Travel to Cartagena Columbia

Incredible Cartagena Colombia Nightlife – Top Can’t-Miss Places To Party! (2023)

Colonial city Cartagena is a traveler’s paradise, sitting on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, a port city with colorful colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. But don’t skip planning how to navigate the Cartagena Colombia nightlife!

With its incredibly lively nightlife scene, Cartagena attracts party animals from all over the world.

Having so many bars, clubs, and rooftop spots to choose from, planning a night out in Cartagena can seem like finding the good needle in the haystack!

But fear not – in this article, I spent a few weeks there and will guide you through the highest buzzing places of the city’s legendary nightlife, from cocktail-siping at the coolest bars to dancing the night away at the hottest clubs.

At least one of them will be exactly what you are looking for!

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Where Is Cartagena In Colombia?

Sunset before the nightlife starts in Cartagena Colombia, fishermen outside the old city wall.

Cartagena is a buzzing city located on the northern end of Cartagena Bay, in the northern region of Colombia. It is the capital of Bolívar Departamento and has an incredibly long and rich history and cultural legacy.

  • The population is around one million people in the metro area
  • The language in Cartagena is Spanish
  • The currency is the Colombian Peso

One of the city’s most famous features is its walled-in old city, which even has a 17th-century fortress called San Felipe de Barajas that sits on a peninsula and the nearby island of Getsemaní.

Cartagena’s unique blend of colonial and modern-day architecture makes it a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world. Its rich history, lively culture, incredible food, and stunning beaches are simply unprecedented!

The city has undergone rapid expansion and is now spreading over the small islands of Manga, Isla Diablo (!), and Manzanillo, located just off the coast.

Despite its growth, Cartagena still maintains lots of charm and allure, keeping its status as one of the most beloved and beautiful cities in Colombia – including at night!

Cartagena Colombia Nightlife!

Not just being incredibly charming in the daytime with its streets, plazas, cafes, and shopping, Cartagena changes its clothes and comes to life when the sun sets!

The bar, put, club, and music scene in Cartagena is incredible, with a plethora of amazing places to eat, and have a cocktail or two on one of the spectacular rooftop bars above the city.

Experience Cartagena’s Old City Nightlife

The nightlife in Cartagena Colombia has started, and you find a lot of amazing bars and clubs both inside and outside the old city walls!

If you’re looking to experience the best of Cartagena’s nightlife, the first place to explore is the historic Old City!

Just strolling con calma, slowly, through the charming streets to discover the magic of Cartagena’s Old City nightlife is a must.

This tiny area is dotted with colorful houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and hidden plazas that come alive at night with music and dancing. From laidback bars to sophisticated lounges, you’ll find a range of options to choose from.

Donde Fidel is the oldest salsa bar in Cartagena. Right on Plaza del Reloj, Donde Fidel is a bustling environment with many people.

The dancing space is not huge, and the music is quite loud, but there is space to salsa! And the outside space is calmer, a great spot to people-watch and relax!

Located in the heart of the historic walled city, Mister Babilla is known for its energetic nightlife scene, attracting both locals and visitors alike.

Surrounded by charming colonial architecture, coupled with its array of music genres and talented DJs make it a go-to spot for those seeking a fun night out.

Sip Cocktails at the Best Bars in Cartagena!

One of the best ways to enjoy the nightlife in Cartagena is by sipping cocktails at the city’s best bars. From classic mojitos to unique local concoctions, the bars in Cartagena offer a wide variety of drinks to suit every taste.

Whether you’re in the mood for a laidback evening or a more upscale experience, the Old City is home to some of the most popular and iconic bars in Cartagena, many of which boast stunning views of the sea!

For a relaxed vibe, head to the charming La Vitrola, a classic jazz bar that will take you back to the vibe of the 1940s. Or, for a more modern atmosphere, check out Alquimico, a trendy rooftop bar with a speakeasy feel.

Engulfed in a retro-vintage style venue, although mostly known to be a club and disco La Movida Gastro Bar in the old city of Cartagena is also a multi-experience place to spend a night! Go for tapas, followed by their signature gin and tonic before the dance floor comes alive (PS: there is a dress code here)!

No matter where you choose to go, be sure to try some of the local favorites like the coco loco or limonada de coco.

As you sip on your cocktails, take in the lively energy of the Old City and prepare for a night of dancing at Cartagena’s hottest clubs.

Dance the Night Away at Cartagena’s Hottest Clubs

If dancing is what you’re after, Cartagena won’t disappoint. The city boasts an incredible nightlife scene, and the clubs here are some of the best in South America. From reggaeton to salsa, there’s a club for every taste in Cartagena.

One of the most popular clubs in the city is Bazurto Social Club. This vibrant club has a bohemian vibe and plays a mix of Latin and Caribbean beats. The dance floor is always packed, and the energy here is infectious!

For a more upscale experience, Mister Babilla is good for that too.

This club has a chic, sophisticated atmosphere and attracts a trendy crowd. The night music here is a mix of Latin and international hits, and the cocktails are top-notch.

Here are 7 other fiery and popular clubs you might want to try in Cartagena!

  • D8 Club (LGBT friendly)
  • La Santa
  • Misty K Club
  • La Farra Club
  • Borracha VIP
  • Taboo Disco Club
  • Cafe Havana

No matter where you choose to go, be sure to dress up – the locals here take their nightlife seriously.

And while you’re out, don’t forget to indulge in some of the delicious street food snacks that are sold outside the clubs – the perfect way to satisfy your hunger after a night of dancing!

Before you start planning your night out, be sure to check out Cartagena’s best rooftop bars. These bars offer incredible views of the city and make for the perfect pre-club drinks spot!

Take In The Views At Cartagena’s Best Rooftop Bars!

Rooftop views in Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena is famous for its stunning colonial architecture, and there’s no better way to take in the city’s beauty than from above. That’s where rooftop bars with panoramic views of the cityscape come in!

One of the most popular rooftop bars in Cartagena is Alquimico, which is also a great cocktail bar as mentioned above.

This hip spot is located in the heart of the old city and boasts an extensive cocktail menu. Take in the views while sipping on one of their super tasty signature drinks.

Another great option is Café del Mar, which is located directly on the historic city walls.

The bar is known for its incredible sunset views and chill vibe. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a drink with friends before heading out for the night.

Cartagena Diversity!

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, head to the Movich Hotel’s rooftop bar. The view of the city from here is unbeatable, and the ambiance is perfect for a romantic evening out!

El Baron Rooftop Bar is another stunning venue situated on the roof of a historic building, affording visitors breathtaking views of the city and the Caribbean Sea.

Beyond the views, El Baron has an exceptional selection of cocktails. To complement the drinks, the bar also offers a menu of small plates and appetizers, perfect for sharing with friends!

La Jugada Club House is a high-end establishment, a multi-story building with stunning views from the rooftop where you can dress up for a spectacular sunset drink!

Just by the entrance to the walled old city, the Gastro Pub Mirador is a great place for dinner, drinks, and nightcaps, and from this elevated spot, you can even people-watch on the plaza below!

Whatever day of the week you want to hit the nightlife, Eivissa Rooftop Lounge is open 7 days a week until 4 am – and is a great place to get lost in the rhythms! The crowd is on the younger side, travelers from all over the world come here, and the DJs are fierce!

Once you’ve taken in the views and recharged with a few drinks, it really is time to hit the clubs listed above!

But before you do hit the techno, make sure to stroll slowly through the Cartagena night streets, for some live music and performances. This city has such a vibrant music scene, and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to experience it firsthand!

Enjoy Live Music And Performances In Cartagena

Street dance party in the Cartagena Colombia nightlife.
Street dance party in Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena is a city that is teeming with vibrant music and performances. If you’re looking for a unique night out, catching some live entertainment is definitely worth considering.

Thankfully, you won’t have to go too far to find great music in Cartagena even outdoors!

The city’s streets are alive with the sounds of buskers and performers, so don’t be afraid to take a stroll and see what you stumble upon.

Music Festivals In Cartagena

Nightlife on the Central Square in Cartagena Colombia
Nightlife in Central Square Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena also boasts a variety of music festivals throughout the year. Consider planning your trip around one of these events if you’re a music lover.

Here are three fun ones to consider:

  • Cartagena International Music Festival
  • Hay Festival
  • Cartagena Jazz Festival

With so many great choices for live music and performances, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the incredible music scene in Cartagena.

So, make sure you include live entertainment in your itinerary when planning your next night out in this amazing city!

Best Places To Stay Near The Buzzing Nightlife

If you want to stay close to the vibing Cartagena nightlife, there are a lot of options in all price ranges for you!

Below is a list of the top-rated places inside the walled city of Cartagena, organized in luxury, budget, and cheap options!

Luxury top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

Budget top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

Cheap top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

Top Things To Do During The Daytime In Cartagena

You know the saying; “Heroes at nighttime, & heroes at daytime!” (loosely translated from Norwegian). Well, don’t miss out on daytime activities in Cartagena even though you are the party animal of this century!

There are so many things to see and do in Cartagena, inside the walled city, outside the walled city, and within day trip distance from Cartagena as well!

Clearly, you need to set aside time to just explore the old city, take in the ambiance, have coffee, watch the street spectacles, and really notice the details of this incredible historic city.

See how many flowers there are everywhere?

Make sure you have the energy to climb the historic San Felipe Castle, walk around Getsemani and admire the street art and historic details, and buy fruit from one of the palenqueras, female vendors dressed in colorful traditional clothing!

Also, hit one of the stunning beaches outside the city, take a dance class, or even a few classes in Spanish!

I actually found a drop-in Spanish school in Cartagena where I was able to get private classes (this was when I was on my quest to learn Spanish – WHICH I now speak fluently!).

Also make sure you learn about the indigenous people in Colombia and this region of the country, which is such an important part of history.

6 top-rated 5-star tours in Cartagena!

  1. Party Without Limits! VIP Cartagena Party!
  2. Unforgettable Cartagena Half-Day City Tour!
  3. Sunset Tour La Romantica For Couples!
  4. Cartagena Photo Experience
  5. The Howling Trail Hike! Tropical Forest Adventure!
  6. Stunning Rosario Islands With A Sports Boat!

FAQs Colombia

Should I Use USD Or Peso In Colombia?

US dollars are generally not accepted in Colombia, so you will be using pesos, or your credit card while traveling in Colombia.

Is Cartagena Safe For Tourists?

Colombia in general is considered a high-risk destination, and the US Department of State actually has listed the country under “do not travel” advice. Then again, they also warn travelers going to Cuba, which is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean.

So, if you are wondering if Cartagena is safe to visit, it is generally considered a relatively safe destination nevertheless.

Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe when visiting Cartagena.

  • Choose Uber, not a standard taxi, when you need transport.
  • Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home
  • Make sure all your pockets and bags are thoroughly closed
  • Speak to the locals for advice in the area you are staying or planning to visit for do’s and don’ts.
  • Always watch your drink, and don’t accept free samples of food and drink

The safest neighborhoods in Cartagena are considered to be:

  • Getsemani
  • The Old Walled City
  • Santo Domingo
  • San Diego
  • El Laguito
  • Islas del Rosario
  • Bocagrande (The Large Mouth!)

Wrap-Up Cartagena Colombia Nightlife

Cartagena de Indias in Colombia is a city that never sleeps, with a nightlife that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. From the charming Old City to the stunning rooftop bars, there is something for every partygoer in this vibrant destination.

This guide has covered the best bars, clubs, and rooftop spots to help you plan your perfect night out.

So, put on your dancing shoes, grab a cocktail, and get ready to experience the ultimate party in Cartagena.

As they say, “In Cartagena, the nights are long, and the dance floors are waiting”!

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Best Hotel Bookings: Booking, Expedia

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