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.

Av. Gral. Iriarte 2290

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 Hot Nightspots in the Almagro Area

(La Catedral by Julie&Rebecca)

The Almagro neighborhood is one of the tango sources of the city that still keeps its nostalgic and colorful charm. The four blocks of flower shops, open day and night, around the area of what was once the flower market; the old typical Spanish style food stores; the intimate tango venues and bars, and a recent theatre boom make it a lively area where there is plenty to see and do.

El Bar de Roberto

Gardel and other tango passionates frequented this traditional bar, which was bought by a Spaniard from Asturias in the 1930s. Now a days it’s still kept as way back then,  with the same bottles adorning the walls and late night live tango sessions to charm the crowded audience.

El Bar de Roberto

Bulnes 331, Almagro

4862-0415

El Banderín

Another traditional spot in the Almagro scene, El Banderín is a place with a very personal identity.  This welcoming bar got its name from the many national and international football team flags (banderin), which are hanging from every bit of free space on the walls.  The flags were collected by one of its first owners so there is not only variety but also a few relics and the warm ambiance makes it a special place to visit and sit down for a few beers.

El Banderin

Guardia Vieja 3601, Almagro

4862-7757

La Catedral

This somewhat grungy alternative tango hall is popular amongst the younger more laid back tango crowds which start the night early with a tango class and then dance the night away into the dawn. Intimate live music shows are also put on. The ample space, the mismatched chairs, and the Carlos Gardel shrine add to its appeal whiles its vegetarian restaurant is loved by some and hated by others (eating can always happen elsewhere at the nearby Pierino for example, a family restaurant owned by Italians).

La Catedral

Sarmiento 4006, Almagro

155-325-1630

Centro Cultural Konex

The Centro Cultural Konex became increasingly popular thanks to its Monday evening super hit- La Bomba del Tiempo, a one of a kind percussion orchestra that slowly went building its public by word of mouth until the small crowd of enthusiasts became a packed event in the city week. The cultural center has a large open space and hosts quality art, music and theatre events such as the teatro ciego (blind theatre to experience with your other senses) and Medea Tango, which merges tango with theatre. A place to go to for good surprises.

Centro Cultural Konex

Sarmiento 3131, Almagro

4864-3200

La Salsera

Also in Almagro is the very popular salsa club La Salsera. The Caribbean feel of the place, the welcoming people and atmosphere have attracted many tourists looking for the warmth and rhythm of the Latin soul. Salsa lessons are offered here and other events and cultural activities focusing on Latin-American culture are also part of the agenda.

La Salsera

Yatai 961, Almagro

4866-1829 
info@lasalsera.com