ARGENTINA – Buenos Aires
what’s a milonga?
A milonga is the formal tango social dance where you dance a set of three songs with a partner, sit back down, and then dance with someone else. The practica/class is the informal practice where you actually learn how to tango.
Certain venues are more formal than others. If you’ve never danced and want to learn, you should try a lesson or attend a practica. And what better place to learn tango than Buenos Aires? Or if you just want to go to a milonga and watch, I recommend going to one with performances or an orchestra.
People host milongas all over the city. These are arranged by venue. Sometimes you’ll see the same milonga at different venues…
Great traditional milonga. It’s a banquet hall with a large parquet dance floor. Color Tango plays and Julio y Corina and Rodrigo Palacio y Agustina perform our first night.
milongas: Mondays 11pm-4am, Tuesdays 11pm-4am, Wednesdays 4pm-12am, Thursdays 10:30pm-4am, Fridays 11pm-5:30am, Saturdays 11pm-4:30am, Sundays 6pm-1am.
Scalabrini Ortiz 1331 (barrio: Palermo)
+54 4832 6753
The dance floor is outlined by some mirrored columns. Older crowd, but good dancing.
milongas: looks like there aren’t any milongas here anymore…
Av San Juan 3330 (barrio: Boedo)
centro región leonesa (niño bien)
It’s a classic. A long hall with paneled, pale yellow walls and a beautiful old wooden floor in the center.
It seems the Niño Bien milonga is no longer held here, but there are still others: Sueño Porteño, La Milonga de los Zucca…
milongas: Wednesdays 7pm-3am, Thursdays 10:30pm-4am, Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday 4:30pm-11:30pm.
Humberto Primo 1462 (barrio: Constitución)
+54 11 4304-9430
A neon sign underneath the bar illuminates the dance floor. The DJ intersperses sets of salsa and other non-tango music when we go.
milongas: Mondays 8pm-3am, Wednesdays 10pm-3am, Thursdays 8pm-3am, Fridays 10pm-4am, Saturdays 10:30pm-4am, Sundays 6pm-2am.
La Rioja 1180 (barrio: San Cristóbal)
+54 11 4957-7157
Small, simply decorated place. The house wine is cheaper than a bottle of water.
milongas: Tuesdays 8pm-1am, Fridays 6pm-2am, Saturdays 10pm-4am, Sundays 6:30pm-1:30am.
Maipú 444 (barrio: San Nicolás)
+54 11 4328-0465
The afterhours milonga. Underground in the basement. It feels a little like an old disco club. It’s loud and energetic.
milongas: Fridays (technically Saturday morning) 12am-6am and Saturdays (technically Sunday morning) 12am-6am.
practicas: Wednesdays 11:30pm-4am, Thursdays 11:00pm-4am, Sundays 11:30pm-3am.
Armenia 1366 (barrio: Palermo)
+54 11 4832-4105
It’s a fairly small place and we find seats opposite the bar at some cocktail tables. Found it harder to get dances here.
milongas: Tuesdays 8pm-2am (Cachirulo milonga), Thursdays 6:30pm-1am, Fridays 11:30pm-3am, Saturdays 10:30-4am, Sundays 10pm-3am.
practicas: Mondays 10:30pm-12:30am.
Riobamba 416 (barrio: Balvanera)
+54 11 4953-2794
buenos ayres club
It’s an industrial style interior. Worn wood floor, exposed brick, and metal folding chairs. It has a cool vibe with a younger crowd. The orchestra, El Afronte, plays around 11pm.
milongas: Mondays 10:30pm-2am, Wednesdays 10:30pm-2am, Sundays 10:30pm-2am.
Perú 571 (barrio: Monserrat)
The walls are full of eclectic artwork and funky objects. It’s not a place to go if you’re looking for a traditional tango experience, but a fun time. The floors are uneven, so most wear tango sneakers instead of heels. The place is packed, but half the people are there just to watch others dance and hear the orchestra perform.
milongas: Daily 11:30pm-5am.
practicas: Wednesdays 5pm-7pm
Sarmiento 4006 (barrio: Almagro)
+54 11 5325-1630
villa malcolm (tangolab)
It’s a casual space kind of like a school auditorium. We watch a cool performance and finish with Chacarera (Argentine folk dancing).
Not sure TangoLab’s here anymore, but looks like they still have dancing…
milongas: Wednesdays 10:30pm-2:30am, Fridays 11:30pm-3:30am, Sundays 10pm-2am
practicas: Mondays 10pm-1am
Avenida Córdoba 5064 (barrio: Palermo)
+54 11 4772-9796
If you’re serious about tango, you’re going to want some shoes. The San Nicolás barrio has some famous shops like Flabella and Darcos. I get a pair from DNI and Neo Tango.
Comme il Faut is probably the most famous shop for women’s heels. And Tango Moda is a cool tango apparel shop atop Palacio Barolo that even if you’re not into tango, you should visit for the view.
*last updated 2015