Where do locals go to have fun? One of the best places is at the Plaza del Mercado. This fresh produce market becomes the center of nightlife on Thursday and Friday nights. Most tourists don't know about it; I happened to hear about it from one of the tour guides.
Most venues have no cover. Just have a few drinks and enjoy yourself.
Dress Code: Come as you are. Only a few clubs have a dress code.
Wasn't here long enough to get the low-down on how the nightlife works. Like many tourist spots though, Old San Juan only really comes alive around the weekend, so expect a Tuesday night to be radically different from Friday. Nightlife seems pretty irregular, with clubs / bars closing down or changing names frequently. The places that do exist will barely be noticeable by day, with peeling wooden shop fronts and perhaps a small sign. Later that evening the same street is crowded with 20 something's and a heavy police presence (not that its ever probably required). My best advice is not to bother finding out about specific venues, rather wander the streets and find places by following thumping Latino beats or the recommendations of the bar workers and cocktail shakers you'll come across. Old San Juan is that small that you could easily cover all the main roads in an hour or so - if you start on the east end of Calle Fortaleza, you shouldn't be looking long.
Music is a big part of Puerto Rican life and most bars and clubs (as well as restaurants) have live music on the busier nights. Annoyingly, those Puerto Ricans who aren't excellent musicians, can dance like Patrick Swayze on E, leaving tourists (even drunk ones like us) to sensibly watch from the sidelines.
Dress Code: Back in the San Juan hotels, the evening entertainment is geared towards affluent middle aged tourists, so expect piano lounges, cocktail bars & casinos to rule. For the younger crowd, The Water Club and its nightly dance parties are probably the best bet. Liquid, which I presume is the small bar at the back of the restaurant Tangerine, is the more refined of the two, attracting an older, more sophisticated crowd. Upstairs, Wet Bar is party central but with two drinks costing us $18 up, we didn't spend long at either.
From Thursday to Saturday, the best conventional nightclub is Babylon inside the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel on Isla Verde. This surprisingly well equipped and designed nightclub would be a total cheese fest back in the UK with RnB on the lower (main) dance floor, and house on the balcony, but works well here even if it does have a $15 cover. Bouncers enforce a strict dress code though. Reached via the fantastic mahogany & chandelier lined Palm Court bar.
Other clubs I'd heard about:
Olio - Recinto Sur 305 (787/977-1082)
Rumba - Calle San Sebasti'n 152
Club Lazer - 251 Calle del Cruz, San Juan (787-725-7581) Near the corner of Calle Fortaleza
Zabo - 14 Calle Candina Entrance is via an alleyway on Av. Ashford out of Old San Juan (787/725-9494)
2 J's .. there are alot of bars in Old San Juan but if you want to stay near the hotels .. its in walking distance .. thers another one in the Wydham !!
you can bar hop there but its a cool hip hop (english) club !! Go let me know if its still POPPIN lol
Hip Hop, rap, dance, and spanish musica
Dress Code: Wear Casual ... most night life is jeans, but look as slutty or as cute as you want ... We wore skirts and dresses alfits be careful of nightlife dress codes !!
Feel comfortable ..
lot of pervs but lots of hotties ..
for both guys and girls ..
Most speak english but obviously with an accent !!
This club used to be called Babylon. It has a large dance floor, and the dj's play a mix of house, rap, and local music. It is located in the lobby at the Old San Juan Hotel. Drinks are pretty expensive (10 dollars for a grey goose and red bull). Hint: tip the bartenders well and they will ask you how much you want to pay for drinks after awhile. The girls in Puerto Rico have a good combination of being extremely hot and very friendly. So if you cant have a good time here it is your fault.
Dress Code: Dress nice, its a club for heavens sake.
You want to meet some locals, then this is the definite place for you. Beautiful people and random Salsa dancing all around. Met some nice people there that I will never forget. The Mojito at this place are second to none.
Dress Code: Casual
If you're in San Juan make sure to hit up Babylon in the Wyndham El San Juan Hotel. The lobby is huge with many, may beautiful people. A great spot for people watching, but drink prices can set you back though. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all great nights to go out there. Some of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen are here. Make sure you dress to impress because you'll be embarrassed if you don't. If the nightclub is not for you, there's always the Casino and the Salsa bar in there as well.
Very trendy club located in the Wyndam El San Juan. The name might have changed from the last time I was there but the location has not. There is usually a decent line after 11 PM on the weekends, and the cover for non-residents of the hotel is $10. The music is good, there is plenty of space, tables, and a dance floor. It's a little bit superficial but worth the trouble.
Dress Code: Standard club dress code. Look presentable, no flip flops, shorts etc. Jeans are OK.
The funniest thing about this place is that local Puerto Ricans actually refer to it as "Mr. Frogs" when speaking to us, as if we wouldn't be able to figure out that Señor = Mr.
But all kidding aside, this is actually a fun place, and certainly less stuck-up than a nightclub alternative like Babylon. It usually gets packed on the weekends, always has a festive atmosphere, and has a decent size dance floor with pretty good music.
I definitely recommend spending at least one weekend night here.
Dress Code: Pretty lax. I wouldn't recommend shorts or flip flops but they are certainly less strict than other places.
This is a really cool after hour joint. The crowds usually show up after 2 am. Dress codes seems a little relaxed. Sometimes there is a cover, sometimes not. I paid 10 dollars one time. There are several different areas of the club to choose from. 1 area is more like a traditional club with dj and dance floor. On the other end its more like a lounge with comfortable chairs and sofas. And finally there is a terrace upstairs. That section is usually closed off for private parties, but sometimes late night they open it up to randoms.
There is a disco right inside the El San Juan Hote. I have forgotten the name, but it is right inside the hotel and you can't miss it. This disco is 2 levels and very high energy. There is always a line and it is very VIP- I prefer a more laid back atmosphere, but my friends and I would stop in after a night out at Lupi's for some fantastic people watching! It's worth a try just to look around. The crowd is a very overdressed 20's - 30's.
Dress Code: Dressy clubwear- lots of sparkles and high heels
This club in located in the famous hotel listed above it has and excellent club with very hot women and high energy damnce music its around 20 bucks to get in 21 and over i give it a 10 out of 10 i went there 4 times
Dress Code: the dress code casual no sneakers i would recommend to dress with flare
Wow, there are so many that I would like to recommend, following is a list and location of the hottest places in San Juan.
Babylon: The crowd dresses up at this popular disco club, which is a lively place on the weekends. Open Thurs.-Sat. 9 p.m. Admission is $10. Credit cards: AE MC V. Wyndham El San Juan Hotel, Isla Verde; 791-2781 or 766-7700. (My personal favorite)
Club Bacchus: Chariots grace the frescoes of this mythology-themed club, but the music is from the modern age; from Latin pop to Motown to '70s hits. Dress is casual-elegant (nice shorts permitted). Open Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m. Admission: $10. Hyatt Regency Cerromar Beach Hotel, Route 693, Dorado; 796-1234, ext. 3305.
Club Lazer: Check out one of the hottest dance clubs in San Juan, featuring three levels of action, each with its own atmosphere. Choose from the friendly pub on the first floor, the main dance level (complete with a state-of-the-art light show) and the rooftop terrace. Open Mon.-Tues. 8 p.m.; Thurs. 9 p.m.; Fri. 10 p.m.; Sat. 9:30 p.m. 251 Cruz St., Old San Juan; 725-7581.
Stargate: The former Egipto club in Santurce has entered a new dimension and become a futuristic-themed nightspot. The music includes Latin rhythms and songs from the '70s and '80s. Open Thurs., Sat., Sun. 9 p.m.; Fri. 5 p.m. The club is open until about 4 a.m. Admission $8-$10. Credit cards: AE MC V. 1 R.H. Todd Ave., Santurce; 725-4664.
Dress Code: Trendy.....
There is a wonderful gay disco in San Juan. t is located in the new part of the city. We had a fun time there because there was a bubblebath party. The guys are friendly and cute!
Dress Code: Try to avoid regular clothes, I mean jeans and T-shirts, just wear flip-flops and shorts. No shirt required!!!
Paul (Guantanamera) sent me here, and I'm ever thankful. Come to this small dance club in Old San Juan, and plan to stay and dance til 5am on weekends!