The nightlife scene in Havana pulses with Latin rhythms, sultry dancing and timbale drum beats. Live music is highly popular in Havana, and visitors can enjoy the unique experience of partying it up to jazz, samba and salsa in local clubs and bars, although there are also some more conventional clubs with the standard DJ on the decks.
In general, Cubans love to look chic and stylish so tourists shouldn't be afraid to dress up when hitting the streets for a night on the town. Head to La Bodeguita del Medio in Old Havana, which is very touristy but a great place to get warmed up to the local flavour, before hitting nearby clubs where local musicians jam, while rum keeps spirits high.
El Chévere, in Parque Almendares, is a gigantic open-air club that keeps the music going all night long with pop, hip-hop and salsa beats, while the Havana Café in the Hotel Melía Cohiba in Paseo is the place to see and be seen. For memorable performances, venues such as La Tropical in Playa feature live bands, while Jazz Café and Jazz Club La Zorra y el Cuervo in Vedado are two of Havana's top live jazz venues. Clubs don't get busy until after 10pm, and often stay open all night long.
Havana has a thriving arts community, with internationally-renowned groups such as the Cuban National Ballet performing in the Gran Teatro de La Habana or the national symphony orchestra in the Teatro Amadeo Roldán. The Sábado de la Rumba occurs every Saturday afternoon at El Gran Palenque, and is a charismatic mix of secular and Afro-Cuban religious dancing and drumming. Although locals are generally friendly and welcoming, crime is a problem and travellers should exercise caution getting around at night and be on the alert for scams.
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