With a portrait of Carlos Gardel peering down from the stage and a large sculptural heart soaring above on the opposite wall, this funky, informal "cathedral" is dedicated to local tango. Located in the little-visited neighborhood of Almagro, foreign and local dancers of all standards congregate here for the nightly classes and milonga session. Even if you don't yet dance tango, La Catedral is still an interesting place to hang out, drink, eat vegetarian fare, talk, and watch as well as listen to tango. There is a resident cat that wanders around, though it usually keeps off the dance floor.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: La Catedral is a unique Buenos Aires haunt for tango and socializing.
Sarah's expert tip: If you want to take one of the tango classes, note that they often start an hour or so after the officially stated start time. Plan on being flexible.
Azúcar is one of the few Buenos Aires dance clubs where Latin and Caribbean rhythms prevail. Here you can dance the night away to salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton, and catch one of Azúcar's Caribbean flavored dance shows. The crowd tends to be in their 30s and 40s. During the week, the salsa dancing gets started early and so is a good choice for office workers looking to blow off some midweek steam. You will find salsa dancers of all levels, so it's all in good fun. On the weekends, the hours revert to dance club standards with the place getting going after midnight.
Located beside the water in Puerto Madero, Asia de Cuba is a stylish restaurant and nightclub. Every day of the week diners come to enjoy the slick, Eastern themed ambiance over sushi and sake as well as Argentine inspired dishes. Then at 1 am Wednesday through Saturday the tables are moved aside and the nightclub commences. If you only want to come for the nightclub portion, that's fine, but be prepared to pay the cover charge. The music varies and can include pop, hip hop, Latin and techno, and the crowd is often a mix of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Asia de Cuba is a swanky dance club experience in BA.
Sarah's expert tip: Dress well if you have your heart set on dancing at Asia de Cuba. Also, bring extra cash because you are probably going to need it.
When in Buenos Aires, La Viruta tango club is an obligatory stop for beginning and advanced dancers alike. It is popular amongst locals and visitors of all ages, who come for the early classes and the later milonga sessions that go until 3:30 in the morning. La Viruta is located in the basement of the Armenian Cultural Center in Palermo. Most days there are several tango classes on and a few days a week they offer rock n' roll, bachata and salsa classes as well. Check the website for the days and times. You don't need to bring a partner; the classes usually rotate so (unless you opt to only dance with your date) you will get a chance to dance with several others.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: La Viruta is a well-known place for tango in Buenos Aires.
Sarah's expert tip: Come early for the classes but stay late for the dance sessions. If you need, there are lockers to keep your stuff.
If you like electronica, Crobar is a large Palermo area dance club where you are sure to get it from a changing lineup of international and local DJs. On Fridays, the music on tap is techno and electronica and they actively encourage a younger crowd from 18 to 30, although most people seem to be in their late twenties. On Saturdays, however, the party takes a different turn; Crobar then caters to gay men with a feast of electronica and pop music and good-looking gogo boys. Crobar has a modern, industrial aesthetic and two dance floors where you can show off your moves.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Crobar is a cool dance club in Palermo for electronic music.
Sarah's expert tip: Bring extra cash. Crobar has a heftier cover charge than most other places in the area, although the drink prices are on par with others.
Pacha Buenos Aires is a place that is made for dancing; it serves up plenty of techno, trance and house music starting at 1 am. Particularly on Saturday nights, international DJs come to keep the party going until the wee hours of the morning while pretty people make use of the large dance floor, complete with chandelier above. If you're willing to pay to go VIP for the night, Pacha has a champagne room and an upstairs terrace where you can chill. The Pacha people have other nightclub locations in Ibiza, Madrid, New York, London, Munich and a couple cities in Brazil.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Located beside the river, Pacha is one of Buenos Aires' most well-known megaclubs.
Sarah's expert tip: Pacha's cherry logo is somehow fitting; when things get busier, the nightclub can cherry pick who gets in and who doesn't, so make sure to dress well if you intend to get past the door.
If you like loud and proud, then Amerika will be your favorite dance club in Buenos Aires. This large gay club in Almagro has three levels of dance floors (and strobe lights) and plays a good mix of pop, house, techno and cumbia music. The crowd tends to be local gay twentysomethings, but you will find everything here. For better or for worse, paying the cover charge entitles you to free (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) drinks all night on Fridays and Saturdays. Amerika is open from Thursday to Sunday night. If you go there on your birthday, speak up: entrance is free and they give you champagne and cake.
A casual spot with a trendy, alternative vibe, Niceto Club encourages guests to dance the night away. As a pivotal fixture on the BA nightlife scene, Niceto stages diverse live bands in the "early" spot (before 1am!). From African drumming to electro-folk, the music of the "early" show music is eclectic, but hip and often includes the best of local bands as well as visiting bands from abroad. Around 1am DJ's take over and Niceto's ever-popular club nights begin. Don't miss the legendary Club 69 on Thursdays. If you're looking for a good place to dance in Palermo, then Niceto Club is it.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Niceto Club is a hip mainstay of Buenos Aires' nightclubs.
Sarah's expert tip: Visit Niceto Club's website for up-to-date info on shows, bands and parties.
Located in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Ayres Club is a relatively small but well-known live music and dance venue that attracts both locals and tourists every night of the week. The decor is a simple but attractive mix of red and black elements, and the lights are kept atmospherically dim. The bar serves wine and beer as well as a small selection of empanadas (savory Argentine turnovers). While Buenos Ayres Club isn't as big or as fancy as some other venues in the city, its regular lineup of live music and overall friendly atmosphere has rightfully earned it a dedicated following among locals looking for a place to let their hair down and visitors seeking an authentic Argentine experience for tango and folklore.
Alsina attracts party people and electronica lovers of all ages. Outside, Alsina is an attractive, historical palace from the 19th century located in downtown Buenos Aires, but inside it has been outfitted for the modern age with a great sound and light system. On weekend nights Alsina turns into one of Buenos Aires' best dance clubs and regularly attracts up to 1,500 people to its four floors of dance floors and lounge space, including VIP areas. In addition to Alsina's weekend Club One parties, you'll encounter the popular once a month party called State. You can buy advance tickets online; however, be warned that men will pay more than the ladies do.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Alsina is a must on Buenos Aires' dance club circuit.
Sarah's expert tip: Get there early or buy tickets in advance, particularly when well-known DJs are slated to play, because when Alsina's capacity is reached, you are out of luck.