Havana, like almost all the world’s great cities, never sleeps. When the shadows fall on this almost 500-yeard-old city, the Cuban capital shakes off the drowsiness and then it’s time to enjoy a Havana not so elegant, but just as captivating. It has increasingly diverse places where it’s possible taste from a daiquiri or mojito to any drink of international cocktails, combined with the pleasure of listening to live music and dancing, whenever you want and can, all night long. PanamericanWorld proposes you to visit ten places you can’t miss in Havana, renowned for the quality of their cocktails and drinks and for offering their stage to bands that play several musical genres from jazz, salsa, timba, boleros to rock and roll.
This is one of the most famous and expensive clubs in Havana. It’s no coincidence that it was visited by celebrities such as Katy Perry, Ludacris and Usher, when the thaw between Washington and Havana seemed to last forever. Sarao’s is located in El Vedado and in the morning the place works as a café, then it’s ideal for dinner and, late at night, the atmosphere is filled with lights and live music. It has a wide dance floor and famous figures of Cuban pop and reggaeton and young musicians who play jazz have been through the stage.
Another of the fashion clubs currently is Fantaxy, located in Miramar, the most exclusive area of the Cuban capital. This site has become one of the favorites of Havana’s famous people and it’s usual for the most popular artists of the moment to go through the stage.
On the roof of an old and luxurious apartment building in front of the US Embassy and with a breathtaking view of the Malecón is “Magic Flute”, one of the most spectacular places to have dinner, have a drink and enjoy Havana’s sunset, while listening to live jazz, created by talented musicians such as Harold López-Nussa and Cucurucho.
This interactive space was founded by Cuban musician and composer X Alfonso in 2014 and has established itself as one of the most active and diverse nocturnal proposals in Havana. There it’s possible to attend the exhibition and promotion of musical and poetic projects, as well as other forms of artistic expression: painting and photography exhibitions, book presentations, magazines and fanzines, audiovisual screening. Music has a central place with concerts from Thursdays to Sundays, when emerging and established figures of jazz, hip-hop, rock and alternative music take the stage.
This club, located on the central 23rd Avenue, in the heart of Havana’s Vedado, is ideal for all jazz lovers. Its entrance is very peculiar, since in order to get to the room it’s necessary to go through a telephone booth, like those that still remain in the United Kingdom; but even more striking is the quality of the Cuban musicians of all generations who perform every night.
In the Meliá Habana hotel is this club, set in the style of the 50s, where among many vintage objects, photos of famous artists or relevant historical events, the presence of two cars stands out: a convertible Chevrolet and a 1957 Buick, which every night with its lights and the sound of its horns are part of the show. No less attractive are the YAK – 18-tandem plane and the 47’ Harley Davidson motorcycle that complete the place’s decoration. There are Cuba’s most recognized musical bands; in addition, the show includes dance choreography, acts of magic and humor.
The Jazz Café is located on the top floor of the Galerías Paseo Shopping Center, near the Meliá Cohiba and Habana Riviera hotels. Through its windows, people have an impressive view of the Malecon and the entire coastline. It’s considered one of the best live music clubs in Havana and hosts performances of all kinds, although with an emphasis on jazz.
Those who like the retro vibe, find in the Submarino Amarillo [Yellow Submarine] a special place within Havana’s musical geography. The club’s name, located in El Vedado, comes from the iconic Beatles album and the place is full of references to the Liverpool quartet, from photos of its four members to fragments of songs printed on the walls. In this club, bands play, most of all, covers of the best known songs from the sixties, seventies and eighties of the last century, so it can be very nice, with a mojito or a Cristal beer, listening to anthological themes of The Doors, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
It’s the most famous cabaret in Cuba and one of the best known in Latin America. It has been open since 1939 and it’s still a unique place to enjoy Cuban music and folklore to its pure rhythm and color. On stage, artists such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Libertad Lamarque, Celia Cruz, Bola de Nieve, Elena Burke and others have performed. The show includes live music, as well as colorful choreography with dozens of dancers. Tropicana offers three packages that range from 75,00 Cuban convertible pesos (1 CUC = 0.87 USD) to 95,00 CUC. Two of these options allow clients to contemplate the show from a privileged position and, in addition, they can have drinks and snacks.
Another Cuban cabaret of international renown is El Parisién, located inside the Hotel Nacional. The entrance costs half that Tropicana’s and the show is also spectacular and includes ingenious choreographies, performed by exuberant dancers.
By D. García – PanamericanWorld / Havana