Cuba is fast becoming a top tourist holiday destination with abundant attractions and museums to keep you entertained.
However, it is not just that Cuba is a thriving and vibrant place to visit during the day. Once the heat of the day has vanished, Cuba has a variety of nightlife activities to keep you amused.
You won’t find a shortage of bars, clubs, and music venues scattered across the country, so you’ll be sure to find somewhere to help you while away during the nighttime hours.
Where is the best place to go in Cuba for nightlife?
Cuba’s capital Havana is bursting with some of the country’s best nightlife. The epicenter of the capital Centro Havana has the most options. It is bordered by the Cerro, Vedado, and Old Havana neighborhoods. This allows you to explore cultural sights and the great nightlife scene in Havana.
Cuban nightlife is a beautiful combination of music, drinking, and dancing, so you won’t be short of choices for clubs or bars as most of the city hinges on festivities and parties. Ranging from traditional venues and contemporary spots, the party capital has something to suit everyone. Salsa, jazz, and live music are the most popular options, and you’ll find a whole abundance of options to suit your needs.
Things liven up at around 10pm, with clubs and bars typically closing between 2-3am, so there’s plenty of time to dance the night away. Be aware that Cubans enjoy dressing up, and some clubs operate with a dress code consisting of rules like no shorts, vests, or flip flops.
Where are the Best Places to Go in Havana at Night?
Fabrica de Arte Cubano
Listed on TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places in 2019, the Fabrica de Arte Cubano is one of the best clubs Cuba and Havana offer. Not only is this a club, but it also functions as a space for events, live music, and showcasing art installations. Initially, the space was a cooking oil factory. Still, it has gained notoriety in the city as one of the must-visit destinations for all things nightlife!
Ambos Mundos Rooftop Bar
If you want to take in the sights of Havana and enjoy some great food and music, then the Ambos Mundos Rooftop Bar found in the Hotel Ambos Mundos is one to add to your list. Remaining true to its 1920s roots, the bar allows you to admire the views of Havana and gives you the opportunity to enjoy some delicious cocktails and music.
It’s also the hotel where Ernest Hemingway lived during the 1930s! Needless to say, this hotel is steeped in history and good views.
La Zorra y el Cuervo
La Zorra y el Cuervo offers an authentic live jazz experience. You enter the venue via a red phone box before being taken into a basement to enjoy some live music. It’s a popular destination, so getting there early is often advised. Still, if you’re a fan of jazz music or want to experience some Cuban culture, this is your place!
Does Cuba have a Red Light District?
While prostitution is not illegal in Cuba, several laws and legislation are in place against sexual exploitation. Cuba does not have a red-light district as such. However, there are areas alongside clubs, restaurants, and bars where you’ll often find these activities take place.
Helpful Tips and Tricks to Cuba’s Nightlife
How does Cuba’s currency work?
Cuba used to operate under a dual currency system that ended in 2021. The CUP (Cuban Peso) is the official currency.
However, there has been a switch towards digitizing the economy with bank cards and apps for payments. This has its own currency called the MLC (Moneda libremente convertible). MLC is a digital currency available to Cuban residents at “dollar stores.” This means that while the CUP is the dominant currency, it cannot be used to purchase some goods and services.
This is something to be aware of when visiting. You’ll often have to exchange foreign currencies such as the USD, GBP, or EUR into MLC to buy items. The official exchange rate is USD1:CUP24, or the black market rate is roughly USD1:CUP80. So it’s really worth thinking about currency and money before taking a trip to Cuba and planning how to spend your evenings.
Should you Tip in Cuba?
Tips are expected! The pay rate versus the cost of living in Cuba can be quite far apart, and many Cubans rely on tourism and tips to ensure a decent standard of living. Tipping is a part of Cuban culture, and most Cuban servers or entertainers will expect customers to tip!
Cuba is known for festivities and parties. Before your visit, it’s well worth checking if any festivals or events are already occurring when you plan to visit to really supercharge your nightlife. For example, the Santiago de Cuba Carnival takes place in July, and Las Parrandas de Remedios is in December. This gives you an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s identity and have a fun night out!
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Cuba is an incredibly vibrant and buzzing country bursting with places to go and areas to explore. If you’re into celebrations and festivities, then Cuba is the place to visit. Nighttime is when Cuba really starts to come alive, and celebrating and going out are parts of the Cuban culture. Whether you’re hoping to dance the night away or take in some live music, you will find something you love in Cuba!
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