Cartagena Nightlife • A Complete Guide

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Cartagena Nightlife


Welcome to Cartagena’s #1 nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Cartagena. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

This city is named after Cartagena, Spain, and shows the colonial history of the Spanish empire which used to rule Colombia.  The Colombian city is among the most visited cities in the country and rivals Medellin as a tourist hot-spot. 

Located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, it has always been an important port city. Due to its strategic location, it was a major port for Spanish ships for a long time. As part of the Spanish empire, it enjoyed a high status and also has a rich history. 

The city shows its history in the cobblestone streets, old buildings, and the old stone wall that stretches for around 13kms. Cartagena has a rich and varied culture, which is a mix of traditional Colombian values and outside influences. 

It is a destination known as much for its historical importance as well as a place to unwind, let your hair loose, and have a grand time.

A Little Bit About Cartagena 

Cartagena has always had a rich history that has shaped the culture and traditions of the people here. In addition, the Spanish left behind a cultural legacy that has seeped into all facets of life here. As a result, the city has always had people from all cultures and backgrounds visiting here and making their mark as an important port.

Travelers can find a lot of things to do in Cartagena. Travel along the cobbled roads and you can find a collection of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that will make your stay more enjoyable. Cartagena has a diverse array of places for all sorts of travelers to visit. 

For the adventure-minded, the beaches are a good place to do various activities. Lovers of history can lose themselves in the architecture and history of the city. People looking to have a good time can always find a good bar or club and enjoy their time partying.

Nightlife in Cartagena 

Cartagena is a city that has all the amenities to cater to travelers who like to come alive at night. Apart from its historical significance, Cartagena is also known for its happening nightlife. Furthermore, Colombia as a nation is known for the quality of its dances and music. Therefore, Cartagena is a city where the music and dance scene is very popular with tourists and locals alike.

The city has an excellent collection of nightclubs, bars, and restaurants. Bars here are known for their fantastic atmosphere and live music choices, and the variety of drinks they offer. Cartagena has a rich culinary history as well. 

Restaurants here are a part of that history and serve up delicious dishes from Colombian and Caribbean cuisines along with a collection of fresh seafood. Salsa is the most popular music genre in Cartagena and is played in nearly all the fantastic clubs. Travelers can visit any of these amazing clubs to spend their nights dancing and enjoying themselves. 

Read on and find out about some of Cartagena’s most popular nightclubs, bars, and restaurants.

Top Bars in Cartagena

Below are the most popular bars in Cartagena where you can enjoy great drinks, food, and music

Alquimico Bar ROOFTOP DE OUF

It is counted among the most popular emerging bars in Cartagena. Located in the walled city, it serves up some innovative cocktails and drinks within an old colonial mansion. Alquimico is all about providing the guest a treat for their senses. They offer a variety of impressive drinks in distinct flavors using their experiments with tastes and ingredients. 

It has two levels where guests can sit and enjoy their drinks and the beautiful ambiance. The cocktail bar on the ground floor with a 360-degree view is one, and the other is the large roof terrace providing a relaxed environment. 

With your unique drink, you can sample the mouth-watering food options featuring local recipes and fresh ingredients. The great music is rounding up the whole experience, with DJ-picked songs from genres such as funk, electronica, jazz, and hip-hop. All in all, Alquimico offers a unique treat and a great experience. 

Timings: Every day from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Phone: +57 316 5331932

Address: Cl. del Colegio ###34-24, Cartagena, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

Website: https://alquimico.com/  

El Arsenal: The Rum Box

El Arsenal is known for its charming location, great service, and delicious food. It has quickly made its place among the best restaurants in Cartagena. 

The owner, Abe, is passionate about food and drinks and considers mixing drinks to be an ongoing process. He and the staff are constantly innovating on new recipes and drink mixes to change the menu regularly. 

You can have the staff surprise you with a drink invented specifically to your tastes and take that drink for a relaxing evening. As the name suggests, El Arsenal has an extensive collection of delicious rums used to create the signature cocktails the bar is famous for.    

Timings: Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. | Sunday to Thursday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Phone: +57 300 8110700

Address: 24 #8b-19 Calle Arsenal #8b-19, Cartagena, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia  

Website: https://www.elarsenaltherumbox.com/ 

Cuba 1940

It is one of the more popular bars in Cartagena and is highly recommended by locals as well as tourists. Although its themes are of the golden age of 1940s Cuba, the staff are smartly dressed in the retro clothes of yesteryear. 

Its design features a central, open-air pool where you can relax and dip your toes. Plus, this place has three distinct areas separated by brick archways – the bar, the dining room, and the pool. It serves authentic and delicious Cuban cuisine in a laid-back environment. 

It is also known for the live music that is played on stage regularly. Get serenaded by Cuban Salsa and Caribbean Jazz, among other genres that are played live daily. Enjoy an excellent ambiance, inviting surroundings, and sip your drink at the poolside as you relax with a variety of mouth-watering dishes. 

Timings: Every day from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Phone: +57 304 6807301

Address: Plaza San Diego Calle Stuart No 7 – 46, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia 

Website: http://www.cuba1940.com/ 

Cafe Havana

The place is famous for the quality of live music that is played every day. Cafe Havana is one of the staple joints in Cartagena that is a must-visit for any traveler. Cafe Havana carries a piece of the Colombian love of rhythm and music for which the people are known. 

Providing a warm ambiance and an inviting atmosphere, the place will transport you to Old Havana and its charm. It is home to the best musicians who play through till the wee hours of the night and more. Best known for its salsa beats and an array of Latin music, visitors will have a great time moving along to the rhythms as they get towards the bar. 

They serve a variety of cocktails and drinks that can be enjoyed sitting down at a table or even while dancing to great music. It also has a great collection of Cuban recipes that are made fresh and hot. The place has excellent staff, features fantastic music, and serves authentic Cuban cocktails.  

Timings: Wednesday to Sunday from 8:30 p.m. to 4 a.m | Monday and Tuesday – Closed

Phone: +57 314 5563905

Address: Cra. 10 #ESQUINA, Cartagena, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia 

Website: http://cafehavanacartagena.com/ 

Cafe Del Mar

It is located in a unique location – the Baluarte Santo Domingo – which is a 17th-century fortification. Cafe Del Mar offers visitors a fantastic view over the Caribbean sea as well as the city. It hosts some of Cartagena’s most popular parties and regional events and has become a hub for the city’s high society crowd.

It offers a comfortable lounge experience to visitors and features delicious food, popular cocktails, and great live music played by DJs.  It is open 365 days a year, offering a variety of popular cocktails and local cuisine. 

This waterfront lounge/restaurant has built a reputation for excellent service, delicious food, groovy music, and an assortment of drinks that can be enjoyed below the beautiful sky.     

Timings: Every day from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

Phone: +57 5 6642945

Address: Baluarte de Santo Domingo, Cartagena, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia  

Website: https://www.cafedelmarcartagena.com.co/ 

Top Restaurants in Cartagena

Carmen

You can get a taste of authentic Mediterranean cuisine and excellent seafood at Carmen. This restaurant, with an inviting and romantic atmosphere and live music, is especially popular with couples. Carmen is an exceptional restaurant providing a relaxing atmosphere as guests dine on delicious offerings and drink some drinks. 

It is also open all year round and has a friendly staff to cater to your needs. They make quality food with sustainable methods to ensure that guests enjoy only the very fresh sourced ingredients. 

Guests can also sample their tasty desserts served with exceptional service and are also relatively affordable in their pricing. 

Timings: Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. | Tuesday to Friday 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. | Monday Closed

Phone: +57 310 3949344

Address: Calle 38 # 8-19, Calle del Santísimo, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia   

Website: http://www.carmenrestaurante.co/ 

Buena Vida Marisquería

As with all restaurants in Cartagena, Buena Vida also has a selection of music that plays while you enjoy delicious food. They offer a fusion of Colombian and Caribbean cuisines with local ingredients. 

Since it features Caribbean dishes, it has a relaxed and enjoyable vibe to it. The restaurant is three stories high, with each story having its variety of offerings. The first two floors house the seafood restaurant with fresh food served hot. The third floor has a rooftop bar and has a variety of liquors and cocktails for the guests. 

Live music is a staple of the restaurant, with Reggae and lounge music being popular. Guests can enjoy the view while sipping on their drinks and then go down to sample the fantastic dishes. 

Timings: Everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

Phone: +57 322 3061025

Address: Esquina, Centro histórico, Calle del Porvenir, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia   

Website: http://www.buenavidamarisqueria.com/ 

La Cevicheria

This restaurant was a favorite of chef Anthony Bourdain which placed it on the map for travelers looking for an excellent place to eat in Cartagena. It serves some of the best seafood in the city. It offers a casual and laid-back atmosphere and is popular with both locals and tourists. 

The dishes here are pretty varied in their tastes and presentation, especially the ceviche, made from the freshest ingredients. The chef also likes to use fresh fruits to liven up many of the dishes. 

It has an outdoor patio for guests who wish to enjoy their meals looking at the city streets and an indoor area. The meals are affordable and have a unique taste. They also serve a variety of cocktails which you can pair with your food.

Timings: Wednesday to Monday from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday closed

Phone: +57 5 6798743

Address: Calle Stuart por el hotel Santa Clara Calle 39 #7 14, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia   

Website: https://lacevicheriacartagena.com/ 

Top Nightclubs in Cartagena

Mister Babilla

It is one of the hottest clubs in Cartagena. The crowd that comes here is young, lively, and wild. Guests are encouraged to groove to the music and dance to their heart’s content. This is a great place for single people to meet others and have a great time. 

Drinks are reasonably cheap, and the place offers a clean and safe environment in which to let loose. When visiting, make sure you come with the expectation of dancing the night away. The staff here are always friendly and will give you prompt service. 

The club has a varied collection of drinks to enjoy while dancing or even relaxing at the many tables. The music is a mix of various genres, with rumba being a particular favorite.  Mister Babilla will let you cut loose and enjoy the night with a cool drink and exceptional company.

Timings: Every day from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

Phone: +57 315 6792764

Address: Av. del Arsenal No. 8B – 137, Provincia de Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia   

Website: http://www.misterbabilla.com/ 

Tu Candela

It is one of the older clubs in Cartagena, being functional since 1991. As a popular attraction for locals and tourists, it is one of the best places to party all night. In addition, you can experience a hot music scene with all the popular genres, from salsa to electronic, being played in the club.

Tu Candela is a popular place for singles looking for some company. As for visitors looking to sample some drinks before hitting the dance floor, there are a variety of cocktails in various flavors and tastes. 

Timings: Every day from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.  

Phone: +57 317 4021966

Address: Centro Portal de los Dulces Plaza de los Coches, Cra. 7 ##32-25, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia  

Website: http://cartagenaplay.com/discotecas/tucandela-bar/ 

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to visit Cartagena?

Cartagena is a coastal city facing the Caribbean sea, which gives it a tropical climate. The months of January to March see warm weather which is not too humid. The cool sea breeze coming in from the ocean also helps to keep a comfortable temperature. 

It is the ideal time to visit and explore the city. However, even though it is also the peak time for tourists, prices may be on the higher side.  

The off-season in Cartagena occurs from August to November, which is also the peak of the rainy season, with regular rainfall on most days. This time is also suitable for travelers since the city is less crowded with tourists and prices are low.

How to get around Cartagena?

Cartagena has a thriving urban center. As a result, taxis are the best way to get around the city. They are an easy transportation option when traveling around distinct parts of the city. They can be hailed from the Rafael Núñez International Airport and cost around $10 to go to the main tourist areas. 

Although Cartagena also has other public transit options like the bus network called TransCaribe, it is often not recommended for tourists. This is because the system itself is pretty complex, and tourists may get confused and get into a hassle about traveling. 

Also, as a significant tourist attraction, Cartagena’s many small streets and locations are easily accessible on foot. Therefore, tourists can enjoy making short walking trips along with the landmarks and shopping hubs of the city.

Does Cartagena have budget-friendly options?

Cartagena has some of the best budget-friendly options for travelers. The hotels, restaurants, and clubs have great value for money. Hotels can be quite pocket-friendly, with prices starting from $10 per day onward. 

The Old Town is a great hub to get food and drinks at affordable prices. Most of the attractions you wish to see also are quite pocket-friendly. Taxi rides may become a bit expensive, but those can be easily managed.  As a healthy tourist destination, the city has a lot of options for you to take that won’t burn a hole in your pockets. 

Is Cartagena safe to travel to?

Cartagena is a fantastic place to visit. It is very colorful and has an abundance of culture, music, dancing, food, and drinks. It used to have a bad reputation for travelers, but it has emerged and become a popular destination for tourists. It is listed among the more safe places to visit in Colombia. 

Local authorities have taken it upon themselves to ensure that travelers remain safe and are not hassled by local vendors and hawkers. You will find a good police presence that can help you out if ever you find yourself in a spot of trouble. Also, the local culture is one of friendliness and hospitality. Locals will readily help you out if asked. 

Cartagena remains relatively safe even at night. The thriving nightlife scene means that the streets are usually filled with people having fun and enjoying the atmosphere. However, there are some precautions that tourists need to take.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times to prevent pickpockets from taking advantage of you. Be firm when dealing with aggressive vendors. Plan your trips when you want to get to a particular place and try to move in groups as much as possible. 

Which are the best places to shop in Cartagena?

Cartagena has fantastic shopping opportunities for its visitors. You can find a multitude of fashion boutiques scattered around the city, selling the trendiest clothing and accessories. It is also among the best places to buy Colombian handicrafts. 

La Serrezuela is among the more famous places that people can go for some shopping. The Bocagrande shopping mall is a central place for all the brand shopping one can do while visiting. Bazurto market is a local market selling produce, meats, and food, along with knick-knacks to take back home. Mall Plaza El Castillo is another popular shopping mall that tourists can visit. For art lovers, the Arte Getsemani is a popular place to sample and buy Colombian artwork.

Conclusion

Cartagena remains a top-rated destination for travelers coming from all parts of the world. It can be quite the perfect vacation spot since it combines charming architecture, fascinating culture, thriving nightlife, and a beautiful natural environment for everyone to enjoy. 

It has excellent cuisines and exceptional infrastructure catered to travelers coming from all corners of the globe.  It is a piece of preserved history mixed with modern sensibilities and provides something for everyone. 

You can learn about its cultural heritage, walk along beautiful streets taking in the charm of the city, relax in the many establishments with some delicious food and drink or spend your nights steeped in music and dance. You can even travel to the many islands off the coast and have a Caribbean adventure. 

Soak in the Colombian atmosphere, experience the vibrant culture, and make the most of your visit to this beautiful city.

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