Nightlife in Havana at Glance
- Cabarets. Most major hotels have a cabaret. The shows are not lacking in sensuality.
- Nightclubs and clubs. They are also integrated in the hotels or next door. Techno music, but also salsa accompanied by orchestras. With the help of tourism, jineteras and jineteros are very present. And prostitutes too…
- Peñas, casas de la Trova, casas de la Cultura and fiestas. For those who wish to get to know Cubans, far from the overly touristy itineraries.
Why Nightlife in Havana is so particular ?
In Havana, when night falls and the lights come on, the capital comes alive… which doesn’t mean that there aren’t nice places to go out during the day.
Everything here conspires to make your night out the most beautiful noche feliz.
A few cuba libre in the company of Cuban friends, and “mañana será otro día”, as they say here.
It’s hard to know which is the best place at the best time. In Havana, the reputations of the clubs are made and undone quickly …
Ask the locals, they usually know which are the most lively places at the moment.
Unfortunately, rather reserved for Spanish speakers (although music is a universal language), peñas are probably the most authentic form of expression of Cuban culture.
These literary gatherings have their origins in the evenings that used to be organized in the artistic circles of Cuban society.
At these gatherings, people would gather with friends (usually at the home of one of the participants, sometimes in a café) to read poetry, sing and make music.
Many works of Cuban culture and personalities from the world of the arts thus made their first public appearance.
The peña is also a way to have fun, with family or friends, by getting together regularly to give free rein to what could be called the Cuban soul, most often singing in a choir, and unpretentious, with a musical accompaniment: piano, wooden crate or bottle struck with a spoon.
There are also more formal peñas, organized around an artist, but the public is generally called upon to play a rather active role. At the moment of the descarga (common improvisation), anything can happen… The bolero singer can change into a rumbero, while the pianist starts playing the conga.
Nightlife in Havana : Cafés – Bars
It is in the Habana Vieja that you will find the most pleasant cafés to relax in the late afternoon, but also lively bars to party late (but rarely beyond midnight due to neighbourhood problems).
In the Vedado the afternoons are quieter, but once night falls the atmosphere is more festive and the bars close much later than in Old Havana.
Nightlife in La Habana Vieja north
BAR EL FLORIDITA
- At the corner of Monserrate
- Calle Obispo n° 557 & +53 7 867 1300
- [email protected]
- Open every day from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm.
It is impossible to omit the address: in the 1930s and 1940s, a plethora of artists followed one another there.
In the front row of them, Ernest Hemingway who spent his evenings there, quietly sipping the house daïquiri.
A statue pays homage to the writer.
Because of its past, the Floridita inevitably attracts many tourists, because it is an unmissable place in Havana.
- Calle O’Reilly n° 203
- Open every day from 10 am to midnight.
Two possibilities: either you can normally sit at the bar while sipping your beer, or you can climb up the beautiful wrought iron spiral staircase to the first floor.
At this level, the tables on the balconies give a small glimpse of the street scene (the café is close to the cathedral).
Indeed, Havana is almost like a theatre.
- Calle Obispo, corner of San Ignacio
- Open every day until midnight. Cocktails from 4 to 5 CUC.
- Opened in 1924, the café faces the Ambos Mundos Hotel.
Placed in the heart of the Habana Vieja, the world generally hurries to the counter from the opening until very late.
Excellent cocktails in general and good music in particular.
The small hungers will be satisfied with a pizza or other similar odds and ends.
CASA DEL AGUA LA TINAJA
- Between Calle Oficio and Calle Mercaderes
- Calle Obispo n°109
- Open during the day only. 25 cents convertible peso for a glass of filtered water.
The most original shop in the city, La Tinaja (the jar), where you can buy filtered water for just a few coins, as a souvenir of the old casas del agua (water houses).
The Havanese used to get their drinking water there.
Pedro Pablo Oropeca, the 71-year-old boss, has been working at the Tinaja since 1960 and he is a real character!
He will surely want you to take a picture of him, tell you lots of anecdotes and explain to you that he firmly believes in the virtues of his filtered water, much better than bottled water according to him.
If you linger a little while in the shop, you will see that Cubans parade to the counter to buy a glass of water.
It is a show of local life that is really simple and authentic. A unique address that we recommend.
CASA DELAS INFUSIONS
- Between Calle Obispo and Calle Obrapía
- Calle Mercaderes n°109
- +53 7 864 9013
- Open every day from 9am to 9pm.
Formerly known as Columnata Egipciana, this house has two superb interior patios, havens of freshness and discretion.
The terrace allows you to observe the passers-by and soak up the atmosphere of Old Havana.
You will find there, at quite affordable prices, a wide choice of infusions and teas, coffee in all its forms (cappuccino, cinnamon, iced or hot, coffee with old rum), excellent cocktails (2 CUC on average) or natural fruit juices (1.50 CUC), ice creams, cakes, sandwiches (from 1.75 to 2.75 CUC).
You will also appreciate to let yourself be lulled by the pieces played by the pianist at the end of the afternoon.
A very pleasant address.
RUINAS DEL PARQUE
- Between Calle Compostela and Calle Aguacate
- Calle Obispo
- Open from 9am to 11pm. Beers at 1,50 CUC and cocktails from 3 to 4 CUC. Pizzas from 3 to 10 CUC, sandwiches from 2 to 4 CUC.
Next to the square with the statue of Sancho Panza, a pleasant open-air bar, with concerts in the evening.
You really feel like you’re on holiday there.
Perfect to rest at the aperitif time, after a long day of walking in Old Havana.
Nightlife in Havana Vieja South
- At the corner of Calle Muralla
- Plaza Vieja
- & +53 7 868 3846 / +53 7 868 3545
- [email protected]
- Open from 9am to 10pm.
- Espresso 1,15 CUC. Cappuccino 1,50 CUC.
A pleasant terrace overlooking Plaza Vieja, where you can enjoy most of the world’s coffees.
Coffee lovers will appreciate it! The more daring will be able to try the mojicafe or the coffee daïquiri.
Nightlife in Havana : El Vedado
- Calle 21
- Between Calle 12 and 14
- & +53 7 833 6918
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm to 2am during the week, and until 3am on weekends.
Situated on a huge veranda where the weather is good, this bar is the perfect place to relax in the early evening, or after dinner, in a lounge atmosphere and cosy setting.
The vintage decor, the light curtains hanging from the arcades and the terrace set in the heart of a mini tropical garden, give a nice touch to the establishment and you feel immediately at ease.
Delicious tapas to accompany cocktails in case you get hungry!
CASA DELA AMISTAD
- Paseo No. 406, between Calle 17 and Calle 19
- & +53 7 830 3114
- Open from 8am to 5pm, in theory… Indeed, the schedules are variable and the closings at the day often random, it is thus better to phone before going there.
To be warmly recommended to all those who want to have a drink in a superb colonial building.
Terrace extremely welcome and musical groups often well felt. Possibility of fast food.
- Calle Linea n°112
- Between Calle L y M
- & +53 7 832 9744
- Open from 6pm to 6am.
Set on a large terrace, this bar overlooks the Vedado.
In a design and trendy setting, you can enjoy a good cocktail and nibble some Cuban tapas while admiring the view.
In spite of the clips scrolling on the flat screen, the place is calm and restful, ideal to remake the world with friends or to have a drink with your lover.
The amateurs of hookah will be delighted because here we are equipped, even if it remains a little expensive (10 CUC the hookah).
Smoking hookah in Havana has a price and it is a form of luxury in the country of the cigar.
Only disadvantage: if it rains, the bar closes because the terrace is not covered.
FRESA Y CHOCOLATE CAFE
- Between Calle 10 and Calle 12
- Calle 23
- & +53 7 836 2096
The sign takes its name from the famous Cuban feature film Fresa y Chocolate, directed by Tomas Gutiérrez Alea in 1992.
It’s true that the proximity of the ICAIC (Institute of Cinema) favours closer ties, as does the clientele, who very often come from the world of entertainment.
A lot of concerts are generally held on the terrace until 10 pm or midnight.
- Calle 17 n°809 altos
- & +53 7 831 2433
- Open Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 4am. Closed on Mondays. Cocktails at 2.50 CUC. Tapas between 1,50 and 5 CUC.
A bar set up in a loft with a beautiful terrace.
The establishment belongs to the director Rafael Rosales who named it after a film he made together with the famous Fernando Pérez.
It is the ideal place to meet artists while enjoying a good cocktail accompanied by delicious tapas. The right place for a “before”.
- Calzada n°101
- Between L y M
- & +53 7 832 3195
- Open until 4am. Live music from 9pm to midnight.
If you are a fan of live music, especially jazz, salsa, or flamenco, don’t miss this new bar in Havana.
Almost every night, it welcomes talented bands and singers with smooth voices.
You will also appreciate the design setting of the place and especially the beautiful terrace with its so chic swimming pool, its seats so in that it feels like Miami, and its sublime view of the Malecón that reminds you that you are in the beautiful Cuban capital, and how.
UP & DOWN
- Calle 5ta
- at the corner of Calle V
- & +53 5 333 3006
- Open every day from 3pm to 3am.
Trendy Vedado bar organized around 2 spaces, one on the ground floor with a large room and a bar (the “down” part), and another one on the first floor which is meant to be VIP (the “up” part) where only VIPs and Cubans who have bought a membership card all year round have access.
People come to have a drink, nibble tapas or quick meals.
Concerts take place on weekends with paid access that rarely exceeds 5 CUC per person.
The singer Raul Paz gives a concert there every Thursday evening at midnight. Good atmosphere in general.
A good address to party but it is better to arrive late, around 11pm, because before it is rather quiet…
Nightlife in Havana : Best cafés in Miramar
- KPRICHO BAR
- Calle 94
- Between 1ra y 3ra
- & +53 7 206 4167
- Open from 6pm to 6am.
A design bar with sleek furniture where contemporary artworks are on display all year round, the exhibition changing every month.
Concerts take place on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Cocktails are excellent and the lounge atmosphere is pleasant for a drink.
This new address should have some great days ahead of it!
Nightlife in Havana : Clubs and discos
Nightlife in Havana : Centro Habana
- Between Concordia and Neptuno Streets…
- Avenida Galiano & +53 7 862 4165
- [email protected]
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm to 7pm and from 7pm to 4am.
Entrance from 5 to 15 CUC in the morning from 16h to 19h (depending on the band playing) then from 20 to 30 CUC for bands from 22h.
Located in the same building as the Teatro Cuba, a small jewel of Cuban Art Deco.
Good to excellent musical programming.
The Egrem company indeed watches over the grain.
You can quench your thirst in one of the bars on the ground floor or at the troquet on the first floor.
Nightlife in Havana : El Vedado
- TURQUINO CABARET
- Calle L, between Calle 23 and Calle 25
- & +53 7 834 6100
- Open from 10:30 pm to 3 am. Entrance 10 CUC.
Perched on the 25th floor of the Tryp Habana Libre Hotel, this establishment takes its name from Mount Pico Turquino located on the Sierra Maestra: it is the highest peak in Cuba.
And you will see, indeed, that the panorama is exceptional from the cabaret.
Just for that alone, the place is worth the detour.
After the show or concert, you can go to the disco.
As for the clientele, the Turquino remains one of the most distinguished nightclubs in Havana.
CENTRO CULTURAL BERTOLT BRECHT
- Calle 13, corner of Calle I
- & +53 7 832 9359
- Entry from 5 to 10 CUC.
In this cultural center, the atmosphere is always good.
Concerts take place around 9pm every evening.
On Friday and Saturday, it is then a DJ who takes over from 1am.
If you’re feeling hungry, you can have a sandwich (3 CUC) in the cafeteria (open from 11.30 pm to 2 am) located outside on the esplanade, at the top of the stairs.
In any case, you should know that when the DJ settles down on the turntables, the track gets hot and you dance until you’re thirsty under the spotlights.
Trendy Cuban clientele.
- Calle 26, at the corner of Calle 11
- Open Thursday to Saturday from 8pm to 4am, Sunday from 8pm to 2am. Entrance 2 CUC.
Open early 2014, this is the new trendy place in Havana.
The brand new design places, with their immaculate white walls are sublime.
Installed on several floors, this “Cuban art factory” bears its name well, because not only do you discover works of art by contemporary Cuban artists – sometimes a little provocative – as you wander through the different rooms, but you can also listen to local stars singing live, like the superb concert given by Omara Portuondo, the diva of the Buena Vista Social Club, during our visit.
Several bars are set up beyond and you’ll even find one with good espresso coffee and cakes.
The nearby terrace is a great place to get some fresh air.
The only criticism that can be made of this establishment is the system of payment for drinks: at the entrance you are given a card to be stamped each time you drink and you pay at the end…
But if you lose the card, you have to pay 30 CUC at the exit obligatorily, that is to say the totality of the potential consos, even if you consumed less and, do not dream, it is non-negotiable.
A little complicated and stressful as a system because you always wonder if you have not forgotten the card somewhere, between two rooms and, here, it’s big!
But if not, nothing to complain about, the site is exceptional and the idea is original.
At times, it feels a bit like Art Basel in Miami or in the middle of a Fiac in Paris. Don’t miss this new Cuban-Alternative place when you visit the capital.
- Calle O 14, between Calle 17 and Calle 19
- & +53 7 838 2696
- Open from 10pm to 4am.
- Entrance 5 CUC.
- From 20 CUC the meal in the restaurant upstairs.
Mythical place of the artistic community of Havana between the 1970s and early 1980s.
Postmodern decor, for a music essentially focused on the rope and the bolero.
Piano bar and concerts every Friday and Saturday from 11.30 pm.
Restaurant accessible on the first floor (from noon to midnight); you will enjoy its colourful walls where paintings or photos of local artists are hung and don’t miss the beautiful view of the Malecón.
- Paseo, corner of Avenida 1ra
- Open from noon to 2am.
- Entrance: 10 CUC from 8.30 pm (drinks included).
- Attention, the concert usually starts at 11 pm.
The Irakere group and its leader Chucho Valdés, often performed there.
Today, the new generation is taking over.
From 1am, it’s time for disco and DJ.
Trendy and sophisticated atmosphere with a superb view of the Malecón thanks to the large bay window.
Beware of the slightly steep stairs on your way out, especially if you’ve been drinking a lot of mojitos…
- Calle 23
- Between Calle E and D
- & +53 7 833 0556
- Open until 3:00.
A small bar where the dance floor lights up from 10pm on weekends.
The DJ plays the best salsa and international hits in a crazy atmosphere where everyone dances tightly together.
This bar is home to most of Havana’s gay male community and it’s a big flirting spot.
But straight guys are also really welcome in a good-natured party spirit, a bit like the Queen in Paris in the belle époque.
The mischievous spirits won’t fail to laugh when they look at the very symbolic logo of the establishment…
Proof that mentalities are changing towards the gay community in Cuba.
Mariela Castro, great activist against homophobia is not for nothing!
- Calle 21, between Calle N and Calle O
- & +53 7 834 6560
- Open every day from 10pm to 4am.
- Entrance from 10 CUC (without consumption) to 20 CUC (with consumption).Prices vary according to the concerts.
- Matinées : Friday and Sunday from 4 pm to 9 pm.
Small hall combining old style and more modern trends. Proximity assured with the artists. Not negligible, the bar offers an excellent selection of cocktails.
- Calle 17
- at the corner of Calle 6
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday. Free from 2pm to 8pm.
- Paid admission from 9pm to 2am; the rate varies according to the notoriety of the group.
Who said that in Cuba we don’t like Rock? It’s in this submarine-shaped bar that all the Rock fans in Havana meet.
The Beatles are largely in the spotlight and you can meet real people who could easily be confused with members of Led Zeppelin.
That’s right! In Havana, we also like Rock. Fans will love it.
LA ZORRA Y EL CUERVO
- Calle 23 no. 155, between Calle N and Calle O
- & +53 7 833 2402
- Open from 10pm to 2am. Admission: between 10 and 20 CUC depending on the concert (two drinks included).
Located on the Rampa, this club, with an atmosphere both friendly and intimate, is mainly oriented towards jazz.
First performance from 11pm.
One of the most interesting addresses in this area with the Jazz café.
A real pleasure for the ears. Jazz lovers will be delighted!
Nightlife in Havana Miramar
- CASA DELA MÚSICA DEMIRAMAR
- Avenida 35, corner of Calle 20,
- Miramar Playa
- & +53 7 204 0447
- [email protected]
- Open from 5pm to 9pm and 11pm to 3am.
- Admission from 10 to 20 CUC depending on the concerts.
Housed in a superb building in the Miramar district, this house of music generally presents good bands.
Very varied programming, covering all Cuban musical genres.
Above, the Diablo Tun Tun to extend the night. Egrem shop, also accessible to leave with the instrument of your choice.
- Between Calle 16 and Calle 18
- Calle 1ra
- Tel : +53 7 204 3837
- Thursday to Friday from 10pm to 4am. Entrance: from 5 to 10 CUC, depending on programming.
Admittedly, it’s a bit far, if you stay in the Vedado or in the centre of Havana, but to party and listen to live music in the open air, in an atmosphere worthy of a big music festival or Ibiza, this is really the place to come
Concerts by well-known and renowned Cuban artists take place from Thursday to Friday from 10 pm, setting the mood from a large stage overlooking the terrace where the spectators are seated
We dance, drink a good mojito at one of the two large outdoor bars and have fun until the end of the night, right by the water..
The Don Cangrejo is right on the seafront, which makes the place all the more magical.
EL DIABLO TUNTUN
- At the corner of Calle 35, Calle 20,
- Miramar Tel : +53 7 204 0447
- Open every day from 11pm to 6am
- Entrance at 5 CUC in the morning (from 15h to 20h) and from 10 to 15 CUC in the evening
- 2 concerts per day: the first in the morning, the second in the evening
The Casa de la Música de Miramar is the perfect combination of piano bar and salsa, but above all it is the epicentre of reggaeton in Havana
A lot of people are there (especially from 3am, when the Casa de la Música closes), perfectly aware of the very caliente atmosphere
A good way to immerse yourself in the delirium of Cuban parties and to extend your evening until late at night.
- Avenida 9na
- Between Calle 120 and Calle 122
- Tel : +53 7 209 2261
- Open Tuesday to Thursday from noon to midnight, Friday until 1am, Saturday until 2am, Sunday until 10pm
- Admission: 2 CUC but prices may vary according to the fame of the bands playing
- Cocktails at 2 CUC
A large outdoor bar with a huge garden that has a capacity of 1000 seats
The musical program is different from what is traditionally found in Havana’s concert halls and discos
The boss of the place, the famous and very nice actor Luis Alberto García shouts it loud and clear “Here you will never hear a note of reggaeton”
So we come here to listen to Cuban fusion music, jazz and other music of the moment
On Sunday afternoons, it’s the discotheque “la Maquina de la Melancolia”: this party that starts at 5pm and ends at 10pm is dedicated to people over 30 years old
The retro and disco music, with Luis Alberto García at the controls, is a delight! We had a lot of fun and we highly recommend you to go
Also, there is a small restaurant on site that serves traditional Cuban cuisine at a fair price (between 3 and 6 CUC per dish)
A good address.
- Calle 10 n°513 Tel : +53 7 202 2921
- Open from 12h to 6h in the morning
This is one of the most popular night bars in Havana at the moment and it is also one of our favorites
Located in a large house, this bar has several areas (hence the name) including pleasant lounges in cosy rooms and a beautiful patio with tropical vegetation that immediately immerses you in a holiday atmosphere
The outdoor bar only prolongs this feeling
A pure moment of happiness when you enjoy your mojito or Cuba libre
Concerts take place on certain evenings, in which case you have to pay admission (2 CUC), but on that evening you are entitled to a free tapas set
When you’re there, keep an eye out between cocktails because the singer Raúl Paz is a regular there – we’ve met him there! – and even one of Fidel Castro’s sons, it seems
In short, Espacios is a sure bet and it could well become the HQ for your Havana night trips.
OPERA DE LA CALLE
- Calle 4
- Between Avenida 7ma and Avenida 9na
- Tel : +53 7 207 6885
- Open every day from noon to midnight.
Created by a Cuban tenor, this cultural space with bar and restaurant is really original because it is the only one where you can see open-air operas
They are modern operas in a contemporary style and it is worth the detour
Performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays only
The rest of the week, various concerts take place
No performances on Monday and Tuesday
Piano bar on Wednesdays.
- Avenida 19 – At the corner of Calle 42
- Open from 10 pm to 6 am
A night bar where the track gets very fast while the best Cuban songs of the moment but also international hits resound
Fiesta guaranteed! Be careful not to leave your stuff lying around on a chair while dancing though, as robberies have been reported.
Nightlife in Havana : Shows
A land of cinema and an essential cultural vector, cinema is surprisingly one of your best chances to blend into Cuban society
Cinema tickets being affordable (2 to 3 Cuban pesos or 0.15 CUC), the seventh art is very popular among the inhabitants of Havana
In spite of the schedules, the Cubans usually enter after the beginning of the film: continuous coming and going is guaranteed! The show is also in the room, people participating in the session aloud, whistling or laughing loudly without worrying about their neighbors..
Here, a “shush” would be incongruous, even unthinkable.
Every year during the first half of December, Havana hosts the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano (www.habanafilmfestival.com); an unmissable event for Latin American producers, directors and artists.
The Festival del Cinema Pobre in Gibara in April is one of the fastest growing cultural events in Cuba in recent years.
Cuba also promotes foreign film production, with a strong theatrical success of European and North American films
Every year, in April or May, the French Film Festival takes place
Organized since 1992 by the director Christophe Barratier – we owe him the film Les Choristes (2004) – and his associate Nouredine Essadi, with the constant support of the Alliance française de Cuba and the French embassy in Cuba, this festival is today considered as the great annual meeting of French culture in Cuba
It is the only film festival that crosses the entire island of Cuba, all the way to Santiago de Cuba, since the French films in the program are screened in many cinemas in Cuba for several weeks after the launch of the festival in Havana
Illustrious personalities from the French cinema world come to present their films in the Cuban capital (Isabelle Huppert in 2012, Sandrine Bonnaire in 2013, François-Xavier Demaison in 2014, Costa-Gavras in 2015).
To find out all about the French Film Festival in Cuba, whose 18th edition took place in 2015, go to: www.cinefrances.com
Theatrical performances are usually held on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30 pm, Sunday at 5 pm
Sunday mornings are reserved for children
At the theater, the show is also in the hall: people talk, gesticulate, arrive late and greet friends
But, above all, we don’t hesitate to let the artists know what we think of their performance..
If the play doesn’t please us, we get up and leave without waiting for the curtain to fall!
Casas de la Cultura
Every neighborhood in Havana (and Cuba) has its house of culture, where artists and neighbors meet at weekends for parties, concerts, poetry readings, music and dance performances
Perfect for those who wish to experience the cultural vitality of Cuba
We mention only the most active one
For more information, check with your hotel, or with the owners of particular casas who will be able to direct you.
La Habana Vieja south
CASA DELA CULTURA DELA HABANA VIEJA
- Calle Aguiar No
- 509, between Amargura and Brasil
- Tel : +53 7 863 4860
- Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 6pm.
Certainly one of the most active casas de la cultura in the city
Old and young people from the neighbourhood compete in liveliness
Noches del Bolero, the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month
Peña del Changüi and Peña del Danzón, on Wednesdays at 7 pm
Peña del Són, Thursday at 7 pm
Peña juvenil del Rap, at 4 pm, and Noche variada at 7 pm, on Fridays
Sábado afrocubano at 4pm, and peña Reggae at 7pm on Saturday.
CASA DELA TROVA
- Calle San Lázaro No
- Between Padre Varela (Belascoain) and Gervasio
- A stone’s throw from the peña de Yoya
- Open from Thursday to Saturday, from 6pm to very late depending on the atmosphere.
Good concert hall, mainly for listening to sound
Excellent performances on Fridays in general.
GRAN TEATRO DELA HABANA
- At the corner of Calle San Rafael
- Paseo de Martí
- Tel : +53 7 861 3077
- Box office open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday until 3pm
- 20 CUC the entrance.
Built in 1833, it will see the greatest glories in the history of the show, including Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt
Prestigious companies, such as the Bolshoi, will also perform there
Home to the Cuban National Ballet, founded in 1948 by Alicia Alonso, the theatre also has several spaces for film and theatre
The spacious García Lorca Hall is the perfect venue for major ballet performances and symphony concerts, and is also the home of the National Ballet of Cuba, founded in 1948 by Alicia Alonso
It is a major centre of national culture and hosts the annual International Ballet Festival (first week of November)
Finally, note the excellent acoustics and original architecture.
PEÑA DE LA RUMBA CALLEJÓN DE HAMEL
- Callejón de Hamel
- Between Aramburu and Hospital
- Sundays from noon to 3:30.
- Every Sunday, the callejón de Hamel comes alive to the sound of rumba, a dance that goes back to the slaves from Africa
It is an extremely popular festival, with dancers and musicians who devilishly link the sequences to the rhythm of the drums
A great atmosphere is guaranteed
It will also be an opportunity to discover the exceptional murals by Salvador Gonzàlez Escalona, whose work began in 1992
Drawing his inspiration from African culture and Santería, the artist stages the Yoruba cults, the Abakua sect, the Congo cult of Bantu origin and the Araras
The Callejón de Hamel, a space for community expression, has established itself as one of the most original artistic and alternative places in the city
If you are in Havana on a Sunday, we really recommend you to go to the callejón de Hamel, as it is a unique place, but beware of pickpockets, as they are legion on the spot despite the police presence.
Finally, note that it is in the neighbourhood that Angel Diaz founded the musical movement of the rope, which originated from the Spanish bolero.
- Avenida Galiano, between Neptuno and Concordia
- Tel : +53 7 862 541
It is a musical theatre of Cuban humour and folklore
The programming of the shows is announced on the radio and/or by posters on the doors of the theatre and, of course, spread by word of mouth.
- Calle O and Calle 21 Vedado
- In the Hotel Nacional
- Tel : +53 7 836 3663
- [email protected]
- Show every day from 10pm to 2am
- Meals from 9pm for those who wish to dine on site
- Entrance: 35 CUC or 60 CUC with dinner included.
Located within the walls of the Hotel Nacional, the Parisian Cabaret is a possible alternative to the Tropicana
Easier to access and much cheaper than its competitor, the show is no less good
Starting at midnight, dance teachers take to the stage and give a free collective class; the public is invited to join them on stage to compose a mini-choreography: atmosphere guaranteed until 2am.
It is recommended that you buy your tickets for the show directly at the Hotel Nacional rather than from a travel agency where it is always a little more expensive.
CINEMA LA RAMPA
- Calle 23 n°111, at the corner of Calle O
- Tel : +53 7 878 6146
- Closed on Wednesdays.
Offers retrospectives and houses the archives of Cuban cinema.
- Calle 23 n°507, between Calle G and Calle H
- Tel : +53 7 830 9564
Latin American, North American and European films
CINEMATECA CHARLES CHAPLIN
- Calle 23 n°1157, between Calle 10 and Calle 12
- Tel : +53 7 831 1101
A large hall and a particularly interesting programme drawing on a rich archive collection
It is one of the institutions that supports the Festival del nuevo cine latino-americano and the Festival du cinéma français
Don’t hesitate to call to find a Cuban film that you have been wanting to see for a long time.
- Calle 23 and Calle L
- Tel : +53 7 832 9430
Programming of American films and art films.
- Paseo, between Calle 1 and Calle 3
- In the Hotel Melia Cohiba
- Tel : +53 7 833 3636
- Open from 8pm to 2:30am
- Entrance from 10 to 15 CUC.
Installed within the walls of the Meliá Cohiba Hotel
1950s retro decor, with some old American cars (Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick) and photos of Hemingway in the background
Concerts starting at 10pm
Good to know, the best bands of the Cuban scene (Azur Negra, NG La Banda and Los Van Van) usually play on Sunday night from 11pm
Clientele almost exclusively tourist.
PEÑA DE LA UNEAC
- At the corner of Calle H, Vedado – Calle 17
- Open every Wednesday, between 5 and 8 pm
Rumba and bolero alternating depending on the week.
To penetrate the heart of the cultural life
The peña sits within the walls of the Uneac (Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba).
TEATRO AMADEO ROLDAN
- Calle Calzada no
- 512, between Calle D and Calle E
- Tel : +53 7 832 1168
Its two concert halls with excellent acoustics delight music lovers
Home to the National Symphony Orchestra, it hosts classical music concerts, especially on Sundays
Latin jazz is also performed there.
- Calle Línea no
- 657, between Calle A and Calle B
- Tel : +53 7 830 5651
Shows essentially turned towards ballet
You can also see the remarkable performances of the Conjunto Folklórico, occasional plays and sessions dedicated to music halls (Humour Festival).
TEATRO NACIONAL DE CUBA
- Calle Paseo, corner of Calle 39 (Plaza de la Revolución)
- Tel : +53 7 878 3193
- Theatrical, choreographic and musical programming
The two main halls: Covarrubias (about 800 people) and Avellaneda (2,500)
The ensemble is completed in the basement by a café-cantante with excellent artists and a cabaret on the top floor.
TEATRO KARL MARX
- Avenida 1ra, at the corner of Calle 10
- Tel : +53 7 203 0801
As ugly as one could wish, but huge (5,000 seats), it was restored in 1975 to host the first congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (before the Palace of Conventions was built), it hosted memorable shows, such as that of the Russian ensemble Moïsséiev, which found there a stage big enough for its developments
Today under-used, the maintenance of this monster is probably too expensive, and is preferably reserved for concerts that attract crowds – salsa groups (Irakere, NG la Banda, etc.), singers from the Nueva Trova (Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez) and, on Sunday mornings, it is the turn of children’s shows.
- Línea del Ferrocarril and Calle 72, Marianao
- Tel : +53 7 267 1717 / +53 7 267 0110
- Shows every day from 10pm to 11.45am, music until 1am
- Count from 70 to 90 CUC.
The Tropicana was once home to the high society of Havana and rich American businessmen
G. Cabrera Infante dedicates the first three pages of his novel Three Sad Tigers to this famous cabaret
The great figures of Cuban music played there: Perez Prado, the king of the mambo, Benny Moré, Rita Montaner, Bola de Nieve as well as the American Nat King Cole and the French Josephine Baker
Big shots from the North American mafia also haunted the place, at a time when Havana rhymed with gambling and prostitution
In 1959, the cabaret came under state control
Today, the troupe has 200 dancers performing on the open-air stage
Exceptional show, and big atmosphere guaranteed
Most hotels offer all-inclusive packages (transport, meals and shows).
Our advice for tight budgets: go instead to the Cabaret Parisien show, which is half the price, but just as impressive
The only real difference with the Tropicana is that the show is not outdoors, but indoors.