Dance the Tango in Buenos Aires

Lonely Planet Travel Editor Tom Hall is on a mission to discover 52 of the most awe-inspiring places to visit across the world. This week he delights in the most sensuous of dances, the Tango, in its native land Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Buenos Aires

While Europe shivers in the grip of winter, the temperature is going up in Buenos Aires. The home of the tango is a sizzling city at the best of times; from the flirtatious glances Porteños (as locals call themselves) swap over smooth, strong espressos to the sound of a steak being cooked to perfection over an open fire in a parilla grillhouse.

Where is the best place to see Tango dancing in Buenos Aires?

It should come as no surprise then that this most sensuous of dances is everywhere in Buenos Aires. Dancers can be found on the streets of San Telmo and La Boca neighbourhoods, especially at weekends.

You’ll see them at dinner-and-dance shows where the fine art of tango meets the commercial realities of the tourist industry. You’ll also find tango danced at milongas, traditional dancehalls with their own rituals and rhythms.

Where can I find Tango classes?

With the global boom in classical dancing, Buenos Aires also attracts pilgrims who come to learn the moves. Youth hostels, dance academies and the tango theatres that put on nightly shows all offer classes, and professional dancers will put you through you paces in private sessions too.

Should you find your feet bruised and your ego wounded by the tango’s complex dance steps, you’re never far from a splendid glass of Argentinian wine to soothe the pain.

Travelling on a budget

Best of all though - it remains an excellent-value destination – a top-end dinner is yours for under £10 and a three-star hotel room will come in at under £50, especially if you book online.

Planning your trip to Argentina

See the Official Argentina Tourism website for a wide range of information about travelling to Argentina. A good place to find out what’s going on around town is What's Up Buenos Aires.

© 2009 Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd