An Insiders Look at Where to go Tango Dancing in Buenos Aires

Whether you’ve already caught a tango show or not, since you’re in its hometown Buenos Aires, you might be feeling inspired to pick up a bit of the fancy footwork yourself. Whether you’re mal coordinated with two left feet, or you’re a natural on the dance floor, Buenos Aires has plenty of places where you can easily give the dance a go.

While stepping into a milonga  (tango ballroom) could feel intimidating, tango culture in Buenos Aires is actually incredibly friendly and open – beginners needn’t worry.

If you’re looking for a dance partner there’s no shortage of willing accomplices (particularly for women) and one on one classes are readily available at affordable prices.

For those who haven’t yet adjusted to the Argentine clock (it’s nocturnal) be prepared to hang on a little – classes are late in the evening and if you’re looking to see the pros, the action doesn’t tend to get going in milongas until well after midnight.

La Catedral

 

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A bohemian take on the traditional milonga, La Catedral is based in a disused dairy factory. The outside is fairly non-descript – you could easily walk by none the wiser of what’s going on inside. Its walls are adorned with locally created art and draped with red fairy lights. Full of tango dancers of all levels, it attracts a particularly international crowd – perfect for those making their first foray into the dance. If you’re looking to learn the basics head to one of their group classes, on from around 8 PM, (be prepared to wait a little as the place isn’t really known for punctuality). Later on performances and live music kick off from around midnight, leading on into the early hours. The kitchen is also known to be excellent with a vegetarian menu – not so common in this carnivorous capital.

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Queer Tango

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For those who hate the idea of following a stiff gender code, head to San Telmo’s Buenos Ayres Club on a Tuesday night for a LGBTQ milonga night. Turning tango on its head, and shaking up gender roles in this typically male-led dance, the night brings in dancers of all levels who aren’t afraid to challenge tradition and want to leave dated gender roles at the door. A great way to take an alternative look at the changing local scene.

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Bar Los Laureles

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One of the city’s historical bares notables, entering Bar Los Laureles is like taking a trip back in time to the 19th century. Located in Buenos Aires’ southerly Barracas neighbourhood, it’s a little out the way for most of the city, but worth the trip to see a true remaining part of Argentine heritage. Throughout the week it’s a neighbourhood watering hole but come the weekend, it transforms itself into a lively milonga.

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La Viruta

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If you’re not keen on rubbing shoulders with pro dancers and just want to give learning the basics a go, La Viruta, based in the Armenian Cultural Centre is a good place to start. You’ll find a whole mixture of tourists and locals who come here to learn – throw your fears to the side and prepare to dance. Lessons tend to take place a little earlier here, from around 6:30 PM, later on, be prepared to sit back and let those in the know take over the floor.

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Salón Canning

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An iconic Palermo haunt, Salón Canning is well known on the professional tango circuit. Dance lessons are available earlier on in the evening but by midnight the place will be packed out with the city’s finest tango dancers swirling across the venue’s polished wooden floors. If your moves don’t quite cut it, there’s always space for spectators who are welcome to sip at a drink and soak up the atmosphere.

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5 Speakeasies in Buenos Aires

Outside of the U.S and Europe, Buenos Aires might just be the capital for speakeasies. Full to the brim of fabulous cocktail bars, they’re often exclusive and are perfect for a more special evening. Known for playing host to the city’s most talented bartenders, and serving up the most creatively mixed cocktails, these watering holes are sure to wow even the most discerning guests. A well-known city of the night, Buenos could offer you a lifetime of exploring hidden gems and trying tantalising tragos, but we know you’re short on time so we’ve chosen a selection of the unmissable one.

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Ph: The Bubble

Set in an old mansion located on the border of Recoleta and Palermo, you could be forgiven for thinking that a lucky someone still lives here. With no outdoor sign or obvious indication that the place is actually a cocktail bar, it’s up to you to trust the address and ring the bell. Inside the decor is grand and speaks of a golden age gone by, think velvet futons, throne-like seats, and gothic style candle lighting. Combining the old with the innovative – expect to see an excellent selection of spirits as well as quirky reinventions. Adventurous drinkers should look out for creative cocktail ingredients like blue cheese, pollen, and eucalyptus bitter on the list.

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Victoria Brown

Ph: TripAdvisor

Curiously themed around legendary British monarch, Queen Victoria and her late supposed affair with her servant James Brown, by day the space is a cafe offering a delicious array of cakes. Come sundown though, a bouncer emerges and the back part is transformed into one of the most well-stocked cocktail bars in the city. Displaying an array of colorful concoctions in each cabinet, you’ll be hard pushed to make a decision and will want to try a bit of everything. Restyling classic cocktails, expect to find alternative reworks of negronis, caipirinhas, and martinis.

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Uptown

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Take a trip to the New York Subway and forget you’re in Buenos Aires at all. One of the more difficult bars in Buenos Aires to gain access to, make sure you’re dressed in your glad rags and look the part to fit in with some of the city’s most glam and trendy bar-goers. If you make it past the style conscious bouncers, you’ll find yourself in what looks like an old subway car before the doors open and you can walk into the bar itself. If it’s not just cocktails you’re after, make sure to check out their extensive sushi menu too.

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La Calle

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Located behind legendary pizzeria, La Guitarrita, La Calle bar has made a name for itself in its own right. Best to head to this one a little later in the evening, catch the DJ in the converted VW camper van decks who’ll no doubt be playing a variety of house and electronic tunes, La Calle attracts a young hip crowd who will no doubt start dancing once it’s well past midnight. Serving up an eclectic list of specialist house cocktails, one of their iconic classics includes one served up in a mate gourd. La Calle is the speakeasy to go to if you don’t fancy finding out complicated passwords or dressing too glam.

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La Pasionaria

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So not just strictly speaking a cocktail bar but a closed door eating experience too, La Pasionaria is as sophisticated a drinking spot as it gets. Located in a chic and stylish antique shop, by night the Palermo venue transforms into a live music performance space serving up gourmet food, complete with delectable cocktails. All seated around a communal dinner table, expect diners to be a varied bunch and for conversation to be a big part of the experience too. Well stocked with eclectic collectible items, you may just end up getting serious house envy or even walk away with a stash of new purchases ready to kit out your apartment with.

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Palermo Loves Hollywood: Live Music Venues

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Buenos Aires is a city of artists and musicians, so catching quality live shows, both on a local and international level is pretty easy on any week without having to look to hard. Palermo Hollywood has a couple of very worthwhile venues that are dedicated to inciting tapping feet.

Club Niceto is a classic BA nightlife option that offers live music shows by local and international artists, and also cutting-edge theme based parties. More information on their program here . Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo.

Boris Club de Jazz combines auteur cuisine with art and live jazz music, by both national and international acts. Find their program here. Gorriti 5568, Palermo.

Makena Cantina Club is a lively bar where local funk, rock and reggae bands often go to play in a relaxed atmosphere. More information here. Fitz Roy 1519, Palermo.

No Avestruz is a cultural center that offers live music shows, theatre performances, dance, and film screenings. Check out their program here.Humboldt 1857, Palermo.

New in Town: Verne Club

Inspired by Jules Verne, the hottest new cocktail club in Palermo opened recently and is already hitting it big. The bar, owned by Germán Lacanna and star bartender Fede Cuco, who also whisks up the delicious cocktails of our own monthly happy hour event, offers top quality drinks in a relaxed and elegant atmosphere. Dim lighting, tasteful jazz and chesterfield sofas make for a warm and inviting setting, perfect for the winter season, while the carefully prepared cocktails with inspiring names based on the famed author’s writings are worthy of a poet’s praise.  Stop by on your nights out on the town and experience what the Porteño nightlife is all about. Medrano 1475, Palermo. 4822-0980.

Top secret bars in Buenos Aires

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The Speakeasy trend has become quite a big thing in the Buenos Aires bar scene and there are many hidden spots to discover. Some of the most reputed city bars follow this trend and are not so secret anymore, however, they are still very much worth visiting.

878– Having won international awards for its quality drinks and atmosphere, and reputed amongst the cities bartenders and sommeliers, this bar is hardly a secret anymore. It is one of BA`s most well established bars and is always buzzing despite its understated entrance.  Thames 878, Palermo.

Frank’s Bar– Also in Palermo is this mysterious and relative newcomer to the city scene that has become another star bar in Buenos Aires. To get it you have to decipher the weekly password through the clues they publish on their Facebook page. Arevalo 1445, Palermo.

Ferona Club Social- Another Palermo gem is this bar/restaurant with terrace that serves great drinks, great food and all to the sound of great music. It is currently closed until the 24th of January. Humboldt 1445, Palermo.

Puerta Uno– This bar is located in Belgrano in the heart of china town, chances are if you´ve been in the area that you´ve walked past it plenty of times and never imagined that behind the insignificant black door there was such a stunning atmosphere. Juramento 1667, Belgrano

The Clubhouse: This exclusive urban members club is located in a four story house in Palermo complete will pool, bar and comfortable areas to lounge in and socialize. Art exhibits, pool parties, films screenings and more take place in this Buenos Aires haven. To get in, contact them here for a day pass.

Know any others? Share the tip!

Halloween Parties in Buenos Aires

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Although Halloween is a foreign celebration for Argies, partying is plenty local, and any excuse to put on a costume and have a night of non-stop fun is more than welcome. This is why over the years this Anglo festivity has been embraced by many of the city’s clubs and bars, and their fellow clients. There may not be much trick or treating here, but there will certainly be a great many Halloween Parties. Below are a few of the top options:

All Hallows Eve Pub Crawl: Buenos Aires Pub Crawl is the most well known Halloween crawl of the city. How does it work? After signing up through their webpage, meet at 10pm at Plaza Armenia for pizza, beer, and wine, then start the ghoulish exploration of three or four city bars and dance the night away at a nightclub. The 120 peso price includes the pizza, beer, and wine at the starting point, a free shooter at each bar, drink discounts, and a free club admission.

Sugar Bar’s Halloween Night: Another great option is heading to Sugar Bar in Palermo where there will be screenings of scary music videos and Halloween movies, prizes for best costumes and special discounts on drinks! Costa Rica 4619, Palermo. 4831 3276 

Million’s Haunted House Halloween Party: This hot bar in the Recoleta area is perfect for Halloween. Set in an old remodeled house, full with chandeliers, black cat and all, it offers the perfect setting for mysterious masks and more. They will also be offering special discounts on some drinks and prizes to the best costume. Paraná 1048, Recoleta. 4815-9925 

Dubstep.ar Halloween Special at Club Niceto: Admittedly you don’t need Halloween to play dress up at Niceto but its still a great excuse and their electronic parties are known to last until the break of dawn, so this should be no exception! Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo. 4779 9396

Magdalena’s Party is also celebrating Halloween and they are not leaving the candy out!! Special treats, Jell-O shots, a pumpkin carving contest and prizes to the best costume will be part of the festivity.  Thames 1795, Palermo. 4833 9127 

Hot New Nightspots in Buenos Aires

(Photo by Carolina Tarre)

Unicorn Huset

Unicorn Huset is the most promising new addition to the Buenos Aires night scene. Trendsetters and world travelers meet at this Scandinavian inspired resto/bar-club for some stylish upbeat fun! Open from Wednesday’s to Saturday’s from 9pm onwards. Honduras 5730, Palermo Hollywood.

La Oreja Negra

La Oreja Negra is like a collage, combining art exhibits, cocktails, live music  (featuring both traditional folklore, tango and modern electro-pop-rock), and other nocturnal extravaganzas in one place. They self proclaim themselves as an art-drink-kiss factory, and promise the most varied of entertainments. During the day they operate as an art bookstore, and from 9pm onwards the music begins. Uriarte 1271, Palermo. 2053-3263.

Brook Palermo

Older crowds looking for a more traditional nightclub now have to option of heading to Brook Palermo, an elegant and ample club that offers a dinner show and later on traditional clubbing. The Palermo centered venue has open terraces and focuses on an adult crowd. Juan B. Justo 1574, Palermo. 4781-7061