Havana Nightlife

Music is a Cuban passion rivaled only by baseball and the Revolution itself. Everyone here knows who El Médico de la Salsa (The Salsa Doctor) is and what type of music he plays. Los Van Van, Beny Moré, and Compay Segundo are all celebrities on the order of Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, or Elvis. Caribbean, Spanish, African, and American rhythms have been combined to create more than three-dozen

musical styles, which are themselves evolving into still more varieties. To experience the music of Cuba is to learn about it, and Havana offers plenty of opportunities for both. The city also has splashy cabaret revues as well as jazz haunts and cafés that offer quieter entertainment.

Dance performances—from traditional ballet to traditional Afro-Cuban—are also options. If your Spanish is good, you'll appreciate the active film, theater, and literary scenes. You don't need any Spanish to enjoy the art exhibited in Havana's many galleries. Attire at theaters and other venues ranges from cocktail dresses and jackets and ties to blue jeans and shorts. Tickets are nearly always available (check with your hotel concierge) at box offices and are very inexpensive by European or North American standards.

Cartelera, a Spanish-English weekly published by the Instituto Cubano del Libro and usually available free at major hotels, lists concerts, plays, and other artistic events. Opciones is another bilingual weekly publication with cultural listings. The Programación Cultural, published monthly in Spanish by the Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad (Office of the City Historian), has what is probably the most complete schedule of events. Ask for a copy at Museo de la Ciudad in the Plaza de Armas.

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Havana Nightlife

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Cabaret Parisién

  • Cabaret

The ever-popular and always hopping Hotel Nacional, offers up another winning performance with its wild cabaret show. The lively show...

Café Cantante "Mi Habana"

  • Music Clubs

On the upper edge of Vedado near the Plaza de la Revolución, this lively disco-bar often has musical performances and dance or comedy...

Café Madrigal Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Housed upstairs in a stunning peach-color mansion in leafy Vedado, this quirky bohemian cocktail bar is something very different from...

Café Paris

  • Bars/Pubs

This 24-hour standby usually offers entertainment by one of the city's excellent trios. No matter how many times you have heard "Guantanamera...

Café Taberna

  • Music Clubs

Named after its one-time owner Juan Bautista Taberna, this was Havana's first café when it opened at the very same spot in 1772. The...

Casa de la Música

  • Music Clubs

Havana's best known and most popular night club and live-music venue is not to be missed. The club has two locations, one in Centro and...

Casa de la Música Miramar

  • Music Clubs

The Miramar branch of the famous Casa de la Música, also has excellent live bands. ...

Dos Hermanos

  • Bars/Pubs

Located next to the Museo del Ron, you'll step back in time when you walk through the door, and get the feel for life along the wharf.

El Floridita

  • $$
  • Bars/Pubs

This time warp of a restaurant was known to have been a hangout of Ernest Hemingway and prides itself as being the "cradle of the daiquiri.

El Gato Tuerto

  • Music Clubs

Just steps from the Hotel Nacional, this dark and smoky bar offers live boleros-style music downstairs and a less than average restaurant...


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