentina
- Discover Buenos Aires' gay scene
- Our roundup of the best gay friendly hotels in Buenos Aires
- Read our interview with gay local from Buenos Aires
- Mendoza for the gay traveller
- Our selection of the best boutique hotels to stay in Gay Mendoza
- Learn some fascinating facts about Argentina
- Our complete gay travel guide to exploring Rosario
- 10 best foods to try in Argentina
- Discover the best things to do for couples in Buenos Aires