El Querandi tango show tells the history of Argentina’s favourite dance in a scintillating one-hour performance. If you’re looking for your first experience of a tango show in Buenos Aires, this is a fantastic introduction to the tradition, set in a historic mansion in the oldest part of the city. After seeing the spectacle ourselves, here is our El Querandi tango show review.

We attended El Querandi tango show personally, we paid for it ourselves and we have not been paid for this review. This page contains affiliate links, which means we may make a small commission from bookings at no extra cost to you. We always given honest, genuine travel recommendations.

This tour is for you if…

💃 You want to see a classic tango show in Buenos Aires
🇦🇷 You want to learn about the history of tango through a performance
🍽️ You want a traditional Argentine dinner with your tango show
🤩 Perfect for your first experience of tango!

Book your tickets for El Querandi tango show

What makes El Querandi tango show special?

With so many tango shows in Buenos Aires, it’s so difficult to choose which to see. Especially if it might be your only chance to see one during your trip.

Tango is a diverse dancing tradition that has undergone many evolutions over the decades, and each show has a different style with a different theme or story. El Querandi tango show is the only one that aims to combine the entire story of tango, by telling 150 years of its history in a single one-hour performance.

The setting for the show provides the perfect historic atmosphere. It is staged in a century-old mansion located between San Telmo, the oldest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, and Plaza de Mayo.

We have stayed in San Telmo frequently on our visits to Buenos Aires, and so the location was convenient for us. But even if you need to go out of your way, if you are staying in Recoleta, Palermo, or somewhere further afield, this is a show that is worth travelling across the city for.

El Querandi tango show is definitely one of the best things to do in Buenos Aires if you want to experience the local culture and learn about one of the city’s most celebrated traditions.

El Querandi tango show dancers
El Querandi tango show takes you through 150 years of tango history

Ticket options for El Querandi tango show

Most tango shows in Buenos Aires can only be booked online. Similarly, you need to book El Querandi tango show in advance. We managed to do this through the hostel we were staying in, Viajero Hostel in San Telmo (which we highly recommend for backpackers!).

If you can’t book through your accommodation, it’s best to book online well in advance to make sure you get a seat at the show. To be honest, we’d recommend doing this anyway.

The easiest and most flexible option is to book your tickets in advance on GetYourGuide. We often use this platform to book our travel experiences. One great benefit if that you can cancel up to 24 hours before the show if you need to change plans for whatever reason.

You will notice when booking that there are three options. The basic option is for the Executive Show, which comes with unlimited wine (or other drinks if you prefer).

We chose the Dinner and Show option for the full experience including a traditional three-course meal. You need to arrive a bit earlier for this, and we go into more detail about the timings below (and the food!).

You also have the option for a VIP Dinner and Show, which gives you seats right next to the stage. In all honesty, we don’t think it’s worth paying the extra for this. El Querandi is set in an intimate venue, and as you can see from our photos, we had a great view of the stage from our regular seats.

El Querandi tango show stage
We had a great view of the stage from our table without VIP tickets

El Querandi tango show timings

The entire experience of El Querandi tango show in Buenos Aires lasts about three hours, perhaps a little longer depending on how it flows on the night.

If you’ve booked the dinner option, seating begins at 8pm. Although food isn’t served until a little after this – and you can turn up fashionably late without missing anything – we recommend arriving on time so you can get good seats.

Sure, the seats at the back of this cosy old venue still have a good view of the stage. But the closer, the better!

Dinner is served at a leisurely pace over a couple of hours, with wine flowing. The show gets going shortly after 10pm, and lasts for around an hour.

We really liked the pacing of the evening. It didn’t feel like it dragged on too long, and the timing was just right to absorb the atmosphere of the venue before the performers took to the stage. And the finish time of around 11–11:30pm is perfect for having some post-drinks in the historic San Telmo neighbourhood afterwards.

Alex and Lisa at the show
We arrived early to get a table closer to the stage

Our first impressions of the venue

The El Querandi building first opened its doors as a café in 1920. This was a time of great cultural flourishing in Argentina, and the building was at the epicentre of this movement, set in the Monserrat neighbourhood, which adjoins San Telmo.

With a capacity of less than 200 people, this is an intimate venue for a tango show. You won’t be watching from the rafters like you might be at another classic show like Tango Porteño.

You immediately get a sense of the weight of history when you enter the cosy hall, with its high ceilings and long mahogany bar that flanks the main seating area. As we arrived early, we had our choice of the tables, with a couple of dozen of them laid out neatly with white tablecloths and folded napkins.

The three-course dinner at El Querandi

If you go for the dinner option with your tango show ticket then you’re treated to a three-course menu with unlimited wine. There’s a varied menu to choose from, mostly comprising traditional Argentine dishes.

For starters, I chose the antipasti plate of cheeses, meats, olives and pickles, while Lisa tried humita, a corn-based dish from northern Argentina that we hadn’t heard of before. It’s like a little salad with onion, tomato, herbs and spices – very tasty and well worth trying.

We would usually order steak for mains, but we’d had so much during that week in Buenos Aires that we both decided to give the bife de chorizo a miss! I opted for the hearty Patagonian lamb casserole, which really hit the spot. Lisa went for fish with roasted lemons, which came smothered with herbs and made for a lovely, lighter change to what we’d typically have.

Argentine fish with roasted lemons
Lisa had Argentine fish with roasted lemons for her main
Patagonian lamb and mushroom casserole
I had the soul-warming Patagonian lamb and mushroom casserole

For dessert, we both decided to try the vigilante, as this is another traditional dish that we hadn’t encountered previously. It combines quince, sweet potato and cream cheese, which doesn’t sound like it should work, but somehow it did! This sweet treat rounded off our meal nicely.

Vigilante Argentine dessert
We tried the vigilante traditional dessert, with quince, sweet potato and cream cheese

The show: 150 years of tango

El Querandi tango show takes you on a journey through the evolution of this dancing tradition from the late 19th century through to the present day. It’s a fabulous spectacle, and the intimacy of the venue almost makes you feel like part of the performance.

The show we saw had just six dancers – three couples – backed by an incredibly talented band comprising an accordion, cello, violin and piano. One of the dancers belted out a song at one point, and she silenced the room with her stunning vocal performance.

Tango singer at El Querandi
This stunning vocal performance was a highlight of the show!

The story was separated into four acts: “Immigrants and slums”, which explored the beginnings of tango; “Carlos Gardel”, recognising a legend who developed the tango song from 1917 to 1935; “Halls and milongas”, depicting the golden age of tango from the 1930s to the 50s; and finally “Modernism”, charting the evolution of tango from the 50s to modern times.

Between each act the dancers deftly disappeared and reappeared with a change of costume, taking on different roles. The only constant was that the dancing was relentlessly magnificent! We came away thoroughly impressed, and pleased with our choice of tango show.

A photo souvenir from the show

While we had been eating, a photographer did the rounds and captured a nice photo of us enjoying the occasion. This wasn’t an intrusive thing; he asked us politely.

Then, at the end of the night, we had the option to buy the photo as a memento of the evening, in a little booklet with some shots of performances at El Querandi. Yes, this is a little bit gimmicky, and we don’t usually buy these things, but we decided to on this occasion as we’d had such a good night.

El Querandi tango show review: summary

If you are not sure which Buenos Aires tango show to attend, El Querandi is the perfect first experience as it gives you an introduction to many different styles, and insights into the history. If you are spending one week in Buenos Aires and only have time for one tango show, this is a great choice!

The food is a little bit more expensive than you might pay at a nearby restaurant, but it’s worth it to make sure you get a good table and to soak up the atmosphere of a full evening at the tango.

Have you seen any tango shows in Buenos Aires? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Looking for more activity ideas on your trip? Check out our reviews of the Fogón Asado experience and a Tigre Delta day trip. You can also see our 3 days in Buenos Aires itinerary to plan a short trip.

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We review El Querandi tango show in Buenos Aires, which tells the history of Argentina's dance tradition in a scintillating hour-long performance. #tangoshow #buenosairestango #elquerandi

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