What to do

Tango in Argentina

A sultry dance of romance and energy, the tango is the very heart of the city...

Historically the origins of this infamous dance are fairly murky. Thought to have started around the late 1800s in the slum areas of Buenos Aires, as the various immigrants from Europe began to arrive into Argentina, the dance was seen as the dance of the working classes...the working man, hungry for some female attention, would go to the cafes and bordellos of Buenos Aires and dance with the prostitutes or waitresses that were serving there.

As a dance, the two partners stay as close to one another as is possible, using a series of hip movements and elaborate kicks to move across the floor. Even today it is seen as a highly erotic and intimate dance and the mood in the air is always electric when it is danced properly.

As the dance become more popular and mainstream, being adopted by the middle and upper classes in Buenos Aires, the dance became known to the wealthy of Europe. It then spent a period abroad, being refined and further publicized. Today the tango is fairly formalized and has become mainstream with singers such as Carlos Gardel, earning world renown.

Today there are very few dance halls left in the capital and, as such, very few places where it is still possible to dance it as it would have been originally. For those that are keen to watch this fantastic piece of drama (practically every dance runs through a range of different emotions and sentiments) then there are many Tango shows that are on offer for tourists. In our view, there is still nothing like going and sitting in a dance hall and watching as the Portenos of the capital practice this fascinating dance, but hotels like the Faena are probably the best places to head to for a little of the authentic feel for how it was originally.

At a glance...Buenos Aires

  • Population: 3 million
  • Location: Eastern Argentina
  • Recommended time: 3 to 5 nights
  • Time to visit: Year round - humid in December and January
  • Go here for: Culture, food & wine, tango. polo
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  • Best hotels for Culture in Buenos Aires:

    The Dazzler - Bedroom

    Dazzler Palermo Hotel

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