Jun
12
2013

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Daily guide to the best milongas in Buenos Aires

A daily guide to the best milongas in Buenos Aires

Take the guesswork out of choosing the best milonga in Buenos Aires on any particular night of the week by reading our guests’ recommendations and anecdotes.

I hope that you have enjoyed our Buenos Aires tango guide. If you have missed any of Buenos Aires Stay’s articles on tango in Buenos Aires they appear as links below.

milongas buenos aires

Milongas Buenos Aires

A milonga is any venue or event where tango dancers meet to dance tango.

Many milongas start the evening with a tango lesson.  Hopefully you have taken our good advice to take tango lessons at one of the tango studios recommended by our guests.

Please check both the websites and Facebook pages below to see what times the tango lessons start and what level of tango is taught (in some cases).

If you are a beginner, please make sure that you can dance the basic tango steps in a coordinated and safe (safe for other tango dancers) manner with your tango partner before venturing to a milonga to dance tango.

The first thing you need to know is that milongas are wonderfully formalised nights that follow similar formats with musical sets called a tanda.

A tanda or turn is three to five musical pieces chosen because they represent a particular tango era or tango style. The tanda enables tango dancers to decide if they want to dance a particular era or style of tango and adjust their dance styles accordingly.

I have the basic steps.  I can tango-waltz and I can just about dance tango, but I struggle with most milongas, it is just a little too fast for me at the moment.

Between each tanda is a cortina (curtain music).  A piece of music chosen to give dancers a chance to either thank or talk to their last partner, rest or find another partner. It’s all so wonderfully civilised.

There are three types of musical styles and tango dance within a tanda.

It is probably worth giving you both a description of each and some Youtube links to appreciate the different styles:

  • Milonga dance is where it all started.There are two main milonga dance styles and many more musical styles. Milonga dance predates tango.  I do not see much point in getting too technical here (mainly because I am a beginner), so I will characterise the milonga as faster paced, more fluid and less formalised than tango.

 

  • Tango dance is characterised by 2/4 time that most people can easily hear and move to if they are not called ‘’left-feet-McCance’’ with a step-step-step-step-close pattern and little pause. Mastering that wonderfully structured poise with a fluidity that almost flows through your limbs is something that only comes with both time and practice.

 

  • Tango vals is almost a waltz with a strong first beat adapted by European immigrants in Argentina into Vals Criollo and later tango vals seen in the milongas today.

 

Milongas most recommended by guest of  Buenos Aires Stay Apartments

The best milonga in Buenos Aires is a subjective matter and so we provide a list of those most recommended by our guests

La Confitería Ideal

I am putting La Confitería Ideal at the top of my list because it is a great place for beginners and highly recommended by our guests. I love this faded relic from tangos bygone heydays. It is tired, but it is iconic and part of tango’s rich history in Buenos Aires.  I think La Confitería Ideal a most enduring symbol of the tango in Buenos Aires that should not be missed. There’s also lots of classes, take a look at their website.  With both matinee and night classes followed by milongas this is an excellent choice for tourists trying to fit everything into a tight itinerary.

Salón Canning

Salón Canning is most recommended by our guests. Restored a few years ago, its well organised most nights and is one of the better quality milongas. A high quality polished dance floor, good acoustics and a great ambiance.  This milonga has lots of tourists and expats, which is a downside in my opinion. Some older North American tango ‘’ladies’’are quite unpleasant if you are a beginner.

La Catedral

Is my least favourite milonga, but nonetheless it is a great favourite of our guests. This milonga is housed within converted factory.  It is kind of kitsch and a little shabby, it does not have the ambiance of most other milongas, but that’s my opinion.  This milonga attracts a younger tango crowd which is nice and again lots of expats.

La Viruta

Well located for tourists in Palermo.  They provide with tango classes at five different levels every day and again you really need to check online – beginner to advance.  I kind of like this milonga but find the people who work their off.  The service is bad and the music hit and miss.  They do have some great tango orchestras and so you really have to research your nights. This is a very popular milonga with lots of locals and our guests highly recommend La Viruta. It gets super busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

One of my tips is to look for nights with the best tango orchestras, they are always a little busier and there’s not anything better than live tango music, it really makes for a special occasion.  My next articles will focus on tango music and provide some of the bigger names in tango for you to follow and research before you arrive.  Or, just email us at reserva [at] buenosairesstay.com.

My best milonga recommendations by night:

Parakultural

Best Monday tango nights Buenos Aires (also Tuesday and Friday):

Parakultural is held at Salón Canning, which is at Scalabrini Ortiz 1331 in Palermo. The music is particularly good when you have a good tango orchestra so check the website linked above.The food is just okay. Between 7pm and 9pm there’s a class for all levels, and between 9pm and 11pm there’s a class for intermediate and advanced dancers.

La Catedral

Best Tuesday tango nights Buenos Aires

La Catedral is held at Sarmiento 4006, which is Almagro. They have a lesson Tuesday night followed by dancing. It’s a little hard to find, as it’s upstairs and there’s no sign out the front, but once you find the entrance (right near the corner of Medrano).

La Garufa

Best Wednesday tango nights Buenos Aires

La Garufa is held at the Konex on Sarmiento 3131. There’s a class starting at 8pm and a milonga from 11pm. There’s a very mixed program at Ciudad Konexwhich is a recycled 1920s warehouse used for cultural events.  The tango nights are varied, fun and include performances, bands, orchestras and exhibitions.  I love this modern tango venue that mixes old with new to seamlessly bring you traditional to tango electronica.

Niño Bien

Best Thursday tango night in Buenos Aires

Niño Bien is held at Humberto Primo 1462 and is the see and been seen at Milonga. It is a large and very popular milonga with a good dance floor and a reputation for having the best atmosphere, and fabulous dancers. It attracts a lot of tango stars.

La Viruta

Best Friday tango nights Buenos Aires

La Viruta is held in the basement of the Armenian Cultural Club, Armenia 1366 in Palermo. Classes are from 7pm to 8:30pm and from 10:30pm until midnight (there’s a salsa class in between).The crowd is a young and friendly mix of expats and Porteños. Often traditional tango music is mixed with other styles, like electronic, salsa, swing, rock n roll and Chacarera. Live music and demonstrations are common. The ‘’practica’’ starts at midnight.

Milonga de las Morochas

Best Saturday tango nights Buenos Aires

Milonga de las Morochas is held at Riobamba 416.  This is a good choice for a Saturday with tangueros without a partner welcomed.  This is a good milonga with lives shows, orchestras and reasonable food. Also there’s a wooden dance floor.

More Buenos Aires Stay Apartments Tango Guides:

buenos-aires-tango

Tango Dancers Buenos Aires

Tango for Real Buenos Aires a Definitive Tourist Guide

 

tango-show-buenos-aires

Best Tango Review Buenos Aires

Tango Buenos Aires for Real – Private Lessons & Guided Night Tours

Tango apartments Buenos Aires

Tango apartments Buenos Aires

 

Tango Apartments Buenos Aires

Tango Show Buenos Aires

Best tango shows recommended by Buenos Aires Stay Apartments

 

Gay Tango Buenos Airesa

Gay Tango Buenos Aires

Gay Tango Buenos Aires – Gay Buenos Aires Stay Guides

 

tango lessons buenos aires stay apartments

Tango Lessons Buenos Aires Stay Apartments Guest Recommendations

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