The 10 Hottest Nightlife Spots in Havana, Cuba

Havana Music + Nightlife Insider Guides
by Julie Schwietert Jun 10, 2008

Photo by Brayan Collazo Alonso

From the tragically touristy to the totally local, our top 10 nightlife guide to Havana takes you to places that reveal Havana’s complexity… and, of course, its love of music, dance, and drink!

*All facts are accurate as of this posting. As always, check before you go!

10. Casa de la Musica

Casa de la Musica is one of the best places for live music and local culture in Havana. With shows every night of the week and a punishing schedule (4 PM -7 PM and 10 PM – 2 AM), you’d be lying if you came home and said you weren’t able to find any place with live local music and dancing.

Address: Galiano between Neptuno y Concordia, Centro Habana

9. El Delirio Habanero

If any night spot in Havana can legitimately be called laid back, El Delirio Habanero is it. This is a great spot for a romantic evening. El Delirio Habanero is a piano lounge that doubles as a performance space hosting comedians and cabaret. Popular with locals and tourists, its location on the fourth floor of the National Theatre offers fantastic night views of the city and, especially, the impressive Monumento a la Revolucion.

Address: Plaza de la Revolucion, Paseo y Calle 39

8. Café Cantante Mi Habana

Located conveniently next door to El Delirio Habanero, Café Cantante Mi Habana is an excellent place to test your dancing skills before taking to the floor at some of the hot spots on our list.

Address: Plaza de la Revolucion, Paseo y Calle 39

Photo by Brayan Collazo Alonso

7. El Tropical

El Tropical isn’t the kind of place that makes guidebooks. (Watch the excellent documentary “El Tropical,” available on Netflix, to understand some

of the reasons why. Really. Watching the film is mandatory.) And that’s exactly why you should go… but only if you’re ready to dance for hours and if you’re the kind of person who likes to live on the edge. Best experienced with a local. If you need a hook-up, send me a line.

6. Hotel Ambos Mundos Rooftop Bar

The rooftop garden bar of the Ambos Mundos Hotel is a must-see for a few reasons. First, it offers a spectacular view of Havana and its bay. Second, even if you’re looking for a drink and music in the middle of the day, you can have both here. Third, if you happen to be at the bar around 9 PM, you might just hear the nightly cannon firing over at the fort, a tradition. If they have gunpowder, that is.

Address: Calle Obispo #153, corner of Mercaderes

5. Casa de la Amistad

The “House of Friendship” could just as easily be called “Music in a Mansion.” If you’re in the mood for some smoother music than the pumping beats at El Tropical, Casa de la Amistad is the perfect place and it is usually open until midnight.

Address: Paseo #406 between 17 and 19

4. Tikoa

Despite its small size and gritty feel, Tikoa is equally popular with young Cubans and travelers alike. Music is 100% Cuban, with lots of Afro-Cuban vibes.

Address: Calle 23 (aka La Rampa) #177 between N & O.

Photo by Brayan Collazo Alonso

3. El Túnel

Like El Tropical, El Túnel is virtually unknown to tourists and is definitely off the beaten path. And like El Tropical, it is best experienced with a local.

2. La Zorra y el Cuervo

Widely considered among the city’s best venues for Latin jazz, this intimate space has attracted some of the world’s most-loved musicians.

Address: Calle 23 between N & O

1. Callejón de Hamel

Although word of this joint has increasingly spread far beyond the boundaries of the edgy Central Havana (Centro Habana) neighborhood of Cayo Hueso, where it’s located, this is still one of the most exciting places to catch local music and dancing, even if it is only from 12:00 to 3-ish on Sunday afternoons. Keep your eyes open for the roving street bartender.

Address: Hamel between Aramburu & Hospital

Community Connection

*Visit our Before You Go Guide to Cuba to learn more about Cuban music, movies, and culture.

*Read Cuba expert Julie Schwietert Collazo’s article “How to Travel to and from Cuba” at The Travelers Notebook.

*Updated performance calendars for many of the venues on our list are available online.


Note on the Photos: Brayan Collazo is a Cuban photographer who lives and works in Havana. He has exhibited in New York and Havana and is currently working on a series called “Pequena Habana.” More of his work can be found here.

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