When you think about nights at museums, chances are you think about those Ben Stiller movies from several years back. But here in Buenos Aires, in fact, this is a well-established event that all porteños get involved in, hopping from museum to museum free of charge once a year. Every year, the BA City Government organizes the collaboration of various cultural centers, art galleries, and museums for free entry for everybody. Some of these centers are usually either not open to the general public, or otherwise, have a price tag alongside, so it’s a definitely a no-brainer.
This year the event will be running on Saturday, November 10th from 8 PM to 3 AM, although some cultural spaces run on slightly different timings. The one problem, however, is that they are only open for one night, and there are over 280 spaces which are scattered all over the City. The maths do not quite add up here, so we at The Bubble have decided to make it easy and create a guide to the most interesting places to visit in three of the main corridors in Capital Federal.
We have split the city into three general areas: Downtown, Palermo & Recoleta, and Almagro & Villa Crespo, covered each by three of The Bubble’s lifestyle writers. To make it even more interesting, each has chosen a complete evening itinerary, combining a variety of museums with dinner, and a drink for the ultimate marriage of culture and food. Are you ready?
Itinerary #1: Downtown
By Hattie Kettlewell
If you’ve checked out the website for La Noche de Los Museos, you’ll appreciate that the map for the downtown area is frankly a bit overwhelming. However, being such a lively barrio also has its perks, as you literally can’t walk a block without passing an exhibition or museum this weekend. But if you don’t fancy wandering aimlessly for hours to eventually end up in a museum which may not tickle your fancy, then I’ve put together a whistle-stop tour of the area which will satisfy a variety of needs and interests.
First stop: Banco Hipotecario
A slightly more unconventional location for a night of museums, the city’s largest mortgage lending bank will be getting involved in this culturally enriching night! As with all the museums on Saturday, the bank will be opening its doors for free and inviting the public into its main area. They will be offering a downloadable audio guide which will inform visitors about the bank’s history and all of the services that it currently offers. There will also be displays informing the public about various commemorative medals and awards it’s received.
You will be able to see some of the historical blueprints of the bank (it was designed by legendary architect Clorindo Testa), a photography exhibition, several audiovisual spaces, and a ‘corner’ of allegorical objects, which demonstrate the place’s history of over 130 years. So if you want to learn more about one of the best known and most successful lending services in Argentina, and how it has transformed the lives of so many, then head along to Banco Hipotecario down on Reconquista.
Banco Hipotecario Clorindo Testa | Reconquista 101 | 8 PM – 3 AM |
From here, you’ll need to head on down Calle Bartolome Mitre (about ten blocks) and you’ll find yourself at my next spot.
Second stop: El Museo de la Mujer
The whole philosophy of this museum is aimed at building an archive to demonstrate the cultural history, the promotion, and production of art from women in Argentina. For the benefit of La Noche de Los Museos, the museum is putting on a special exhibition which will run from November 4th to the 18th – so if you didn’t have time to make it this Saturday then you’ll have some time to catch it later on. The exhibition is called Voz, Palabra y Acción and will include displays from a wide range of artists and musical performers including Mado Reznick, Patricia Temprano, Gabriela Sintas and Iván Eloy.
Museo De La Mujer Argentina | Doctor Rodolfo Rivarola 147 | 8 PM – 3 AM
Now head down to Uruguay for a further ten or so blocks. Once you reach Av. Santa Fe, you’re close to the last museum on this outing.
Third stop: La Fundación Beethoven
The foundation is named after Ludwig Van Beethoven, one of the most famous musicians of all time (obvi). A composer, conductor, and pianist, his musical legacy has survived over two centuries. This exhibition will not only enlighten the public on his career and some of his greatest works but will provide a space for many other talented musicians and artists to display their own creativity. On this special night, there will be live music performances where alternate DJ’s will be playing anything from funk to mood music.
There will also be live drawing sessions from professional and aspiring artists alike, meaning you can actually watch the artwork come to life as you walk around the exhibition. There will also be art video projections where works of art from an array of artists will be projected on screens around the building.
With all of this on offer, I think this is the perfect place to finish your evening of cultural enlightenment.
Last stop: Saigón Noodle Bar
I would imagine that by now your feet are hurting, your brain is bursting at the seams, and you’ve never felt more culturally in sync with Buenos Aires before. Time for some munch! The last stop on my tour is Saigón Noodle bar, which you’ll find in the heart of Retiro, on Marcelo T. de Alvear 818, and with everything from Vietnamese noodles to rice and chicken to tofu, there will definitely be something to fill that hole in your stomach after a long night roaming the streets of microcentro.
Saigón Noodle Bar | Marcelo T. de Alvear 818 | 7 PM – 12 AM |
Itinerary #2: Barrio Norte (Palermo, Recoleta & Retiro)
By Tilly Compton
It isn’t surprising that this area is bursting with everything from visual art shows and dance performances to live interviews and creative workshops. Since all museums are spread abundantly across the barrios, here are several suggestions of some of the best locations, all within walking distance.
First Stop: Centro Cultural Recoleta
To begin, start off at one of Buenos Aires’s most renowned cultural centers which will be hosting open-air recitals, light installations, a live jam session, and even karaoke on the terrace with Regia Federala. Set in a historic, prestigious building in Recoleta, there is no better way to spend your evening listening to Hip Hop with DJ Monti on the outside patio or, if you’re feeling a little more brave, getting up on the terrace stage and enjoying your one night of fame singing out to famous rock.
Second Stop: Florentín
Hoping that you have worked up an appetite by this stage, just around the corner from El Centro Cultural Recoleta lies Florentín, one of the best Middle Eastern street-food restaurants in the city. With delicious hummus (AR $35), falafel (AR $135) and meat Koftas (AR $145), it’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat before moving on to my next suggestion, Museo Oriental. (Note: if you have a sweet tooth and are still peckish, we’ve heard great things about the pistachio cake for dessert).
Third Stop: Museo National de Arte Oriental
Encompassing the realm of Indian culture into their version of Noche de los Museos, this museum will exhibit three classical Indian dances choreographed by school Güngur, an institution dedicated to spreading and teaching their Hindu beliefs through performance. Starting at 9 PM, 11 PM, and 1 AM, make sure you get there a little bit beforehand to take a look at the micro-exhibition ‘El Universo de Visnu’ before stepping into an entrancing and captivating show.
Fourth Stop: Big Sur Bar
Time for a drink? This burger bar on picturesque Avenida Cerviño (just a 13-minute walk from Museo Oriental – count it) is always busy and has a great set-up to sit back and have a beer. Though it may not be the ideal place if you are looking for a fancy cocktail, its a great pit-stop on the way to the Planetarium, in a contemporary and hip setting with a cool vibe.
Big Sur | Cerviño 3596 | 12 PM-12 PM | Facebook
Final Stop: Planetario Galileo Galilei
As usual, The Planetarium is also participating in this night of the museums, with full dome projections offering you a stunning astronomical experience. The projections will last 15 minutes, starting from 20.30pm with the last session at 12.30 AM. I definitely suggest getting there a bit early to guarantee yourself a spot – it’s an incredibly popular event in Buenos Aires, as well as being mind-blowingly beautiful.
Itinerary #3: Villa Crespo & Almagro
By Sophie Schneider
This may be the trickiest one to navigate, as there are fewer museums than the central downtown patches and there are more miles to cover. These two up-and-coming areas are great as they are a little off the beaten track, so if you’re new to Buenos Aires this would be a start to getting to know other areas of the city (an area that isn’t Palermo? Madness!). They are also both chock-full of authentic restaurants and bars that differ from the black-and-white sushi bar image that Palermo does so well.
First Stop: Museo Kolcise
To start, I have picked Museo Koscice which was built to preserve the work of avant-garde Argentine/ Czechoslovakian artist Gyula Kosice. The museum holds over 200 pieces of work completed in the period span of 70 years, from synthetic sculptures to oil paintings. Part of the attraction to visiting this at Night of the Museum week is because ticket prices are usually at AR $150 for adults, and you can only have guided tours on certain days.
For one night only you can enjoy free entry and look through Kosice’s sculptures, and hydrokinetic work that focuses on the movement of water. There will also be live music and I can guarantee that the synthetic and hydrokinetic sculptures will be a trippy addition to your Saturday night.
Museo Kosice | Humahuaca 4662 | Almagro | 8 PM – 3 AM
Second Stop: Umbral Espacio de Arte
Second on our list is Umbral Espacio de Arte, which is a truly unique space established in 2008. They have set up specific exhibitions for the evening: expect to see a lot of disembodied Barbies and plastic legs hanging from all angles, and there will also be installations and performances throughout the artistic space. Check out their Facebook for more information about the exhibits they will be offering.
Umbral Espacio de Arte | Av. Díaz Vélez 3980 | Almagro | 8 PM – 2 AM
Third Stop: La Catedral Club Milonga
La Catedral Club is a bohemian, authentic milonga based in Almagro that balances both a Cathedral-like vibe (#natch) but also has a hippy mismatched furniture aura. There’s abstract artwork scattered all over the building The space used to be a dairy factory and a refrigeration warehouse, so it has a very high wooden ceiling with hanging sculptures and lights.
You can either hang here for a drink, watch some tango and move on to the next museum, or you can munch on their vegetarian and vegan menu. They have very meat-free affordable options such as empanadas, pizza, and plates of pasta which you can match with some Fenet for the ultimate Argentine experience.
La Catedral Club | Sarmiento 4006 | Almagro | 6 PM – 4 AM
Fourth Stop: El Boliche de Roberto
El Boliche de Roberto is another rustic Almagro joint just outside the park. The Boliche is famous across Buenos Aires for being a tiny, no-frills bar where tango dancers and guitarists pop in for a few songs and then dip back out. There are mostly locals here and it does get packed, so come in with an open attitude and ready to listen to some proper Argentine music; no reggaetón here.
El Boliche de Roberto | Bulnes 331 | Almagro | 6 PM – 4 AM
Final Twist – Something Further Afield: Museo Kim Yun Shin
This art gallery is a little further away but, nevertheless, if you’re going by car then you could make a detour to this wonderful artistic space that attracts hundreds of art fanatics every year at this event. The Kim Yun Shin Museum is a non-profit organization, created to exhibit the work of the artist, Kim Yun Shin.
Based just outside of Koreatown, the museum aims to preserve a link between Argentina and Korea, reflecting the artists’ own multicultural identity. There are classes run by the museum this Saturday, and during the semester they run initial level classes, elementary school, and art school set-ups.
Museo Kim Yun Shin | Felipe Vallese 2945 | Floresta | 7 PM – 4 AM
There you have it, an extremely comprehensive guide as to what, where and when you should visit during the Night of the Museum event on Saturday. As this is a very condensed version (besides, you only have six hours to get your annual cultural intake) there are obviously hundreds of options all over the city. Consult the map or check out the website for more information!