With the San Francisco Tango Marathon coming up this weekend, there will be an influx of tango dancers to San Francisco…. a perfect time to update the Tips for SF Tango Visitors. If you are coming to dance at SFTM, you will probably want to stay longer than just a few days in this beautiful, exciting city. If you have any questions about Tango in the SF Bay Area that is not listed here and on this website, respond below and we’ll do our best to help you out.
Where are the milongas?
Visit tangomango.org to see a full listing of all Tango events for each day of the week.
Below is a map of some of the most popular milongas and practicas in San Francisco Bay Area.
View SF Bay Area Tango Venues in a larger map
Many milongas are located in the Mission district of San Francisco. The Mission has recently become the latest hot spot for hip new restaurants, bars and cafes. On Valencia Street you’ll find an abundance of great places to eat, drink and shop. Do keep in mind some areas can be unsafe, especially near the Bart stations, so please use common sense and be aware of what’s around you and of your belongings.
Where should I stay?
It’s best to stay somewhere centrally located or near the Bart lines, especially if you don’t plan to rent a car. Most of the larger chain hotels are located near Union Square, a very central location near public transportation, shopping, theaters and dining. Unfortunately, what makes this area popular is also what makes it incredibly busy and noisy. Also, do your best not to walk through the Tenderloin at night. On the map, this equates to the Civic Center.
Airbnb.com is a great alternative to hotels (and the headquarters are here in San Francisco). You can choose from a room in a house or an entire apartment to share with friends. Recommended neighborhoods include: Mission, Noe Valley, Castro, Bernal Heights and SOMA (South of Market). Inner Mission, Marina, Potrero Hill, NoPa, Glen Park are all nice, but are not close to the BART lines.
How do I get around?
If you are staying in the city, you won’t need to rent a car. But if you do have a car, keep in mind parking in the city can often be challenging and expensive. Parking on the street is usually free in the evenings but make sure you read the signs for street cleaning. If you park on a hill, remember to curb your wheels. They do ticket for this.
How to get around without a car:
Go to 511.org or download the 511 SF Bay Transit App if you have a smartphone. This website/App is great for door to door trip planning on Muni and the BART. The ever famous SF Cable Cars, while fun, ARE NOT a viable option for getting to milongas. They ARE an option for site seeing during the day. Another fun option is to take the historic streetcars, the “F” line down Market street.
The BART: Taking the BART is a quick and easy way and quick way to get around the Bay Area. A trip within the city is only $1.75 (one way only).
The Bus/Train (MUNI): These run all over the city ($2.25 includes transfer).
Uber or Lyft
Pretty much everyone in San Francisco uses Uber or Lyft instead of Taxi’s. Once you download the App to your phone, it’s very easy to get a ride at just about any time of the evening. And within the city, the cars come very quickly. No cash is exchanged and tips are included. Super easy!
Where should I eat?
San Francisco is known for its amazing restaurants and just about anywhere you pop into will be good. But if you want to try out some of the latest hot spots, check out Eater SF Heatmap for list and map.
Also check out SF Eater The 38 Essential San Francisco Restaurants. This list of top restaurants and bars covers the entire city, spans myriad cuisines and will collectively satisfy all of your restaurant needs.
What can I do during the day?
Besides shopping, seeing the ocean, hiking, visiting museums, eating delicious food and drinking at dive bars you may want to do some Tango and dance related activities. Here are some suggestions:
Take Private Lessons: Pick a Bay Area Tango Instructors and call them up to schedule a private lesson. Also, check tangomango.org to see if any visiting teachers are in town. (Guillermo Cerneaz will be in SF until the end of November). If you have a favorite Bay Area teacher, make sure to book ahead with them before you arrive to make sure they are available.
Shop for Tango Shoes: Quite a few people sell Tango shoes here in SF. Visit the Tango Shoes page for a list on where to buy shoes in San Francisco.
Get a Massage! Check out Yelp Reviews
Take Yoga or Dance classes: If you want to try out different types of dance or do some Yoga, here are a few options:
ODC Dance School – for drop-in dance classes
Studio 1924 in Oakland – offers a variety of dance classes
YogaSanFran.com – complete list of Yoga in SF
SF Bay Area Nia – Nia is a sensory-based movement practice that leads to health, wellness and fitness. Great for moving and aligning your whole body.
And make sure to save your energy for dancing at night. See you at the SFTM!