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Havana’s nightlife: a guide to find the best attractions

The last shines of the sun vanish and Havana flourishes. Every municipality explodes in options to have an exciting night. Whether you are up for some drinks or a salsa concert you’ll find it in Havana! Check Espíritu Travel’s ultimate guide into Havana’s nightlife.

Havana at night: what not to miss

All right! You’ve explored the historic center and now it’s time for some nocturnal activities. But, where to start? How to find what really interests you? 

A Malecon expedition

Malecon Havana

Sometimes we just need a place to relax at night. Well, the Malecón is a cultural venue you’ll like to visit. The huge wall not only protects Havana from the sea waves, but provides a seat for lovers and friends and a kaleidoscopic vision of typical city characters and even professions. It’s Havana’s nightlife! Is there anything more gratifying that listening a live Cuban bolero with a background of waves and sea birds? You can have it there and it’s free! 

At the Buena Vista Social Club

Who’s up for an incredible dancing night with some of the best Cuban musicians? You? Then, we invite you to the Buena Vista Social Club, a place where you feel the traditional music hiking your legs, moving your hips and making you fall in love with Cuba.

Night music havana

The Buena Vista Social Club used to be a club where the crème of the country’s cultural life played and danced during the 30’s and the 40’s. Inspired in those memories, it was born a project many years ago where artist such as Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo and Eliades Ochoa, who already had their own groups, worked together to produce a recording. It was very successful internationally and inspired a documentary which was nominated to the Óscar Awards.  

Today, the Buena Vista Social Club presents a fantastic show characterized by the good energy and the talent. 

Welcome to Havana’s Bars: Hello Mojitos

Having a drinking night is not a habit among Cubans. People prefer to drink and dance, rather than just go out for some shots, first because music is in their veins and second because drinks used to be expensive for the average Cuba.  Of course, life changes and many private bars have opened their doors to bring a more affordable proposal. Their decoration and good vibes plus in addition to the best Cuban cocktails such as mojitos, pina coladas, daiquiris, cubalibres and cancháncharas attract all types of public, so you will also have the opportunity to interact with locals.

For a small, more intimate scene we recommend the bars of  Old Havana. Capriciously decorated with a tendency of vintage styles you will find Lamparilla 361 (don’t miss their tapas!) and The Chamuskiao (cozy but charming) in Lamparilla and Teniente Rey Streets respectively. However, the trendiest bars are in the Vedado: check the fancy Sarao’s Bar with its Miami style and its cool atmosphere and music, prices are a bit above average but it totally worth it; for those looking for a more Cuban ambiance we propose the KingBar at 23rd Street, centric, bucolic and authentic, it will open your eyes to the joy of Havana’s nightlife.

Dancing night!

A dancing adventure in Cuba really depends of what you are looking for. There is a place for every music and you’ll be surprised to find top music bands in the most unexpected places. Just two things will be common in each venue: the great dancing and the contagious happiness of people.

  • Dancing Salsa

Those attracted by the Cuban salsa should look for the Casa de la Música and the Jardines 1830. The Music House or La Casa de la Música is located in Miramar, a little bit far away, however it’s one of the most popular venues of local music. With a Matinee from 4:00 – 7:00 PM and live music shows from 10:30 PM – 2:00 AM, the Casa host an amazing selection of son, timba and salsa’s bands. On Thursday and Sunday evenings, you can choose a closer spot. The Jardines 1830 is situated near to the Malecon and 5th Avenue Tunnel. Immediate to the sea, located in an ancient observation tower, it’s the perfect place to practice those salsa steps.

  • In Jazz mood

If you are a jazz’s lover, you’ll adore La Zorra y El Cuervo Club in Vedado. Intimate and magic, it attracts some of the most recognized musicians of Cuba, America and Europe. It’s also one of the usual venues for the International Jazz Plaza Festival where globally prestigious musicians encounter in Havana and Santiago de Cuba to honor virtuosity, talent and improvisation.

La Zorra Cuervo

  • An electronic adventure

I know it’s hard to imagine an electronic nigh in Havana, but you can have it and it will be amazing. Try the Magic Flute in Saturdays, a trendy private bar located in the terrace of a building in Calzada 101: the lights, the cocktails, the live music and a unique view of the city…a mixture of pleasures just for you.

By the way, the Magic Flute offers live music of different types every day. Let us know if you would like to visit it and we can check their offer for you. Seems like a cool choice for a Long Weekend in Havana.

  • Romantic Music

The piano lounge Delirio Habanero is found at the fourth floor of the National. The wonderful view of the city and the iconic Revolution Square, together with its cabaret nights, turn it into a great place for a lovely, memorable evening.

The Fábrica de Arte Cubano

The Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) was selected as one of the 100 best places by  The Times in 2019. It used to be an old factory and the imagination of the Cuban artist X Alfonso converted it into a venue where DJs, bands of rock and salsa, groups of rap, fusion and trova, fine arts performers and cinema and theatre creators can express themselves. Visual arts, fashion, dance, excellent music all at the same time in different halls giving a sense of freedom and spirituality difficult to find elsewhere. From Thursday to Sunday, 8:00 PM to 3:00AM, you can find at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano your little piece of sky. The place is so incredible that it’s included in the itinerary of Espíritu Travel’s Havana Imagined Photography Workshop

Curiously drinks are noted in a card modeled after the Cuban libreta de abastecimientos and before leaving the place you need to give it back and pay the consumption. Don’t lose the libreta or you’ll be charged with 30 CUC.

Last advice…

To complement your experience, it’s a good idea to look for the monthly activities you could have during your trip to Cuba, attending a festival is a great opportunity to learn about the island’s identity and creativity. 

Check Espíritu Travel’s Blog to know everything about Havana’s Festivals. 

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