Planning to spend Christmas or New Years in Cordoba, Argentina? We spent Christmas and New Years in Cordoba, Argentina’s second largest city. It wasn’t quite planned, but we were in northern Argentina and happen to be very slow travelers. Anyway, the holidays are a time to be around those you love, partake in traditions, relax and be merry, so we figured, maybe it doesn’t matter much where we’d be… If your travel plans take you to northern Argentina around the holidays, or if you’re thinking of spending part of your holidays in Argentina, read this post to help you decide where you want to spend them.
Christmas in Cordoba
In short, Argentines are not terribly festive when it comes to Christmas. This is especially true outside of Buenos Aires and definitely true in Cordoba. Don’t expect to hear Christmas music or see many decorations. The occasional store may have a “Merry Christmas” window decal, but you’ll mostly just find them closed as owners take vacation. Of course, that doesn’t mean they aren’t CELEBRATED, but even that is very different. Cordobeans celebrate Christmas on the 24th with their families. While many places will be closed all day, you may find some open through lunch (Bruncheria was particularly available). However, ALL will be closed for dinner, so buy some groceries. Bars and clubs in Guemes and Nueva Cordoba will open around 2am for post-family-Christmas-festivities. You’ll find more people outside on Christmas day, such as at parks, though businesses will remain closed until the 26th.
In short, it won’t feel like Christmas, and expect 99% of places to be closed. Your best bet is to buy groceries and create the Christmas spirit wherever you are staying, both on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
New Years in Cordoba
Christmas tends to be more family-focused, but New Years is more for going out, right? … RIGHT?! That’s what I thought, and I was wrong, my friend. Somehow, New Years Eve was even quieter. At least on Christmas, Cordobeans tend to go out to celebrate with their friends around 2am. Instead, all of Guemes and Nueva Cordoba was shut down, save one bar in Guemes that was open until 3am and three clubs (one in Guemes and two in Nueva Cordoba) that we found open until at least 6am. I thought it must have been us, right? Maybe, somehow, we were just in the wrong part of town? But alas, no. I asked our Argentine tour guide and she said that no, people celebrate with their families. Your best bet for a celebration is to join a set New Years Eve party at a well-known hostel, like Selina.
The city starts to slowly come back to life on New Years Day after 5pm, and you’ll find many restaurants near Paseo del Buen Pastor serving dinner at their normal time that night.
Should I spend Christmas or New Years in Cordoba?
In short, unless you can find a reservation in advance, plan to cook dinner on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, and join a set party (such as at a hostel) if that is how you’d like to spend it. The day of the 25th and 1st, expect businesses to be closed until 6pm.
If neither sounds good to you (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend spending the holidays in Cordoba), you can spend either holiday in Mendoza visiting vineyards or in Buenos Aires. From friends, I’ve heard that New Years Even in Buenos Aires is a good time!