What to expect from the nightlife in Havana

Havana is a place that offers a varied and vibrant nightlife scene. You will have no trouble finding somewhere to dance the night away in this thriving city!

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The capital of Cuba is steeped in melody thanks to its history and Caribbean location. The island is home to a multicultural mix of people from all over the world, and this is reflected in every element of the city, including the nightlife options. 

With that being said, read on to discover everything you need to know about the nightlife in Havana, including an insight into the overall vibe and a look at some of the best venues.

A place with a rich music scene

Havana is a city that has always had a rich music scene. Salsa is the most popular form of entertainment in Cuba, with various arts, musical rhythms, and genres. 

The cultural blend in Havana is special, as the nightlife in the city merges effortlessly with Cuban culture.

With so many music venues and genres to enjoy, you won’t find it challenging to locate a venue that is perfect for you. This is especially the case as the government in Cuba is enthusiastically dedicated to the arts. 

The standards are very high, and many Cuban artists have achieved global fame. Some of the most famous of all time include Rita Marley, Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and of course, Gloria Estefan.

When does the party start? What should you wear?

Things start to liven up at around 10 pm in Havana, with most bars and clubs closing between 2 and 3 am, so you will have more than enough time to dance the night away. 

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Cubans very much enjoy dressing up for the occasion. Some clubs will have dress codes in place, so check this out before going. Generally, flip-flops, vests, and beach shorts are not permitted. 

Enjoy a music concert or dance performance at Teatro Nacional de Cuba

A night at the theater is a great way to spend your evening in Cuba. We recommend Teatro Nacional de Cuba, one of the biggest in Havana.

Situated on the edge of the expansive Plaza de la Revolucion, this theater has several clubs and rooms on-site. You can expect a wide range of concerts and shows, which are played to large, energetic crowds. 

Many dance companies also play here, including Danza Voluminosa, where dancers weigh around 200 pounds or more, and Ecos, a flamenco dance company. 

The best spots for live music in Havana

There are a number of fantastic music venues in Havana, including La Zorra y el Cuervo. This music venue delivers an authentic live jazz experience. 

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The venue is exciting and heaps of fun too. When you arrive, you will walk through a red phone box before heading to the basement, where you will enjoy live music. 

As it is a popular destination, we recommend you get here early to avoid disappointment.

Another exciting place to consider is Casa de la Musica de Miramar. You will find that some of the best reggaeton and salsa bands perform here. After all, who can go to Cuba without experiencing a night of salsa dancing?

Don’t forget about Cafe Teatro Bertol Brecht, which is especially popular with the younger crowd in Cuba. You will be able to hear some of the country’s modern music stars perform at an affordable price. Favorites include the likes of Descemer Bueno, David Blanco, and William Vivanco. 

Where are the best clubs in Havana?

There are plenty of great clubs in Havana. Some that come highly recommended are as follows:

Tropicana

If there is one thing Cubans love, it is a great spectacle. Tropicana does not disappoint. This is one of the pre-1959 cabarets that is still operating today. 

Many tourists head to Tropicana every year to enjoy pure, unadulterated entertainment. Expect a scantily-clad, dance-packed, and sultry extravaganza. 

We must note that the cheapest tables can often have an obstructed view, so do keep this in mind when booking your tickets.

Salon Rosado de La Tropical

This outdoor salsa venue hosts crowded, big music performances where people come to dance to the hottest salsa, reggaeton, and timba ensembles. 

Regular headliners include El Micha, Paulo FG, and Elito Reve. The venue is also the HQ of ProElectronica, the yearly electronic music festival held in Cuba. 

Fabrica de Arte Cubano

This club is the brainchild of X Alfonso, a famous musician from Cuba. He turned a former cooking oil factory into a late-night venue and flourishing art hub. 

On Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, you can expect DJs to be spinning records until 3 am! 

One of the great things about this venue is that you are not limited or restricted. You can branch out into other areas, such as the live performance space, cinema, and art galleries. 

Where are the best bars in Havana?

You will be spoilt for choice when heading to a bar in Havana. Some of the best ones to consider include:

Ambos Mundos Rooftop Bar

If you want to enjoy some great music and food while taking in the sights of Havana, this rooftop bar, which is situated at Hotel Ambos Mundos, is a must-visit. 

The bar gives you the chance to enjoy spectacular views of the city. You can enjoy a delicious cocktail in a fabulous 1920 setting. 

The hotel is steeped in history, as this is where Ernest Hemingway lived during the 1930s. 

Cafe Bar Madrigal

This hip bar gives you a real glimpse into the new economy of Havana. There are cozy couches with expressive, large pieces of pop art on the walls. 

You can choose drinks from a full bar and order food via the tapas menu. 

Many of you will be pleased to know that this environment is very gay-friendly. You can read our guide to Cuba for LGBT+ travelers for more information.

Bar Monserrate

Finally, we have Bar Monserrate, with whom people have a love/hate relationship. 

However, with traditional music playing late into the night and the barman mixing incredible mojitos, you can’t go too wrong! 

Enjoy the vibrant and diverse nightlife in Havana

You will never be far away from a party while in Havana. This is a city that has exciting and diverse nightlife. So, no matter your scene, you are bound to find a bar or music venue that keeps you entertained! 

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