While it may be famous for its architecture, history, and beaches, the Cartagena nightlife scene is not to be underestimated. This historic coastal city is home to a vibrant and eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and lounges, making it the perfect destination for those looking to let loose and party the night away.
Cartagena is the most visited city in Colombia with more than 3 million visitors each year, and has a round-year population of 1 million residents. Because of this, there is always something to do in this coastal city any day of the week.
No matter what type of nightlife you’re looking for, Cartagena has something to offer. From upscale rooftop bars to lively clubs and casual pubs, this city is sure to keep you entertained long into the night. So pack your dancing shoes and get ready for a night to remember in one of South America’s most vibrant and exciting destinations.
Where to Party in Cartagena?
Getsemaní – This bohemian neighborhood is home to a number of bars and restaurants, many of which are housed in beautifully restored colonial buildings. Some of the best spots in Getsemani for a casual night out include Demente, a small bar with a great selection of craft beers and live music, and La Casa de la Cerveza, a cozy brewery with a laid-back atmosphere and a great selection of local beers.
Bocagrande – If you’re looking for a more upscale party scene, Bocagrande is the place to be. This neighborhood is known for its high-end hotels and restaurants, and it’s home to some of the city’s best clubs. You’ll find a mix of locals and tourists in this area, and the atmosphere is always buzzing.
El Centro Historico – El Centro Historico is the heart of Cartagena and is known for its colonial architecture and vibrant street life. This neighborhood is perfect for those who want to experience the city’s rich history while still being able to party into the night. You’ll find plenty of bars and clubs in this area, and the atmosphere is always lively.
Cartagena Nightlife & Safety Tips
– Cartagena doesn’t have much of a dress code compared to other Colombian cities, as it’s more of a beach town. Casual wear is usually fine, unless it’s a high-end nightclub.
– Like most cities in the world, you shouldn’t walk alone during the night. Take a taxi instead or walk with a group of friends. It’s also best to stick to well-lit areas when returning home.
– Like other places in Colombia, look out for Scopolamine, in which a woman (usually) will spike your drink with this drug, making you basically unconscious and easy to manipulate. Be wary of women approaching you at the bar.
– It’s cheaper to order a bottle in clubs with a group of friends (especially rum or aguardiente) instead of just buying cocktails or beers.
– Check out the Chiva Party Bus for a super fun pre-drinking activity and also a sightseeing tour in case you were too hungover to explore the city during the day. It’s also an excellent way to meet new people and find out where to party afterwards!
How Expensive is it to Party in Cartagena
Cartagena is quite a bit more expensive than other Colombian cities, in fact probably the most expensive. This is due to it being mostly a tourist town popular with vacationers and people on cruises, as well as even Colombian tourists. Expect to pay at least 250-500,000 COP ($50-100 USD) for a night out here.
Here is a basic overview of what you can expect to pay to enjoy the Cartagena nightlife scene:
Nightclub cover: 20,000 – 70,000 COP ($4.50 – $12 USD)
Bottle of beer: 5,000-18,000 COP ($1.00 – $4.30 USD)
Craft beer: 15,000-40,000 COP ($3.20 – $8.50 USD)
Cocktail: 15,000-60,000 COP ($3.20 – $12.80 USD)
Bottle Service: 50,000 – 400,000 COP ($10.50 – $85 USD)
Best Bars in Cartagena
Café del Mar
If you’re searching for the best bars in Cartagena, you’ll likely see Café del Mar near the top of most lists. And for good reason! This bar boasts a prime and privileged location on top of the city wall with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. It’s the perfect spot for a drink as the sun sets and offers a wide range of classic cocktails.
However, it’s important to note that Cafe del Mar is on the pricier side but the chill electronic and sometimes techno music evokes Balearic Island vibes, the bar’s namesake. Cafe del Mar is a must-visit during your time checking out Cartagena nightlife. With its breathtaking views and iconic atmosphere, you can’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a drink here!
This is a popular spot for young locals, and it’s always packed with a lively crowd. Donde Fidel has a relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of outdoor seating and live music. The drinks are cheap, and you can dance the night away to reggaeton and salsa music.
This rooftop bar has a cool vibe, often featuring DJ sets in the evening, and offers a great selection of both classic cocktails and craft options. The bar also serves upscale bar and tapas-style food, and has an a small but stylish swimming pool!
Whether you’re looking for a drink at sunset, early in the evening, or late at night, Townhouse’s rooftop bar is a great choice. The atmosphere is unique and offers a great way to experience the city.
Downstairs is also the Prohibition bar, where you’ll find an atmosphere inspired by the Great Gatsby’s 1920s era and fancy cocktails.
Caponera Café Bar
Caponera Café Bar, located in Getsemaní across from the Convention Center, is a must-visit spot in Cartagena. While it has recently changed locations, it still offers a great atmosphere for a drink.
While the new location may not have the same lived-in vibe as its previous spot, it still offers a classic and unpretentious bar experience. The drinks here are quite cheap for a downtown bar and its popular with locals and tourists alike.
One of the best features of Caponera is its outdoor seating, making it a great place to stop and enjoy a drink in classic Cartagena style. So, make sure to add this bar to your list of the best Cartagena nightlife.
El Baron Cafe & Cocktail Bar
This rooftop bar is one of the best spots to enjoy a drink with friends while taking in the stunning views of the city. They serve up delicious cocktails, and the atmosphere is always relaxed. We recommend the outside seating, which gets incredibly busy later on at night.
The rooftop bar at Hotel Movich boasts the best view in the city. Overlooking the stunning San Pedro Claver Church and the Bay of Cartagena, with the modern city of Bocagrande and the Cathedral’s tower in the background, the bar offers a panoramic view that is breathtaking both during the day and at night.
While the bar is a great spot to catch the sunset, it can also be enjoyed in the evening when the city lights up. Although the bar may not stay open late, it is a great place to relax and enjoy specialty cocktails in the early evening.
Leon de Baviera
If you’re looking for a nice German sports bar to enjoy Cartagena nightlife, Leon de Baviera has been a staple in the city for years, known among locals for being one of the few places to play rock music.
For those seeking authentic German cuisine, this bar has got you covered. From to sauerkraut to bratwurst, they serve up delicious dishes that will transport you to Germany. They offer Paulaner and Oktoberfest beers on tap, during the season.
The Clock Pub, named after its location beside the Clocktower, offers a pub-like atmosphere and is one of the best UK-style pubs in the city, and a great Cartagena nightlife spot.
With a focus on rock music, including live bands, and a prime spot for watching soccer/football matches, the Clock Pub is a top choice for those looking for a pub-style experience. They also show NFL games on occasion. And for those who enjoy some leisure activities, the pub features a dart board and foosball table.
La Casa de la Cerveza
This bar is known for its extensive beer selection, and the atmosphere is always relaxed. You’ll find plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors, and the bartenders are always friendly. However, it can be a little on the pricier side.
El Arsenal: The Rum Box
El Arsenal: The Rum Box is a top bar in Cartagena, known for its sophisticated cocktails, with a focus on rum of course. Their Kennedy Martini is highly recommended, as is their drink with rum and cinnamon. They also have excellent food, be sure to try the grilled chicken and roasted peppers!
They recently expanded their space across the street in the Convention Center, creating a spacious and relaxed environment for enjoying their fancy cocktails. It’s for sure one of the best Cartagena nightlife spots.
One of the best places to start your night out in Cartagena is at the trendy and upscale Alquimico rooftop bar/club. Located in the heart of the city’s historic district, this open-air lounge offers stunning views of the city’s colorful colonial architecture and the Caribbean Sea. With a laid-back atmosphere and a menu of creative cocktails and delicious small plates, Alquimico is the perfect spot to kick off your night in style.
This quirky bar is known for its creative cocktails and laid-back vibe. The bartenders are friendly, and the drinks are strong. You’ll find plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors, and the atmosphere is always lively.
Best Nightclubs in Cartagena
Mister Babilla is the most sought-after nightclub in Cartagena. It’s not uncommon to run into Colombian celebrities here. This place is reminiscent of Andres Carne de Rey in Bogota, and if you liked that you’re sure to love it here.
The club features a diverse range of music genres including reggaeton, champeta, salsa, Latin pop, and American pop. It boasts a large space with ample seating and a dance floor. The crowd comprises both locals and tourists, and people of all ages.
This is the ultimate spot for salsa dancing and live music. Located in the heart of the city, Café Havana attracts a mix of locals and tourists, and the atmosphere is always electric. The bartenders are friendly, the drinks are strong, and you’ll be dancing until the wee hours of the morning.
If you’re looking for a wild and intense club to experience Cartagena nightlife, then Eivissa is your place. Located right in the centro historico, the club attracts a crowd of energetic partygoers nearly every night with its pumping electro beats, awe-inspiring fire shows, and breathtaking views of the Old Town.
La Jugada Club House
La Jugada is a multi-level nightclub that features a mix of musical styles and attracts a mix of locals and tourists. The lively venue is a favorite among Colombia’s wealthy due to its impressive sound system where DJs play non-stop Latin beats, and is one of the best spots to experience Cartagena nightlife in our opinion.
It is known for being one of the largest and most popular clubs in Cartagena, so be prepared for long lines and a cover charge, especially on weekends. To avoid the line, it’s recommended to arrive early. Note that drinks at La Jugada are expensive.
Taboo Disco Club
Taboo is a go-to option if Mister Babilla is packed, just a short distance away, it gets very packed after midnight. The club plays a mix of music genres, but focuses more on reggaeton and Latin pop. Drink prices at Taboo are relatively low compared to other nightclubs in Cartagena. Cover charges may or may not be applied, depending on the night and level of crowd.
Cartagena Nightlife Summary
The Cartagena nightlife scene may be pricier than other cities in Colombia, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it out. With spots like Mister Babilla, a rowdy club/restaurant, Quiebra Canto, a more low-key salsa club, and La Jugada, a newer and larger club, there is something for everyone in this beautiful coastal city.