In Havana, the question ‘What bar should we go to?’ is a particularly good one. With so many excellent bars to choose from you would be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed with the choice.
In Havana’s best live music bars you get to mix with locals, make friends, share stories and taste a bit of the local culture through dance, music, and drinks.
Here are some of our favorite bars in Havana where you can also enjoy great live performances. Choose your tunes – jazz, trova, boleros or rock ‘n’ roll – and get a taste of Cuba’s top musical talents.
This subterranean, cramped, smoky jazz club is the epitome of the genuine jazz joint. Its tiny stage has seen some of the brightest stars of the Cuban jazz scene, ranging from Chucho Valdés to Roberto Fonseca to spontaneous visits from international giants like Wynton Marsalis. There are also performances from the young up-and-coming Cuban jazz crowd in the line-up every night.
|Opening hours:||22:00 – 2:00|
La Bombilla Verde owes its name to a song by the Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodriguez. Right now it is an active artistic space in El Vedado, a kind of cultural café and tapas bar where the Cuban Trova is the star, with live performances almost every night, sometimes programmed and sometimes improvised. Young songwriters from all over the island come to perform here. Bohemian and relaxed, it’s quite different from the prevailing bar environment in the city.
|Opening hours:||12:00 – 24:00|
El Gato Tuerto (literally “the one-eyed cat”) is a dimly lit bar with gleaming furniture, crowned with a small stage and only a few tables. Once a meeting point for local artists and intellectuals, the iconic bar is known for its intimate atmosphere and live bolero performances. Today visitors can enjoy great live, slow-tempo Latin bolero performances as well as Cuban Trova music and jazz.
|Opening hours:||22:00 – 4:00|
A cozy space located in the Vedado neighborhood, Bar Pazillo is a relaxed space reminiscent of a living room with your favorite records playing in the background. Aside from excellent live music performances from renowned artists every night of the week, the bar offers an irresistible array of the cocktails, from deliciously refreshing caipirinhas to perfectly balanced gin and tonics.
|Opening hours:||12:00 – 3:00|
Whether you call it “Elegguá”, “the bar with no name” or its official moniker, “The Conga Room” (all three can be used to refer to this place), everyone agrees there are few better things to do in Old Havana at 3 am. This is the kind of clubby bar that you discover by chance. You start the night not knowing anyone and end up inviting a dozen new friends to your home for one final drink. Dark and decadent, it is the most underground bar in Havana209 Aguiar Street between Tejadillo and Empedrado, Old Havana
Though also great for brunch and tapas, Monik is quickly becoming the new “it” place when it comes to drinks with friends.Corner of Chacón and Compostela, Old Havana
Color Cafe is a fashion workshop with original designs by Loypa Izaguirre, with a bar with creative cocktails, tapas, and live music on some nights109 Aguiar Street between Chacón y Cuarteles, Old Havana
Great cocktails, great ambiance, and excellent service, in the bustling heart of Central Havana. The “it” place par excellence.Corner of Concordia and Escobar, Central Havana
This art bar-restaurant also is known as The Graffiti Place is the new “it” place to meet friends and have delicious cocktails and tapas.20 Jesús María Street between Inquisidor and San Ignacio, Old Havana
The Cuba Private Travel team has access to the very best in Cuban art, music, literature, dance, environment, history and architecture as well as Cuba’s most outstanding beaches and accommodation. By listening to you, the independent traveller, we are able to create tailor-made travel itineraries for your vacation that take you to the heart of Cuba’s culture, landscape and people. Cuba Private Travel’s bespoke itineraries are fully U.S. Treasury Department compliant and include access to personal guides, experts, interpreters and, of course, a 24-hour concierge.
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