Do you want to discover all the best secrets for enjoying the nightlife of Cartagena, Colombia?
It’s not easy to make a solid list of bars and clubs to spend an unforgettable moment with your loved ones. Or to have fun on your own.
After spending several months in Cartagena de Indias, I created this guide so you won’t have to spend hours looking on the internet.
Thanks to this Cartagena nightlife guide, you’ll:
- Know where the best bars and clubs in the city are.
- Party in a safer way.
- Learn about my latest hot tips.
Read on to know where you’ll order your first cocktails!
👉 Want to know everything about Cartagena To learn where are the best places, and avoid tourist traps and beginner’s mistakes? Nothing could be easier. I put it all together in our guide to Cartagena de Indias.
Map to plan your Cartagena nightlife
Nightlife experiences in Cartagena you might like
There are some excellent tours to experience Cartagena’s nightlife with locals. Here is my top-notch selection:
👉 Sibarita to arrange a 2-hour dinner (4 courses + bottle of wine) in the Bay of Cartagena.
👉 Crazy Salsa is ideal if you want to discover the wonderful Salsa culture in Cartagena (Wed-Sat).
👉 Thomas is the perfect host to party in Cartagena’s best clubs and bars.
Where Are the Best Areas to Party in Cartagena?
The best areas to experience Cartagena’s nightlife range from hip, bohemian districts to historic streets. Check out this list and find the best place for your next night out!
1. El Centro
El Centro is part of Cartagena’s old historic center. It’s in the northeast part of the city, right on the waterfront.
The area is where you can find the most expensive bars and clubs in Cartagena. Head to El Centro if you want to book a place at a classy restaurant or try high-end drinks in a nice bar. However, the Clock Tower area is less vibe-friendly as many prostitutes hang out there.
2. San Diego
Check out San Diego, another area of the historic center. It’s a peaceful seafront area with brightly colored architecture and cute cafes.
San Diego is more peaceful than El Centro (with several lovely squares). You can visit an upscale bar and order handmade cocktails, but you’ll have to head elsewhere if you want a nightclub atmosphere.
Getsemani is a hip, relaxed area with a historic plaza and a bustling food culture. It has bohemian vibes, street art, and many bars and clubs.
The area has everything the historic center has but at lower prices. Getsemani is the ideal place to start a fun evening, and you’ll feel welcome in the busy atmosphere. Both locals and tourists mingle in Getsemani, and bars and dance clubs are often busy.
Bocagrande, a long stretch of land with sandy beaches and busy streets, is the modern side of Cartagena de Indias. It’s famous for shopping, casinos, and hotels and has many high buildings.
Enjoy the nightlife in Bocagrande and hit the 51 Sky Bar off Carrera 2. Consider taking a cab, as the area is less walkable than other parts of Cartagena. I don’t recommend you hang out on the beaches at night because there is no lighting or entertainment (not safe).
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Where Are the Best Bars in Cartagena?
Wherever you’re staying, there’s a highly-rated bar for you to visit. Read on and find a great bar that suits your needs!
5. Tertulia De Getsemaní
Tertulia De Getsemaní is a hip bar on the northern edge of the Getsemani district. It has salsa music, daily live shows, and strong drinks. Expect to pay a cover charge of around 30,000 COP, but the price is worth it for the great atmosphere.
The bar is lively but always has enough space to dance. Bring a group of friends and make Tertulia De Getsemaní your new favorite spot!
6. Donde Fidel
Donde Fidel is the oldest salsa bar in Cartagena. Right on Plaza del Reloj, Donde Fidel is a bustling environment with many people. You might not have enough space to dance, and the music is quite loud. However, Donde Fidel is still a great spot to sit outside and people-watch on a relaxing night.
7. Leon De Baviera
Leon De Baviera is a German restaurant off Calle 24. It’s in Getsemani and is a great place to relax with a great, affordable German beer. You can also grab a bite, like Bavarian sausages or sauerkraut.
This bar is the best rock pub in the city, so get ready to hear some top-notch old-school rock music. Leon De Baviera also broadcasts Bundesliga football games from Germany.
8. Terraza Municipal
Terraza Municipal is an area in the Getsemani district with outside tables. It’s an ideal spot to order dinner and drink a beer while you watch the beautiful Cartagena sunset.
The spot has music and reasonable prices. You can order local street food from the food trucks and relax in the trendy seating area. Terraza Municipal often has slow drinks service, but it’s worth it for the laid-back environment.
9. Cafe Del Mar
Café Del Mar is a relaxed bar and grill by the Cartagena waterfront. You can enjoy the city and seaside views while you listen to hip techno-house music.
The bar is on the city wall in the El Centro district. It’s often hard to get a table, and Café Del Mar is one of the most famous bars in the area. Expect to pay more than at other local bars.
Purchase a beer from a street vendor and sit on the city wall if you don’t want to pay upscale prices at Café Del Mar.
10. Mr. Cigar
Head over to Mr. Cigar, one of the best spots in Cartagena. It’s an ideal location if you love a good rum and want a place to chill and feel comfortable. The owner is friendly and can chat with you about life in Cartagena.
You can go there any day of the week (San Diego district). The spot has live music almost every week, and you can pick up some cigars if that’s your thing.
11. Clock Pub
Clock Pub is a high-priced joint with a large tourist crowd. Many people visit to watch American NFL games, and you can catch your favorite team if you visit during football season.
The place is casual and cozy, features everything from rock to reggaeton, and is open daily. Order a local burger if you want a bite.
12. 51 Sky Bar
51 Sky Bar is a pricey live music bar on the Bocagrande peninsula. It has the best views in the city, and you can see the city for miles from the rooftop seating area.
The bar is on the 51st floor of the building, as the name implies. It’s a comfy space with pleasant music and sunset terrace views. You must book in advance to guarantee your spot. The sushi and cocktails are correct; nothing special.
13. Movich Rooftop
Make sure you take advantage of Movich’s rooftop, the best place to see old city views at sunset. Prices run high, and it’s crucial to get a reservation ahead of time as private events often book the rooftop.
Visit during the day, and you can take a dip in the infinity pool. Cocktails are top-notch at this location, and the bar also offers small bites.
14. El Arsenal: The Rum Box
El Arsenal: The Rum Box is a bar and grill in the Getsemani area. It has great prices and excellent food and drinks.
Book a private rum tasting or show up on a weeknight for a relaxing evening. Rum is the centerpiece of this great bar, and the staff will bring shots of rum to your table with chocolate as a chaser before you receive your food.
15. Trinidad Square
Trinidad Square is a small plaza with food and drink sellers. Arrive around 7 pm and get your night started with cheap beer and live performances from street entertainers.
Head to the main square to meet friendly locals selling cheap cocktails. Remember to walk around and see the trendy, artistic murals!
16. The Sugar Cocktails Cartagena
The Sugar Cocktails Cartagena is a cocktail bar in northern Getsemani, open every day except Tuesdays. Stop by to grab a drink to take on the way to your next party spot. Or you can stay a while and bask in the chill street atmosphere.
The cocktails are tasty and affordable, and the service is rapid. The store owners speak English if that’s a concern of yours.
The Townhouse is one of the best bars in Cartagena. It’s a trendy rooftop joint in the San Diego district famous for its tapas, cocktails, and nachos.
The spot has a live DJ, chill vibes, and great city views. It’s open daily and offers brunch with unlimited drinks and food on the weekends.
18. Beer Lovers
Check out Beer Lovers in Getsemani, the place with the best beer selection in Cartagena. Prices are high but are worth it for the top-notch craft beers.
Visit Beer Lovers on a hot Colombian day and enjoy the air conditioning. The vibe is casual and has music, but be aware that the music can be loud sometimes.
Alquímico is a hip bar with a rooftop terrace and a unique concept. The three-floor layout has different menus for each level, and the drinks are unparalleled in the rest of Cartagena. Alquímico is easily one of the best bars in the area and has been voted one of the best bars in the world.
The funky cocktails have local products and strange ingredients, so get ready to get out of your comfort zone. Go between 7 pm and 9 pm for a chill-out vibe or later in the night if you prefer a lively atmosphere with reggaeton.
20. El Mirador
El Mirador is a cafe bar in El Centro with outdoor seating. It’s just in front of the Clock tower and has beautiful views and a great vibe.
The bar is open from 8 am to 3 am daily, and there’s frequently live music with a DJ on the rooftop. Cocktails are pricey but top-notch. Consider booking a table ahead of time, as El Mirador is a popular spot that gets busy.
21. El Patio
El Patio is a Colombian restaurant with great drinks and affordable prices. It’s an excellent place to start a fun night with outside dancing and small beverages.
The loudness level differs from typical Cartagena because the music isn’t too noisy (youppi!). Sit outside in the open-air courtyard and enjoy the beautiful architecture and colonial houses.
Where Are the Best Clubs in Cartagena?
Are you looking for the best nightclubs in Cartagena? Read on to discover the best nightclubs based on their vibe, prices, location, and more.
22. Mister Babilla
Mister Babilla is a place in Getsemani with crossover music. It’s open from Wednesday to Saturday (from 9 pm to 3 am), but I recommend you go there after midnight if you don’t want to be alone on the dance floor.
The bar also has a grill area where you can order local food like pork, fish, and barbeque. Be aware that the club recently changed ownership, and residents feel the atmosphere and service have deteriorated.
23. Cafe Havana
Consider checking out Café Havana, one of Cartagena’s most famous salsa clubs. It’s in Getsemani, near the waterfront, and is a Cuban tavern with live music.
Visit any day except Sunday or Monday and enjoy the old-world atmosphere at this busy spot. The vibes are immaculate, and the music starts around midnight, but you can arrive early to get a table.
The cover charge is around 40,000 to 50,000 COP, and the mojitos are a must-try, even if they are pricey. Be aware that this spot can get crowded, and finding a spot to dance may be challenging.
24. Quiebra Canto
Quiebra Canto is similar to Café Havana, but the spot is a cheaper and less crowded alternative. It’s a local bar with a few tourists, and you’ll meet locals who love salsa dance.
The bar has stellar balcony views of the surrounding Getsemani area. Visit between Wednesday and Saturday to check out this fantastic bar.
25. La Jugada
La Jugada is an upscale club and gastro bar in the El Centro neighborhood. It’s open Wed-Sat from 6 pm to 3 am and features tacos, sliders, and handcrafted drinks.
This expensive and trendy spot has a dress code that includes close-toed shoes, so leave the flip-flops at home. The cocktails are good, but you do need to buy a bottle to get a table.
Weekends get busy, and you should book a reservation ahead of time. You can reserve a spot on one of the floors or two rooftops, and you’ll need a 50,000 COP cover charge to get in.
Vueltabajero is a salsa bar in Getsemani with live music and great vibes. It’s ideal for a night out with friends, especially if you love a lively scene.
Prices are cheap, and there is no cover charge at Vueltabajero. The only downside to this bar is that it’s only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.
27. Seven 7 Times
Seven 7 Times is a classy disco club off Calle Media Luna in Getsemani. It has party music for all tastes, many night shows, and I’m sure you’ll make everyone in your group happy.
The club has five different sections with different music genres, but the main bar is the largest and plays reggaeton hits. The cover charge is around 50,000 COP, and the spot is open Wed-Sat from 6 pm to 2 am.
Head to Taboo for a disco club experience. It’s in Getsemani and is perfect for a fun party with friends.
The low prices and prime location make Taboo a great choice, and locals and tourists love the club. It’s a common stop for party buses and can get quite busy, but the affordable bottles and great atmosphere will keep you coming back.
Is It Safe to Party in Cartagena at Night?
Now that you know about the best bars and clubs in Cartagena, Colombia, take a moment to learn about safety practices. Staying safe is the key to a fun vacation and will let you enjoy the Cartagena nightlife to its fullest extent!
Scopolamine, or Devil’s Breath, is a dangerous drug common in Cartagena. It’s a plant-based drug grown on a shrub-like bush in Colombia.
Watch out for scopolamine, as it will inebriate you and cause you to lose inhibitions. Never leave your drink unattended, and keep strangers from handling your drinks.
Scopolamine dosing is rare, but it can happen in larger clubs. It’s best to be aware of the drug and stay away.
30. Keep an Eye on Your Drink
The best way to stay safe in a club or bar is to watch your drink. Strangers can slip drugs into your beverages for various reasons, and it’s just best practice to keep your beverage within your sight.
Consider asking a friend to hold your drink if you want to go dance. Also, never accept drinks from strangers, even if they seem friendly.
31. If You Meet a Person in a Club, Don’t Hesitate To Ask Them About Their Job
We all want to assume the best of people, and it’s fun to meet friends when traveling. However, it’s crucial to vet people before you decide to befriend them.
Do not hesitate to question people when you meet them in a bar. Ask them about their job or what they do in their free time. If they seem shifty or hesitant, it may be best to leave that situation.
32. Be Careful With Tinder
Tinder is an app to help people meet up, and some travelers may use it to get to know people in the city. However, Tinder does not verify users, and you might meet someone dangerous.
Consider meeting up in a public place in broad daylight if you use Tinder in Cartagena. A darkly lit club or your apartment may not be the best location to meet someone from an app.
33. Double Check Your Bill at the Bar/Nightclub
Double-check receipts before you pay. Bar and restaurant staff are busy folks, and you might see a mistake in your payment.
Consider paying upfront, and you won’t see extra drinks added to your bill. If you see a mistake, you can speak up, and the staff will likely fix it.
34. Walking Late at Night
Cartagena is a lovely city, but you do need to be careful at night. The safest areas are Centro Historico and San Diego, but the places can be lonely at night.
Getsemani is generally safe but can be dodgy in the wee hours. Stay with friends and consider taking an Uber if nobody is in the streets.
35. Don’t Go Out With Your Passport
Police checks can happen. It will be necessary to prove your identity. I don’t like the idea of carrying my passport around. Keeping a photocopy of your passport with you is a good and easy way to please the police. The same goes for the bouncer at a club if he wants to know if you are of age.
36. Put a Spending Limit on Your Credit Card
Set up a limit on your debit card if you have a mobile bank. It will help you minimize losses if it gets lost.
Why People Love Cartagena Nightlife
Many people love to visit Cartagena for the fantastic nightlife. The Caribbean vibe, beautiful rooftops in the walled city, and stunning sunsets make it an incredible city for traveling.
The culture is to dress well in Cartagena, and the city is chic and upbeat. Head to the city center for historic buildings, top-notch restaurants, and a romantic vibe.
Cartagena is also excellent as a walking town. The nightlife is easily accessible because everything is close to each other.
Why Some People Don’t Like Cartagena Nightlife
Not everyone is a fan of Cartagena, and there are some downsides to the beautiful Caribbean beach city. It’s more expensive than other cities in Colombia, and many restaurants and bars can be hit or miss. You’ll have to watch out for the tourist traps 😉
It is also a destination hyper-visited by foreigners, and its Colombian flavor is sometimes missing.
Q&A to enjoy Cartagena nightlife
Many travelers ask us about the nightlife in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Here are our most popular answers
Does Cartagena have good nightlife?
Yes, the nightlife in Cartagena is fun. As soon as the night falls and the breeze picks up, the atmosphere becomes festive and reminiscent of vacations.
What time does nightlife start in Cartagena?
The nightlife scene in Cartagena, Colombia, starts late. You might want to have a few drinks to enjoy the sunset and then go to a restaurant. The bars will begin to get crowded around 10-11 pm and the clubs around 1 am.
Which is better for partying, Cartagena or Medellin?
I prefer Medellin's nightlife to Cartagena's. There is more choice to go out.
Which days are the best for enjoying the Cartagena Nightlife?
Most nightclubs in Cartagena are open from Wednesday to Saturday night. They usually close at 3 am.
Is it expensive to go out in Cartagena?
Yes, it is expensive to go out in Cartagena. Be prepared to pay European prices if you hang out in the trendiest bars and clubs. It is the most expensive city in Colombia, after all! But there are many cheaper options if you know where to look for them.
How to save money going out in Cartagena?
To avoid breaking the bank when going out in Cartagena, I advise you to spend your evening in Getsemani, buying beers and cocktails on Trinidad square. Then, you can go to a nightclub nearby and order a bottle (much cheaper than personal drinks).
Do I have to pay a cover to enter the clubs in Cartagena?
The vast majority of nightclubs in Cartagena will ask for a cover. Some serve to pay the musicians when there is live music. Others are just the cost of being famous.
How should I dress to enter the clubs in Cartagena?
For the bars, you can be casual. But you will have to make an effort to dress up to enter the nightclubs of Cartagena. Leave your flip-flops, shorts, and a tank top at your hotel. You should wear a pair of pants and a nice tee shirt.
Is Bazurto Social Club still open?
Bazurto Social Club closed because of the pandemic. You can check out CALLE ADENTRO to listen to Champeta music.
Bottom line: Cartagena nightlife
There are mainly 2 areas to party in Cartagena. You’ll find the trendiest (and most expensive) bars and clubs in the historical center. Otherwise, you should focus on Getsemani if you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere. Come from Wednesday to Sunday if partying is one of your main reasons for coming to Cartagena.
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