Fresh off the plane, our Porteño friends Pablo and Gustavo welcomed us, and took us straight to the New Inside, a gay restaurant in Palermo so we could have our first taster of the famous Argentinian steak.
Just as we were tucking into our bife de chorizo, the restaurant's entertainment started: a handsome (extremely well endowed!) Argentinian lad came gyrating from table to table, quickly losing all his clothes…
At that moment, we knew we were going to enjoy this city a lot!“
We've been to BA several times during our big trip across Latin America, using it as a base. This allowed us to really explore the best of the gay scene and make lots of local friends along the way.
We've taken all this info and bundled it up to create this bumper gay guide to the Buenos Aires gay scene including best hotels to stay, gay hangouts, events, things to do and more. One thing we can confidently say, whoever you are, whatever you're into, you're in for a treat in Buenos Aires.
Discover the gay bars of Buenos Aires with an LGBTQ local…
A gay tour of Buenos Aires is a unique experience and a fantastic way to make new friends from all over the world. You'll be greeted by a gay local, who'll take you to the best gay bars in Buenos Aires for an unforgettable night out!
What we cover in this guide
Is Buenos Aires safe for LGBT travellers?
Buenos Aires is overall a gay friendly and safe city to visit as long as you stay within the main tourist trail. It has a large gay scene and one of the largest gay Prides in Latin America. Argentina itself ranks as one of the most gay friendly countries in the world in our humble opinion with very progressive LGBTQ laws.
Homosexuality in Argentina has been legal here since 1853, loooong before the UK in 1967 and the USA in 2003. It was also the first country in Latin America to legalise gay marriage in July 2010, which included full adoption rights.
When we arrived at our hotel in San Telmo, we were told by the reception staff and a few other locals that the city is extremely dangerous for first timers and we should take care, avoiding going out alone after 6pm. With hindsight, we realised Buenos Aires is no different than New York, London, Paris or Barcelona. It goes without saying that gay travellers should keep their wits about them and avoid dodgy neighbourhoods like Boca at night. If anything, we found Buenos Aires to be one of the safest cities in South America.
All the hotels we stayed at in Buenos Aires welcomed us as a gay couple without ever questioning our choice of a double bed.
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.
Is there a gay neighbourhood?
Unlike the gay scene of Montreal, there is no exact gay village in Buenos Aires, but Palermo is considered to be the main gay area of Buenos Aires. The majority of the gay bars and clubs can be found here, with pockets of fabulousness spread further afield in the Villa Crespo, Retiro, Recoleta and San Telmo neighbourhoods. Palermo is also very residential, which makes it the ideal base.
The majority of the main tourist sites are spread across Recoleta, Retiro and San Telmo, which are all very easily accessible from Palermo via the city's metro system or taxi. We relied on Uber in Buenos Aires, but be warned that officially Uber is “illegal”, so your driver will ask one to sit in the front so it doesn't look like a taxi service.
Flying to Buenos Aires soon?
Landing in a new country can be quite stressful and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a long queue waiting for a taxi… Buenos Aires is a busy airport and you can sometimes wait for a long time before you find a taxi. Book your private transfer now with and English-speaking driver and start your trip worry-free.
Where to stay in Buenos Aires
Whilst the majority of the best gay nightlife of Buenos Aires is in Palermo, we think some of the best gay friendly hotels can be found further afield, particularly in San Telmo, Puerto Madero and Recoleta. We've included a few options in Palermo we tried out for those who do want to be based here. Check out Airbnb or Misterbnb for apartments to stay in Palermo if you prefer to rent your own place.
Why we love it
- Large, luxurious rooms
- Gorgeous pool with bar
- Unicorns & chandeliers in Bistro Sur!
- Home to the famous Madero Tango show
Faena is one of the most luxurious gay friendly hotels to stay in Buenos Aires, located in the “Puerto Madero” neighbourhood, which overlooks the Rio de la Plata.
It's a massive space, decorated in classic European design with a modern twist; lots of red, white and dark woods. There are also some very quirky unicorn decorations (and beautiful chandeliers) in Bistro Sur. If you're staying here, make sure to go to one of their Madero Tango dinner shows; it's touristic but one of those things you cannot miss when in Buenos Aires.
The rooms at Faena are large and lush – the epitome of decadence. The best rooms are the ones overlooking the river and the iconic “El Puente de La Mujer” bridge.
Puerto Madero has a lot of green space, which is ideal for hiking and biking. The area around Faena Hotel, particularly along the river bank is perfect for morning jogs. We made a point of doing this every morning as it's a great way to explore the neighbourhood, whilst burning off those dulce de leche calories…!
Rojo Tango: the ultimate tango show
Set in a very intimate milonga, Rojo Tango is the ultimate romantic experience to do in Buenos Aires. A candlelit dinner with your loved one while watching Rojo Tango will be one of your best memories of Buenos Aires.
Why we love it
- Carved wooden bathtubs
- Local art and cool design
- Luxurious spa with a giant Jacuzzi
- Hotel library with drinks and music
Mio Hotel is one hell of a sexy hotel. You will swoon from the moment you enter – it just oozes class from every crevice. Even the cute hotel staff will charm the pants off you.
It's also an art hotel so you will see regular art exhibitions featuring local artists. Even the lobby is a work of art, with giant butterflies and a plant-wall!
The rooms are elegantly designed to offer intimacy and luxury. The carved wooden bath tub is the crowning glory centre piece where Sebastien spent many hours deliberating over life's most existential issues.
There's also a library where you can order drinks and listen to music while reading. For some extra pampering, we love the spa with a giant jacuzzi and a variety of treatments available.
Mio is located in well-to-do Recoleta, close to the famous Evita cemetery and the large metallic Floralis flower. There are many excellent restaurants nearby such as the highly rated Fervor, the more local Rodi Bar and the very plush Italian La Pecora Nera.
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.
Patios De San T
Why we love it
- Very quirky artwork
- Great location in San Telmo
- Beautifully renovated historical tenement
- Rooftop pool
Patios de San Telmo is a stylish and chic boutique hotel, which was originally used as a family home in the 1860s, but subsequently abandoned due to the Yellow Fever epidemic.
It has since been restored to its former glory and converted into a hotel with the original features still in place as well as added amenities such as a rooftop pool.
We love the high doors and ceilings as well as the really quirky art exhibitions on display…look out for the, er, horse installation with its head coming out of its butt!
Breakfast is complimentary and the hotel even caters to guests with dietary requirements such as celiac disease, if ordered in advance. The pretty garden patios are the perfect place to relax away from the bustle of the city.
The Patios de San Telmo is located right in the heart of San Telmo, which is our favourite neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. You're minutes walking distance to the vibrant Sunday market as well as the Pride Cafe and the Tuesday queer tango classes of Maldita Milonga.
Protect your online privacy in Buenos Aires
When you're travelling, your personal information is at risk from hackers, especially when using public WiFi. A VPN will secure your internet connection wherever you are, and keep your online activities private.
Where to stay on a budget?
Buenos Aires has 2 exclusively gay hostels located in the two touristy neighboorhoods : San Telmo and Palermo. Gay hostels are great for single LGBTQ travelers who are on a budget and are looking to make friends whilst they're visting Buenos Aires.
Lugar Gay Bed & Breakfast
Why we love it
- Exclusively for gay men
- Rooftop terrace and hot tub
- Free breakfast
- Excellent budget option
Lugar Gay is a male only gay hostel in Buenos Aires. As a bonus, it's in our favourite neighbourhood – San Telmo.
Just be warned, this isn't particularly luxurious: the rooms are basic and you'll have to carry your suitcases up lots of staircases to reach it. But if you want a decent gay budget place to stay, then this is it!
Gay Lugar is kind of a mix between a hotel and a hostel so even though it's a budget option you can still expect a daily room-cleaning service, fresh towels and a yummy complimentary breakfast.
The staff are terrific and really make you feel welcome. Solo gay travellers will particularly love Lugar Gay because it's so easy to make friends here.
There's a shared kitchen, lounge, library and mini-gym available for all guests. Make sure you also check out their rooftop terrace, complete with hot tub!
The Buenos Aires Gay B&B
Why we love it
- Lovely gay host, Roy
- Truly exclusive gay B&B
- Delicious breakfast everyday
- Amazing views
If you're looking for a gay guesthouse to stay in the heart of Palermo, check out this aptly named gem.
Roy is the gay local who rents out his guest room to gay travellers; his apartment is located in a large condo with stunning views over the city.
Roy is personable and takes good care of his guests, including providing a bountiful breakfast and giving all the recommendations you'd possibly need from the local gay scene to the best places to eat nearby.
As a bonus, you have access to the condo's 31st-floor gym and 65ft (20m) swimming pool. Roy even provides helpful extras like the use of a local cell-phone during your stay.
Prices are reasonable, however, availability may be quite tricky as it's just one room available and Roy requires a 4-night minimum stay.
Looking for something different? Buenos Aires has a huge variety of gay friendly accommodation on offer. Check out this guide for more insight to the best gay hotels of Buenos Aires.
Gay bars to start the party
There's a handful of gay bars spread out throughout Buenos Aires, but you'll find the majority of the gay scene in Palermo. Just remember that Argentinians start the night very late, so most places don't get busy until after 11pm.
These are a few of our favourites gay bars in Buenos Aires:
- Sitges: one of the oldest gay bars in the city and the best place to come for drag shows. The drag queens are absolutely hilarious even if we probably understood around 10% of what they said; although we speak Spanish, their Porteño slang is something else! Their most popular place-to-be-seen evening is their Julepe party on Saturdays, which includes sexy GoGo dancers. Sitges is open every Wednesday from 8pm to 3am and Thursday to Sunday from midnight to around 6am. It is located at Avenida Cordoba 4119 in Palermo.
- Peuteo: small “hetero-friendly” unassuming video bar. It's super cosy and friendly, but drinks here are quite expensive compared to the other bars. Best time to visit is on weekends. The name “Peuteo” is a play on the naughty Spanish slang word of puto. We'll leave it to you to discover what that means…! Peuteo is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9pm to around 5am and is located at Gurruchaga 1867 in Palermo.
- KM Zero: one of the only gay bars of Buenos Aires that is open every day of the week, although it's busier at weekends. KM Zero is a basement bar featuring a range of drag shows and quirky acts like strippers dressed as aliens. It's open daily from midnight until 7am and is located at Avenida Santa Fe 2516 in Recoleta.
- Flux: another bar open daily. Flux is a small retro basement bar in the touristic heart of Buenos Aires in Retiro. As it's one of the few gay bars of Buenos Aires open earlier, it is the ideal spot to start the night with a few cocktails. They encourage this with their daily Happy Hour deals. Flux is open daily from around 8pm until 2am (3am on weekends) and is located at Marcelo T de Alvear 980 in Retiro.
Make sure to check out our detailed guide to the best gay bars of Buenos Aires for a more comprehensive list of our favourite gay hangouts in Buenos Aires.
Gay clubs of Buenos Aires
As we said earlier, Argentinians do things veeery late, just like in Spain. Dinner is from 9pm onwards, going out for drinks doesn't happen till after 11pm, so for clubs, you don't want to be thinking of heading there until at least 1am – 2am, otherwise you'll be waiting by yourself for quite a while! As a result, the gay nightlife of Buenos Aires goes on until the early hours of the next morning. We strongly advise having a few hours siesta if you're planning to go out partying in Buenos Aires. We certainly did and felt better for it!
These are a handful of our favourite gay clubs in Buenos Aires:
- Glam: definitely the best gay night out in the city in our humble opinion. It has the perfect mix of a sexy cool crowd who are mainly in their 20s and 30s. It's large, spread over 2 rooms, one for electronic music, the other for latino pop. They also feature live shows with GoGo dancers throughout the night. Glam is open every Thursday to Monday evening (closed Tues/Weds) from midnight till 6:30am and is located at Cabrera 3046 in Recoleta.
- Contramano: is the most popular bear club in Buenos Aires. It's only open on weekends, but nights out here are always a laugh with a really friendly crowd. Unlike Glam, the people at Contramano are generally a lot older, mainly in their 30s/40s+. For us the highlight is the music. We are pop kids at heart and they're always on point here with the best Latino pop hits that every good gay boy wants to hear! Entry includes a free drink: the popular one that all the cool kids here drink is called “Speed” – it's Argentinian red bull with vodka. Contramano is open on Friday-Sunday only, from midnight till 6am, and is located at Rodriguez Peña 1082 in Recoleta.
- Amerika Disco: the largest gay club in Buenos Aires, and second after Theatron in Bogota, one of the largest in South America. This place is massive, with 3 floors and 3 separate dance areas attracting around 2,000 people every weekend. The crowd is generally quite mixed; expect to see lots of sexy Porteños here! They have a famous bear night every other Saturday evening. Amerika is only open on Friday to Sunday from midnight until around 7am and is located at Gascon 1040 in the Almagro neighbourhood.
- Fiesta Puerca / Fiesta Plop: popular twink parties every weekend at Teatro Vorterixm. They have live DJs, GoGo dancer shows and a mix of pop hits and Latin music like cumbia (similar to salsa). Fiesta Plop takes place on Friday evenings and Fiesta Puerca is on Saturdays. Teatro Vorterixm is located where Federico Lacroze and Alvarez Thomas streets meet in Palermo.
Cool cafes in Buenos Aires
The main gay cafe of Buenos Aires is Pride in San Telmo – one of our favourite gay hangouts in what we think is the most exciting area of BA.
- Pride Café: one of the most famous gay hangouts of Buenos Aires and one we love coming to, especially on Sundays after shopping at the famous San Telmo market. Tip from us: their dulce de leche brownie is DIVINE! Pride is located at Balcarce 869 in San Telmo and is open daily until 8pm.
- Gout Cafe: another “hetero-friendly” cafe of Buenos Aires. Not as famous as Pride, but more notorious for its gluten-free menu (and delicious coffee). Gout is located at Montevideo 1480 in Recoleta and is open daily from morning to 8pm.
- El Patio de la Casona: is a tiny hidden cafe tucked away in a courtyard in San Telmo. We stumbled on it during the Sunday market when we were looking for a space to chill out from the crowds and noticed the rainbow flag flying outside. It's not as popular or well known as Pride, but still worth a visit, if anything for the super Instagrammable courtyard surrounding it. El Patio is located at Defense 1179 Local 9 in San Telmo.
Milongas for queer tango
What's the first thing you think about when you come to Buenos Aires other than Madonna's Evita? Tango!
At its inception in the 1880s, tango was originally danced between 2 men in the back alleys of Buenos Aires. This is because there was a shortage of women at the time amongst the immigrant population. So the only way for men to get with a woman was either via prostitution or to impress her with some sultry dance moves. Therefore, the men practised with each other.
Sadly, since the late 1800s, same sex tango dancing got lost in Buenos Aires… until 2002, when queer tango milongas (tango clubs) set up, offering classes for the LGBT community. The 2 best and most popular ones are:
- Tango Queer: queer tango class happens every Tuesday evening from 8:30pm followed by freestyle dancing and a live show. It takes place at the Maldita Milonga, located at Perú 571 in San Telmo.
- La Marshall: has a queer tango class every Wednesday evening from 8:30pm, with freestyle dancing happening late into the night. La Marshall is located at Yatay 961 in Villa Crespo.
Learn to dance tango
Gazing into your partner's eyes, grasping his hands and allowing yourself to be guided by the tantalising music is one of the most sensual experiences one can have. Take a private tango lesson with a professional dancer to learn the steps of this very powerful dance.
Our favourite restaurants in Buenos Aires
These are some of the best gay restaurants we visited in Buenos Aires, including gay owned and gay friendly/mixed:
- New Inside: certainly the most unique restaurant we've ever been to! Fresh off the plane, we came here to try our first steak. Whilst the food is pretty good, the real highlight is the very charismatic waiters, who really get close up and personal with you… They also have a few who put on a strip show later in the evening! New Inside is only open daily Wednesday to Sunday for dinner and drinks and is located at José Antonio Cabrera 4014 in Palermo. We advise calling ahead to book a table.
- Pride Cafe: we mention it again because it's also a great bunch spot. Highlights include the pork loin sandwich, Eggs Benedict and different salads. Pride Cafe is open daily from morning till around 8pm, so it's perfect for late breakfast and lunch.
- Lo De Jesús: not only one of the best parillas (steak house) of Buenos Aires, one of the most gay friendly. It's located in the heart of the Palermo gay scene so it gets a large LGBTQ crowd dining here. For us, the steak and wine choices were always on point. The staff are also super friendly and can give you tips about the gay scene and best things to do in the city. Lo De Jesús is open daily from 11am to 1am (till 2am on weekends), and is located at Gurruchaga 1406 in Palermo.
- Caldén del Soho: another parilla gem in Palermo we loved. It's large, so you can turn up without a reservation, but we found the service to be less personable than at Lo De Jesús. Caldén del Soho is open for lunch from 12-5pm and then for dinner from 7pm till after midnight. It's located at Honduras 4701 in Palermo.
- Buenos Aires Verde Restaurant: after the obligatory meat fix, you may crave a vegetarian meal. This is also one of the best vegan restaurants in Buenos Aires for vegans. It's quite cozy and gets really busy so make sure you book ahead. It is open everyday except Sunday from 9am to midnight and is located at Calle Jose Ignacio Gorriti 5657 in Palermo.
Must do in Buenos Aires: Food Tour
Discover the flavors of Argentina on a 3-hour walking tour of the Recoleta neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Eat like a Porteño, and learn more about the gastronomic culture of Argentina, with food and wine tastings!
LGBTQ events in Buenos Aires
As well as having one of the best gay prides in Latin America, Buenos Aires has a few other gay events worth checking out, all of which take place in November:
- Asterisco Film Festival: the city's LGBTIQ film festival takes place in early November. It showcases the best movies about sexual diversity and unites both filmmakers and activists.
- Buenos Aires Gay Pride: the annual Marcha del Orgullo is one of the largest gay pride events in South America, attracting around 200,000 people and is the city's largest street party. Pride always takes place in the Plaza de Mayo.
- Queer Tango Festival: every November, this 5-day festival takes place, which has grown to become one of the city's most unique and important dance events. It includes performances, lessons and numerous workshops hosted by several milongas.
Gay saunas in Buenos Aires
These are the main gay saunas in Buenos Aires. Markus is more a day spa you go for massages and treatments. The rest are more sex orientated bathhouses:
- Markus for Men: is a male-only day spa offering massages and a very cool Jacuzzi to relax in. It's not a sex sauna – simply a spa for men, both gay and straight. It does, of course, help that the masseurs are incredibly attractive young men who are ever so talented with their hands. Definitely worth checking out when trying to tackle the jet lag.
- Madison Men's Club: small but one of the most popular gay saunas in Buenos Aires, located between Palermo and Recoleta at Medrano 1047. Madison is open daily from 1pm to 11pm, and until 5am on Saturdays.
- Homo Sapiens Spa: popular gay bath house of Buenos Aires near the Amérika gay club in the Almagro neighbourhood on Gascón 956. It is open daily from midday to midnight.
Gay Cruising in Buenos Aires
There are several gay cruising areas in Buenos Aires, which we set out below. As always with cruising, make sure you only carry the bare minimum and leave all valuables at your hotel.
- Bosques de Palermo: this is the main urban park of Palermo, along the path near the railway tracks. Cruising happens when it gets dark and later into the night. Also check out “Plaza Ecuador”, which is behind the horse-racing track and goes all the way to Avenida Figueroa Alcorta.
- Public toilets: there are many across the city where cruising commonly happens. The most popular/busy ones include the small toilet in the Retiro metro, the Hoyts Cinema toilet and the Coto Supermercado toilet across the road.
Our top experiences in Buenos Aires
Whilst Buenos Aires is guaranteed to fulfil all steak, Evita and tango cravings, you will no doubt have before touching down, we've set out a comprehensive list to include the obvious and not-so-obvious sites, experiences and highlights you should check out:
Feria de San Telmo
We love the Feria de San Telmo. It's our favourite neighbourhood, always bursting with character, full of history, street art and has this terrific not-to-miss Sunday market. The cobblestone streets of the neighbourhood are lined with antique and souvenir sellers. Buskers and tango dancers perform on almost every other street corner, adding to the intensely colourful atmosphere. This is a definite must see in the city. We completely fell in love with it and are certain you will too.
Watch a tango show
A candlelit dinner while watching a tango show is one of the best memories we have of Buenos Aires. There are many places offering tango shows with dinner but our favourite is Madero Tango. The food is a delicious mix of Argentinian classics and the show is based on a story of the evolution of tango with some of the sexiest and most impressive dancers you've ever seen. The location is at the bottom end of the Puerto Madero neighbourhood, so you get some pretty stunning night views across the river when it's all lit up. Also at the end of the show, the performers offer a dance class as part of the experience so you can learn the basic moves to show off back home.
The Casa Rosada is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina but you may know it as the pink building where
Evita Madonna sang THAT famous anthem! It's considered one of the most emblematic buildings in Buenos Aires and has been declared a National Historic Monument of Argentina. If you'd like to visit (and even step onto that balcony) you can do so via this private tour which teaches you all about Eva Peron's life, work and death.
This is where Evita's grave can be found along with many other incredibly dramatic and extravagant ones. The Recoleta Cemetery is like a maze, with hundreds of tombs under tiny stone houses and miniature churches. It's quite a sight to behold and is supposedly haunted as well. We recommend joining this tour to see a few different sights in the area, including wandering around this fascinating and beautiful cemetery.
The iconic metallic flower of the city is located in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas in Recoleta. The enormous silver flower blooms in a pool of water next to the National Museum of Fine Arts, weighs 18 tonnes and is 75 feet wide. It opens its 13-metre-long petals at 8am in the morning and closes them up again at sunset. The opening and closing takes about 20 minutes and is definitely a sight not to be missed. This cycling tour will take you through all the main landmarks of Buenos Aires including Floralis Generica.
La Boca is a vibrant part of the city filled with art galleries, museums and tango street performances. Make sure you check out the cute colourful street of Caminito which is a traditional alley and street museum. Boca is also home to La Bombonera stadium, one of the most popular soccer stadiums in South America. To make the most of La Boca neighbourhood, we recommend hiring a private guide who will tell you all about its rich history and show you the highlights.
The old port of Buenos Aires was recently revamped into a very cool neighbourhood with lots of bars and restaurants. An evening walk here when it's lit up is quite simply magical, especially with the view of the iconic Puente de la Mujer bridge. This barrio is also home to two nautical museums on ships, perfect for ship enthusiasts or those who just want to take some great photos of the Buenos Aires skyline. For nature lovers, there's a huge ecological reserve filled with running and cycling paths so you can burn off some of the calories from all the amazing food you'll be eating!
Take a Cooking Class
The Argentine experience is the ultimate cooking class in the city! We came here with a group of friends and had an amazing evening. We had an empanada contest (sadly we didn't win) and learnt how to prepare the perfect mate (popular bitter tea drunk everywhere in Argentina). But the highlight for our greedy Seby was when the ubiquitous dulce de leche (caramelised condensed milk) made its appearance and he learnt to put together alfajor de maicena cookies! Book your own culinary adventure here.
The Teatro Colon is the main opera house in Buenos Aires and is considered to be one of the best opera houses in the world. It's beautiful to look at inside and out. But the real highlight is to see and hear a performance at Teatro Colon. Even Pavarotti agrees that the acoustics make it one of the best five performance venues in the world! Why not book a small-group tour of the city and see inside this stunning building on the way?
Learn to play polo at a traditional Estancia
We had a fun day out in the countryside learning to play polo in an estancia. The experience is set in a traditional estancia (cattle ranch) where we got a flavour of the gaucho culture, enjoyed a Sunday asado and of course, played lots of polo. Polo is like hockey, except on a horse and quite difficult because you have to really reach down from your horse with your stick to hit the ball. After winning the polo match, we shared a bountiful asado (Argentinian barbecue party) with the players, washed down with Malbec and lots of polo banter. Book your own experience and feel like a real gaucho here!
Cool day trips from the city
Tigre Delta day trip
This day trip takes you to the unique suburb built around the swampy land where the Rio Paraná empties into the Rio de la Plata. You'll be able to take a boat ride on the delta and view the homes on stilts, stately mansions and museums of the area. It's also just a great way to see a different way of life than the bustling city of Buenos Aires and you may even get to rub shoulders with celebrities like Madonna, who sometimes holidays there!
Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay
Explore parts of Uruguay as a day trip from Buenos Aires, by joining this tour which will take you to the historic town of Colonia del Sacramento. Explore the UNESCO world heritage architecture, quiet cobbled streets and miles of nearby beaches for a day away from the hub of Buenos Aires. Uruguyans are some of the friendliest people in Latin America, so you'll also be able to expect a very warm welcome to this peninsula town.
Montevideo in Uruguay
Another great option for a day trip from Buenos Aires is this one to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. You'll be able to travel by ferry along the River Plate and spend the day experiencing this unique city which is surrounded by a ring of beaches! There's plenty to do apart from sunbathing, as Montevideo is full of culture such as theatres, singers, musicians, Tango, museums and art galleries. It's also a wonderful place to visit during Carnival in February for amazing street shows.
Tips to prepare your trip
We've put together some handy hints and tips to help you plan your own trip to Buenos Aires. Read on to find out everything the gay traveller should know before they go.
Visa requirements: Travellers from most EU countries, USA, Canada and Australia 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 for more information about visa requirements for travel to Argentina.
How to get there: Most people fly to Buenos Aires via one of the 3 airports in the city. The international one is called Ministro Pistarini International Airport and is located in Ezeiza, about 32km from the city centre. Taxis are available at all airports and there are buses available from the two biggest ones. We recommend to pre-book a private transfer with an English speaking driver to avoid queues at the airport and start your trip worry-free.
Getting around: Within the city of Buenos Aires, the easiest ways to get around are by walking, cycling (there's a very cool bike-hire scheme), buses, taxis or the Subte (subway system). If you are travelling further out of the city then you might use a train or a ferry. To travel on the Subte you'll need a rechargeable Subte card which can be bought from Subte stations, tourist assistance centres and many kioskos. On buses, you can tell the driver where you are going and they will choose the correct fare for you. For more info about transport within Buenos Aires have a look at this website.
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 most likely need an adaptor.
Travel insurance: We always recommend travel insurance so that you will be protected in the case of injury, illness, theft or cancellations beyond your control. We've been using World Nomads for years and cannot recommend them highly enough. Their coverage is very comprehensive and it's easy to make a claim online.
Safety and Security: No matter where you are, you can encounter danger when travelling. We like to use the CloseCircle “virtual body guard” app when we're abroad, as they can provide support or security alerts wherever you are. Their service covers everything from advice to evacuation in the case of weather emergencies or terror attacks. Read more about why we love CloseCircle in our article how travellers can stay safe .
Currency: the currency used in Buenos Aires (and throughout 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: In general tipping is not expected in Argentina, although in places like hotels you may receive slightly better service if you leave a few pesos out for the staff. For things like tours, to give around 100 pesos (which is only about $2) is considered a normal amount if you found the service good. In restaurants, around 10% of your bill is the norm for good service.
Internet access: Free fast WiFi is available at most hotels, cafes, restaurants and hostels, although you might need to ask for a password. If you know you will be needing to use a lot of bandwidth during your trip, you may like to bring a portable WiFi device with you or pre-order a local SIM card.
Online privacy: Argentina is one of the most gay-friendly countries with very progressive laws. You will not have to worry about using gay dating apps like Scruff or Grindr. We recommend ExpressVPN for travellers who wish to keep their internet activities private, it's affordable and reliable.
Accommodation: There are so many accommodation options in Buenos Aires, as you may have seen from our posts! We love to use Booking.com when deciding where to stay because they have an extensive selection and the best prices. They also provide excellent 24/7 customer support if needed and free cancellation for most listings.
Sightseeing and adventure: We've mentioned a few fun things to do in Buenos Aires here, but if you're looking for more, we love to use GetYourGuide.com. The booking process is easy, there are countless of cool activities to choose from and their 24 hour customer support is excellent.
When to visit: Buenos Aires can be visited all year round. However, the best times to visit are during spring (September – December) or autumn (April-June) when the weather will be mild and there won't be as many tourists (shoulder season). Summer in Buenos Aires will be filled with tourists, prices will be high and the heat/humidity can also be oppressive. During winter it can get cold and rainy.
Gay map of Buenos Aires
Here's a gay map of Buenos Aires which includes all the gay bars, clubs, hotels and sightseeing highlights we've mentioned in this post. Use it to plan your own amazing gay trip to Buenos Aires!
Gay travel agent in Buenos Aires
If you have very little time for travel planning, we highly recommend using a personalised concierge service who can take care of all the minutiae of your trip.
The excellent gay travel agent Ursula Hosting is offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount on their services, giving you the luxury of being able to delegate all the travel planning of your trip to them. Fill out the form below to get a free consultation from Ursula hosting:
I WANT A PERSONALISED ITINERARY
Fill out this form to get a personalized itinerary and get an exclusive 5% discount for your trip to Buenos Aires and the rest of Argentina.
You can also contact Ursula Hosting directly, but don't forget to mention the promo code NomadicUH5 to get a 5% discount.
For more inspiration:
- 15 awesome gay bars in Buenos Aires
- Romantic trip in Corrientes and Misiones
- Interview with Juan from Buenos Aires
- A complete gay guide to Rosario
- The ultimate gay guide to Córdoba
- Mendoza gay travel guide
- 5 unique gay hotels in Mendoza
- Explore romantic Buenos Aires
- Our favourite Argentinian foods
- Interesting facts about Argentina
- Puerto Madryn gay guide
- Patagonia best gay hotels
- Read about the best Pride events to attend in Latin America