You might want to go down town and ask a local where they hang out in the evening.
Good live-music, salsa , local beer, and very friendly people are available in abundance
Luke warm beer, dirty toilets, crowded and steamy places are seen frequently..
Dress Code: Leave fancy stuff, expensive clothing and your DKNY glasses at home.
In general Cubans have little to spend and life (in a financial sense) is rough for most Cubans.
Just don't show of or make them jealous. It might be safer as well although I think you shouldn't worry about violence to much.
Do put your dancing shoes on and shine.
We stumbled across this bar in Obespo street as we heard fantastic music coming through the wide open doors. We went in and found you can also eat as well as drink and listen to a variety of great bands. We returned at night to find the same quality of music and a fantastic atmosphere. The bands pass a hat/cup round after they play a set and then move on to another bar whilst a new band arrives inside. The food here was reasonable, pizza or sandwiches which were preferable to most of the food in Cuba! No need to starve after all!
Dress Code: Ok just casual
This place was a truly Cuban experience.
The live band played for a good 4-5 hours, all 12 of them! They were unbelievably synchronized and melodic as they all played instruments, sang AND danced!
The colourful mix of local Cubans gives this underground bar an authentic feel. So does the overflow of mojitos and Cristal beer.
The cover is $10 USD...I should say used to be $10 USD, the use of the American Dollar is now prohibited and the use of convertable Pesos is now in effect.
Dress Code: No half tops for girls.
Dress comftorably but nice.
A great place for jazz in Havana.
With its location below street level and cozy atmosphere I'm reminded of the Village Vangaurd.
Except here you can still enjoy your Series D #4 with some hot Jazz and a cool Mojito.
Cover charge is $10.00 and includes 2 Mojitos.
Dress Code: Clothing is required.
La havana is full of places where u can hear really nice live musi...of course salsa and caribbean music!! Or if u are in trinidad u can go clubbin at "la cueva" a really cool club set in a natural cave where u can dance salsa and reggaeton!
For sure Trinidad has the best nightlife of Cuba.
A number of 4 open bars on walking distance from eachother, with daily life music, mixed audience Cubans and tourists, dancing salsa's or romantic boleros, chilling with a glass of rum or a mojito .... yes, for sure ... Trinidad is the place to go
Dress Code: Whatever ;)
By the way. About your comment about the "young proud communists" there.
That was one of many things I was totally surprised about:
The young Cubans seemed to be more pro-USA and capitalist like than in any other country I've visited so far in Latin America. For example they attach much importance to have branded clothes. They also like to hear a lot more American and European music than I thought. Salsa can almost only be found yet in "casas de musica", kind of expensive restaurants with live bands for tourists.
This kind of music is very famous now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRMldyDNnlY
Reggaeton mixed with some elements of salsa..called Cubaton. This band is named "Gente de Zona". Beside techno, rock and pop this resounded all the time. Since my holidays I really love this music.
Sometimes it seemed to me like changes had already came to Cuba, and the country is already in a more tempered political situation.
I remember one night we went out for a party in Havanna. We went to a club, our guidebook described us as typical meeting point for young Cubans. There appeared hundreds of people in my age with better clothes and better styled than me and my friends were. The music that was played was heavy metal rock. It seemed to me like a rock openair in Europe. Later we went through a part of Havanna where it looked similar to a place like Miami. Endless rows of very large villas with pools and finally a circus on a square.
In general Cuba was very confusing to me. It was totally different than I expected it in many ways. Other tourits I met there were the same opinion.
well, there's a serious push to get in the door, complete with dudes who are trying to pick your pocket in the press of people. there's real cordial about it and all, and easy to put off, but beware! once you manage to wrangle a ticket and push your way in, it's your average college-level scene, with the exception of the innumerable hookers floating around. we went under the auspices of seeing some live music and were greeted, upon entry, with a magic show, followed by a dance contest.
apparently, the casa de la musica in miramar (the beach one, i believe) is better... or worse, depending on what you're looking for.
OH! and if you're into getting hookers, the local rule in havana is one CUC for every year you have. so, if you're 25 years old, don't pay more than CUC 25 for that girl or guy... EVEN if they're asking for more!
Dress Code: not sure if there's a dress code... i'd guess that you need to have pants on (jeans are probably okay), and you probably can't wear sandals?
Every city has "Casa de la trova", place to listen salsa music, to dance salsa with cubans, to drink good coctail, to pay coctail to your dancer if he/she is cuban.
It's always live music with band and you'll be offered new CD (usually 10 CUC = 8 EUR). List of songs is almost the same from any band I listened (10 bands total; my friend took them all).
Dress Code: No dress code
Santiago de Cuba has the best live music i have ever heard, people gather in the square young and old together listening to bands playing all night. The waether is stunning (warmer than Havana as its lower down the country) Its is also very safe at night time there are always police around but the Cubans are just such happy people there is never any trouble.
Dress Code: You can wear whatever you like its outdoors and very warm
Ah, the nightlife in Cuba ... it's legendary. There's just magic in the night. Something about the trade winds, the people, the sights, the smells, the sounds, ... it all makes for a truly unique place and experience. The Cubans, irregardless of their economic conditions, have never lost their passion for partying. People dancing on the streets, music is everywhere! That was experience i was really looking forward to, and i wasnt dissapointed! More about nightlife on each destinaton tip!
Many people will advice about this club or the other one, how much is the entrance fee...etc, etc, etc...But the problem is that most cubans can´t afford 5 cuc or more just to get into a club. And supposing that they have saved for a several days to get into one, then they will not have too much to spend inside. Of course in the discos and nightclubs U'll always find cubans, but they are the minority, trust me, I know what is like to feel that other people stare at U like if U where some kind of rare thing only because U don't have 1 buck to spend.
So, my advice is mainly about feel the music in the streets, in the small bars. In every corner of the country U'll find someone playing a guitar or just banging with his or her hands on any surface to find the music hidden on the air. There are lot of small bars wher U can seat with lot of cubans and share with them a great evening without the need of spending more that 2 or 3 cuc.
Also a good to spot to enjoy music, in Havana, is the malecon. At sunset this 6km bench fills up with lot of people with guitars, harmonics and drums to sing and have fun. They don't charge anything, just spect U to give them something, one cuc will be ok for them or even a sip if U're drinking some rum.
Also don't forget cuban parties. There are lot of parties everywhere going on, U just need some cuban friends to take U there. If U go to one of them just buy a bottle of rum and a bottle of Cola, it will be welcomed.
This place was so much fun, we went on a saturday and it was packed, but during the week it was a lot quieter. They had dancing, acrobatics and of course the amazingly good band playing super salsa all night long.
If U can, have the chance go to a cuban partty!!
We are good at having fun!!!!
And U can find alot of different partties all around the cities!!
Also at the Malecon in Havaa or any publcplace where U see cubans armeds with bottles of run and a guitar say thats where i want to go!!!!
U will have a good time
If U go to a partty,try to bring a bottle of Rum an some Cola,that will be welcome!!!
Dress Code: As well as U want !!
This Plaza is the mai spot i the city,all the nice places are around it,restournts,bars,night clubs,salsa places .
check it out.
Be awaer about the jineteros,they are everywhere.But its save to be around and absorve the geat admosfear .
Dress Code: informal
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