Best Milongas in Buenos Aires
If you’re traveling in Buenos Aires & want to dance tango, checking out a milonga is a MUST. Milongas are informal gatherings where regular folks dance tango ~ they’re often held in social clubs, restaurants, or bars. And the good news is: there’s a milonga going on every night of the week in Buenos Aires! This is the city for learning how to dance tango. Find out when & where the best milongas in Buenos Aires are in this post!
**Author’s Note: Post updated as of December 2022.
What’s the difference between a milonga & a tango show? A milonga is more similar to a bar or dance club, with an informal atmosphere. Only, drinking isn’t the main event. Dancing tango is the main event. You’ll find Buenos Aires residents of all ability levels dancing at a milonga ~ & possibly some tourists, but not many.
Conversely, a tango show is primarily FOR tourists. Typically over $50, tango shows are where professionals dance choreographed routines for an audience, usually on a stage. There may be lessons offered before or after the show, & dinner is often served with the show.
What You Need to Dance Tango!
The most important thing when dancing tango: the shoes. Women need high heels with a strap ~ to keep them well-anchored, able to twist & glide. Even women I saw dancing in their 60’s & 70’s were wearing short heels! Same goes for men: wear a dress shoe with a slick bottom, the easier to glide with.
Best Milongas by Day of the Week
Monday Milongas = Milonga Parakultural at Salon Canning, Scalabrini Ortiz 1331, Palermo Soho. Arrive at 11:30PM, but performances start at 2AM. This is one of the best general milongas in Buenos Aires, meant for all ages. Also open on Tuesdays & Fridays. And it’s in the fashionable Palermo Soho district, which means you can grab a fashionable dinner first.
Closest Hotel = Esplendor Palermo Soho.
Other Milongas Open on Monday: El Yeite Tango Club, Confiteria Ideal, & La Catedral del Tango.
Tuesday Milongas = La Catedral del Tango, Sarmiento 4006 (by Calle Medrano), Buenos Aires. La Catedral is a Buenos Aires institution, & is a great place for beginners to give tango a try. They offer tango classes everyday between 6-7PM, but the official milonga starts at 11PM. Dress is casual & many people stay to practice after classes.
Other Milongas Open on Tuesday: Milonga Parakultural.
Best Milongas in Buenos Aires
Wednesday Milongas = Maldita Milonga, Perú 571, San Telmo. We went to this milonga after a tango lesson, listened to live music (an orchestra or live band performs here every week), & got to try out our new steps! I loved the atmosphere, & it was great (but rather intimidating) to watch fantastic dancers on the floor. Arrive before 10:30PM to get a table, or make a reservation. If you want to see live music, this is your spot.
Closest Hotel = My favorite, Moreno Hotel.
Other Milongas Open on Wednesday: Confiteria Ideal, La Viruta, & La Catedral del Tango (very popular on Wednesdays).
Thursday Milongas = El Yeite Tango Club, Av. Cordoba 4175, Buenos Aires. This is the young & hip, late night milonga. Meaning: it gets good around 3AM! If that’s too late for you, you can always show up at 1:30AM & get started “early.” On Thursday nights, they also offer salsa & bachata here on the downstairs dance floor. This club is where a lot of the best dancers go & is high-energy…so, maybe not best for beginners, but a good place to watch! Also open on Mondays.
Closest Hotel = Hotel Bys Palermo Soho.
Other Milongas Open on Thursday: Confiteria Ideal & La Milonga de los Zucca (more formal).
Friday Milongas = La Viruta, Armenia 1366, Buenos Aires. Located right smack in the middle of trendy Palermo Soho, La Viruta is more a nightclub than a milonga ~ but they definitely dance tango here. It’s a late night spot, & gets good between 2-4AM. They’re open Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday ~ & if it’s too crazy for you, there are plenty of bars & restaurants nearby to duck into before or after.
Closest Hotel = 1828 Smart Hotel, Palermo Soho.
Other Milongas Open on Friday: Milonga Parakultural, Confiteria Ideal, & La Catedral del Tango.
Saturday Milongas = Milonga Cachirulo, Avenida Entre Ríos 1056, Buenos Aires. This is a more traditional milonga & an earlier one ~ meaning, it starts between 10-11PM. Men & women sit on opposite sides of the room here, & if men want to dance with a woman ~ they’ll attempt to make eye contact with her (as described above). If you don’t want to dance, make sure you’re seated with friends & away from the dancers.
Other Milongas Open on Saturday: Confiteria Ideal, La Viruta, Milonga Malena Sunderland Club, La Catedral del Tango.
Sunday Milonga = La Milonga del Indio, Plaza Dorrego, San Telmo. This is a great milonga to visit after strolling through the famous San Telmo Market, that happens every Sunday on Defensa Street. The milonga starts around sundown, or when the market closes, making it one of the earlier milongas. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, & you can find a seat anywhere in Plaza Dorrego to watch the dancers.
Closest Hotel = Anselmo Hotel is located directly on Plaza Dorrego, giving you a prime, front-row seat for the milonga.
Other Milongas Open on Sunday: Confiteria Ideal, La Viruta, & La Catedral del Tango.
Best Milongas in Buenos Aires
I hope this post on the best milongas in Buenos Aires enhances your visit to Argentina! If you’re interested in learning more about the history of tango, as well as the specific etiquette of traditional milongas ~ check out the post below…
I have no idea what you’re saying…but thank you, I guess??! Ha
Great article! Wish we would have read this prior to our trip. We went to Maldita Milonga on a Wednesday night as well, & loved it! Their orchestra is amazing, & it was nice to be around mainly locals. Keep the great articles coming, really helps to get an overview of the area for travelers!
THanks for your kind comments, Brian! The orchestra wasn’t playing the night we went to Maldita, & I was so bummed! Really wanted to see them, but the group who played was also very good. Thanks for writing! : )
Cafetería Ideal is under repair for 2 years now and may not be open for Milongas in the future.
Hey Christian! Thank you SO much for letting me know ~ I will update the article. And what a bummer! Confiteria Ideal looked like such a cool place. Hopefully, it will re-open in the future. xoxo Noelia
My husband & I went to the fabulous outdoor milonga in Plaza Dorrego on our recent Buenos Aires trip. What a special event! And so lovely being outside, enjoying the show. Your article really helped us make the most of our trip, so thank you! Evelyn D.
I love hearing that Evelyn ~ that’s why I write! So glad you enjoyed the outdoor milonga, & thanks for writing! xoxo Noelia