Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

Learning Spanish over Christmas in Buenos Aires

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 8:08

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture, Buenos Aires City Attractions, Concerts, Events, Festivals and Holidays, Food in Buenos Aires, Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Clubs, Uncategorized - 0 Comments

If you came in Buenos Aires learning Spanish and that this is your first time spending Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere, the first thing that will stands out is the heat. It’s summertime in Argentina and the days are getting hotter and hotter, so say goodbye to your christmas sweaters, blankets and hot cocoa by the fire. You will definitely want to opt for your swimsuit and pool time after having walked throughout the city.

 Photo blog Learning Spanish over Christmas in Buenos Aires

The guide to spend a traditional Christmas in Argentina while learning Spanish :

Before Christmas :

You will start hearing some Christmas vocabulary as people in the street, stores or even in spanish class start talking about all the preparation and plans. Being around Buenos Aires at this time of the year when learning spanish really allows you to immerge in the culture and tradition of the country as well as improving a specific vocabulary about Christmas season and celebrations. Before the D-Day people usually celebrate Christmas with friends and coworkers. For example, here at Expanish we organize a Christmas party and as there are a lot of different nationalities, it is a good way to learn about other Christmas traditions while practicing your spanish.  

24th of December :

On the 24th people gather with their family. At Expanish, a lot of our students take the opportunity to practice their Spanish by choosing a homestay. This allow our students to spend Christmas with a local family and get a traditional experience of a typical Argentine Christmas. Usually everyone brings something to eat. As it is summer, it is more common to eat an asado and cold dishes, rather than the hot dishes and Christmas hams you may be used to. When midnight rolls around everyone will have toast, drink cider, eat pan dulce and commence opening gifts! Christmas celebrations usually end around 2AM but it wouldn’t be a proper Buenos Aires party without the younger generations heading to the “boliches (clubs) to dance until the sunrise. Argentines truly like to party!

25th of December :

On the 25th most Argentines gather again in the afternoon (everyone needs a good sleep especially the ones that went clubbing) and eat either the leftovers from the night before or have an asado. Be aware that most public transports will not run on Christmas day, so my advice would be to plan in advance. If you choose to live in a homestay, this will allow you to meet even more people and practice your presentation skills in Spanish, by the end of the Christmas celebration you should be an expert and feel more confident talking in Spanish.

New Year’s Eve :

While in other countries it may typically be a night out on the town with friends to ring in the new year, New Year’s Eve in Argentina is a very family centered holiday. Argentines gather with their family once again to have an asado and drink Malbec. It’s always best to have a friend or family member that has a rooftop host the New Year’s Eve party so that you can enjoy the fireworks at midnight, so don’t hesitate to ask around to your local friend if they have a “terraza”. Again, it wouldn’t be a true party without the younger generation heading off to the boliches with their friends after midnight while the older crowd heads out to parties with their friends and family.

Activities and places to go to during Christmas in Buenos Aires as a foreigner learning Spanish :

  • Play the lottery and maybe treat yourself to a big money prize. Every year, Argentina organizes a Christmas Lottery called “Gordo de Navidad” where you could win this year 15.000.000 pesos!!!
  • For Christmas dinner : La Dorita in Palermo (Humboldt 1892) is a “parilla” restaurant with one of the most complete menu and famous for it’s high quality. It offers a great variety of meat such as a 400g piece of “Bife de lomo” (Beef tenderloin).
  • Christmas party : Kika Club in Palermo (Honduras 5339) is one of the most famous boliches in the city, there is no doubt you will have a good time there and maybe meet some new Porteño friends as this is a very popular social spot! This could be a good opportunity to learn slang called “lunfardo” which is used a lot by the young generation.
  • New Year’s dinner : If you want celebrate the New Year in style, Casa Cruz in Palermo Viejo (Uriarte 1658) is the place for you. For more than 10 years, Casa Cruz has offered a wide variety of meat cuts and sides dishes as well as a very wide choice of wines, in an upscale yet cozy atmosphere. Another option could be to catch Tango Shows, many of which offer special dinner and show packages.
  • New Year’ Eve party: Club Shampoo, located in the heart of Recoleta and one of Buenos Aires’ most exclusive nightclubs is a great place to ring in the New Year. If nightclubs are not your thing, you can head to Palermo Hollywood where the streets are filled with local block parties with djs and bands playing music, Porteños hosting asados and people enjoying the warm summer night to dance all night long until sunrise.

Expanish wishes you a “Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo” !


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Spending Christmas in Buenos Aires

Thursday, December 24, 2015 6:22

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture - 0 Comments

In Argentina, Christmas is traditionally spent with family members and the main celebration takes place on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena). Families like to get together at home for a big meal and plenty to drink. Like any other party, it is polite to bring something with you as a contribution if you are a guest. Here, the family often agree in advance who should bring what, (e.g someone should bring the salad, another bring the wine and more often than not, the party is likely to be held by the person with the best grill!) Given the heat at this time of year, some prefer to eat cold food, (including the world famous Argentinian meat obviously!) but others will have the traditional asado. Another option is to eat out and some restaurants will offer a fixed price menu for Christmas Eve. This can be a little more expensive than usual and you will need to book in advance. Many tourists will be looking for somewhere to enjoy the festivities on Christmas Eve and some tango houses put on a show where you can enjoy good Argentinian food and music, so this is another alternative.

Navidad en Buenos aires Spending Christmas in Buenos Aires

At midnight everyone gathers to make a toast and maybe watch some fireworks before opening gifts. There will probably be fireworks all over the city at midnight including near the famous Obelisco which is always busy at any time for celebration. At around 2am, people start to return home and some will go on to other parties with friends or a nightclub. The clubs will open at around 2-3am and the parties continue into Christmas morning.

Public transport and taxis in the city on the 24th will be very limited between 9pm and 3am so you should bear this in mind.

Christmas Day is a more tranquil affair with many people sleeping off the excess from the night before. People tend to gather again for lunch with family and friends for maybe yet another asado or possible just to eat leftovers from the day before. You should also remember that most supermarkets and smaller shops will be closed on the 25th.

If you don’t have any plans want to look at options for restaurants or tango shows, then here are some options to help you find something suitable:

La Ventana offers a special show in the heart of San Telmo for Christmas Eve (and new year too) and you can make reservations online –

Piazolla Tango also offers a special evening of dancing, dinner and a party afterwards. You can find more information here –

Madero Tango offers a delicious Christmas Dinner, a tango show, a firework display on the river and the best view of Puerto Madero –

If tango is not your thing but you would still like to eat out, you may consider Parilla La Cabrera which was listed in Latin America´s 50 best restaurants in 2013, 2014 and 2015. They are located in Palermo and will be offering a special Christmas menu. You can find more information on their Facebook page, call them on 4832-5754 / 4831-7002. Cel: 11-2434-3333, or send an email to

If you like Italian food, another option is Cucina D´Onore. They also offer a special Christmas menu which includes some drinks, a midnight Champagne toast and a ´mesa dulce´. More information at

If you would prefer to dance the night away in a Buenos Aires boliche, you can check the Christmas listings using this website where you are sure you find something to suit your tastes

However you decide to spend Christmas this year, we hope you enjoy the holidays. Feliz Navidad!

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Fiestas vs. Holidays: Argentine traditions for Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 7:37

Categories - Argentine Customs and Culture - 0 Comments

It’s the Holidays -or Las Fiestas as they say in Argentina -a time for exchanging gifts, eating good food and being with friends and family. As foreigners, the tradition can be quite different to us. If you’re from the States (like me) or the UK, for example, it’s good to know what Christmas looks like in Buenos Aires, Argentina. First off, it’s summertime. Maybe Australians are used to the sun during Navidad but I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Second, the big day here is celebrated on the 24th as opposed to the 25th. Want to know more? Let me walk you through Las Fiestas so you don’t show up in a friend’s home bright and early while everyone is asleep.

tn galerias pacifico 300x225 Fiestas vs. Holidays: Argentine traditions for Christmas

December 24th: Christmas Eve to us. Some people are wrapping last minute gifts and listening to Christmas music, maybe having a nice dinner tonight, tomorrow, or both nights with family and setting out cookies for Santa. The kids go to bed early but are too excited for what’s in store in the morning to sleep. We get into our PJs with a cup of hot cocoa by the fire and perhaps open one gift early and watch Holiday movies. Nochebuena here in Argentina is when everybody gathers, usually in the parent’s home for a big dinner, perhaps a traditional asado, and drink good wine. They celebrate leading up to the midnight hour when they will have a brindis (a toast) consisting of cider and pan dulce. Then they begin opening all the presents. There will be fireworks and boliches full of the younger crowd celebrating with friends around 2am.

December 25th: This is the morning everyone has been sweating over. We wake up early, and if you’re a child, run straight to the tree and begin opening presents. You can have a big breakfast, call up family and spend the rest of the day visiting other people and exchanging gifts. The day is filled with delicious desserts, pies, and sparkling cider. In Argentina, everyone is asleep from the shenanigans the day before or outside soaking up the sun. Perhaps you will visit other people or have another asado.

December 26th: Today is a big shopping day once again. Many people are returning gifts or buying things on sale. For Argentina, perhaps it’s back to work.

January 6th: Just another day in the new year. We are starting New Year’s Resolutions and playing with our new gadgets. In Argentina, Las Fiestas has another day–the Day of the Wise Men. Children leave their shoes by the door and water and grass for the camels because the Three Kings are coming! More presents for the children come too in the following morning, those lucky kiddos! Then it’s back to reality for all of us.

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Navidad en Buenos Aires

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 6:47

Categories - Argentina Travel Info, Argentine Customs and Culture - 0 Comments

navidad en ba 1024x517 Navidad en Buenos Aires

Navidad es una de las fechas más especiales del año para todos los argentinos. Si vas a pasar esa noche en Buenos Aires, te contamos todo lo que necesitás saber para que sea inolvidable:

  • En Argentina es tradicional festejar Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) con una cena familiar la noche del 24 de Diciembre. Las reuniones suelen ser en una casa y es comĂşn que cada invitado lleve algo para comer o tomar. Es tradicional en la cena de Nochebuena comer comidas frĂ­as porque hace calor en las noches de verano, pero tambiĂ©n muchas familias eligen hacer un clásico asado. Normalmente se sirven ensaladas, carnes frĂ­as, huevos rellenos y de postre, ensalada de frutas o helado. Todos esperan hasta las 12 de la noche para brindar, ver los shows de fuegos artificiales y abrir todos los regalos. Con el brindis es muy tradicional comer pan dulce, frutas secas y turrones. DespuĂ©s de brindar, los más jĂłvenes se despiden de sus familias y se reĂşnen con amigos para festejar toda la noche. Los boliches abren alrededor de las 2 am y la fiesta sigue hasta la mañana siguiente.
  • El dĂ­a de Navidad las familias en Argentina se reĂşnen para almorzar, normalmente un asado o sobras de la noche anterior. Es un dĂ­a más tranquilo que el 24, donde todos aprovechan para relajarse y disfrutar de un dĂ­a al aire libre. Hay que tener en cuenta que la mayorĂ­a de lugares comerciales están cerrados durante el dĂ­a (supermercados, shoppings, etc).
  • Es importante saber que durante la noche del 24 y la mayor parte del 25 los transportes pĂşblicos funcionan con servicios reducidos. Durante la madrugada del 25 es difĂ­cil conseguir colectivos y taxis, por lo que recomendamos planear con anticipaciĂłn los recorridos.
  • Si estás pensando en cenar en un restaurante para Navidad, es importante reservar con anticipaciĂłn. La mayorĂ­a ofrecen un menĂş con comida tradicional navideña a un precio fijo. Es normal que los restaurantes en esas noches especiales pidan algĂşn dinero por adelantado para hacer la reserva.

Si todavía no tenés planes para pasar Navidad en Buenos Aires, acá hay algunas buenas opciones para tener en cuenta:

  • Cena al ritmo del tango: Nada más tradicional en Buenos Aires que una noche de tango. Algunas opciones para hacer en Navidad son:

La Ventana: Ofrecen una cena show especial para Navidad en el corazón de San Telmo. Se puede reservar online acá:

La Viruta: La tradicional milonga porteña abre sus puertas a partir de la medianoche para ir a bailar tango. Más información en

Piazzolla Tango: Ofrecen cena show de tango y una fiesta con DJ para después de la medianoche. Información y reservas en

  • Cena en un restaurante: Una opciĂłn clásica para compartir la cena navideña con argentinos y extranjeros. Si tenĂ©s algĂşn restaurante favorito, podĂ©s averiguar si ofrecen algĂşn menĂş navideño. Si no, acá hay algunas opciones:

Rodizio: Para vivir la llegada de Navidad frente al rĂ­o, Rodizio ofrece un menĂş de cena show, fuegos artificiales a la medianoche y DJ para musicalizar. Pueden contactarlos en

La Cabrera: Navidad a puro asado. Esta reconocida parrilla de Palermo propone un menú con la mejor carne de Buenos Aires y un brindis navideño a la medianoche. Para más información:

Cucina D´onore: Una opción de comida italiana en Puerto Madero y un brindis con mesa dulce incluído. Más información en

  • Cena en los hoteles más lindos de Buenos Aires: Para una noche más especial, los hoteles más lujosos de la ciudad abren sus puertas en la noche de Navidad. ConocĂ© algunas opciones:

Alvear Palace Hotel: El famoso hotel de Recoleta ofrece una cena de 7 pasos en su restaurante La Bourgogne. El 25 de Diciembre van a servir un brunch navideño con opciones para niños y adultos. Pueden contactarse con ellos a través de su Facebook:

Hilton Buenos Aires: Proponen un menú de 5 pasos en su restaurante El Faro. Al estar ubicado en Puerto Madero, es un punto ideal para ver los shows de fuegos artificiales. Para más información:

Sheraton Buenos Aires: El hotel ofrece una cena con show sorpresa, brindis, regalos para los más pequeños y fiesta con DJ toda la noche en su Salón Retiro. Información y contacto en

  • Salir a bailar: DespuĂ©s de la medianoche, los boliches abren sus puertas para bailar hasta el amanecer. Estas son algunas de las opciones para la noche de Navidad (recuerden que para esta fecha los porteños salen más tarde que las noches normales porque es tradicional pasar tiempo con la familia antes)

X Mas Tattersall: Una de las fiestas más exclusivas de la noche porteña. Se puede ir a cenar o directamente a la fiesta, que ofrece performances y Djs en vivo toda la noche. Para más información:

Pacha: Para quienes disfrutan la música electrónica, Pacha es ideal para vivir la madrugada navideña bailando frente al río. Más información de su evento en

Hipólito Club: Para una noche más informal, en Hipólito Club habrá una fiesta con entrada gratis hasta las 3 am. Más información:

¿Vas a pasar Navidad en Buenos Aires? ¡Contanos tus planes!

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