Havana Nightlife

Havana is synonymous with music and dance, which means no trip to Cuba is complete without at least one visit to the capital's nightclubs so you can dance the night away to the rhythm of Latin American beats. Don't worry if you're not an expert on the dancefloor – in a Havana salsa club the main aim is to have a good time.

The downtown area known as Vedado in the heart of Havana is where most of the city's bars, nightclubs and restaurants are located, so that's the perfect place to start if you're unfamiliar with the city. The old part of town also has its fair share of late night venues and you might even experience a few spontaneous street dancing sessions as the playful soul of Cuba really comes to life.

Performance Culture

Havana's nightlife is all about the live music and almost any bar or club you walk into – small or large – will have a live band playing. Genres range from salsa, flamenco and tango to latin jazz, as well as global tunes from the decks of local DJs who fill the capital's dance floors well into the small hours of the morning.

Havana is also frequented by big name Latin performers so it's worth checking out online media to see who might be in town on the days you're visiting. Some of the most popular places to enjoy some fantastic Caribbean rhythms include Casa de la Musica, which hosts live shows every night of the week. El Tropical is another favourite hang out with a lively dance floor, while if you prefer a more relaxed evening with view to go with your music, head to the rooftop bar at the famous Hotel Ambos Mundos.

Hemingway Hangover

Cuba is also known as the source of some of the world's most popular cocktails, including the mojito and the daiquiri. Both drinks are made using white rum and sugar cane juice, which are produced locally.

The two cocktails were made all the more famous thanks to Cuba's expatriate novelist, Ernest Hemingway, who is reported to have enjoyed them in abundance.

To relive the Hemingway experience, you can visit what were his three favourite bars, all of which still stand today. La Floridita was once dubbed the birthplace of the daiquiri and is also the place where Hemingway famously drank no less than 16 in one sitting. La Bodeguita del Medio serves some of the best mojitos on the island, along with great food and a soundtrack of Cuban Son. Then there's Dos Hermandos, which underwent renovations in 2009 and now lacks some of its original patina but remains a popular local hang out with surprisingly few tourists.

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