The Nightlife in Cuba offers many options. Cuban nightlife has a vibrancy that can’t be readily compared to other countries. The decision of where to go when the sun goes down can be a little overwhelming, since there are so many choices. So where exactly can you find some of the best nightlife in Cuba?
1. Casa de la Música, Centro Habana
La Casa de la Música is perhaps the most popular venue in Havana. Arrive early if you don’t want to spend a large chunk of your evening waiting in a line. It’s open every night (except for Mondays), from 5pm. This hour maybe a little early, since the live bands don’t generally arrive on the stage until 1am. But you can beat the crowds by getting there at around 9pm. There’s live music followed by a DJ, and a lot of dancing. It’s a true Havana institution.
LOCATION: Av de Italia between Concordia & Neptuno, Centro Habana.
2. Casa de la Música, Mirimar
The other Casa de la Música is located in the ritzy Miramar area is less frenzied than its cousin. It attracts younger perhaps ‘cooler’ crowd. This is perhaps a better choice for an all-inclusive evening when it comes to nightlife in Cuba. The club has a few different spaces, bars, several dance floors and a number of performance areas. So basically, if you don’t like the show, you can move to another section of the club.
LOCATION: Calle 22 entre 33 y 35, Miramar, Havana.
3. Café Cantante Mi Habana: Salsa!
It can be strangely alluring to hear the words “disco” and “salsa” used to describe a place, but that’s exactly what you’ll get at Café Cantante Mi Habana. There’s a decidedly mixed crowd, all having a good time – you’ll see young couples dancing alongside people old enough to be their grandparents. Like many other venues in Cuba, the evening kicks off with a live band, followed by a DJ. This is the best place to try out your salsa dancing.
LOCATION: Avenida Paseo, Havana, next to the Teatro Nacional de Cuba (National Theatre).
4. Fábrica de Arte: Havana
Located west of Havana Vieja in the Mirimar district The Fábrica de Arte is both a club and an art gallery club in one. Housed inside a repurposed former cooking oil factory. It’s the place to be in Havana if you want a fun packed evening out. Open 8pm – 2am Wednesday to Sunday and ntry is USD$2!
LOCATION: 4HGR+X2X, Calle 26, La Habana, Cuba
5. El Malecón: Who Needs a Club or Bar?
If you want to spend a quiet evening sipping beer but don’t actually want to set foot in a bar, then you don’t need to worry. Public drinking is legal in Cuba, although being drunk in public can be a problem if you’re disruptive. Why not grab a few beers and head down to El Malecón. This boardwalk located along the perimeter of Old Havana is Havana’s unofficial hang out spot. El Malecon is a great place to enjoy a sea breeze, a cold beer and to just sit and watch the world go by.
LOCATION: Avenida de Maceo (the official name for El Malecón), Havana.
SANTIAGO DE CUBA
6. Pico Real: View from the Top
Perhaps the first place you should visit in Santiago de Cuba is the Hotel Meliá. Head to the top floor and have a fantastic evening at Pico Real – a club that offers great drinks and a Cuban themed disco, all with sweeping views of the city below. It’s not the cheapest option for nightlife in Cuba, but the views are worth it.
LOCATION: Hotel Meliá, Ave. de las Américas esq. M, Santiago de Cuba.
7. A Traditional Cuban Evening
Also in Santiago de Cuba you’ll find Casa de Las Tradiciones – a live music venue offering a traditional Cuban night out. This place is slightly grungy, and offers less polished surroundings than venues that are more geared towards visitors. Much of the musical performances are improvised, meaning that the astonishingly good music on display is basically an extended jam session.
LOCATION: General J Rabí No 154, Santiago de Cuba.
8. El Cambio: We Never Close
Camagüey is Cuba’s third largest city, and your night out here should start at El Cambio. It’s what you might call a “dive bar,” but that’s all part of its considerable charm. And of course, it’s great to enjoy those sensational Cuban cocktails at dive bar prices. This amazing place has been open since 1909, and it doesn’t matter what time you want to go, since it’s open 24 hours.
LOCATION: Plaza de Agramonte, Calle Martín 152, Camagüey.
7. Nocturno: A Cabaret in Holguín
When in Holguín you’ll actually find the best party to be on the outskirts of town. It’s a little difficult to get to, but your taxi driver will know where to go. Cabaret Nocturno provides a show during dinner before later turning into a nightclub. You don’t necessarily have to come for dinner, but it makes for an easier evening if you don’t want to have to hop from one place to another. This is great, since nightlife in Cuba can be rather exhausting sometimes! It can be a good idea to brush up on your Spanish as you might well be the only foreigner in the place!
LOCATION: Carretera a Las Tunas, Holguín.