If you’re just visiting, you may not have family or friends in the city, but if you do, they are sure to invite you to mark the occasion in their presence. Argentines are a generous and friendly bunch and love to welcome people into their homes to share an experience, so if you have the good fortune of being asked to spend New Year’s with locals, expect lots of champagne, lots of toasting and lots of interesting food.
Buenos Aires is a flat city, so one of the best places to be on New Year’s Eve is on a rooftop or terrace. Many apartment buildings have decking for people to hang out on, and lots also have swimming pools, perfect for taking a dip in to escape the searing heat of the city in summer. Watch the fireworks from a height, and stay until morning to watch the sun rise on a new year.
Argentines are notorious for arriving late, but New Year’s is a different story. Try to be prepared, as very few shops or supermarkets are open in the evening, so it can be difficult to pick up anything you may have forgotten, such as alcohol, or the ever important kilo of ice cream. Arrive early, or at least on time, to any event you have been invited to, so that you can get the most out of your New Year’s experience in Buenos Aires.
Take a walk down to the docks at the regenerated Puerto Madero area, home to diplomats and the rich and famous. Watch the fireworks from the famous Puente de la Mujer, and wander among the glass apartment blocks, renovated factory buildings and, if you fancy venturing a bit further, the ecological reserve by the river.
There are a number of street parties all over the city, but many are local events hosted by residents. Although Argentines are welcoming and you will not be refused if you want to participate, many of these local fiestas happen in lower-class neighbourhoods such as La Boca and Barracas. As a tourist you may feel more comfortable hitting the street party in Palermo Hollywood that happens at the junction of Ravignani and Gorriti.
Once you have had your fill of family time, head to one of the city’s famous nightclubs or bars and dance the night away in the heat with expats, tourists and Argentines. Most of the clubs are located either in the Palermo Soho neighbourhood or on the Costanera Norte, which plays host to the biggest super-clubs in Buenos Aires. You can watch the sun come up over the Rio de la Plata.
New Year’s can be a big hassle and involve spending a huge amount of money. So if you do find yourself in Buenos Aires but you can’t handle the heat or don’t have the stamina or the cash, why not choose to get cosy with the remote and some Netflix, stock up on ice cream and head down to the hotel pool at midnight to watch the fireworks, then back to your comfortable bed and refreshing air conditioning?