Nightlife in Cartagena Colombia. Views of the city rooftops right after sunset with a glowing sky in the background.

Incredible Nightlife In Cartagena Colombia- “Can’t-Miss” Places To Party! (2024)

Colonial city Cartagena is a traveler’s paradise, sitting on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, a port city with colorful colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and rich cultural heritage. And a vibrant nightlife.

There are small, intimate bars, huge, airy rooftop clubs, and cozy restaurants.

With its incredibly lively nightlife scene, Cartagena is attracting party animals from all over the world, including me, when I was traveling Colombia for over a month!

Let me guide you through the most buzzing places of the city’s legendary nightlife, from cocktail-sipping at the coolest bars to dancing the night away at the hottest clubs.

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Buzzing Nightlife In Cartagena Colombia !

Not just being incredibly charming with amazing things to do in the daytime with its streets, plazas, cafes, and shopping, Cartagena changes its clothes and comes to life in a different way when the sun sets.

A wide bar, pub, club, and music scene in Cartagena is vast, with a plethora of amazing places to eat and have a cocktail or two on one of the spectacular rooftops above the city.

Experience Cartagena’s Old City Nightlife

Central Square Cartagena Colombia at night, with lots of outdoor seating, lots of people seated in front of the old colonial architecture, elaborate city lights, and with an overall super charming night atmorphere
Central Square Cartagena Colombia

If you’re looking to experience the best of Cartagena’s nightlife, the first place to explore is the historic Old City!

Just strolling con calma, slowly, through the charming streets to discover the magic of Cartagena’s Old City nightlife is a must.

This tiny area is dotted with colorful houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and hidden plazas that come alive at night with music and dancing. From laidback bars to sophisticated lounges, you’ll find a range of options to choose from.

Donde Fidel is the oldest salsa bar in Cartagena. Right on Plaza del Reloj, Donde Fidel is a bustling environment with many people.

The dancing space is not huge, and the music is quite loud, but there is space for salsa! And the outside space is calmer, a great spot for people-watching and relaxing!

Located in the heart of the historic walled city, Mister Babilla is known for its energetic nightlife scene, attracting both locals and visitors alike.

Surrounded by charming colonial architecture, coupled with its array of music genres and talented DJs, it is a go-to spot for those seeking a fun night out.

Sip Cocktails At The Best Bars In Cartagena!

One of the best ways to enjoy the nightlife in Cartagena is by sipping cocktails at the city’s best bars.

From classic mojitos to unique local concoctions, the best bars in Cartagena offer a wide variety of drinks to suit every taste.

For a relaxed vibe, head to the charming La Vitrola, a classic jazz bar that will take you back to the vibe of the 1940s. Or, for a more modern atmosphere, check out Alquimico, a trendy rooftop bar with a speakeasy feel.

Whether you’re in the mood for a laidback evening or a more upscale experience, the Old City is home to some of the most popular and iconic bars in Cartagena, many of which boast stunning views of the sea!

Engulfed in a retro-vintage style venue, although mostly known to be a club and disco, La Movida Gastro Bar in the old city of Cartagena is also a multi-experience place to spend a night!

Go for tapas, followed by their signature gin and tonic before the dance floor comes alive (PS: there is a dress code here). No matter where you choose to go, be sure to try some of the local favorites like the Coco Loco or Limonada de Coco.

As you sip on your cocktails, take in the lively energy of the historic city and prepare for a night of dancing at Cartagena’s hottest clubs.

Also read: 15 Reasons Santa Marta Magdalena Colombia Is A Great Destination (From A Local)

Dance the Night Away at Cartagena’s Hottest Clubs

Night streets in Cartagena Old City
Night streets in Cartagena

Cartagena boasts an incredible nightlife scene, and the clubs here are some of the best in South America. From reggaeton to salsa, there’s a club for every rhythm in Cartagena.

One of the most popular clubs in the city is Bazurto Social Club. This vibrant club has a bohemian vibe and plays a mix of Latin and Caribbean beats.

The dance floor is always packed, and the energy here is infectious!

Mister Babilla, that I mentioned before, is good for a more upscale experience, too.

This club has a chic, sophisticated atmosphere and attracts a trendy crowd. The night music here is a mix of Latin and international hits, and the cocktails are top-notch.

📍 Here are 7 fiery and popular clubs you want to put on your to-do nightlife list in Cartagena!

  • D8 Club (LGBT friendly)
  • La Santa
  • Misty K Club
  • La Farra Club
  • Borracha VIP
  • Taboo Disco Club
  • Cafe Havana

And while you’re out, don’t forget to indulge in some of the delicious street food snacks that are sold outside the clubs – the perfect way to satisfy your hunger after a night of dancing!

Before you start planning your night out, be sure to check out Cartagena’s best rooftop bars. These bars offer incredible views of the city and make for the perfect pre-club drinks spot!

📍 EpicNomadLife Tip: No matter where you choose to go clubbing, be sure to dress up – the locals here take their nightlife seriously.

Take In The Views At Cartagena’s Best Rooftop Bars!

Rooftop views in Cartagena at night, with a beautiful blue pool in the foreground, and the city bathed in city lights, including the bell tower with the clock, in the background under the dark sky.
Rooftop views in Cartagena

Cartagena is famous for its stunning colonial architecture, and there’s no better way to take in the city’s beauty than from above. That’s where rooftop bars with panoramic views of the cityscape come in!

One of the most popular rooftop bars in Cartagena is Alquimico, which is also a great cocktail bar, as mentioned above.

This hip spot is located in the heart of the old city and boasts an extensive cocktail menu. Take in the views while sipping on one of their super tasty signature drinks.

Another great option is Café del Mar, which is located directly on the historic city walls.

The bar is known for its incredible sunset views and chill vibe. It’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a drink with friends before heading out for the night.

Cartagena Diversity!

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, head to the Movich Hotel’s rooftop bar. The view of the city from here is unbeatable, and the ambiance is perfect for a romantic evening out!

El Baron Rooftop Bar is another stunning venue situated on the roof of a historic building, affording visitors breathtaking views of the city and the Caribbean Sea.

Beyond the views, El Baron has an exceptional selection of cocktails. To complement the drinks, the bar also offers a menu of small plates and appetizers, perfect for sharing with friends!

La Jugada Club House is a high-end establishment, a multi-story building with stunning views from the rooftop where you can dress up for a spectacular sunset drink.

Entrance to the walled city thorugh arched doorways in nature colored stone walls, and right on the inside is the yellow clock tower
Entrance to the walled city

Just by the entrance to the walled old city, the Gastro Pub Mirador is a great place for dinner, drinks, and nightcaps, and from this elevated spot, you can even people-watch on the plaza below!

Whatever day of the week you want to hit the nightlife, Eivissa Rooftop Lounge is open seven days a week until 4 am – and is a great place to get lost in the rhythms!

The crowd is on the younger side; travelers from all over the world come here, and the DJs are fierce. Once you’ve taken in the views and recharged with a few drinks, it really is time to hit the clubs listed above!

But before you do hit the techno, make sure to stroll slowly through the Cartagena night streets, for some live music and performances.

This city has such a vibrant music scene, and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to experience it firsthand!

Also read: Lost City Hike Colombia: Hot, Airy, And Spectacular! (2024)

Enjoy Live Music And Performances In Cartagena

Street dancers in colorful costumes and musicians after dark in Cartagena
Street dancers after dark in Cartagena

Cartagena is a city that is teeming with vibrant music and performances. If you’re looking for a unique night out, catching some live entertainment is definitely worth considering.

Thankfully, you won’t have to go too far to find great music in Cartagena, even outdoors!

The city’s streets are alive with the sounds of buskers and performers, so don’t be afraid to take a stroll and see what you stumble upon.

Music Festivals In Cartagena

Sunset over Cartagenas colorful rooftop, the horizon is glowing from the setting sun
Sunset over Cartagena

Cartagena also boasts a variety of music festivals throughout the year. Consider planning your trip around one of these events if you’re a music lover.

Here are three fun ones to consider:

  • Cartagena International Music Festival
  • Hay Festival
  • Cartagena Jazz Festival

With so many great choices for live music and performances, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the incredible music scene in Cartagena.

So, make sure you include live entertainment in your itinerary when planning your next night out in this amazing city.

Best Places To Stay Near The Buzzing Nightlife

If you want to stay close to the vibing Cartagena nightlife, there are a lot of options in all price ranges for you!

Below is a list of the top-rated places inside the walled city of Cartagena, organized in luxury, budget, and cheap options!

📍 Luxury top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

📍 Budget top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

Cheap top-rated places to stay inside the Walled Old City:

Top Things To Do During The Daytime In Cartagena

You know the saying, “Heroes at nighttime, & heroes at daytime!” (loosely translated from Norwegian). Well, don’t miss out on daytime activities in Cartagena, even though you are the party animal of this century!

There are so many things to see and do in Cartagena, inside the walled city, outside the walled city, and within day trip distance from Cartagena as well!

Clearly, you need to set aside time to just explore the old city, take in the ambiance, have coffee, watch the street spectacles, and really notice the details of this incredible historic city.

See how many flowers there are everywhere?

Make sure you have the energy to climb the historic San Felipe Castle, walk around Getsemani and admire the street art and historical details, and buy fruit from one of the palenques, female vendors dressed in colorful traditional clothing!

Also, hit one of the stunning beaches outside the city, take a dance class, or even take a few classes in Spanish!

I actually found a drop-in Spanish school in Cartagena where I was able to get private classes (this was when I was on my quest to learn Spanish – WHICH I now speak fluently!).

Also, make sure you learn about the indigenous people in Colombia and this region of the country, which is such an important part of history.

6 top-rated 5-star tours in Cartagena!

Where Is Cartagena In Colombia?

You can peek out through the Old City Wall in Cartagena through old arched holes, and here you can spot four fishing men outside on the shore trying to get the catch of the day in the late afternoon.
A peek through the Old City Wall

Cartagena is a buzzing city located on the northern end of Cartagena Bay in the northern region of Colombia. It is the capital of Bolívar Departamento and has an incredibly long and rich history and cultural legacy.

  • The population is around one million people in the metro area
  • The language in Cartagena is Spanish
  • The currency is the Colombian Peso

One of the city’s most famous features is its walled-in old city, which even has a 17th-century fortress called San Felipe de Barajas that sits on a peninsula and the nearby island of Getsemaní.

Cartagena’s unique blend of colonial and modern-day architecture makes it a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world.

Its rich history, lively culture, incredible food, and stunning beaches are simply unprecedented!

The city has undergone rapid expansion and is now spreading over the small islands of Manga, Isla Diablo (!), and Manzanillo, located just off the coast.

Despite its growth, Cartagena still maintains lots of charm and allure, keeping its status as one of the most beloved and beautiful cities in Colombia – including at night!

FAQs Colombia

What Is The Best Time To Visit Cartagena?

The best time to visit Cartagena, Colombia, is in the dry season, which runs from November through March every year.

This is also the most expensive period to visit Cartagena, however!

If you travel on a budget, you might consider traveling in the shoulder season, in April or May, or August through October (but during the latter period, you must expect to meet some rain showers!)

Should I Use USD Or Peso In Colombia?

US dollars are generally not accepted in Colombia, so you will be using pesos or your credit card while traveling in the country.

Is Cartagena Safe For Tourists?

Colombia, in general, is considered a high-risk destination, and the US Department of State actually has listed the country under “do not travel” advice.

Then again, they also warn travelers going to Cuba, which is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean.

So, if you are wondering if Cartagena is safe to visit, it is generally considered a relatively safe destination nevertheless.

Here are a few tips that will help you stay safe when visiting Cartagena.

  • Choose Uber, not a standard taxi, when you need transport.
  • Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home
  • Make sure all your pockets and bags are thoroughly closed
  • Speak to the locals for advice in the area you are staying or planning to visit for do’s and don’ts.
  • Always watch your drink, and don’t accept free samples of food and drink.

The safest neighborhoods in Cartagena are considered to be:

  • Getsemani
  • The Old Walled City
  • Santo Domingo
  • San Diego
  • El Laguito
  • Islas del Rosario
  • Bocagrande (The Large Mouth!)

Wrap-Up Cartagena Colombia Nightlife

Cartagena de Indias in Colombia is a city that never sleeps, with a nightlife that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

From the charming Old City to the stunning rooftop bars, this vibrant destination offers something for you no matter what kind of nightlife animal you are.

This guide has hopefully covered everything you want to know about the best bars, clubs, and rooftop spots to help you plan your perfect night out.

So, put on your dancing shoes, grab a cocktail, and get ready to experience the ultimate party in Cartagena!

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