Let’s tango! This Buenos Aires tango guide will tell you about the best places to go for experiencing the true tango of Argentina.
Outside of the big tango shows there are many ways to enjoy the tango experience; milongas, classes, street dance or just listening to the music!
While the tango shows in the theaters show you the dance in its most professional way, the milongas will show you the tango danced by ordinary people. The milongas are the discotheques of the tango. Usually they offer classes in the evening first and as soon as the night starts, it will turn in a discotheque. Most of the time when you buy a ticket for a tango class, you can as well use this ticket for the night to enjoy the milongas.
Here is a selection from our Buenos Aires tango guide of the ones we highly recommend you to visit:
La Viruta: Tel 4774-6357. Armenia 1366 Downstairs. A must for starters, classes are everyday from early afternoon to 22 hrs. You pay once and can stay for all the dance classes of the day and the milonga (usually gets good around midnight and lasts until 6 or 7am!). Teachers are friendly, and although the class is in Spanish they are happy to try to use their English!
La Catedral: Tel 1553251630; Sarmiento 4006. The rough and tumble warehouse space gets full on Tuesdays. Surrounded by a bizarre decoration of old artifacts, colorful lamps and accompanied by vegetarian menu, it gets full and vibrant. Classes held everyday from 19:30 or 21 hrs. The milonga starts after 22:30 and continues until the dancers decide to go home.
La Ideal: Tel. 15-4526-7580. Suipacha 384. The old confiteria, just one block from the obelisco, has a good mixture of locals, tourists and old fashion architecture. It has been going on for the last twenty years, long before the young people rediscovered tango. Maybe that is why you will find many white-haired ladies taking their high heels from their bags while the DJ plays the first tango. Sunday afternoons are one of the best days, but check their schedule at the entrance of the Confiteria as they change it quite often.
Salon Canning: Tel 4832-6753; Scalabrini Ortiz 1331. A great dance floor and some of BA’s finest dancers grace this traditional venue’s stage. It gets very full and stays open very late. Milongas and classes are held everyday, but the most popular one is on Fridays.
Niño Bien: Tel 4147-8687. Humberto Primo 1462. Takes place on Thursdays at the Central Regional Leonesa, attracting a large variety of aficionados- some consider it the best milonga in town. It has a great atmosphere, large ballroom and good dance floor.
On the Streets
Some shots to catch live tango outdoors:
La Boca: Usually everyday in the cafes in Caminito. They use dancers to attract people to sit at their tables (there is a lot of competition between bars and restaurants at this touristy spot).
San Telmo: On Sundays in Plaza Dorrego. However, it can vary from Sunday to Sunday, not always the same couples are dancing and neither always at the same plaza. Another option to see some couples dancing the tango is on the corners of Defensa Street.
Downtown: Everyday in the afternoons at the corner of Lavalle and Florida, or in front of Galerias Pacifico.The couple dancing in front of Galarias Pacifico is amazing, but you need to know that they never start before 15.00 hrs.
If you are watching tango on the streets, always make sure you take good care of your belongings, since these sport are popular for pick pocketing (for more Buenos Aires safety tips, click here)!