Fireworks in Puerto Madero

New Year’s in Buenos Aires

do, eat, know, speak 5 comments

The holiday season in Buenos Aires is a blast, it’s the start of summer, after all. But travelers need to plan ahead, especially those arriving on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day. I wrote about Christmas in Buenos Aires last year, so let’s talk New Year’s this time.

New Year’s Eve in Buenos Aires

First off, wear white. It’s summer here and tradition calls for white. But the very best advice I can give you for New Year’s Eve is to stay in the barrio (neighborhood). Transportation is the biggest challenge. Buses will run, but you could find yourself waiting for an hour or more for your bus to pass. Taxis? Forget about it. The ones you see will all be occupied or on their way to pick up another passenger. Last year I tried to reserve one ahead of time for a couple that was checking out on Jan. 1 and was told that no taxis would be running until 8am. You have to try your luck with the ones you find on the street.

So, you’re staying in the barrio, and you want to dine out. Reserve now. It’s common here for restaurants to offer up a special menu for New Year’s Eve with a very special price, too. If you’re in San Telmo, some swanky, fine-dining options are Chila and La Vinería de Gualterio Bolívar. Our favorite restaurant in San Telmo is Cafe San Juan, and next would be Caseros. All great options for a special dinner.

John's New Year's Eve asado

You might not want your asado to look like this, but it makes for a pretty picture.

A better idea for those on a budget would be to stay in and cook . If you’re staying in a vacation rental, take advantage of the kitchen or the parilla, if you have one. Then, after dinner, head over to Puerto Madero for some fireworks and then come back to Plaza Dorrego for the party.

Ni el Loro Queda

Me: “Naty, I want to write a post about New Year’s in Buenos Aires.”
Naty:  “Ni el loro queda.” (translation,  “Not even the parrot sticks around.”)

It’s true. The difference between Christmas and New Year’s in Buenos Aires is that by New Year’s Eve, lots of porteños (BA locals) are already at the beach. The city is half full. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, on the contrary. It’s fantastic. Less traffic, more low-key, great photography opportunities, and there’s still plenty to do. Plus, in January the city puts on an awesome outdoor festival La Ciudad al Aire Libre. It’s my second favorite month of the year here (November is my favorite!).

John and Angela in Puerto Madero on New Year's Eve

John and Angela in Puerto Madero on New Year’s Eve

Advice for New Year’s Day in Buenos Aires

  1. Sleep late, very late.
  2. If you can’t sleep late, go to church. It’s a cultural experience. And since it’s both a Sunday and New Year’s Day (i.e. most things are going to be closed), why not get cultural?
  3. Rent a bike. Ok, I’m not sure the bike rentals will be open, but you could rent it on Saturday for all of Sunday too and ride all over the city without the traffic.
  4. Walk the empty streets with your camera, but keep your camera in your bag unless you’re taking a photo. Empty streets are popular with thieves and cameras and cell phones are hot items.
  5. Head to a park or the Nature Reserve. It’s summer. Work on your tan. Read a book. Stare out at the river. Make your list of New Year’s resolutions.
  6. Go to the San Telmo street fair. There will probably be fewer vendors, but there will be antiques vendors, artisans, street performers, and street food. What a great way to start the year!

Other suggestions I haven’t thought of? Add them below, please. Thanks.

5 Comments To This Article… add one

  • Stephen

    January 11, 2012, 12:56 pm Reply

    Great list and great advice.

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    December 14, 2011, 3:45 pm Reply

    I think next year we’re going to try and spend NYE in BsAs! Sounds awesome!!!

  • Angela @SanTelmoLoft

    December 14, 2011, 4:25 pm Reply

    You definitely should, Andi. But you have your own personal guide who knows this city way better than I do!

  • Katie

    December 14, 2011, 12:58 pm Reply

    Those sound like solid suggestions to me, Angela. I don’t think you can go wrong with a nice meal, good company, fireworks and a little vino! ;)

    Although you enjoy the relative peace and tranquility of Buenos Aires in January, in contrast, Necochea starts rockin’ on Jan. 1. The beaches fill up and tourists bring life to many businesses that see little to no action the rest of the year. While many porteños choose Mar del Plata as their summer destination, we get plenty here who are loyal to Neco!

    Happy New Year to you and John! ¡Besos!

  • Angela @SanTelmoLoft

    December 14, 2011, 2:17 pm Reply

    Oh, we’d love to go back to Necochea and get some beach time. Such a cute town. I liked it better than Mar del Plata. More nature and I imagine fewer crowds to weed through during peak season.

    Hope you and Daniel have a fabulous Christmas and New Year’s. We’ll see you in 2012 somewhere, somehow! xoxo

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