Located in an attractive part of downtown Guatemala City, SOMA Centro Cultural is paradise for rock music lovers. On most nights you can listen to decades of classic rock – from Depeche Mode to David Bowie, Led Zep to Arctic Monkeys, SOMA is known to play the best rock in town. If you’re hoping to meet new people, this is a great place to do so; the creative, artistic crowd here are very friendly (as are the bartenders), and the art gallery downstairs is an easy place to strike up conversation over a few drinks.
The craft beer movement may not have taken off until relatively recently in Guatemala, but the capital is making up for lost time. If you want to sip a frothy artisan beer, head to the newly opened El Principe Gris, located in a secluded lower level of the Casa del Águila Cultural Center. This chic microbrewery serves a wide range of IPAs, artisanal lagers, hefeweizens and coffee stouts, and if you get the munchies there’s also a limited but decent food selection (mainly sausages, burgers, crostinis etc).
Previously called Pandora’s Box, Genetic Majestic has been Guatemala City’s number one gay bar since the 1970s. However, nowadays the clientele is more mixed, and lovers of trance and dance across the city head here to have a dance over drinks. If you’re looking for a more relaxed tipple, the rooftop patio is a great space for a quieter drink. (NB. Friday nights at Genetic Majestic are all you can drink.)
In the same arcade as El Portal is Las Cien Puertas, another of the oldest bars in the city. With small tables and a lively yet chilled ambience, it’s a great place to have a good chat over some music and a few icy cold Gallo beers. The drinks menu is wide ranging, the bartenders are friendly and there’s a good range of snacks if you need to line your stomach before a night of drinking. Las Cien Portas is known for its graffiti; nearly every inch of the walls here is covered, so be sure to sign your name before you leave!