San Juan

From Thursday through Sunday it's as if there's a celebration going on nearly everywhere in San Juan. Be sure you dress to party, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights; Puerto Ricans have flair, and both men and women love getting dressed up to go out. Bars are usually casual, but if you have on jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt, you may be refused entry at nightclubs and discos.

Well-dressed visitors and locals alike often mingle in the lobby bars of large hotels, many of which have bands in the evening. Some hotels also have clubs with shows and/or dancing; admission starts at $10. Casino rules have been relaxed, injecting life into what was once a conservative hotel gaming scene, but you still won't be allowed in if you're wearing a tank top or shorts. There are more games, as well as such gambling perks as free drinks and live music.

In Old San Juan, Calle San Sebastián is lined with bars and restaurants. Salsa music blaring from jukeboxes in cut-rate pool halls competes with mellow Latin jazz in top-flight nightspots. The young and the beautiful often socialize in Plaza San José. Mid-January sees the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, one of the Caribbean's best street parties.

Young professionals as well as a slightly older bohemian crowd fill Santurce, San Juan's historical downtown area, until the wee hours. The revitalized Plaza del Mercado (Calle Dos Hermanos at Calle Capital) has structures—many painted in bright colors—dating from the 1930s or earlier. On weekend nights the area's streets are closed to vehicular traffic. You can wander from dive bars to trendy nightspots and sway to music that pours from countless open-air establishments and the marketplace's front plaza.

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  • 1. Brava

    Dance Clubs

    Dress to impress at this chic hotel dance club, where a long line of young people (21+) waits to get in Thursday–Saturday. Each of the two levels...Read More

  • 2. Circo Bar

    Santurce | Bars/Pubs

    This popular gay bar and club in Santurce offers different themed events every night, including karaoke, DJs, and dance parties. If you're coming...Read More

  • 3. Blend

    Old San Juan | Dance Clubs

    This hip SoFo nightspot draws fashionistas enamored of the black walls, neon-blue lighting, and eye-candy female waitstaff. You can settle in...Read More

  • 4. Club Lazer

    Old San Juan | Dance Clubs

    This multilevel club has spots for quiet conversation, spaces for dancing to loud music, and a landscaped roof deck overlooking San Juan. The...Read More

  • 5. Krash

    Santurce | Dance Clubs

    A balcony bar overlooks all the drama on the dance floor at this popular club. Most of the time DJs spin house, hip-hop, salsa, and reggaetón...Read More

  • 6. Rumba

    Old San Juan | Dance Clubs

    The air-conditioning blasts, the music thumps, and the under-30s crowd pretends not to notice how hip the place has become. With a large dance...Read More

  • 7. Starz

    Santurce | Dance Clubs

    Dancing at this cavernous club starts at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, but most people don't arrive until after midnight. There's also...Read More

  • 8. Teatro Puerto Rico

    Santurce | Dance Clubs

    This cavernous club with an upstairs lounge hosts DJs spinning trance-like rhythms. Live music and other performances also often take place...Read More

  • 9. The Noise

    Old San Juan | Dance Clubs

    A young crowd frequents this tunnel-like Old San Juan dance club to listen to hip-hop, reggae, and underground music. Long lines often spill...Read More

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