The Best and Most Affordable Bars in Havana, Cuba

Enjoy some of the best bars in the Cuban capital of Havana without breaking the bank
Enjoy some of the best bars in the Cuban capital of Havana without breaking the bank | © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
Christopher P. Baker

With craft cocktails flowing and Latin jazz music lighting up the atmosphere, the bar scene in Havana is everything you hoped it would be. Drink rum like Hemingway in the infamous El Floridita or sink an ice-cold beer at a rare Cuban brewpub. It may not equal the Barbary Coast spirit of pre-revolutionary days, but Havana’s bar scene is hopping. Age-old touristy venues still keep the Hemingway spirit alive with classic daiquiris and mojitos, but Cubans’ pent-up entrepreneurial savvy popped the cork a decade ago. Today, the sizzling hot city is awash with bars – from hidden hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs to suave rooftop venues. Here’s our pick of the best and most affordable bars in Havana, Cuba.

Explore the coastline beyond Havana in style by chartering a yacht through SamBoat.

1. Azúcar Lounge and Bar

Restaurant, Fusion, Pub Grub, Cuban

The panoramic views over Plaza Vieja would be reason enough to sip at Azúcar – but then, there’s the chic Miami vibe of this second-floor, high-ceilinged colonial manse turned lounge-bar-restaurant. Take a pew on the upstairs terrace where French windows are thrown open to reveal Havana’s finest square below. At night, the tunes turn edgier, the volume cranks up and the baristas really get in the groove with their signature maracuya daiquiris and piña coladas, among other crafty cocktails.

2. El Floridita

Bar, Restaurant, Caribbean, Cuban

El Floridita, a famous restaurant and cocktail bar frequented by Hemingway in Havana, Cuba
© Imageplotter Travel / Alamy Stock Photo
To visit Havana without sipping a daiquiri at El Floridita would be like visiting Paris without sampling the wine. Ernest Hemingway‘s favorite haunt is crazy touristy – and the frozen daiquiris are good but not cheap, so try Hemingway’s Papa Doble, sugarless with a double shot of rum. The live music rips and the timeless fin de siècle ambiance is aided by an #instaready full-size bronze statue of Papa, leaning at the bar.

3. El Surtidor Pool Terrace and Bar

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Cocktails

Hands down the sexiest rooftop bar in Havana, El Surtidor combines the most elegant ambiance with showstopping views. Crowning the luxurious Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski and overlooking Parque Central and Habana Vieja, this is the place to be for sunset. A sensational rooftop infinity pool enhances the tiered-deck setting. Freshen up with a signature mango piña colada – or settle into a comfy lounge sofa and savor a fine cigar with a superb añejo rum.

4. Jesús María 20

Bar, Cocktails

The gentrification sweeping Habana Vieja has reached the derelict southern section and is now home to Jesús María 20. For the finest bar and top craft cocktails, check out this casual, colorful-as-Crayola rooftop bar above its namesake restaurant. Amy Winehouse hits and walls splashed with fab graffiti art enhance the über-hip New York vibe. Feeling fruity? Try the tamarind margarita or a daiquiri teeming with maracuya seeds – plus the inventive gin and tonics are among the best in town.

5. Factoria Plaza Vieja

Bar, Beer

People drinking at the Factoria Plaza Vieja in Havana, Cuba
© Kumar Sriskandan / Alamy Stock Photo

As a whole, Cuba hasn’t evolved a beer lover’s culture. Choices are generally limited to two ho-hum national brews – Cristal and Bucanero – and a fistful of imported brews. Hopheads, however, can relish three distinct Austrian-style draught suds – light, amber and dark – at this state-run microbrewery. Factoria Plaza Vieja is housed in a rehabbed 18th-century structure with tables spilling onto cobbled Plaza Vieja. Add to the fun by ordering a three-liter dispensa – a tall glass cylinder chilled by ice – with a serve-yourself faucet.

6. Sía Kará

Bar, Beer, Caribbean

Another chic rehab – behind the Capitolio in Centro Habana – cozy Sía Kará is a favorite of Havana’s farándula, the bohemian in-crowd. Walls festooned with neckties highlight the quirky décor, including graffiti-covered tables and an assemblage of commodious couches and built-in cushioned benches. An upright piano serves duty for Latin jazz gigs, and insanely cheap cocktails span the spectrum – from classic mojitos to fruity piña coladas – perfect to pair with top-notch munchies.

7. El Mirador Bar

Restaurant, Cuban

Usher got married atop La Guarida – the most iconic paladar in town – Madonna threw her birthday bash here and Beyoncé and Rihanna each made fuel stops when they called on Havana. Dine here on some of the best Cuban-fusion cuisines in the city, then climb the winding staircase to the alfresco rooftop Mirador Bar – with its knock-‘em-dead 360º views of the capital. Award-winning mixologists whip up unique rum cocktails, including a must-try signature Negroni Habanero.

8. El Cocinero

Restaurant, Cuban

The courtyard of the restaurant El Cocinero in the multicultural Center la Fabrica de Arte Cubano in Havana, Cuba
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

Part of, but separate from, the Fábrica de Arte Cubano – Havana’s always-packed, multi-venue nightclub – El Cocinero offers a more laid-back but still swinging vibe. The entire complex occupies a renovated former cooking oil factory. A winding staircase inside towering industrial chimney augers up to the boss rooftop bar – where smooth tunes, great tapas and a menu of more than 30 spirit-forward cocktails await. On balmy nights, there’s no better venue for pre-gaming before hitting FAC.

9. Patio Bar, Hotel Nacional

Bar, Hotel Restaurant, Cuban

Churchill, Redford, Schwarzenegger and Fidel all smoked cigars at this iconic patio-shaded outdoor bar, inside the Hotel Nacional in Vedado. There’s no finer place to sink into a plump wicker lounge chair and luxuriate in a premium puro and rum to the sounds of live son and salsa. The garden views extend over the Atlantic – and the kaleidoscopic social scene may include quinceañera and/or model shoots, plus an endless stream of famous Cubans and international A-listers passing through.

10. El Gato Tuerto

Nightclub, Beer

Just down the hill from the Hotel Nacional, El Gato Tuerto is among Havana’s oldest nightclubs. Before the Revolution, it was the place to enjoy live fílin music. It still is – though today’s menu spans slow-tempo bolero to fast-paced Cuban jazz, 70s Motown and modern rap. Dim-lit, hazy with cigar smoke and packed with loyal regulars of a certain age, it gets going around 11pm – but get here early to snag a seat. The long-time house drink is the flaming orgasmo. Enjoy.

This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Jack Guy.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article