Many people who travel to Santiago de Cuba come for the excitement of Carnival in July. However, this is not the only time when the party gets going in Santiago de Cuba. In fact, there is an active nightlife all year long in the area, making it a lively place any time of year. Popular nightlife choices include:
  • "Casa de la Trova" is the most famous of the Santiago de Cuba nightspots, near the Parque Cespedes and Casa Granda hotel, featuring Cuban Traditional music and is usually open every evening until late.
  • Very popular are Saturday nights at the "Cafe Santiago Nightclub", inside the Melia Hotel complex. The evening starts off as a dance/fashion show, featuring some of Cuba's finest looking. After the show the large room turns into a full blown disco going late into the evening. Admission is currently 5 CUC and this includes 2 free drinks. It is advisable to get there at the beginning of the evening to avoid long line-ups. Contact the Melia hotel front desk for opening times. During high season (December to April) there is usually a show 2-3 nights per week.
  • For quiet evenings in a relaxed atmosphere, the "Bello Bar", located on the top floor of the Melia hotel is a piano bar that sometimes features dancers as well. It is quaint and stylish with great views of Santiago city from the wrap-around balcony.
  • The Hotel "Las Americas" (just across the street from the Melia hotel) has it's own small disco and/or outdoor patio with dance and music shows, most evenings as well. Admission here is usually 5 CUC with 2 drinks included.
  • "La Maison" is a mostly outdoor bar/restaurant on the grounds of an old white mansion that features a fashion/dance show every night (weather permitting). The show here is considered the top in Santiago for it's kind. Admission is currently 5 CUC here and drinks are a little more pricey than most Santiago establishments. The outdoor BBQ serves some exquisite meals.
  • Like other large Cuban cities Santiago has it's own "Casa de La Musica" with live music/comedy and disco afterwards. It is conveniently located in the Casa Granda hotel neighborhood.
  • "Casa de las Tradiciones" is a traditional dance & music club with an eye on the arts.
  • "Iris Jazz Club" opened it's doors in 2012. It is located near the Libertad hotel at Plaza de Marte. It is a good place to escape the Santiago heat, in a well air-conditioned, posh room. An oasis away from some of the more wild loud Santiago nightspots.
  • "El Congresso" is an outdoor bar/complex of considerable size, located in a Santiago suburb almost exclusively frequented by Cubans. There you will either catch a band playing with an entertainment show (dance/comedy) or be in the middle of a large disco atmosphere. This establishment is not expensive but it is advisable to eat somewhere else before taking a taxi there.
  • At the Hotel Versalles heading towards the Santiago airport, is a place sometimes referred to as "Salon Rojo or Club Nocturno". It can be a very popular place when it is open. It has a sizable outdoor patio to sit and sip when the indoor discothequa gets too crowded and noisy. Phone the hotel beforehand to see what nights they will be open and what will be featured.
  • "Tropicana Santiago" is the local Cabaret, similar in style to it's Havana counterpart. This is the most expensive show in town. If you are staying at any of the AI hotels in Santiago then inquire about any tours that include the Tropicana show. After the Cabaret, the upstairs nightclub/disco opens up and stays open until the wee hours. This is where most night people will end their evening and it is advisable to keep an eye on your goods. This is a famous pick-pocket spot amongst other unsaintly things.
  • "El Piano" is located near the outskirts of the city, Another CUP bar/restaurant like El Congresso but it is indoors in an air-conditioned dark room with music entertainment and dancing afterwards.