According to some, La Paz has among the best nightlife in the world. Many travelers discover this for themselves and end up staying longer than intended, just to spend one more epic night out on the town. Check out our local nightlife guide to get the inside scoop on all the hottest bars and clubs in the city.
The hostel bar
In South America, young and carefree backpackers almost always seem to find themselves in a hostel with a lively in-house bar. Some La Paz hostel bars are absolutely insane while others are pretty chilled, but what they all have in common is being a great place to meet up with like-minded travelers and make new friends. Don’t linger too long though, because actually leaving the hostel is the first step to experiencing the amazing nightlife this crazy city has to offer.
This uber-cool cocktail bar has long been a hit with La Paz’ after-work drinks crowd. Located right in the middle of the trendy Sopocachi neighborhood, it draws in punters for its creative, Steampunk-inspired interior. The moody candlelit venue features an array of quirky decorative pieces which have largely been recycled from rusted out trains, planes and automobiles. An imaginative cocktail menu and attentive service make Diesel a must on the La Paz bar scene.
Meaning “Adan’s Rib” in English, this bohemian, alternative joint is La Paz’ premier (and only) secret bar. Tucked away on an upmarket suburban street, Costillas is located in an unmarked residential home where punters must knock on the front door to gain entry. Once inside, the customer is overwhelmed by a dizzying array of antiques and oddities that have been collected from flea markets and grandmothers’ homes all throughout Bolivia. Almost as much of a museum as a bar, Costillas serves a great variety of creative cocktails and desserts to accompany the incredible ambiance.
Those feeling a little homesick will love this traditional English pub that is conveniently located in the heart of the tourist district. Every night, the pub hosts a lively mix of travelers, expats and Bolivians who come to enjoy copious amounts of beer or some traditional English food. The bar’s biggest asset is the friendly and relaxed atmosphere which encourages strangers to mingle and make new friends. It’s also a great place to watch live sports, with food and drink specials on offer for the most important matches.
Fancy a more sophisticated night out? This cozy little wine bar has earned a reputation in recent years as being one of Sopocachi’s most refined venues. With a modern, minimalist décor and an extensive selection of Bolivian and international wines, Hallwright’s is a classy addition to the La Paz drinking scene. An excellent assortment of locally produced cheese platters and tasty tapas perfectly complement the fine wines.
This huge three-story Dutch-run institution has been serving up a wide array of imported beers, cocktails and mouthwatering European dishes for years. Primarily catering to tourists, Sol y Luna has multiple spaces to accommodate large groups, live sports on TV or even a friendly game of pool. Fast and free wifi and a well-stocked book exchange keep customers hanging around longer than intended.
As the name suggests, this club only plays the classics. The nights start out with 60s classic rock and slowly progress to everyone’s favorite cheesy 80s dance hits, just as the booze really starts to kick in. Its décor doesn’t look like it’s been updated for a while, but that’s not such as bad thing as the retro feel adds to the charm. For those who just want to dance to something a little more vintage, this place is pure gold.
An old timer and one of the fanciest clubs in the center, Forum is where the rich kids go to get rowdy. Although a little pricey – and perhaps even pretentious – it’s still one of the best spots to dance the night away to a variety of modern Latin hits. Be sure to dress up and get in early as it fills up pretty quickly on weekends.