Although Havana offers a lot of things to do while the sun is up, there is no by-passing the sizzle of Havana nightlife and the Cuban culture.
This is why you need the ultimate Havana nightlife guide to navigate!
The dark hours of Havana have almost more sass & buzz on the dance floor than the bright sunny days, with live performances and live band bars, so make sure you don`t miss out on having a good time!
In this city, you find everything.
From restaurant-and-bar bars, small intimate bars, nightclubs, outdoor seating bars, jazz clubs, and music venues with traditional Cuban music.
Fancy high-end elegant bars with a dress code, salsa bars, underground bars, and rooftop bars make sure you know the best places in Havana!
You will find listicles over places to salir y bailar under each city district headline in this article!
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Havana Nightlife Guide By District
Must Do: Go Dancing In Havana!
Don’t forget Havana in the daytime!
Here are 5 of the top-rated tours of Havana you probably will enjoy!
- Iconic Havana Photo Tour
- Cuban Dance Class in Havana
- Classic Sidecar Motorcycle Tour of Havana
- Private Classic Car Beach Day Trip
- The Famous Havana Private Classic Car Tour
Havana Nightlife Guide The Old City
Normally, Mondays and Tuesdays are “resting days” for the Havana night scene (but a variety of places are still open), while Wednesdays through Sundays are party nights.
Old Havana, or La Habana Vieja, is the district of Havana where you go strolling, even when it comes to nightlife.
It really is not the place for the clubbing scene, although there are a few places to go out dancing, like Bar Salsa Habana.
Walking around in the evenings, you will see little watering holes, bars everywhere, and plenty of bars/restaurants.
- Bar Salsa Havana
- El Floridita
- Bodeguita del Medio
- El del Frente
- Orhshas de Prado
- Santo Angel
- Café Taberna
- El Patio Bar Restaurant
- Café Paris
- Bosque Bologna
- Mojito Mojito
- Los Dos Hermanos
- Bar La Dichosa
- El Chanchullero
- Bar Monserrate
- El Polvorin
- O`Reilly 304
- Sloppy Joes bar
This FREE tour of the Havana nights of Old Havana is a few hours of guided bar-hopping in the old city’s narrow streets to get you the initial overview – and you can venture off on your own afterward!
You will stop at various places, try a variety of Cuban drinks, and end the guided tour at a tranquil rooftop terrace for a nightcap (or before heading out for the real night out until the small hours)!
El Ojo Del Ciclón in Old Havana
El Ojo del Ciclón in Old Havana really is more of a museum than a nightlife establishment.
But, some nights you can go there to dance the tango!
I do not know the tango, but I was fortunate enough to watch those who do for a little while.
Entering El Ojo Del Ciclón, a fascinating place on the corner of Calle O`Reilly and Calle Villegas, is like entering an eclectic, elegant little world.
There are artsy floor tiles and artifacts everywhere depicting local culture and music, bringing you back to the first half of the 20th Century.
The first room you enter is where the dance magic happens.
And if you walk further in, several other rooms are packed with memorabilia, photos, and strange things from all the different decades of the century.
The slow, controlled pasos and movements of the dancing couples are incredibly graceful, and the surroundings are simply magnificent.
After the sun sets, Old Havana is where you go to take in the ambiance and walk the cobblestoned streets in slow motion taking in all the sounds and the music and the details around you.
If you are in a hurry (day or night), you are going to miss a lot of little details here in Old Havana.
There are little placks, half-hidden sculptures, a mural on the wall, or a small, magnificently crafted doorway everywhere. So take your time.
Central Havana Nightlife Guide
Central Havana really is not the first place you go for Cuban club nightlife.
This is mostly a residential area with small shops and some really great restaurants, and the district is pretty quiet after dark.
Central Havana is also where the El Malecon boardwalk runs alongside the whole city district, where lots of young Cubans hang out in the evenings.
Along the Malecon is the Malecon 663, a perfect place to go for happy hour with a great ambiance, reggaeton, and spectacular views!
If you do go into “Centro Habana,” it is smart to know exactly where you are going to make sure you have a great time (and don’t get lost).
Or, take a bici taxi that knows the way through the maze of streets!
There are a few places to go here as well, hidden in the conglomerate of narrow streets.
Especially in the first pedestrian part of Avenida San Rafael in Centro Havana (Spanish), there is also life in the evenings.
Not all are open every day, so check out the links for more information about each one.
Normally, Mondays and Tuesdays are generally “resting days” for the Havana night scene, while Wednesdays through Sundays are party nights.
- Bembé Tapas & Bar
- Sia-kara Bar
- Industria 8
- Galiano 212 Bar
- La Guarida Rooftop Bar
- Malecon 663 rooftop bar
In Central Havana, you also find some of the best restaurants in Havana hidden away!
Havana’s Nightlife In The Vedado
Vedado is the high-end shopping and party-scene area of Havana, in a way.
Knowing the history of Vedado, this is where the rich and famous from all over the world came to ravish in a luxurious lifestyle 24/7 in the old days.
There are still great places here that make for an unforgettable night, with a cocktail menu, great music, and even Cuban art!
Today, a little paler, but there still is an aura of grandeur over the larger colonial houses, wider streets, bright restaurants, and clubs in Vedado.
And the establishments are numerous, all with different flavors and forms in El Vedado (which means forbidden in Spanish).
While Old Havana offers several places to do the salsa to live music, Vedado is generally more of a clubbing and reggaeton zone!
- Bar Salsa Rio Cuba
- La Zorra y El Cuervo Jazz Club
- La Casa de la Bombilla Verde
- King Bar
- La Esencia
- Piano Bar Delirio Habanero
- Habana Café
- Café Cantante Mi Habana
- El Gato Tuerto
- Jazz Café
- Pico Blanco
- Cabaret Turquino
- Cabaret Parisién
- Copa Room
- Club La Red
- Madrigal Bar Café
Havana Nightlife In Miramar And Playa
Miramar is mainly a very upscale residential area, with a lot of large colonial houses and wide avenues, some of the best hotels in Cuba, and is also home to many embassies and their staff.
As for the evenings, Miramar boasts the best salsa clubs in Havana, lively discos, and good restaurants in the district.
Being a high-end area, accordingly, there are mainly high-end establishments here. Although not the party-scene district quite like Vedado, you may find elegant places in Miramar.
If dancing is not your cup of tea, you might still enjoy watching others do it! In that case, check out this full evening of wine and dining at the cabaret show!
- LM Bar in Playa
- La Fabrika de Arte Cubano FAC
- Casa de la Musica de Miramar
- Espacios Tapas Restaurant & Bar
- Mio y Tuyo
- Don Cangrejo Restaurant & Bar
- Tropicana Cabaret
Havana Rooftop Bars
Scattered around the whole of Havana, there are several stunning rooftop bars and restaurants with breathtaking views of the night city.
Often you find them on the top floors of large hotels, but you do not have to be a staying guest to spend some time there.
Mostly these top-of-the-city places will give you an elegant and chill evening with soft music and less steam.
Yet some, like the Inglaterra, are more of an outdoor salsa club with live music and dancing.
Also read: Sensational 7 Days In Cuba Itinerary 2022!
There is something about staring into the horizon lit up by all the sparkling distant city lights.
It never gets old for me, at least!
- El Surtidor Pool Terrace and Bar at Manzana Kempinski
- Mirabana Bar at Iberostar Parque Central
- La Inglaterra
- Hotel Nacional de Cuba
- Hotel Ambos Mundos
- Hotel Paseo del Prado
- Roma Rooftop Bar
- Morro 52
- La Guarida rooftop bar
- Galiano Bar 212
Credit Cards And Money In Cuba
As every kind of American credit card (or debit card) is not accepted in Cuba due to the ongoing sanction, that means that US citizens can not go shopping in the MLC stores.
Also, the United States has set a regulation on where US citizens can spend their money in Cuba, including facilities owned by the Cuban government, which also regulates where American nationals can shop and stay in Cuba.
These regulations do not apply to a Canadian citizen or any other nationality. I have a comprehensive article about money in Cuba that explains it all, and how you spend your money helping the Cuban people.
Travel Requirements For Cuba
There are formally two kinds of travelers going to Cuba on a Cuba tourist visa. The first one is Americans, and the second one is everyone else.
Due to the ongoing sanctions, US citizens need to make sure they travel to Cuba within the regulations set by the US government. All other nationalities travel as normal to Cuba, with the travel documents required by Cuban authorities.
American nationals can not legally travel to Cuba as tourists, BUT, the US Government has set a list of 12 preapproved reasons to travel to Cuba that does not require any paperwork or application process in the US.
The most popular and widely used one is “travel to help the Cuban people”. That is just a reason you decide for yourself, and state if anyone asks.
How To Get The Cuban Tourist Card
The exception is for anyone traveling via the US, and a US airport is the last airport before you land in Cuba. Travelers having the last leg of the journey from a US airport also need a pink tourist card or visa.
You can buy a Cuban tourist visa from the Cuban consulate or embassy in your country and from selected airlines and travel agencies.
Buying a Cuban tourist card via the Cuban consulate or embassy normally will include filling out an application form, which is merely a formality.
The tourist card is valid for one single entry into Cuba, and you can stay in Cuba for 90+90 days, a total of 180 days, with one tourist card.
Special Visas For Cuba
If you want to travel to Cuba for other reasons, there are a variety of special visas you can apply for.
US nationals who would like assistance in planning their Cuba travel can contact a US travel agency or tour operator specializing in Cuba travel, which will make sure you travel within the regulations.
Cuban citizens, or Cubans with other citizenships, will still be considered Cuban nationals when entering Cuba and showing their Cuban passports.
Entry Requirements To Cuba
In addition to having a tourist card, whether one of the green cards or the pink card, there are a few more entry requirements for traveling to Cuba.
The first thing is that you need to register your entry beforehand on the d’viajeros page online form. And you need a valid passport.
You also need valid travel insurance, which includes health insurance coverage, when you enter Cuba.
The maximum quantity of cash you can bring into Cuba without disclosing anything in customs is $5000. This is nice to know for US citizens that will not be able to use US credit cards in Cuba.
American Airlines and Delta Airlines have daily departures for direct flights from Miami International Airport to Cuba.
Ultimate Collection Best Cuban Destinations:
Wrap-Up Havana Nightlife Guide
Even if you have never been to the capital of Cuba before, you should be well equipped by now to navigate the nightlife in the most popular districts of Havana!
Whether you like a calm, zen night ambiance or a heavy clubbing environment, Havana has somewhere for you to be sparkling happy! Some of the clubs have both dress code and cover charge, and more or less functioning air conditioning.
The historic venue that is also well-known for tourists now is the Floridita because it is famous for being one of Ernest Hemingways favorite places back in the day, along with La Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana close to Calle Obispo.
There are also lots of things to do in the daytime, by yourself, or on an organized tour or excursion of Havana if you want the professionals to show you the best parts of the city!
Happy Travel Planning!
xoxo/ Hege 🙂
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