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Evening music in Havana

London, United...
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Evening music in Havana

Hi all,

We will be spending 2 weeks in Cuba at the end of November / start of December. We are spending a few days in Havana, arriving on Saturday and leaving on Tuesday.

We will be too tired for anything much on the Saturday night and know we want to see the cannon firing ceremony 1 night.

But we'd like some advice on the other night. We do NOT want to go the Tropicana show. What we'd like is somewhere where we can listen to live music and perhaps dance, with a few cocktails.

But most of the places don't seem to get going until midnight and my Mum is in her 60s and doesn't want to stay up that late (although she does love dancing!!).

Can anyone recommend any places which would be open on a Sunday or Monday night with live music between 7 - 11pm?

Many thanks

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Tropicana
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Old Havana
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Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Evening music in Havana

It sounds like Old Havana is the place for you. Touristy and safe but with lots of bars and live music earlier in the evening.

I posted this pub crawl many times. I think the Monseratte and La Lluvia de Oro would both work for you.

============================================

Here's a decent pub crawl tour of Old Havana suitable for light drinkers and first time visitors...

1.) Start in the rooftop bar at the Inglaterra Hotel – great view of Parque Central, Gran Teatro, etc. Quiet, no one to bug you. Great mojitos. Have one and move on.

2.) Go down to street level and have another cocktail at their sidewalk patio bar, the Galeria La Acera del Louvre. Watch the street action. Lots to take in, but again, you're slightly removed from it.

Head directly across the street, through Parque Central, past the large groups of shouting men who are just about ready (it appears) to kill each other. Don't worry, they're simply discussing baseball. If you really want to see some drama, put a video camera on them - their decibel level (and hand gestures) will triple .

3.) Continue straight ahead past the Art Museum until you get to the famous landmark (and tourist trap) the El Floridita where Hemingway spent a lot of time slurping back daiquiris. Wander in, have a look and an overpriced daiquiri if you must.

4.) Exit, turn left, and at the end of the block (corner of Monseratte and Obrapia) there's two good bars, the open air Castillo de Farnes and the Bar Monseratte where you enter through an old fashioned saloon style swinging door.

5.) The Castillo de Farnes is a great people watching bar, the Bar Monseratte will be less hassle, and it has decent pub food and usually a pretty good band.

6.) Head back a couple of blocks to Obispo and take a right turn. There's several bars along this stretch. Go into any of them that are rockin'. One of my favourites is the La Lluvia de Oro. Lots of tourists and well connected hustlers, many times a good band.

7.) Continue down Obispo to the Café Paris. It's similar to the La Lluvia de Oro with good music and decent pizzas.

8.) Exit and make a right turn, south from Obispo, and enjoy a leisurely stroll down San Ignacio for 4 blocks until you reach Plaza Vieja. It has a lovely fountain (quite rare in Havana) in the centre. In the southwest corner is a trendy European style place that has its own micro-brewery, the Taberna de la Muralla. They have beer drinking contraptions that are about a metre high – you might need a friend to help you finish it.

9.) Go the northeast corner of the Plaza and you'll find one of my favourite classy restaurant/bars, the Taberna Beny More. Wonderful place.

10.) Exit and turn right, following a beautifully restored street, Mercaderes, back 3 blocks to Obispo, then another block further to O'Reilly. Turn left, and one block later slip into the O'Reilly Pub and carefully negotiate the antique winding wrought iron staircase up to the second floor. Enjoy a moment of peace from the noise of Havana.

After the 10 cocktail warm-up you've enjoyed to this point you should be ready for some serious drinking by now so go one block south back to Obispo, then walk back to Parque Central. The night is still young, and you have loads of time to start some serious drinking and dancing...

Have fun.

Cheers,

Terry

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2. Re: Evening music in Havana

"But most of the places don't seem to get going until midnight"

------------------------------------

That's not Old Havana for sure. I was quite shocked when I saw most joints closing up at around 11'sh and midnightish at that part of town. You would think otherwise but I guess with all the Hotels in that area, they want to make sure people can get some shut-eye at a decent time without having to listen to 37 versions of Chan Chan all-night.

Poster #1 has lots of great suggestions. he knows the town well, one shall reckon.

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Old Havana
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3. Re: Evening music in Havana

CW is definitely right.. Things do quiet down quite early in some areas of Old Havana. Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita is always booming.

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Old Havana
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London, United...
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4. Re: Evening music in Havana

Terry, thanks so much for that - not quite sure we can make 10 cocktails but I think we should definitely try :)

Thanks to CW and ddcuba as well, I think we're set for a great evening now!!

Ontario
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5. Re: Evening music in Havana

My vote is for La Dichosa on Obispo (Havana Vieja). Bands play from 1pm on. My absolute favorites are Los 5 del Son who play 2 days on, one day off there. Look in YouTube for videos of the, and La Dichosa.

You don't have to look for music in Havana. Music will come to you!

Merida, Mexico
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6. Re: Evening music in Havana

Lots of live music options during the day while you are travelling down Obispo street in Old Havana. You definitely won't have to search very hard.

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Old Havana
Old Havana
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Doncaster, United...
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7. Re: Evening music in Havana

Jerabilis

As most of the bars mentioned are in Old Havana,here is my favourite in Vedado.Coming out of the Hotel Nacional,turn left and about 100 yards you come to La Rampa.Cross the street and you are in Cafe Sofia.Not a luxurious place,but as nice as the others and with music day and night.A good cross section of customers and good music.My favourite group is all male and mainly black guys.The first name of which is "Brisas"Sorry forgot the rest.Good musicians and nice people.If youre anything like me you wont want to leave at eleven!A good alternative if youre

in the area.Im going to get shot at here,maybe,but its one of my

favourite bars in the world.

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Old Havana
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Nacional Hotel
Nacional Hotel
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8. Re: Evening music in Havana

PS After reading my post,I must add that I meant "shot at"

metaphorically in the forum!Also,Im sure the music is every day

including Sunday.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Evening music in Havana

No reason to think you'll take a shot Ted, the Sofia is a very well known bar in Havana, it's in all the usual guide books, etc.

It's a good place to be outside and people watch, yet you're well removed from the street. You can learn a lot about Havana watching the action on La Rampa.

Cheers,

Terry

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Sofia
Sofia
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10. Re: Evening music in Havana

Thanks Terry,

Yes a great people watching street.I often think Im spoilt for choice as to where to go for a drink and entertainment,and if the weathers not so good Havana is,for me,the place to be rather than one of the all inclusives,good as they may be.