It may be surprising to hear that Havana is not a place for one big party. Old Havana shuts down by midnight as there are strict restrictions enforced. Apart from Hotel Florida, there are very few places to dance the night away and you are better off finding a place in Vedado or Miramar for a night of music and dancing. Here most bars do have great music, rich architectural heritage, and a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere.
Most bars and restaurants feature trios, quartets, and septets. The level of musical training is very high, and Cuba has created its own unique blends of African and European rhythms—from rumba to bolero, from cha-cha-cha to timba… Even Jazz! Which can be magnificent or experimental, daring, improvised, brilliant, terrible. It’s all an experience.
You may find the drink selection limited but, a great mojito is always available.
Hotel Ambos Mundos
This one is an old Hemingway haunt. The hotel is where he stayed during the 1930s, and it has a terrific rooftop garden bar with a spectacular view of Havana and its Bay. This place starts early! You can catch great music and sip on a daquiri in the middle of the day. And if you are there at night around 9pm, you can hear the Cannon firing ceremony over at the fort.
La Zorra y el Cuervo
La Zorra y el Cuervo is a kind of jazz club you see in movies. It is an intimate basement jazz bar with low ceilings and great Latin jazz music, tucked away in Havana. Expect to see a jazz superstar regardless of when you’re visiting as it has attracted some of the world’s most-loved musicians, but shhh…! Talking during the show is a no-no.
On a warm Havana night, cocktail in hand and a rooftop view of the city is all you need, and la Guardia will give you that and amazing food and the occasional international celebrity.
It originally started as a 12-seater paladar and has turned into an iconic spot after being featured in the movie, Strawberries and Chocolate (nominated for an Oscar in 1994). The restaurant today is a huge space, with multiple terraces, side balconies, and a main rooftop with a unique ambiance!
Buena Vista Social Club
The music of the Buena Vista Social Club is known worldwide. It has put Cuba through its amazing music on the map. Why not experience it first had? Grab dinner of traditional Cuban cuisine, a show and a Club concert and enjoy the night.
Casa de la Música
They have two locations to choose from, Old Havana and Miramar. Loved by tourists and locals alike for the vibrant salsa music they play. This really is the place to go if you want to see the very best Cuban salsa bands – Cuba Photography Tours. But be warned! Popular bands will fill up the venue quick, so best to check who is playing before you go.