Tango in Medellin
Whilst Salsa is loved by Colombians, there is also a strong history of tango in Medellin.
To get an understand of the influence of tango you might want to first visit the Casa Museo Gardeliana (Tango Museum) located in Medellin’s Manrique district. This small, colorful house is dedicated to tango and one of the most famous tango superstars – the Argentinean singer, Carlos Gardel, who unfortunately met his demise in a plane crash at Medellin’s domestic airport. If you’re interested in learning about how his life sparked tango’s popularity in Medellin, this quaint, suburban museum can be reached by taking a metro to Universidad and then taking a taxi for about $5,000 COP ($2 USD). The address is Carrera 45 #76-50, Manrique.
An international tango festival (and tango world championships) are held in Medellin, during the month of June. Most popular public squares will have some kind of Tango music and festivities occurring during this time and shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re a fan.
Map: Tango Bars in Medellin
One of the oldest and most traditional places to enjoy tango culture in Medellin is Salon Malaga. Entering this historic cafe/bar is like stepping back in time. There are all sorts of memorabilia on the walls which convey the rich tango history of Medellin.
At Salon Malaga they have regular events, like an old time dance with music played on 78" vinyl records and on Sunday they have a live band and professional dancers (check in advance). There is a minimum spend, usually a half bottle of spirit between two, and you must reserve a table as the place fills out. Don’t worry about dinner, local vendors sell freshly made Argentinian empanadas and other goodies from table to table.
Otherwise you can simply pass by during the day and enjoy a cheap beer or coffee and soak in the atmosphere.